Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Blogger Arrested in Malaysia

A popular blogger from Malaysia was charged of sedition. The freedom of speech, the world’s cherished rights being enjoyed by bloggers , is being threatened in an Asian country with a fragile democracy. The impunity of the pen is again subjected to the unpleasant consequences of politics.


The charge of sedition steamed from an article posted by a Malaysian blogger. According to AFP report on May 6, 2008, thru MSN News: “Raja Petra Kamaruddin, founder and editor of the popular Malaysia Today site, had posted an article which allegedly implicated Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, in the October 2006 murder."


Raja Petra’s post “Let’s send the Altantuya Murderers to Hell” published at his site,, cost him his freedom. He was sent to jail after refusing to post a bail at 5000 ringgits or $1600 and chose to remain until his trial on October 6, 2008. He has opened the real Pandora’s box and he was charged to send signal to others not to touch the untouchables. There are other bloggers and writers who suffered the same fate as Raja Petra’s by just posting a comment on his website.


The seditious content of the post was that Mr. Najib and his wife were implicated in a murder of a Mongolian interpreter, Altantuya Shaariibuu. It was alleged that she was killed by two police officer on the prodding of Abdul Razak Baginda. It was gather from the site that “ The prosecution contends that Mr Abdul Razak had the woman killed because she pestered him for money after he ended their affair.” Abdul Razak is a political analyst and close associate of Mr. Najib. The sedition charge is quite ambiguous as basing on the content of the article, there is no definitive acts of inciting to secede or rebellious action. Mr. Najib was only being “ implicated” and so another course of action should have been filed instead. The case has been dragging for almost a year and Mr. Najib is expected to assume the premiership from Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. It is quite clear that there is a political repercussions on the issue and it will take time before the truth will come out.


Meanwhile, Raja Petra Kamaruddin is now languishing in jail. But being a blogger, he deserves to be supported by the international community of bloggers in our untiring efforts to strive for truth. Let the side of Raja Petra be known to the whole world. Let’s condemn the evil doers by flushing out the stinking mess out of their dens.

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