Saturday, November 15, 2008

Police Nab Paula @ Penang Candle Vigil!

The optimist may see a light where there is none...

... but why must the pessimist always run and blow it out?

Quote from René Descartes (1596-1650)

The Candlelight Vigil in Penang tonight was apparently a great success, despite the heavy police presence. After it was over and people were slowly dispersing, the emcee of the event, Ms Paula Khoo, was quietly arrested by six police officers shortly after she led the crowd with a rendition of Sing a Song of Freedom. She was taken to the Patani Road station where, even as I write, she is waiting to record her statement (see Anil Netto's blog for more details).

It seems the heavy-handed police action in Petaling Jaya last week brought on so much flak they have changed tactics. Now they're zooming in on the coordinator(s) in a desperate attempt to persuade the public to quit protesting against cruel laws, corruption, and a morally bankrupt BN administration.

I appreciate their treating Ms Khoo with a measure of courtesy (they allowed her to use her mobile and offered her a drink) - but I would appreciate it a lot more if the local CPOs could show some independent-mindedness and simply refuse to deploy valuable manpower and resources just to intimidate the rakyat. Be bold. Tell your IGP to balik kampung and take it easy before he has a fatal heart attack. If you get the sack, take a vacation. You'll get your job back plus a promotion when Pakatan Rakyat takes over the federal government. Very soon... sooner than you expect!
Paula Khoo had expressed to me her premonition of "trouble" and her understandable apprehension about coordinating the Saturday night Candlelight Vigil at the Esplanade. During the course of promoting the event and encouraging her friends to attend, she was further disheartened by the hesitation, uncertainty, and fearful vagueness so many displayed.

And yet she went ahead with it. Because she is a spiritually awakened soul and she knows that false piety and hypocrisy serves nobody, least of all, God. Paula is one brave and funky woman who walks her talk in faith. She has had her baptism of fire and is permanently free from the Matrix of Oppression artificially generated by demonically possessed souls to maintain their own power at the people's expense. Paula, I dub thee Queen of the Vampire Slayers! I assure you, all justice-loving, uncorrupted Malaysians will support you every way we can.

Friday, November 14, 2008

CLOAK & DAGGER POLITICS (from Corridors of Power)

"The Special Branch stood by helplessly as Ramlang spoke at ceramah after ceramah to set the record straight on what happened in the Federal Territory mosque the day Saiful swore on the Quran that Anwar had sodomized him."


The Pink Panther reports:

Arif Shah anticipated he would win the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election by at least 5,000 votes. Anwar Ibrahim’s camp, in turn, was confident they would win, but probably by 10,000 votes or so. This would mean Anwar’s win would be lower than Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s 13,000-vote majority in the 8 March 2008 general election.

This would be a disaster. Anwar must win by a majority higher than Wan Azizah’s. And a plan was required to achieve this. They needed to pull a rabbit out of the hat. And the plan was like a plot from a spy story and executed with military precision to boot.

An operations centre was set up in a hotel about half an hour from the heart of the Permatang Pauh election campaign. The purpose was to poll the voters’ sentiments, in particular the Malay voters who made up the majority of the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency. What were the issues troubling the voters? What was foremost in their minds?

The thing needling the Malay voters in Permatang Pauh was as to why Anwar did not also swear on the Quran in a mosque that he did not sodomise Saiful Bukhari Azlan. Saiful had done the so and swore than Anwar did sodomise him. Why won’t Anwar do the same and swear that he did not?

The simple-minded Malay voters did not seem to realise that such a ritual is not part of Islamic teachings. One does not use the Quran and God to gain political mileage. Furthermore, if Anwar were to do so smack in the middle of an election campaign, it would be interpreted even more that Anwar is doing so merely to gain more votes. That move could backfire badly and could in fact result in some lost voters rather than help gain more.

Instead of aping Saiful, Anwar had to discredit what the young man had done and prove to the voters that the oath was all a farce and of no substance. And to do that they needed the very imam who had taken Saiful’s oath to confirm so.

Contact was made with the imam, Ramlang Porigi, who was in Kuala Lumpur. The imam was suffering bouts of guilt conscience and he was troubled by the whole episode. He was an unwitting participant in what he considered a character assassination exercise. He did not know at the time they summoned him to the mosque what it was all about. He was appalled when he discovered what they were up to but he was trapped and could not get out of it. How now to rectify the injustice done to Anwar?

The imam was pleased when contact was finally made. Yes he would be very happy to spill the beans and inform the public how they set up the so-called oath-taking ceremony and the flaws in the whole exercise. And he was prepared to take centre-stage and reveal the truth.

Imam Ramlang was scheduled to make an appearance two days before polling day, the most crucial period in the by-election campaign when Umno would go all out in the dash to the finishing line. His family was spirited to safety and Ramlang went underground. Two days before the election they brought him up to Penang in a convoy of cars and superbikes that would spring into action and whisk him away in the event they set up roadblocks and attempt to detain the imam.

The convoy arrived in Penang at 5.00pm without incident. Ramlang was scheduled to make his first appearance at 7.00pm to address a mosque congregation. And when he did, the women in the congregation were reduced to tears and the men surged forward to hug him and shake his hand.

The exercise was a success.

Ramlang was to make his next appearance at a massive rally later that night. All the top opposition leaders plus Anwar himself would be addressing a crowd of 30,000. That would be when Anwar would garner an additional 5,000 votes and secure a majority exceeding his wife’s in the 8 March 2008 general election.

Two imams dressed in robes and turbans were brought to the rally escorted by a full complement of security personnel. They were merely decoys. The crowd surged forward, Special Branch officers amongst them. They strained their necks in trying to get a look at the imams who coolly took their time to stroll through the crowd. Everyone was trying to figure out which of the two imams was Ramlang. Ramlang, meanwhile, was smuggled in through the back, dressed in a tracksuit. Before they realised it Ramlang was on stage addressing the crowd.

As soon as he finished they whisked him away and sent him into hiding. Around midnight word got out that the order from Kuala Lumpur had been given to detain Ramlang. The security boys bundled him into a car and smuggled him out of Penang. The Special Branch scoured the whole of Penang looking for the imam to no avail. Ramlang was safely housed in the neighbouring state far from the long arms of the men in blue from Bukit Aman. His family too had by then disappeared and the Special Branch did not know where to find them.

Security was beefed up when Ramlang made his next appearance on the eve of the by-election. They badly wanted to get their hands on him but not even a fly could penetrate the wall of security men. The Special Branch stood by helplessly as Ramlang spoke at ceramah after ceramah to set the record straight on what happened in the Federal Territory mosque the day Saiful swore on the Quran that Anwar had sodomised him.

(From Malaysiakini, 25 August 2008. Click on image to enlarge)

Anwar won the Permatang Pauh by-election with a majority higher than the general election just months before that. Ramlang went back to Kuala Lumpur to lead his normal life again, if that was now possible in the aftermath of Anwar’s impressive win that to a large extent could be credited to what the imam revealed to the Permatang Pauh voters.

The government did not dare sack Ramlang. But they did put him in cold storage. A few days ago, when they thought that all had by now calmed down and people had forgotten the whole episode, they sent the imam a show cause letter with a view to terminate his services.

Ramlang has been given two week to justify why he should not be sacked from his government job. He had cost Umno the Permatang Pauh by-election. Anwar won with a higher majority than expected because the imam had revealed the truth. Revealing the truth is not something that a God-fearing imam should do. A good imam is supposed to serve the government, not serve God.

Ramlang does not want to resign even though he is being pressured to do so. If they want him out then they can sack him. He will accept that fate if that is what God has in store for him. All he did was to tell the truth. All he did was to reveal what really happened, which is opposite to what the government-controlled TV stations are saying. He fears God more than he fears man, as what all God-fearing imams should be like.

The government’s move to sack Imam Ramlang Porigi will just make matters worse for Umno. Instead of redeeming itself Umno will just incur the wrath of the people. God-fearing men who tell the truth are punished. Scoundrels are rewarded. That is the message Umno will send to the people.


Would you trust him with RM5 billion of your hard-earned pension funds?

He stays clear of the spotlight, preferring to work quietly behind the scenes. As Mahathir's financial advisor in the 1980s Nor Mohamed Yakcop was implicated in a series of colossal disasters and largely responsible for the shocking loss of RM30 billion of the rakyat's money in forex speculation that ended in abysmal failure. Instead of losing his job, he gets promoted to Second Finance Minister. Only in Bolehland!

From Malaysiakini (Vox Populi | 26 July 2008): "Recent developments have shown that Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop indeed played a pivotal role in Bank Negara's forex scandal between 1992 to 1994. It would now be embarrassing to Pak Lah's administration if he continues to serve as Malaysia's second finance minister after being responsible for such a colossal loss of up to RM30 billion of the people's money. The most honourable thing for him to do would be to step down and come clean on the enormous forex losses as a result of speculation in the international currency markets in the 90s."

The forex scandal is ‘plunder’ of the highest order. Pak Lah must not close one eye to this gross offence of misappropriation of funds, which had allegedly occurred. Pak Lah who serves under the BN government must carry through his pledge to clean up the country. The best way to do that is to start with all the alleged abuses and misappropriation of funds over the last 20 years of the BN rule. The Sabah immigration scandal, Perwaja, MAS, Miti share allocations and the use of the people’s EPF money. Until he does this and investigate the losses, BN will forever be haunted by the ghosts of the past. The people will not rest until we see the culprits brought to justice, and if not, BN must be held responsible.





Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Those who wield the ISA are the REAL terrorists!

"Prisoner of War" - courtesy of Capt. Mike McGrath, USN (Ret.)

IT's INCOMPREHENSIBLE to me why anybody in their right mind and senses would endorse a piece of legislation as abominable, barbaric, cruel, and patently tyrannical as the Internal Security Act 1960.

According to Wikipedia, the original Emergency Regulations Ordinance 1948 was enacted "following the proclamation of an emergency by British High Commissioner Sir Edward Gent. It allowed the detention of persons for any period not exceeding one year. The 1948 ordinance was primarily made to counter acts of violence and, conceivably, preventive detention was meant to be temporary in application. The emergency ended in 1960 and with it ended the powers contained in that ordinance... The power of preventive detention was, however, not relinquished and, in fact, became an embedded feature of Malaysian law."

"Solitary Confinement" - courtesy of the Burlington County Prison Museum

In the first place, you can't arrest, torture, imprison or destroy an idea or vision - and those are the most dangerous threats to the status quo. You can arrest, beat up, attempt to brainwash, or burn at the stake someone who speaks of freedom, justice and truth - but his or her ideas will remain elusive, floating around freely in the collective psyche, ready to infect any number of human agents, regardless of artificial boundaries, beyond the confines of space and time.

The most you can achieve - if you happen to be an egoically insecure, pathologically paranoid, and pathetically ham-handed panjandrum (someone like Lord Farquaard in Shrek, perhaps, or Hamid Albar the Malaysian home minister) - is to force the subversive idea underground, where it will hibernate during the long winter of public discontent, only to germinate anew at the first signs of spring. And, because ideas are deathless and indestructible, and totally unbound by spacetime considerations, they invariably triumph over those who desperately cling to power and privilege.

Let's deconstruct the flabby reasoning that underpins the wicked and repugnant ISA.

The British Military Administration of Malaya found itself at odds with the Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA) at the end of the Japanese Occupation in September 1945. The MPAJA consisted mostly of hardcore members of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) which had been on the scene, though not legally recognized, since 1930. Taking its cue from the Singapore-based Nanyang Community Party, the MCP's operational front was linked with the growth of trade unions. When the British refused MCP members who had fought a guerrilla war against the Japanese a well-deserved political stake in Malaya, the MPAJA became the Malayan People's Anti-British Army (MPABA) and continued their armed struggle, this time against the British Military Administration. That was when the Emergency Regulations Ordinance was introduced, which later became the Internal Security Act.

The Communist bogeyman was a Frankenstein's monster created in the secret laboratory of the New World Order Illuminati - an elite cabal of high-ranking Freemasons who, for centuries, have plotted totalitarian control of the planet and all her inhabitants by staking out monopolies on energy, mass media, education and religious indoctrination via mafia-like control of national governments.

Just as parents are in the habit of using scare tactics to control their kids' behavior, invisible governments have always relied on the formula whereby they create a problem that causes the masses to react in fear; and then offer the solution "for their own protection." For a classic study of this devious methodology, research Operation Gladio. More recently, the 9/11 atrocities served as a cover for the oligarchs to step up and accelerate the New World Order project.

The proverbial man-in-the-street is deliberately kept too busy dodging potholes, bad drivers, snatch thieves and collapsing banks to take time out, climb a hill, look around, and see the big picture. So, for generations, we have been told to watch out for those evil Communists. Now that the Soviet Union no longer exists and China has become more capitalist-than-thou, the puppet masters have come up with a convenient new bogeyman - the Islamofascist Terrorist! In Malaysia, we have an even scarier bogeyman called the Anwarista - somebody determined to remove Umno from power and implement genuine reforms!


First you pick a bunch of oppressed and underprivileged youth. They could be underpaid migrant workers or slum kids from broken homes or hotheaded young fanatics from a religious school with a huge chip on their shoulder. Then you recruit them, feed them well, and convince them the only way they will ever see justice in this world is through violence and armed revolution - and those who get killed fighting for their religion go directly to heaven. (Problem is, this sort of bogeyman won't cut it in Malaysia - so our local version is invariably "a threat to stability and national security" because he or she insists on organizing "illegal assemblies," forcing the police to set up roadblocks and teargas the protestors, which causes tempers to rise and is generally bad for the economy, not to mention "Malaysia's image.")

Some say the most successful recruiters for Palestinian suicide bombers happen to be Mossad agents who speak fluent Arabic and pose as jihad leaders linked with Al Qaeda (which is itself a bogeyman created and sponsored by the CIA).

In effect, the bogeyman serves one essential purpose: to disempower people through their own fear. And why would anyone wish to disempower the rakyat? Very simple: it's so much easier to steal from right under the noses of a fear-enfeebled rakyat, trembling in its own soiled pajamas. With enough control of the mass media, any government with larcenous intentions can put their victims into a hypnotic trance, paralyzed and powerless to act or retaliate while those in high office steal their children's futures. Indonesian housebreakers and robbers employ a low-tech version of this technique - they call it pukau.

I believe it was Osho (the erstwhile Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) who remarked that Capitalism and Communism are two ends of the same stick. To begin with, if you have no capital, what are you going to share with your neighbors? So, just like breathing in, we must go through a capitalist phase wherein we accumulate energy, knowledge, knowhow - and then, just like breathing out, we share it with our community - and from the word "community" comes the word "communist." So what's the big quarrel between Capitalism and Communism? A mere distraction from the psychic warfare that continues to rage between Prometheus the Titan and Zeus the Olympian (known to the Hebrews as Yahweh and to the Romans as Jove).

Here's an interesting footnote on Prometheus extracted from my book TANAH TUJUH: Close Encounters with the Temuan Mythos:
Prometheus: in Greek mythology a first-generation god (or Titan) of Fire and Intellect, who returned the gift of Fire to Mankind (which Zeus the second-generation Olympian had withheld) - and for that was chained to a rock and his liver devoured by an eagle every day. Every night, the liver would regenerate and Prometheus would come back to life, only to have the eagle eat his liver all over again, and so on, ad infinitum.

(It's less gory, but a lot scarier, when you approach this mythic morsel as a giant metaphor for compulsory reincarnation: Prometheus is the Soul, the rock is the physical world, the liver represents a lifetime, and the eagle is the emblem of Higher Authority or Spiritual Law. As a symbol, the eagle is interchangeable with the Indonesian garuda, the Chinese phoenix, the Mexican quetzal, or the Russian firebird, which represents Eternal Return. And Prometheus, the Fire-Bringer, is often identified with Lucifer, the Light-Bringer.) From the 'Management' point of view, Prometheus is a subversive element - but 'Labor' would see him as a cult hero, a freedom fighter, a System-bucking Little Red Robin Hood...
What happens to Capitalists who decide they've "worked hard" for their wealth and refuse to reinvest it in their own communities, preferring to hoard it all in Swiss banks and offshore accounts? Well, too much of a good thing invariably turns toxic and corrupts the soul. So be warned, all you Rockefellers, Rothschilds, and nouveau-riche Umnoputera: an excess of power, wealth and privilege will definitely be the death of you - and all the nasty laws you use to keep the rakyat fearful and ignorant.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

KEEPING THE FAITH ~ Malik Imtiaz Sarwar

Keeping The Faith

By Malik Imtiaz Sarwar

Over the weekend, the blogosphere was filled to the brim with posts and comments concerning Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy’s decision to release Raja Petra.

Many expressed surprise at the Judge having had the fortitude to rule as he did, going against the grain not being the easiest of options. Some were unfeelingly dismissive of the decision and its significance to Petra and his family, and to society as a whole. One of the theories advanced was that the decision to release Petra was engineered by Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi as part of a campaign of political maneuvering against Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak. Others cynically suggested that it was typical of the lawyers involved, myself included, to have made self-servingly positive statements concerning the Judge and the decision as we had won the case.

These comments made me wonder. Have we really been so thoroughly wrung that all hope and optimism have been bled from us? Are we so broken that we are incapable of appreciating the tiny and not so tiny miracles that happen in our lives every day?

Last Friday, as the first sob of joy escaped captivity in a courtroom that had been stilled by uncertainty, as the first tears of redemption rolled down cheeks that had been numbed by countless disappointments, I was reminded again that it is our collective faith in what is right that has consistently forged the way forward. As the cheers erupted from the many Malaysian throats present, and the Judge attempted to restore order, I understood that as our ties together as a community have strengthened so too has that faith. I saw, as Alice Walker pointed out recently to Barack Obama, it is we who we have been waiting for.

It does not matter what those who scoff say, justice was done last Friday.

No matter what we call it or how we dress it up, detention without trial is cruel. Stripped of everything, a human being has only his or her dignity and conscience. It is to these most fundamental of elements that the right to fair trial and the presumption of innocence speak. It is these elements that preventive detention aims to destroy. They are torn apart in the same way that the lives of those detained and their families are.

The due process of law ensures that the number of people who get shut away erroneously is small. A person charged with a crime in this country has at least two tiers of appeal. His conviction would have been scrutinized at least three times by several judges. A person detained without trial is detained with the stroke of a pen wielded by a Minister who is presumed to be objective enough to do what he needs to do in a way that ensures there is no possibility of error.

Where is justice? If the reasoning of the Minister is to be accepted, it does not enter the picture.

The Minister contends that detentions are a matter left by the law entirely to his subjective discretion. This means, he reasons, if he decides that an individual is a threat to national security, a court has no option but to accept this as a truth. This being the case, there is no need for the Minister’s conclusion to be justified. Extrapolating this analysis, the Minister is not required to argue that the justice of the case favours continued detention without trial. Justice is as such not a feature of the analysis and injustice an irrelevant consideration.

The Judge obviously felt otherwise. His observation, made in the course of his reasoning, that the law could not be understood as empowering the Minister to arbitrarily detain individuals for reasons that had nothing to do with the statute such as, for instance, simply having red hair, was illuminating.

Was his reasoning correct? I would like to think so. The Judge merely applied the law as framed by the legislature and in doing so gave expression to the intention of the drafters of the law: limiting preventive detention to the kind of exceptional “terror” situations described. The Federal Court may however take a different view, just as it may of the points of submission we made that the Judge disagreed with. We will get to argue these again if an appeal is lodged.

Was I happy that the Judge decided the way he did? I would have been foolish not to be, not least for Petra being reunited with his family. Do I think positively of this Judge? Most certainly for having shown me that it is not audacious for any of us to hope as we do. Would I have been disappointed if we lost? I would have but far less than if the Judge had not given us the excellent hearing he did. As we left court on the day we presented arguments, all of us understood that we had had the hearing that all of us wanted: a fair one.

And to those who suggest that the Judge was influenced, I say this. You do a disservice to yourself and to this nation. Had you been in court, you would have seen as we did a Judge keeping the faith.

[Malik Imtiaz Sarwar was counsel to Raja Petra Kamarudin. He is the current President of the National Human Rights Society and maintains a blog called Disquiet.]

Martin Jalleh reports from the Shah Alam High Court


SHAH ALAM HIGH COURT, 7 NOV 2008 (approx 9:40AM): It was a very moving moment in time – one which your memory will forever hold and behold. I had thought that we only get to see this in a Disney movie. But it was happening right in a courtroom in Bolehland today.

The packed courtroom of Raja Petra (RPK) supporters could not contain their joy. They clapped and burst out into cries of excitement and elation even before Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad could finish delivering his judgment.

They were gently reprimanded by the judge that they were in a Court of Law. But for some it was impossible to be silent. You can’t be restrained when it is such a great and glorious victory! And so they whispered: “We have won! We have won! RPK is free!”

The judge ruled that the detention of RPK under the ISA was illegal (unconstitutional) and ordered his immediate release. The court found the (Home) minister had not followed proper procedure under Section 8 of the ISA.

As the judge left for his chambers, everyone sprung up... some with their clenched fists raised high in the air – speechless. Others grabbed the nearest person available to express their elation whether it be a stranger, supporter or Special Branch.

“Yes, yes, yes!” proclaimed Angela from Seremban who has attended every RPK-related court case with her son. Yes, justice is done; yes, the truth always wins; yes, let us continue the good fight!

“God bless the judge... What a brave judge! I hope nothing will happen to him and they won’t transfer him elsewhere...” a man who identified himself as Lim declared to his friends.

A visibly moved Ignatius Gomez, who was present with his wife and daughter to “lend our voices and presence to any movement that works towards the abolishment of the ‘barbaric’ ISA” proclaimed loudly: “Justice has prevailed!”

A brave woman

Marina was moved to tears. She hugged their two daughters, Suraya and Sarah – who have been her sturdy support and who have kept a very brave smile for their mother in the long struggle for their father’s freedom.

Without any hesitation Marina reached out next in deep appreciation to RPK’s lawyers – a team of young, dedicated, daring, diligent and determined attorneys who, time and again, won the admiration and acknowledgement of everyone. Lead lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar’s brilliance and humility in court will remain etched in the memory of many.

In fact, the team, together with other lawyers who had come to show their support, adorned in their court attire, and in all their distinguished shapes and sizes, abandoned their stoic and sage-like disposition and spontaneously hugged each other. Alas, lawyers are human too!

Some of the supporters sat still and smiled to themselves. It was a judgment they found too difficult to believe! Or they wanted to relish the moment and watched, enthralled by the unreserved show of emotion of the rest.

The doors of the courtroom swung open. Marina came out of the court and as the sea of people stood behind, she thanked each and everyone who had played an unique and vital role to get her husband free.

Surely each person, for having stood up for justice, served as a tiny “ripple”, that when put together, made up that giant wave of change that no person (definitely not the Home Minister) nor the powers that be could stop.

Fighting back the tears Marina said: “Though I was hopeful, I had not expected the decision. This is a very good sign that our country is changing and I hope that this change will continue...”

“I want to thank the lawyers, the supporters, the bloggers, the reporters... I am so overwhelmed by the decision that I am short of words... Thanks to the judge for his very courageous decision.”

The “celebration” continued on in the court’s foyer. It was only the beginning. The judge had ordered that RPK be brought (from Kamunting) before the court by 4pm, after which he would be released.

Free at last!

It was time for lunch, but none seemed hungry anymore. I followed a group of RPK supporters many of whom I was meeting for the first time. Robert Choo, a retired college lecturer told everyone: “Lunch is on me. Order anything you want. Very rarely do we get such a brave judgment!”

The diversity was amazing. It was a multi-racial group with ages ranging from 16 to 60 years. We were all middle-class. Except for the self-employed, the rest had to take leave to be in court. The group was predominantly women...very vocal ones too!

As I listened intently I realized the conversation was different from the usual. It was not centred on our obsession with food. They spoke about the candlelight vigils in Seremban, PJ and Ipoh. They shared their fears that RPK would be rearrested and what they could do to prevent it!

What made them want to attend the court case? What motivated them to take the risk? Why did they want to exchange a very comfortable and consumeristic existence for an involvement that is often thankless and even looked upon by the majority as being “stupid”?

It was much more than just giving support to RPK. They were angry with the arrogance and abuse of the BN government. They were fed up of being treated like kids and of a government trying to fool all the people all the time.

They expressed their disgust over desperate politicians playing the religious and racial card and gambling the country away. They looked forward to a new government of integrity, credibility and accountability.

They felt that it was time to take a stand, to say and do something, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant... like just by being present in court – even though at times they found it hard to comprehend what was going on!

They realized they were not alone... and their growing solidarity has helped them to soldier on. They spoke of their proud association with Haris Ibrahim, Bernard Khoo and a host of frontline exemplary leaders. They saw in each other a comrade for justice and they displayed an obvious synergy that has freed them from the culture of fear.

Finally, the moment came – the man of the hour appeared... looking tired and even in a daze, still stunned by the court’s decision. As soon as he left the warm embrace of his wife and children, his supporters mobbed and moved him all the way into the courtroom!

Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy ordered RPK to be released. He thanked the lawyers of both sides for their professionalism. The crowd stood in deep respect and reverence as the brave judge left the courtroom.

They garlanded their hero. There was another round of hugs. Some looked up to the heavens in prayerful thanksgiving. Tears flowed freely in celebration of the freedom of one who cared and dared enough to write so that others may be free.

Raja Petra looked as though he was “holding court” on the front steps of the Shah Alam Court. No fetters could extinguish the fire and fervour in the man. It fact, it had fanned the flame in him: “"We have to fight all-out and get the ISA abolished!"

The peerless Patriot and Prince was fittingly driven away in a red Rolls Royce. As his supporters parted, it was obvious that they were not going to rest on their laurels. They were already talking of meeting in the candlelight vigils in Seremban and PJ.

It was truly a historic day of hugs, heart and hope. In contrast to the cavalier attitude of Syed Hamid in the recent ISA arrests, there was the calibre and courage of Syed Ahmad Helmy, a glimmer of hope in the judiciary.

Compared to the arrogance of the Umno-dominated government which believes that might is right, there was the humility of ordinary citizens who achieved the extraordinary in their multi-racial solidarity!

The Home Minister wants to appeal the judge’s decision – which he claims he respects! We understand. Umno’s internal security is threatened and it is rapidly losing its appeal. Further Syed Hamid wants to be very "appealing" - he is standing in the coming Umno elections.

Former de facto Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim has said that Umno cannot change. And as can be seen from last night’s Anti-ISA gathering when the “uncivilized” police ran riot in the Petaling Jaya Civic Centre, the Police cannot change. They will continue to be arrogant.

Our hope for change lies in the rakyat. The people’s involvement in the process that resulted in RPK being free confirms this.

Martin Jalleh
10 November 2008

[Images courtesy of Malaysiakini & Zorro Unmasked]

Monday, November 10, 2008

EYEWITNESS REPORT: Orc Attack @ The PJ Uncivic Center

"None are more hopelessely enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Had a brand new pack of 6 candles ready & an improvised windproof holder, but arriving at Amcorp Mall around 9:15 I saw no activity on the padang. People were gathered in front of the Mall and it was great to be greeted immediately by a few fellow bloggers who recognized me. That's the nicest feature of physically attending these community events - every face you see, even if you haven't been introduced, is already a friend.

Of course a few could be undercover Mat Rempit, SB officers, or plainclothes defectives - I mean detectives - but they are easily sniffed out. Look out for the tell-tale signs: no sign of human vitality behind those humorless eyes. I bear them no ill will because their minds have been implanted during their rigorous and inhuman training, and the poor fellows had their empathy circuits removed so they are quite incapable of independent thought and lack human biofields. One could easily mistake them for Orcs or Uruk-hai .

Haris Ibrahim suddenly appeared and, this being our very first physical meeting, I just had to give him a big hug for inspiring so many with his gigantic spirit and outstanding mind.

Got a call from a friend who said the cops had forced her to turn back at a roadblock, so she decided to go home. She added that a few other buddies were with RPK at a club further down the street so I decided it would make my 3-hour commute to PJ worthwhile if I at least got to say hello to the national superhero in person. True enough, there he was, looking mellow and benign, a digital-age version of man-for-all-seasons Sir Thomas More, being interviewed by a couple of people with videocams. When they finished I gave him a very heartfelt hug (I've only met RPK once before, briefly, in 1999 when he was coordinating the KeADILan website, but after I dropped a hint he did remember our meeting).

Magnificent Marina was there too but got only a quick hug from me because Polis patrol cars were cruising up & down and the crowd started walking slowly towards the PJ Civic Center. Decided to WALK WITH RPK (literally) and when I got to the Civic Center, the Red Helmets were already lined up and beating their shields to scare people. Polis sirens were wailing just for effect. It appeared they had been instructed to intimidate & terrorize the peaceful rakyat gathered there simply because we value democracy and love this nation too much to allow it to be turned into a pirates' lair by a bunch of Scumno scoundrels.

I could sense the FRU guys pumping up their adrenaline - and for a moment thought it would be wise to not linger. But RPK was speaking under a cluster of yellow balloons and I moved closer to hear him describe what an emotional torture it is for some ISA detainees who don't even get one visit from family in 3 months - because the families are too poor or live too far to make regular trips to Kamunting.

We felt a ripple of aggression emanating from the Red Helmets - some Polis officer must have received a call with instructions to nab a truckload of law-abiding taxpayers just to show the Rakyat you can't mess with the Biggest Bodoh in Bodohland. A voice said, "Let's sing Negaraku before we disperse!" and with surprising sweetness & authentic sincerity, the national anthem was sung wholeheartedly by the 250-300 souls gathered around RPK. Before we could finish, I heard batons banging on shields and knew the Red Helmets were about to charge.

"Let's split," I said to my companion, "it's rather inconvenient to spend the night in the copshop!" As we turned to walk away, what sounded like Orcs on the rampage reached our ears. I turned around and saw the crowd being shoved around like waters in a lake being churned up by a descending helicopter. Good thing I was wearing a black shirt over my red No Holds Barred T-shirt. I remembered to blow out my candle so as not to draw unwanted attention and vanished into the shadows between some large bushes and then got back onto the path leading towards the main road. I could hear harsh voices and the sound of batons smashing on shields (or heads, I couldn't be sure and wasn't inclined to turn around and find out).

We managed to get safely back to New Town and found a coffee shop still open - a few of my friend's friends were already there. They, too, had been at the vigil and were outraged and shaken at the unnecessarily violent turn it had taken.

Home minister Hamid Albar vehemently denied any knowledge of the heavy-handed Polis action until this morning. What an incompetent home minister, to be entirely clueless about an event so politically significant - and to have so little control over the behavior of his own Polis force! Deserves to be sacked on the spot! Everybody knows that only a couple of days ago Hamid Albar suffered the humiliation of being ticked off by an honest judge, when the home minister was accused of abusing his power and bending the law to malicious and partisan political ends. It was nothing less than a public slap in his fat face.

No doubt the Usual Suspects were frothing at the mouth because RPK had the audacity to even exist - what more as a free man and evidently the most beloved, respected and celebrated Son of Malaysia!

Within 15 minutes I was receiving SMSes filling me in on the details - two DAP MPs pulled in (heard Tony Pua and Lau Weng San had been roughed up). Abolish-the-ISA activist Angela Ooi nabbed, along with a Malaysiakini videographer, and around 20 others, including Ashok Kandiah, a member of the legal team that had sprung RPK on Friday. One guy had apparently made a run for it but was chased by eight Red Helmets who knocked him down and pinned him to the ground before whacking him up. Now this is what the public would like to see being done to child rapists, snatch thieves and kidnappers - not to peace-loving citizens doing their democratic duty; assembling to call for the repeal of a tyrannical & oppressive law by lighting candles and singing the national anthem.

This video reveals that the red-helmeted Orcs not only failed to show respect for the national anthem by standing to attention - they actually attacked unarmed citizens in the middle of expressing their patriotism and rudely clobbered some of them, arresting others. I know a few of us did sing Negaraku offkey but is there a law that says the punishment is to be kicked in the stomach and truncheoned in public? Selangor Chief Police Officer Khalid Abu Bakar stated that those arrested were wearing red and yellow T-shirts. I know those are the colors of the Selangor state flag - but since when has it been a crime to wear those colors on a Sunday night?

What now, Malaysia? From Bodowiland to Mahathirville via Najibia? Or will the Sun break through the clouds sooner than we expect, signalling a New Dawn?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

YouTube Awards: Nominated Most Creative Video 2007


by Philip Scott Johnson

Music: Bach's Sarabande from Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 performed by Yo-Yo Ma

Nominated as "Most Creative Video 2007" YouTube Awards

[Thanks for bringing this gem to my notice, Sherry!]