Thursday, May 8, 2008

RPK case - the political cause and cost

Perception is everything in politics. For the Barisan Nasional, the public perception against the government is that the sedition charge is a form of persecution against blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin for his daring comments. He is a hero who dare to face the might of the government, even at the risk of being jailed. Fresh from the heavy electoral defeats in five states, the public opinion against the BN can be politically costly. In fact, it can ill afford such sentiments at this point. RPK has the public on his side.
It would be more appropriate, even more effective, for the aggrieved parties to file civil suits against RPK. Freedom of the press does not mean freedom to slander or libel, his detractors are saying. Sue him for defamation and libel then. It is more difficult to prove the sedition charges against him, in fact.
But the Umno political leaders have said that he has broken the law and must face consequences of his actions. For RPK, he would now have to substantiate the allegations he has made in his article when the trial begins.
The attention would also be on Karpal Singh, where a few police reports have been lodged against him for sedition too. There is strong pressure within the Umno ranks for action to be taken against him for his various statements on the Rulers, saying he has gone too far. The police have, in fact, started their investigations by taking down statements from various parties including reporters.
Again, if the Attorney-General decide to press charges against him, it will be another politically costly affair. But for Karpal, like RPK, it's for a cause.


Muda said...

A few thousand years ago Confucius had said that a journey of thousand miles starts with the first step . RPK had walked the first step . Others will continue walking the rest of the way !

Anonymous said...

Let us all pray for RPK. May GOD protect him and help him in his fight for justice in Malaysia.

The Malaysia people need RPK.

Let us stand by RPK and his family in this time of uncertainty for them.

Anonymous said...

It is no longer just perception.

In the past, the snakes do it in the holes and in the darkness, ashamed to let people know their misdeeds. They dare not show their ill gotten wealth.

Nowadays, the snakes do it openly. Above the table, not under the table. They flaunt their wealth for all to see, even proud to let people see, so that aspiring snakes can gather around them to support these snakes hoping to one day be elevated to the level of a snake.

Anonymous said...

Although, I do want to comment what was posted above but, there is another thing that bother me most.

Yesterday, I was rushing from my house to one of the only two "shops" that sell The Star in Bintulu hoping to get a copy. Unfortunately when I reached the shop at 4.05 PM (they told me it will arrive at 3.45 and the shop owner asked me to come back around 4.00) it already sold out.

I asked him why did he sold limited copies? He said the Star didn't sell that many in Bintulu and that your company policy unlike local dailies - didn't allow them to return unsold copies. To avoid losses they bought limited copies.

Although it makes business sense to sell less and make higher profit by "mark up" the price, but what about social responsiblity? In Bintulu The Star and NST selling price is not RM1.80 as suggested but RM2.00. I don't know how much it the margin of profit if they sell it at the suggested price, however I'm sure there is already some 'element' of profit in that RM1.80 price.

I'm sure if The Star just like local dailies allow newstand to return unsold copies - it readership will be expanding in Bintulu. Bintulu is just like Miri, have sizable number of expatriates, people from "Melaya" as we call those from peninsula here who have been reading Star and NST back home.

The local dailies content is a disappointment. They published more foreign news than local news - for example Eastern Times. Local news basically only occupied page 1 to 4 of the dailies. The rest of the pages are news uploaded from online sources namely AP, REUTERS, BERNAMA, AFP etc.

I hope Datuk consider this matter seriously. Sorry to spam your blog with comment like this. I have nowhere to complaint. I've contacted your senior writer in Miri to publish my comment but he said - it has little news "value"

Anonymous said...

We thought that the ruling government is going to learn from its mistakes as a result of the last general election of 8th March,2008. However, as day past by, you
are of the opinion that this federal government is slowly and surely digging a much bigger hole
to bury itself into oblivion.
I, apolitical guy, wish that those
who are power would come to their
senses for good of the country.

Anonymous said...

I thought hunger strike? No stamina.

Anonymous said...


I've stopped reading the star for ages here in sabah for exactly the same reason. My local dealer here will only stock 3 everyday

Nowadays i don't waste time with printed newspapers....for many other reasons.

Anonymous said...

it's not for RPK to proof him right/innocent bcos in justice we believe everyone is innocent until he/she is proven guilty ! got it?
it's good regime umno continue their aggression against Rakyat so that Rakyat will alwz b united stronger then ever to topple d corrupted regime umno asap !

Anonymous said...

dear mr wong

Does the Malaysian judiciary subscribe to the doctrine of "innocent until proven guilty"? If so, how can govt ministers declare him guilty and expect him to answer to the charges even before his case has been brought to court?

a few pertinent points:

1) who lodged the report against him? or if it was a proactive action by the police (hahahaha ;O), who authorised the action and on what grounds?

2) how is it that ministers have access to the evidence and can play judge to declare him guilty?

3) In your article, you also imply that he is guilty. Do you also have access to evidence and have judicial authority to try him in the media?

4) Even if you, the ministers, the officers, and the mass media have such evidence, shouldn't such statements be considered sub-judice and prejudicial to the course of justice?

5) RPK is accorded his day in court - but the burden of proof is not on RPK. It is on those ppl who have a vested interest to shut him up. To have the case conducted any other way will only further reinforce the rakyat's conviction that it's "business as usual" for the repressive BN govt.

I used to have a great deal of respect for you because you have managed to make the Star relevant and turned it into the most-read paper in the country. You are also my brother-in-Christ.

However, since the elections, you seem to have bent over backwards and sold your soul to unconditionally support a known corrupt regime. Even today, with the writing on the wall, you have not changed your tune.

I completely have lost my respect for you and your paper...

Mr. Smith said...

"For RPK, he would now have to substantiate the allegations he has made in his article when the trial begins."

RPK does not have to prove anything yet.
It is for the prosecution to prove that those seditious elements in his story have provoked public anger against the government. That itself is a monumental task.
The fun will begin when the defence is called and then we will see whose coffin get the last nail.

An Inconvenient Mind said...

Datuk,i am not only surprised but also pleased at what the winds of change bring in, the opinions of stalwarts of yesteryear. Shame is not a commodity and it is unforgivable what was done to RPK, never ever let a man who fights for justice go hungry for 4 days read refuse to forgive and forget

Mr. Smith said...

If I may add.
BN (read UMNO) is now in self-destruction mode. The March 8 humiliation has not taught it anything. It is as arrogant as ever. It is an incorrigible animal which does not even realize that the people for the government is shrinking by the day.
Its arrogance is also alienating the Chinese from the MCA and the Indians from the MIC.
In any case, the coalition is in the twilight of its rule. Meanwhile we will enjoy watching its last hurray.

Anonymous said...

The police have, in fact, started their investigations by taking down statements from various parties including reporters.
Again, if the Attorney-General decide to press charges against him, it will be another politically costly affair. But for Karpal, like RPK, it's for a cause.

It seems the wretched police force is forever doing silly errands for their political masters leaving them no time to handle the rising crime rates in Bolehland. If we have more freedom of expression we may forget about such idiosyncracies.

Leave the police alone to do their real work. They should NOT be at the beck and call of some UMNO goons' whims and fancies. Only in this godforsaken country is the men in uniform appearing like fools and puppets in a circus show.

Anonymous said...

The police and AG should be using their resources to adressing real issues and concerns faced by Malaysians across the board insread on pussy-footing on trivial issues like what Karpal said. Even after March 8, somepeople in power don't seem to get the message. Shame on them.

Anonymous said...

Dear Datuk Wong,
There is a trend that the Police force is being seen as the henchman of BN/UMNO to carry out its dirty job.

If BN/UMNO wants to prevent a particular situation from happening or want to arrest someone, the party will ask some goons to make police reports and the job will be executed faster than any other cases.
Stark examples are the Case of abandoning the use of Indelible Ink where the police have a hand in "advising" the Election Commission after a few "police reports" were made by some goons. Now they say not one witness have seen the ink.Why don't they haul up these goons for questioning? The Rakyat knows the truth.

Next is the Karpal Singh case. When the MBs of Kedah and Terengganu were carrying out acts of 'derhaka' against the Sultan's wishes and in Terengganu's case the Agong,the MBs' can get away without a scratch. However poor Karpal's case was reported to the Police and action is now being taken against him. The Rakyat can see there are double standards involved.

If this continues, no matter what reforms the gomen says they will carry out, the Rakyat will take it with a pinch of salt as Action speaks Louder than Words. Sincerity is lacking in our PM's talk.

Anonymous said...

You are right about the public perception thing. Any action taken by the government against RPK, Karpal and any other person who has spoken up looks like a political persecution. The more the government does this, the more the public will lean towards the opposite and support them. It is also very sad that UMNO is the worst because it is mostly the people from UMNO who has initiated all the attacks on RPK and Karpal Singh. They have failed to look at the real message and focussed on the political side. This shows the immaturity of UMNO. It is very sad indeed.

Anonymous said...

Justice may be called good when it acts impartially toward enemies, strangers and friends.
Verse 111 - Thirukurral

Anonymous said...

I have been tempted to give this posting a missing when I saw who the author was.
I'm sure I need not elaborate on the reasons.
But, for the first time , I read the comeents of a fair and just commentator in you rather than the usual politically slanted ones.
Let's hope cool heads will prevail among the UMNOputras and RPK & Karpal Singh will be spared further legal harassments