NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
16th February 2009
Tomorrow, I will probably be detained under the Internal Security Act. Anyhow, before we talk about that, let me start by giving you my prediction for the two by-elections scheduled for early April.
In 2004, BN won the Bukit Selambau state seat with a majority of 7,695 votes and in 2008 they lost it with a majority of 2,362 votes. (See the chart below). In the coming by-election, I forecast a voter turnout of around 26,000 and a majority of 3,500-4,500 for the opposition.
For the Bukit Gantang parliament seat, in 2004 Barisan Nasional won with a majority of 8,888 and in 2008 it lost with a majority of 1,566. (See chart below). This time around, the voter turnout will be roughly 42,000 and the opposition will win that seat with a majority of 5,000-8,000 votes.
Okay, I am forecasting this even before I know who the candidates are. Well, I have no choice. On Tuesday, 17 February 2009, the Federal Court is due to hear the appeal against my release from Internal Security Act detention and I really do not know what the outcome is going to be. Chances are, I have but 24 hours left as a free man and if I do not write this article today I never will.
On 7 November 2008, the Shah Alam High Court ordered my release from detention. The government has appealed this decision although it did not see the need to appeal the decision of the Shah Alam High Court acquitting Abdul Razak Baginda of the charge of murder without his defence being called.
I was in court last week to witness the performance of the three judges and what I saw did not give me much confidence. First of all, we asked for a quorum of seven judges, or at least five. But the court turned us down and fixed a quorum of only three judges. And two of the three judges appear to be hostile towards us from the word 'go'. It looks like my fate has been sealed even before the case goes to court.
Anyway, I know for a fact that it was not Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who ordered my detention. He was not even aware I had been detained. The order came from Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and since I am bent on making sure he never becomes Prime Minister on 1 April 2009 I really do not blame him for wanting to get me out of the way.
My friends and family want me to leave the country and to seek political asylum in another country. They feel I can still continue with the struggle in a foreign land. But I am against that as much as my wife pleads that I consider this. I am no quitter and I do not run. I shall stay and fight till the very end even if that is the last thing I do.
If I have to lose my freedom so be it. That is the price we pay for opposing the powers-that-be. But I shall not go quietly or make any deals to secure my release with those who walk in the corridors of power.
I was given an option. Take the money and become rich or go to jail. I refused the money and instead chose jail. This is my choice and no one can convince me to do otherwise. No doubt I will have to pay for this and it will be a heavy price that I shall have to pay. But this is the price of the struggle and the price does not come cheap.
I shall not submit. I shall resist till the end. I stand on right and I oppose what is wrong. "Amar makruf, nahi munkar", as Islam would say. We must uphold right and oppose wrong. That is not only the Islamic way but also the way of all religions. And even atheists believe in this, so you need not believe in God to subscribe to the concept of amar makruf, nahi munkar.
Over thousands of years countless people have met their deaths just because they stood on the side of right. What I have chosen to do has been done by so many who are now nameless and faceless. So it is nothing so special that I do which has not been done before.
My resistance will continue. But I will have to continue my resistance behind the barbwire fences of the Kamunting Detention Centre. It will now be up to you, those who are free, to continue where I left off.
My resistance, however, will have to take on a new form. I will no longer be able to write or speak at ceramahs. My voice has now been silenced. But I can still speak the words of silence, which will be my new form of resistance.
I shall no longer open my mouth or utter one word during my detention. I shall maintain the silence of a mute person. I shall not sign any documents of the so many documents that they make you sign when under detention. My signature is not going to be placed on a single shred of paper.
By doing so would mean none of my family members or lawyers would have access to me. Yes, that is the price I shall pay for 'not cooperating'. I know this and I am prepared for it.
I shall refuse all medical treatment and visits to the hospital. I shall refuse to accept any food and water supplied by the Kamunting authorities. I shall refuse to leave my cell or to meet any of the prison authorities. In short, I shall shut myself out from the world and keep to my own world of my eight feet square cell.
This action will mean I shall survive at the most seven to eight days. By the end of that period I shall be dead. I am prepared for that. They plan to imprison my body for the rest of my life. But I shall release my spirit from my body and will again be free. They can keep my body and they can do whatever they want with it. But they will never be able to keep my spirit. I shall separate my spirit from my body and deny them the pleasure of incarcerating me.
This is a decision I have taken and no one can make me change my mind. And this is probably the last article of mine that you shall read if they send me to Kamunting tomorrow. Keep the struggle going. I shall no longer be able to join you in that struggle. The work is far from finished. This country needs major political, economic and social reforms. The next two years are going to be most trying years indeed. And expect a snap general election within 18 months of Najib taking over if he does take over on 1 April 2009.
I lay down my life for this nation of ours called Malaysia. I will sacrifice myself for the sake of the struggle. There is very little left I can give at this point of time other than my life. For those who stood by me all these years, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I go with a heavy heart. But my heart is heavy only because I have but one life to give.
Death is not the end. Death is but the beginning. It is the beginning of a new journey that none of us can escape and will one day embark upon. It is not something to be sad about. It is something to rejoice.
Please continue your struggle to make Malaysia a better place for our future generation. This country belongs to them and it is for them that we struggle. For some of us, our time is already almost up. We do not have many years left. Many have gone before us. Many friends who started out with us in 1998 are no longer around. But they left this world in the hope that one day Malaysia will be the country that we dream it would be. And that, too, must be our dream.
I pray and hope that the Putrajaya Federal Court will uphold the decision of the Shah Alam High Court to free me from ISA detention. But if it reverses that decision then we must be prepared for that as well. And if the Federal Court does what I fear it will do, goodbye Malaysians, my comrade-in-arms. We shall meet again, one day, although not in this world but the next.
Update at 1530: Malaysiakini reports, here, that controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin will have another week of freedom after the Federal Court today postponed his habeas corpus hearing to next Monday. This is to allow the judges to study the written submissions from both parties.