By now, most people people would have known that this blogger got jailed, but what I couldn’t understand is why he is insisting on fasting. He might feel that he has suffered an injustice, he might have felt that the "jail term" was unnecessary, he might feel that everyone should just believe him that "Yes! Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife are really involved!"; however, he should have known better.

He reminds me of Singapore’s Dr Chee, who has so far shown defiance to the government on a public front. It’s not that I am condemning or disagreeing with what they are doing – but I’m sure they know; I’m sure the people know – that it’s futile to go against a system; and in the midst of it, making live so miserable for themselves.

What’s the point of starving and probably dying in jail? They will just be a name down in history. If that’s what they want, they might just even be a little successful, for a short while – because their actions will not cause any revolution, will not cause any sudden reforms, nor will their actions cause any change in mindset of the general people.

Probably… some people might just have given up about the whole situation.

KUALA LUMPUR – A MALAYSIAN blogger in jail after writing an article linking a top leader to the gruesome killing of a Mongolian woman has begun a hunger strike, his wife said on Wednesday.

Raja Petra Kamaruddin, founder and editor of the popular Malaysia Today site, has been charged with sedition for implicating Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife in the October 2006 murder.

He refused to post bail set at 5,000 ringgit (S$2,182), opting instead to be locked up until his trial begins on October 6.

‘He is on a hunger strike. It is a protest. He is not guilty and he is being punished,’ his distraught wife, Ms Marina Lee Abdullah said.

‘The last time he did this, his liver was damaged. I don’t think he is going to last that long.’ Raja Petra has also refused visits by family members.

‘I don’t blame him but of course he’s my husband and… if he doesn’t want to meet even me, this means it is bad news,’ she said.

Pictures of the 57-year-old blogger looking defiant while behind bars at the court prison were this week splashed on the front pages of local papers.

‘I am not going to post bail. I don’t have the money,’ he told reporters in the packed courtroom on Tuesday.

If convicted, he faces a three-year jail term or a fine of up to 5,000 ringgit.

Blogger Ahirudin Attan, president of the National Alliance of Bloggers, said the ‘high-handed’ way in which Raja Petra was treated by authorities, threatened freedom of speech on the Internet.

‘Parties mentioned in his article should exercise their right to reply and debate with him over the issues instead of quickly resorting to sedition,’ he added.

Gayathry Venkiteswaran from Malaysia’s Centre for Independent Journalism said: ‘It is a systematic target against an individual who has risked his neck to expose issues of public interest.’

The government’s harshest critic, former premier Mahathir Mohamad – who has recently taken up blogging – has also denounced the charge against Raja Petra.

The high-profile case involving the killing of the 28-year-old Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu, whose body was blown up with explosives, has grabbed headlines across the country since the murder trial began in June last year.

Mr Najib, who is expected to take over from Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as the country’s next premier, has denied any involvement in her death.

Two police officers from an elite force, whose duties included guarding the prime minister and Najib, were charged with the killing.

Analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, who has links with Najib and top government leaders has been charged with abetting the killing.

Malaysia’s Sedition Act, a carryover from British colonial times, broadly criminalises activities with ‘seditious tendencies,’ including those that express anti-government sentiments. — AFP

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 8th May 2008



Reader's Comments

  1. ricE | May 9th, 2008 at 9:17 am

    its publicity.

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