Monday, February 16, 2009

Raja Petra vows to die in silence if re-arrested - Malaysiakini

Kuala Lumpur, 16 Feb. (AKI) - Malaysian blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin has vowed to die in silence as a sign of protest if he is re-arrested on what many believe are politically motivated grounds. His pledge came as a court was due to rule whether he is to return to prison under Malaysia’s Internal Security Act (ISA).

Raja Petra, who has risen to prominence as a pro-opposition blogger, was arrested on 12 September after accusations lodged by several religious groups who claim that he offended Islam in an article published on 8 August.

He was released on 7 November last year but the government has appealed the court decision and a verdict is expected on Tuesday.

“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,” he said.

“My signature is not going to be placed on a single shred of paper,” he wrote in his blog, ‘Malaysia Today’ acknowledging that the move could have dire consequences.

”I shall refuse all medical treatment and visits to the hospital. I shall refuse to accept any food and water supplied by the 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,” he added.

Raja Petra blamed deputy prime minister Najib Razak (picture above) for his arrest and for what he calls his political persecution.

Najib has been among Raja Petra’s main targets in his blog.

In his most controversial article “Let’s Send Altantuya’s Murderers to Hell”, published on 25 April, Raja Petra said that Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, were involved in the killing of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Translator and former model, the Mongolia-born Shaariibuu, 28, was shot twice in the head, and her body was blown up with explosives, in a jungle outside Kuala Lumpur in October, 2006.

“I am totally sure that Najib (Razak) is involved. And at the very least, he should be investigated,” Raja Petra told Adnkronos International (AKI).”

“I am aware that I have raised the stakes with this article and I am prepared to go all the way,” he added.

Najib has denied any involvement in the case and has sworn at a mosque that he never met Shaariibuu. He has also denied any involvement in the arrest of Raja Petra.

The ISA was inherited by Malaysia after it gained independence from Britain in 1957. In essence, it allows for the arrest of any person without the need for trial in certain circumstances.

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