Malaysiakini was the first to break the story of Raja Petra's arrest yesterday afternoon. I received Malaysiakini's sms alert just minutes after RPK was arrested. His arrest was not entirely unexpected, but nevertheless it is still a shame. But the real shock came last night, first when news broke that the Sin Chew journalist who reported the Ahmad Ismail story was arrested, then later when Theresa Kok was arrested, all under the draconian, merciless and unjust Internal Security Act, ISA.
First things first. I believe that the use of ISA, against ANYONE, is unwarranted. I view the ISA, which allows for detention without trial, as nothing short of an insult to our courts and the justice system. Surely, if someone is a threat to national security, we have existing laws to deal with them. Charge them in court! The entire ISA should be repealed! It's a draconian law that is open to abuse, and its continued use is a step backward for a democracy.
Second, ISA or not, the fact that the messengers are being shot, with the real perpetrators let off with a slap on the wrist is simply too bitter to swallow. The Sin Chew journalist, in particular, was simply doing her job. Unless it is brought to light that she actually did twist facts to intentionally create racial disharmony, which I seriously doubt, then she was merely doing her job. Reporting what an UMNO leader said in his ceramah. It is Ahmad Ismail who should be sitting locked up now, not the journalist.
RPK, now that's a whole different chapter. It's a given fact that the guy writes the most sensational stories, true or otherwise. He has already been charged for sedition. So why the need to lock him up now without trial? Why can't the powers than be simply let the law take its due course? What good is unblocking access to his site (which shouldn't have been blocked to begin with), then arresting him under the ISA the next day? I think the government BADLY needs some new Public Relations advisors!
Theresa Kok on the other hand, well I must admit, I'm not too familiar with the background of the case against her. There wasn't much in the news. Nothing concrete anyway. The issue seemed more like some political mudslinging between her and Khir Toyo, then suddenly it resulted in her arrest. I know it has something to do with azans and Khir Toyo accusing her of asking for mosques to press the mute button. The mosque itself has come out and denied it, she has denied it, so why arrest her now? Even if she did make such a call, while it may be considered by some as rather disrespectful, is it a direct threat to national security?
Enough is enough. The powers that be seem to have lost all bearings. Instead of correcting the mistakes that drove BN supporters away, it seems they are intent on keeping them away, and drive out whatever remaining support we enjoy!