Thursday, July 26, 2007

RPK released. In the meantime, comment in moderation

UPDATED: I've reluctantly taken the step to turn on moderation for this blog. Although most, if not all the comments to this blog have been fairly genuine and balanced and the fact that this blog does not enjoy the viewership of the big boys by far... I'm thinking that the govt will quickly run out of big fish to hunt, and might soon go after the little ones. After that, it will be the floating plankton like me. After all, just like the PWD/JKR - those RM2,750 UMNO cybertroopers that RPK mentioned will need to ensure that their work is never done. That's called job security.

Anyway TheSun's report on RPK's interrogation below. Contrast it to NST's spun report (farther below) which is devoid of any stinging quotes by RPK... except for the one where he's made to sound (to me, at least) like he's admitted guilt but trying to get off on a technicality by purportedly 'insisting' that his website is not subject to Malaysian law because it's based overseas.

TheSun: Raja Petra defiant after eight-hour grilling

KUALA LUMPUR (July 26, 2007): webmaster Raja Petra Kamarudin (pix left), who is being investigated for alleged sedition, emerged defiant as ever yesterday after spending eight hours at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters.
He was summoned for questioning following a report lodged by Umno on Monday alleging the blogger had insulted the King and Islam in his website.

The 57-year-old blogger arrived about 11am, accompanied by his wife Marina Abdullah, 50, and friends. He was believed to have given a statement and met district police chief ACP Mohd Zulkarnian Abdul Rahman.

He emerged at 7.15pm to be greeted by about 30 reporters.

Mohd Zulkarnian said earlier that Raja Petra was being investigated under the Sedition Act.

Marina said it was the second time her husband had been called in for questioning over postings in his weblog. Last year, he was questioned over a posting which alleged the sale of state titles in Negri Sembilan. No action was taken against him.

In 2001, Raja Petra was detained under the Internal Security Act.

Umno information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib lodged a police report against Raja Petra over postings which allegedly condemned the King and Islam. Raja Petra responded via a long posting criticising Muhammad and also made certain allegations against the former Selangor mentri besar.

He told reporters waiting outside the Dang Wangi station: "I came here to defend myself of the allegations and brought my Quran with me and asked them where I went wrong. I demanded they tell me where I had insulted the King and Islam in the website. They made me sign about 30 or 40 papers and I protested when they asked me to reveal the bloggers who posted comments on

"How am I to know who? We have 20,000 news items and five million comments from bloggers coming from 146 countries. Although 70% of these are comments from Malaysians, how are we to know who they are. I don't know who they are and neither do I want to know." He alleged that Umno was behind such postings in his website.

"These people are Umno 'cybertroopers', there are about 25 of them paid RM2,750 a month to raid and invade They flood my website with about 500 to 600 unwanted and sensitive comments daily and I lose sleep every night cleaning this mess up by deleting them from my site," he said.

However, he admitted that such comments were open to viewing for hours until they were removed.

Raja Petra said there was an agenda to clamp down on blogs before the coming general election in a move to black out news.

When asked about the allegations made by Muhammad that had carried comments which insulted the King, Raja Petra said:

"Where, where is that particular posting he is referring to? If I smoke a cigar with the Sultan of Selangor (Raja Petra's cousin), does that mean I disrespect him? The police asked me about a comment on my website which read 'Why fight, we are Malaysians, let us live peacefully and be happy'. This is a positive comment but I was questioned about what it meant."

He said finally the police asked him what was the purpose of the website and he said he told them " was to teach Malaysians to debate in an intelligent and mature manner. Whether it be agreed upon or not, it must be allowed".
Constrast with...
NST: Police quiz Raja Petra for 8 hours

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Today website owner Raja Petra Kamaruddin, 57, was questioned for eight hours by the police.

He arrived at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters at 11am yesterday and left at 7pm.

This followed a report lodged by Umno information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib on Monday at the same station.

The report had alleged that the political website carried write-ups in its July 11 posting which insulted the king and Islam.

Dang Wangi district police chief ACP Mohd Zulkarnain Abdul Rahman confirmed Raja Petra’s statement was recorded.

"This is to facilitate our investigation under the Sedition Act," he said yesterday.

Raja Petra told reporters he gave full co-operation to the police who recorded 30 to 40 pages of his statement which he signed.

He said he was queried on several comments posted by readers on his website.

Raja Petra insisted that his website was not subject to Malaysian law as it was not based in Malaysia.

No comments: