Malek Imtiaz on RPK:We must not lose faith. The fight has not ended, it has just begun.

posted by Din Merican, September 25, 2008

This is one of the reasons why a section 73 detention is converted to a section 8 detention when the IGP is confronted with a habeas corpus application; the issuance of the Minister’s order narrows the scope of review and permits the Minister to shield himself behind a veil of national security. RPK is not the first victim of such a strategy. We experienced the same difficulty during the so-called JI detentions in late 2002.


Abolish ISA

Let me first apologise to you for not having given you an update yesterday. It was a trying day, the culmination of a period of work and stress that began the day RPK was detained. Not just for me but for the other members of the team, in particular Ashok Kandiah and Neoh Hor Kee.

You would have read of how the application was originally fixed for the 26th of September. It was through the enormous efforts of both these lawyers that the hearing was brought forward as it was. It was also through their efforts that the necessary court papers and affidavits (statements on oath) by RPK were obtained as quickly as they were. It was primarily due to their efforts that when, as lawyers say, I got up on my hind-feet in court yesterday, we were ready to give it the best shot we could. I believe that the case we would have mounted for RPK would have been virtually unassailable.

But out attempts were impeded. I say impeded because at this juncture we do not know whether the High Court is going to hear the original section 73 application now that the Minister has issued a detention order. A fresh application can also, and will be, filed to challenge that order. To be fair to the judge concerned, Suraya Othman, she considered herself bound by precedent that she thought tied her hands. She acted fairly, albeit conservatively.

As much as some of us may think otherwise, RPK’s case is one of many that the judge has to deal with. We must also keep in mind that the judge has not dismissed or struck out RPK’s application even though this was what Federal Counsel sought. It is now for us to attempt to convince the judge that there is merit in proceeding with this application even though she will not be able to order the release of RPK based on this application alone. I would like to think that we still have a chance.

A second habeas corpus application will also be filed to challenge the Minister’s order. We started working on it yesterday. In truth, we are handicapped; the ISA precludes comprehensive review of such an order. Added to this is the legal position that such an order is issued by the Minister at his subjective discretion. The courts have been reluctant to interfere with the Minister’s discretion, save on procedural grounds, on the basis that, firstly, the law does not permit otherwise and secondly, the Minister knows best about national security.

This is the massive obstacle we are faced with. And this is one of the reasons why a section 73 detention is converted to a section 8 detention when the IGP is confronted with a habeas corpus application; the issuance of the Minister’s order narrows the scope of review and permits the Minister to shield himself behind a veil of national security. RPK is not the first victim of such a strategy. We experienced the same difficulty during the so-called JI detentions in late 2002.

There are, however, peculiarities about RPK’s detention that may give us footholds to ease our ascent. The media has reported that the Minister issued the detention order on the recommendations of the police. These pertained to the so-called anti-Islamic articles that RPK has supposed to be written. We at least know the basis of the detention and are able to bring it into focus when we get to court.

There are also no other legal tricks that can be pulled by the Ministry. The issuance of the detention order is as problematic for RPK as it can get. Some have said that this makes the detention virtually immune from challenge. I would like to think that the interests of justice can always be served if we remain hopeful of finding the path to it.

Every case in court brings us into uncharted territory and with it surprises. I have had my share. In 2001, Justice Hishamuddin ordered the release of Abdul Ghani Haroon and N Gobalakrishnan. He also prevented the police from re-arresting the two. I was in court the day he pronounced the orders and the sheer exultation I felt as he did remains with me to this day as has the awareness that there are those who will do the right thing when times seem darkest.

RPK and the other civil society leaders who have shown us the way started a process to transform this country. This legal campaign is a part of it as is the mounting civil society pressure against the ISA that have spring-boarded off his detention and that of Theresa Kok, Tan Hoong Cheng and the HINDRAF 5. RPK knew what would happen and lent himself to the process. For that that reason above all, he is firmly ensconced in my mind as a patriot.

We must not lose faith. The fight has not ended, it has just begun.

Malek Imtiaz Sarvar

RPK, stay strong. Here is my musical tribute to your steadfastness and courage in the face of injustice and in the fight for freedom, democracy and justice. I am praying for your safety and good health. To Marina and family, keep together. Your friends and I will do whatever we can to bring Pet home.—Din Merican

6 thoughts on “Malek Imtiaz on RPK:We must not lose faith. The fight has not ended, it has just begun.

  1. Yes Din, March on we must! Beautiful video. Many will be nameless and faceless but all share the same dream, we all will keep our faith strong, and will not rest till Pete is back! A thousand mile walk is just a stroll for the love of mankind and companion like Pete. Yes! We will not back down! Yes, we will stay resolve together! Hang on in there Pete. Words, Sticks, and stone can hurt my body but it cannot even come closs to Pete’s Spirit and Soul! We will thrive and we will walk on…. Thanks Raja Petera. We love you.

  2. Din, the judge should be a fair and just one – and i have no qualms about her handling the case. The hm Sha as usual is playing the shifting goal-posts game and intimidating, and i doubt the learned judge will allow this to go unchallenged – this time by the power of the judiciary.

  3. Raja Petra is the epitome of Malaysian democracy, peace, justice and freedom.

    I still haven’t meet Pete in person. He must come out from ISA as soon as possible.

    Am proud to be a friend of yours too, Din. I will never forget this part of RPK’s article as follows:

    Today, we shall not be talking about politics. We shall also not be talking about race or religion. Today, we shall talk about doing the human thing. Today, let’s discuss how to launch a ‘Justice for Altantuya: restore Malaysia’s dignity’ campaign. And let’s send those bastards who murdered Altantuya to hell where they belong.


    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    I had dinner with a few friends last night and on the way to the restaurant another good friend, Din Merican, phoned to fill me in on the details of Dr Setev Shaariibuu’s press conference that was held earlier that day. I listened as Din filled me in on what transpired and could not help but blurt out, “I am a father of two daughters. I can imagine what Shaariibuu must be feeling. Fucking assholes!”

    “I have three daughters,” Din responded. “These people are animals, bloody animals. Fuck them! Fuck them!” This is what I would call ‘at a loss for words’ — and when you just have to say something but no words can fully describe how you feel, then ‘fuck’ is the only word you can use which will console you enough and make you feel you have expressed your anger and disgust in a most ‘appropriate’ manner.

    “Hey, don’t insult animals,” I replied. “Animals are cute. I love cats, dogs and horses. These people are worse than animals. Even animals will not do something like this.”

    “Even pigs can be cute,” my wife who was driving the car butted in and I repeated what she said. “Yes, even pigs are cute. These people are not even the same level as pigs. They are lower than pigs. Melayu babi, the whole lot of them.”

    I found it very difficult to hold back my tears as Din continued with his narration of what Dr Shaariibuu said at his press conference. Yes, I am a very emotional person as many may have suspected by now. But I can also be very stubborn and stiff-lipped as well when facing an adversary, as the Special Branch officers from Bukit Aman have discovered. I am what the Malays would call ‘marah nyamuk, bakar kelambu’. And I would not hesitate to deny my body food and water as an act of defiance just to prove to my jailors that they may incarcerate my body but they can never own my mind or break my spirit. But hearing what Dr Shaariibuu had to say ‘broke’ me. Even my degil got tamed.

    “Let’s bring these bastards down,” I told Din. “Let’s launch a ‘Justice for Altanatuya: restore Malaysia’s dignity’ campaign’ or something like that. These assholes must be sent to hell.”

  4. Is that how critics in this country are silenced…sending them under the ISA for solitary confinement..out of sight..out of mind ? It saddens me with disgust…

    When iIread how Mandela fought on…there is certainly hope..Now here there is hope..insyaAllah God willing there will b a WAY. One RPK may be incarcerated….REST ASSUREDLY there will be more RPKs sprouting /blossoming in our midst.

    Like an old military saying Br Din…soldier on. My heart goes out to ALL of U .Keep up the noble causes…

    Abolish ISA..
    Free RPK …
    4 a Free Malaysia 4 ALL
    irrespective of race, creed, or religion

    Thanks, TWG. Please mobilise people in your neighbourhood; they cannot stand back and just look. For the sake of their country, family and for their own interest, they must signal to the present regime in no uncertain terms that this government must make way constitutionally to Anwar who now commands the support of the majority of Malaysians. Free RPK and other ISA detainees.—Din Merican

  5. We must garner international support for RPK. Malaysia claims it is an Islamic state. ISA is unislamic. So why not bring this up to OIC and get OIC to remove Malaysia for practising unislamic detention under ISA.

    Next we need to brief Islamic Society of North America ISNA about the abuse of ISA on a fellow muslim. ISNA can disseminate this info to all Islamic organization in North America and Europe. Remember ISNA once cancelled an invitation to Apa Nama Che Det.

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