In a shocking, but almost true to his element turn of events, Raja Petra the editor of the grand daddy of Malaysian political blog Malaysia-today.net was arrested after he refused to post RM 5,000 bail after being charged in court today under the Sedition Act.
It is indeed a sad day for freedom of speech in Malaysia. Charges were brought against him after one of his recent “No Holds Barred” series that touched on the Altantuya murder trial asked that her murderers be sent to he’ll for their henious crime.
In terms of “seditious” quotent, that article was mild when compared with his other fiery articles. What is true, in my opinion, is that Raja Petra had put down in words what most thinking Malaysians had already suspected but dared not give voice to.
This is really a bad political move for the ruling party.
Just when the Pakatan Rakyat ranks are slightly rattled by their own partisan philosophies and people were wondering if they can get their acts together, UMNO has given a new lease to the anti-government ground swell sentiments. Bloggers and the general populace are now reawakened to the feeling of injustice that they had felt which gave life to the anti-government marches and people uprising of last year.
If the intention of the government is to silence a vocal voice of truth, their latest action will indeed backfire. Raja Petra’s reluctance to post bail has created a situation where he has become more famous than he is already now. The “seditious” post will be replicated and distributed more widely. People will tend to believe the content of that article even more as people would think that there is truth in it else why would he be arrested for writing it?
What happens now is interesting to see. Indeed, Raja Petra’s move has elevated him to a sort of Malaysian Mahatma Gandhi.
And we all know what happen to that story.