The new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should answer two questions – has a new Internal Security Act (ISA) detention order been issued against blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin and whether a decision had been taken to charge him for treason or equally serious capital offence?
If not, is Najib prepared to make two public commitments that under his premiership, Raja Petra will not be victimized and will not be detained under a fresh ISA detention order and will not be charged for treason or equally serious capital offence for what he had done so far?
Furthermore, is Najib prepared to make the further commitment for the withdrawal of the government’s appeal to the Federal Court against Raja Petra’s release under the ISA in November when the Shah Alam High Court ruled that his ISA detention was illegal.
Raja Petra’s absence from his sedition trial, the issue of a warrant of arrest against him and Raja Petra’s explanation in his news portal, Malaysia Today, of the reasons for his action yesterday have focused national and international spotlight not only on RPK but also on the new Prime Minister and his administration.
Although epithets like “coward” and “yellow” have been hurled at him, these are from a tiny minority as Raja Petra strikes a great resonance from a great number of Malaysians when he said that he has no confidence that he could get a fair trial and justice from the Malaysian courts.
It is a mark of the inability of Najib as the new Prime Minister to command public confidence that more and more Malaysians share Raja Petra’s grave doubts about the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary as the promises of judicial reforms in the past five years have failed to bear fruit.
[ Lim Kit Siang ]