My friend and fellow companion with RoH Malaysia, Rev. Father Jojo fung, S.J., sent me what’s burning in his heart, and what’s on’ his mind. One thing I admire about him is his ability to integrate creative constructive thinking with on the ground active engagement with reality. Plus, he’s simply fun to be with as a fellow human being! So, I confess my bias, I think what he has to say is worth your time.
Malaysians of the civil society movement for democratic space, who anticipated the desparate government of the day to resort to few high-handed tactics to defend their hegemonic powers, were nevertheless appalled by the arrest of Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Teresa Kok and Tan Hoon Cheng under the ISA, the most draconian legal institution, a legacy of the British Administration against the communist insurgency that a post-colonial nation like Malaysia should have abolished.
The government has abused its mandate of a simple majority by arbitrarily arresting Teresa Kok, Seputeh MP and Selangor executive councilor and Raja Petra Kamarrudin, editor of Malaysia Today and blogger-Pahlawan. The critical-minided populace, resisting the imposed “idiotic culture of bodoh-ism,” has unmasked such an arrest as yet another deluding political ploy, only to demonstrate a desperate attempt of a floundering power, sinking under the weight and filth of its own corrupt practices and the resultant fragmentation, to simulate and display its fast deflating and hollowing might in the use of the ISA.
Raja Petra Kamuarrudin has been hailed by many civil-minded Malaysians as the symbolic voice of a new dawn in Malaysia, a suara kenabian zaman modern, equivalent of a prophetic voice of our times, whose voice has become the conscience of the people, and the representational voice of the populace whose cries are: “after 50:45 years of governance, cukup lah !!” Fed-up lah kita!!” “Time for change, either from within or change from without !!”
Contradictions of contradictions. How is it that a journalist of integrity is arrested when a bigoted politician of UMNO is sacked but at large, getting away with such inflammatory racist remarks? How is it that a reporter has to be purportedly protected under the ISA of all laws, but is released the next day, under pressure from BN Components and pressure from the civil society? Is she any safer? The contradictions has besieged the ruling party, contradicted by all sides, including its component parties, betraying an growing political disarray within the party and cabinet, leading to the very question of its legitimacy to govern with consistency and integrity.
The hideous crime committed against the rakyat is not “outside” as it is “inside,” within its own fold. It is known widely that the same hegemonic power has eroded the rule of law, crushed the independence of the judiciary, prostituted the sanctity of Article 11 and the Federal Constitution, violated the fundamental liberties of Malaysians to the freedom of worship, equal access of the marginal communities, freedom of association and speech, desecrated the environment, debased the police, the Immigration, and the politicians on the altar of insatiable greed and lust for power. These hideous crimes are the scourges of our nation, the plagues of the rakyat ! These crimes have made a real mockery of the religions of our nations, Islam no less.
The muffling of voices dissident does not mean the decimation of the dispirited. A crushed spirit never prevent the unleashing of the insurmountable surge of the energy breaking forth from below for a dawning of a clean, just and violent-free Malaysia. Onward with the democratic struggle in Malaysia !!!
Jojo M. Fung, SJ
September 16, 2008.