Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rais Yatim thinks Pak Lah is a nincompoop!


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Dear Datuk Seri,

I read your interview in Malaysiakini yesterday, which I believe was an extract of your interview with the BBC the same day. I really have no quarrel with what you said merely because I believe everyone is entitled to his and her views and that we should respect this. Of course, this does not mean we must agree with these views. We are definitely at liberty to disagree with them. But just because we disagree with them does not mean we should silence these people and not allow them to express their opinions.

On the point that I never say nice things about the government but only know how to criticise, I would also certainly agree with you and will plead guilty as charged. Have you, however, maybe not noticed that I also never say nice things about the opposition as well?

When have I ever said even one nice thing about Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh, Hadi Awang, Lim Guan Eng, Nik Aziz, Ustaz Azizan, Tan Sri Khalid, Nizar Jamaluddin, or whoever? But I did say I think Khairy Jamaluddin is very intelligent and that I have confidence he might yet become Prime Minister at the age of 40. And I said Matthias Chang, Mahathir’s adviser whom you also know well enough, is a genius, and whatnot.

And did you read the comments my readers posted in Malaysia Today? They called me a Mahathir stooge, a Mahathir boot-licker, and much worse.

So, while I may not say nice things about the government, neither do I say nice things about the opposition. Would you, therefore, not consider that as balanced?

Okay, on the point that I only criticise and never praise. That too is also true. But while I criticise the federal government, which happens to be Barisan Nasional, I also criticise the state governments, which are not all Barisan Nasional.

Now, Datuk Seri, this fact may have escaped you. I criticise the Pakatan Rakyat states like Kelantan, Kedah, Penang and Selangor, and before this Perak, but have you ever seen me criticising states like Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang and so on?

Yes, that’s right, I whack Pakatan Rakyat state governments good and proper. But I never touch Barisan Nasional state governments. Okay, I did write about the RM7 billion Wang Ehsan for Terengganu, which has been pilfered. But, hey, even His Majesty the Agong is upset about this. Why do you think Tuanku rejected Idris Jusoh as Menteri Besar if not for the fact that Idris was managing the Wang Ehsan since 2000 and most of it had ‘evaporated’.

I admit I also whacked Sabah and Sarawak on what these two states did to their timber resources. But let’s face it, Datuk Seri, are you not also personally outraged by what these two states have done to forests that took millions of years to develop? And is it not downright criminal that what took millions of years to develop was utterly destroyed in less than 30 years?

One more point I would like to make here, Datuk Seri, I do not praise the federal government or state governments because I consider it their duty to do good things. For example, if I pay someone to repair my toilet, and if I am paying a hell of a lot of money on top of that, I expect the job to be done well. If the toilet still can’t flush then I am going to complain like hell. I would probably also refuse to pay the bill until the chap redoes it properly this time. But if he did a great job I will just pay him his money and would most likely call him again the next time I need my toilets repaired. But I am not going to pat the chap on the head and say, “Good boy. Clever boy.” Or whatever.

Have you seen how rich people summon waiters in an expensive restaurant? They click their fingers and scowl if the waiter is too slow and will order their food and drinks without even looking the waiter in the face or offering the poor chap a smile. Why? Well, these rich people are paying good money for the service so they need not be nice to the hired hands.

You give them the bill and they pay, never mind how much it may be, and they may even include a 10% tip if there is no service charge and if they are satisfied with the service. But they are definitely not going to summon the manager and tell the manager how great his waiter is and that he should be given a raise. But if they are not satisfied with the service, they will certainly call the manager and complain and demand that the waiter be sacked or something like that.

This is a fact of life, Datuk Seri. We are paying good money, a lot of money in fact, to upkeep our government. We are paying you to do a job. Our hard-earned money is paying for the cost of this government. You do a good job and we continue employing you. You do a bad job and we kick your sorry behind. But we are not going to sing your praises just because you did something you were supposed to do in the first place.

Okay, now on the point that I have libelled or defamed people and that action would have to be taken against anyone who commits such crimes.

Around two years or so ago, I wrote something about Zaid Ibrahim, who was then a Minister in Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s government. Zaid did not sue me or make a police report against me, as do the other Umno people. Instead, he replied to the allegation in writing and I published his letter in Malaysia Today so that the readers can decide for themselves who is right and who is wrong.

The readers were delighted and full of praise for Zaid, in spite of the fact he is, at that time, an Umno Minister and the readers were mostly opposition supporters. After reading his letter, they believed Zaid’s interpretation of events rather than the interpretation of the one who made the allegation against him. In short, Zaid won the ‘argument’ because he rebutted it in a civilised and matured manner.

On the other hand, how do the rest of the Umno people respond to allegations? They just deny, deny and deny. But they never rebut the allegation or give their side of the story. Then they make police reports against me and ask that I be arrested or detained without trial under the Internal Security Act. Umno Bloggers suggest that a war should be waged against us and that the government should deal with us the way the Sri Lankan government deals with the LTTE. Others suggest I should be killed with a bullet in my head and e-mails are sent to me threatening the life of my daughter.

Datuk Seri, are you aware of what is happening in Sri Lanka? Do you know the carnage going on in that country? I would not wish for something like that even on my most bitter enemies. How can we justify chopping to pieces women and children and burning them while they are still alive in the name of politics? I would not even do that to dogs and cats. But the Umno Bloggers feel that this is the most appropriate punishment for those who oppose the government.

Do you remember, Datuk Seri, more than two years ago I ran a series of 12 articles about the links between the police and the underworld? Were all these lies? I included eight Affidavits by senior police officers, another two Affidavits by underworld bosses, and two police reports by a police officer and his wife. That is 12 documents in all.

We are not talking about mere articles here, Datuk Seri. We are talking about Affidavits and police reports. I even made an appointment to meet Dr Mahathir and handed copies of all these documents to Tun. And I believe Tun spoke to ex-IGP Hanif about it; who in turn then spoke to the IGP.

Datuk Seri, you can personally speak to Dr Mahathir and ask him whether what I say is true or not. I did everything I could to make sure this matter was looked into. But was it? What action was taken? Instead, I was scolded by the Selangor Sultan who accused me of lying in an attempt to smear the good name of the IGP. It seems they complained to the Sultan about what I had done. That 12-series revelation against the IGP was the beginning of my crisis with the Sultan. Jojo was there. He can confirm this incident if you wish to seek clarification.

For your information, Datuk Seri, in spite of the many Affidavits and police reports I was given, I still did not take all these at face value just yet. I met up with someone very senior in the police force who works in the IGP’s office and ‘interviewed’ him about all these allegations regarding the links between the IGP and BK Tan. This man produced documents to prove that BK Tan decided on which police officer got promoted, which got transferred, and which got sent into cold storage for refusing to cooperate.

I was invited to dinner at a very expensive Japanese restaurant by a few very senior but retired police officers who wanted me to reveal where my sources came from. That was in fact the second meeting. Earlier, I was invited to dinner by very senior but retired Special Branch officers, who also wanted to know the same thing. On both occasions I did not hold back anything and told them what they wanted to know.

What transpired from all this effort? Was anything done about the matter? As far as I can see, the IGP is still in office while all those I named as my source have been ‘eliminated’. Instead of using this information and evidence to take action against the IGP, what happened was the whistleblowers were severely dealt with. Even the lawyer who acted on behalf of one of the police officers was roughly manhandled and arrested in his office and was made to spend a night in the Putrajaya lockup on Hari Raya eve.

Therefore, Datuk Seri, what do I do? Do I attempt to solve this through ‘normal channels’ like in the past and expose all my sources to risk, like what has been proven thus far? Or do I bang away as you and Umno said, making ‘false allegations’? How do you know they are false allegations? Is it because I offered no evidence so therefore they must be false? But the problem is, even when I do offer evidence, the evidence is destroyed while the whistleblowers suffer retaliation.

Let us talk about the ‘hottest’ allegation I have made thus far which appears to be what has made Umno all hot around the collar. And this is of course my Statutory Declaration.

When I was under ISA detention in September last year, Datuk Zamri Ahmad interrogated me about that SD. You may know his father very well, Ahmad Sarji. Now, Zamri is not just any Special Branch officer. He is quite senior and tipped to be the future Director of the Special Branch, maybe within ten years or so from now.

I told Zamri everything he wanted to know. I revealed the source. Zamri confirmed he personally knows the source. Okay, what did the Special Branch do with that information? Did they act on it? So you see, Datuk Seri, it is well and fine to scream that we Bloggers are irresponsible and make wild allegations and never support these allegation with evidence. But even when we do prove it or support our allegations with evidence or reveal our sources, either nothing is done or our sources face the wrath of the powers-that-be.

When I revealed information regarding the RM200 million jetliner which Pak Lah bought for his personal use, it was denied and we were accused of lying. In fact, one of those who fed me this information and helped me with the technical details of the jetliner is an Umno Blogger, Zakir, who runs BigDogDotCom ( You can read his piece called Raja Petra the compulsive liar.

You see, Datuk Seri, I am not a technical person or a plane enthusiast. So I know very little about the technical specifications of aeroplanes. Zakir, however, is an expert on the matter and he helped put the report together. In fact, his Blog came out with the full report earlier, ahead of Malaysia Today. Now he calls me a compulsive liar?

Zakir denies his links with the Special Branch. However, on 5 September 2008, he told me that the Special Branch was about to detain me under the ISA. That same day I went underground and did not resurface until the 10th September. I met some MIC leaders very close to Samy Vellu during that period and they suggested I remain underground because the police are looking for me. I can get them to meet you to confirm all this if you required so Datuk Seri. These people also have strong links with the police.

However, on the 10th September, I got bored and decided to resurface. These MIC chaps were very disturbed and suggested I continue remaining in hiding. I did not listen to them though. On the afternoon of the 10th I went home. On the 11th I went to Bangsar for dinner and spotted two Special Branch officers monitoring me. I commented to the dinner crowd, “It looks like tomorrow they will come and take me”. Two of the chaps stood up and walked towards the Special Branch officers who quickly hightailed it out of there. The next day I was detained under the ISA.

Am I lying? I in fact told the police I was expecting them. When they asked why I said that, I related the story about the two Special Branch officers lurking around the Bangsar restaurant watching me while I was with a group of friends having dinner the night before. I also told them about the tip from the Umno Blogger, without mentioning his name though, plus the information from those MIC people who had links with the police. Today, this same Umno man who was my source of information calls me a compulsive liar.

Datuk Seri, I can go on and on and turn this letter into a thesis and would probably be awarded a doctorate just like you. Nevertheless, what I would have to say would just be more of the same thing. If my arguments are not already convincing enough as they are, then I really don’t know what else to say.

But I know you, Datuk Seri. I mean; we first met more than 25 years ago when we had dinner together with Tan Kay Hock at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton. So that is how long we have personally known each other. (By the way, are you aware that Kay Hock is now Najib’s golf partner?). And because I know you that well I know you would have by now grasped the spirit of what I have written and you would not have any problems understanding the gist of my arguments. If I may say so, Datuk Seri, without appearing as if I am trying to apple-polish you, you are probably one of the more intelligent Umno leaders. So maybe I can stop here and allow what I have written thus far to sink in.

If you feel I am still not convincing enough I can always continue with a part 2 or something like that. But I feel I would just be saying more of the same thing, and would that really be necessary? By the way, Datuk Seri, I still remember what you told me when we met on the first day of Hari Raya at Dr Mahathir’s house more than two years ago. I would like to believe what I am doing is not a departure from the advice you gave me then.

Anyway, it was nice to be able to reply to your comments and I sincerely thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell my side of the story. I still have very high regards for you and I still remember the Semangat 46 days when you were one of the key players and mastermind behind the party’s strategy. It is most unfortunate that you decided to close down the party and everyone rejoined Umno en bloc. If not, today, there would be no need for PKR as Semangat 46 would probably, by now, be the lead partner in a Pakatan Rakyat federal government.

Yours truly,

Raja Petra Bin Raja Kamarudin


On Raja Petra, who is living in self-imposed exile ostensibly to escape being detained again under the ISA, Rais described him as an expressive individual who has had his say on many matters.

“I only hope that he also gives us credit for some of the things we do. But he appears to be on a one-slice action all the time.

“I respect him for his views and for his style of (comment), but I do hope that Raja Petra comes up with both sides of the spectrum, so that his reporting (is) balanced. (This will make) him more popular.

“For example, if we are successful in helping the community in an anti-poverty drive, why can't he say that it is a good move?”

Rais called on the blogger to be fair in his assessment of situations in Malaysia.

“My prime minister (Najib Abdul Razak) is entitled to his view (on Raja Petra) and I am entitled to mine. But if everything in this world is too fair and too just, of course we would not have this talk, would we?”

Rais also said people need not be fearful of arrests under the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998, which his ministry enforces.

However, he said the public should “always respect” laws like the ISA and the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, which are under the home minister’s purview.

Several bloggers have already been charged with sedition since February, for posting comments on the Perak royalty amidst the ongoing political imbroglio in the state.

Rais described the emergence of blogging as a new trend that has overcome the limitations posed to the public in accessing the print media to express their views.

He said blogs are still a novelty in Malaysia, but that no party can curtail blogging because of the emergency of a value system that demands freedom of expression.

“However, do it responsibly. If you libel a guy or you defame a guy, you have to answer for it in the court of law,” he added.

“I think that is fair... It is better that you verify your facts (before you write). If they bring you to court, you have answer to it.”


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