GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH

October 2, 2008 – 12:02 pm

On September 23, 2008 Raja Petra Kamarudin (Pete), prominent blogger and editor of Malaysia Today, was sent to the Kamunting Detention Centre in Perak to begin his two-year detention under Malaysia’s Internal Security Act. Here are some of his thoughts while in solitary confinement.

I was perturbed when I read YB Teresa Kok’s statement that the food under ISA detention is equivalent or slightly better than dog food. It costs RM8 to feed a dog, according to the Malay Mail survey and only RM4.50 to feed on ISA detainees.

I feed my cats and fish premium food such as science diet and would never dream of feeding my pets the food that we are fed here. I actually stopped eating the food here after the first couple of days because it gave me diarrhea.

A couple of nights ago I vomited after eating the food and now I cannot even stand the sight or smell of the trays that they send to our cell twice a day.

I now survive on dates and plain water and I suppose if that is good enough for camels to survive in the Arabian Desert, it should be good enough for me.

I was told camels have a healthy sex drive and I would like to believe it because of the date that is my staple food. Of course, there is no way I can test this theory until I come safely out of this place.

Today, my liberty is at the top of my priority list. But I know it shall not come soon and it shall not come easy and it shall only come if there is a change of government and if the new government fulfills its promise to abolish the ISA.

Actually, food is the least of my worries at this point of time. I am presently in three months solitary confinement and the only pussy I get to see is this mangy cat that somehow has found its way into my cellblock to sleep outside my locked door. It has not rained since I arrived here a week ago and I was told Kamunting has not seen any rain for the last few weeks. The heat in the cell is unbearable and the air is very stuffy.

The uncomfortable environment does help to put your mind off your growling stomach. I am what they call under orientation. This three months’ orientation I suppose is to get me used to the two years I am going to spend here.

One of my favorite classics that I used to read in Standard 1 is A Tale Of Two Cities, which is about the French Revolution. I can now better appreciate the battle cry “give me liberty or give me death”. They say you appreciate something only after it has been taken away from you.

Today, my liberty is at the top of my priority list. But I know it shall not come soon and it shall not come easy and it shall only come if there is a change of government and if the new government fulfills its promise to abolish the ISA.

Note: On September 12, Raja Petra, opposition MP Teresa Kok and journalist Tan Hoon Cheng were arrested under Malaysia’s Internal Security Act. Tan was released on September 13 and Teresa Kok was freed on September 19.

Visit Malaysia Today at http://mt.m2day.org/2008/ for more updates.

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THE OTHER PETE


The nation-builder press, Sept 30, 2008.

From October 1, 2008, Peter Ong Boon Kwee will join the $ingapore Finance Ministry as second permanent secretary. Currently, Ong is also chairman of the Maritime and Port Authority of $ingapore, and sits on the board of directors of DBS Group Holdings and DBS Bank.

The nation-builder press reported that Ong’s first job was with the Ministry of Communications and Information. “Moving up the ladder, he has held key appointments in the Civil Service College and Ministry of Home Affairs.”

$ingapore’s secret police, the Internal Security Department, is housed in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Another civil servant from the dreaded Ministry of Home Affairs is Mr Gan Kim Yong. The PAP MP is now Acting Minister for Manpower. Mr Gan was Head (Research) at the Ministry of Home Affairs in 1989.

The ISA in $ingapore is indestructible. Their agents are EVERYWHERE.

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