Monday, May 24, 2010

RPK not in Trinity Court

I was actually really looking forward for that colourful Saturday with a total of four events about to fill in the life of a bachelor in London. The day literally kicked off with some kick abouts in Hyde Park with the guys and after wiping off perspiration left and right (and underneath), I rushed to the BPP Law School in Holborn for the Raja Petra Kamarudin's talk.

I had about half-a-dozen questions to ask him. I have been critical about his controversial, tabloid-like articles in this blog but was ready to hear what he was going to say with an open mind. RPK, together with his wife and beautiful daughter Nabila (not her real name) was greeting the guests outside as I managed to creep into the packed hall under the watchful eye of three or four bodyguards.

The session started with a video footage of RPK's wife about to receive RPK from his ISA release but it was cut short so that the man of the day could start his eagerly waited speech. He did not start well in my opinion, since he was only repeating whatever you can find in his blog regarding his detention and all. I was not impressed myself as I wanted to hear something new, something inspiring and neutral. However, the first part of the talk had a turn of event with a question that stunned most of the crowd who were his hardcore fans.

"What is the 'difference' between you and Anwar who chose to stay in Malaysia to face the trial but you... are here?"

Okay. That should balance the atmosphere a bit. After a lenghty explanation, RPK insisted that he only wanted a fair trial where the late Augustine Paul should not be in the team of judges. He also added he was actually inspired by Sun Tzu to bring the 'enemies' into his own territory, to have a fair trial here in the UK.

However, I am more of a Malay than a Sun Tzu follower that I still believe in 'berani kerana benar'. Saying that though, I am quite sceptical about Malaysian judiciary independence in which I wholly understand why the seasoned man is running away. Come on, the man has gone through ISA twice now and he is not even a communist. (the reason why ISA was established by the late Tun Abdul Razak is to fight terrorism, communism).

But still, my stand is forever like this: You can say and write whatever you want but you must be responsible for them. You should at least include some references especially when your blog hits is like half a million a month! And don't make me start on cowardly acts of anonymity like Kelantanese 'Abdul Noni bin Mus' on this blog. If you want to say something, just say it. Be brave. Stand up and speak up. But take full responsibility for whatever that you have said.

Then the Q&A received quite a blow by hardcore commentaries (instead of asking RPK a question) with one even accusing the Malaysian government of targeting his long troubled son. But I must say, RPK did well to end the session, at least for the neutrals. He reiterated his desire to witness Malaysia achieve great things with an efficient check and balance system. He recalled how he lost a lot of followers because of his suggestion of a unity government after March 2008.

"I was even called a Trojan horse sent by UMNO!" RPK claimed. In my opinion, those followers merely do not understand the concept of unity government, something that we have now in the UK when the Conservatives clinched a deal with the Liberal Democrats to form a coalition in order to be a more stable government. David Cameron (Conservatives) is the new Prime Minister of United Kingdon and Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrats) is his deputy.

"What's wrong with having a BN Prime Minister and a PR Deputy Prime Minister? (vice versa). No one should be given absolute power. If Pakatan were to take over in March 2008, (I fear) it could have been even worse for Malaysia!" RPK said, reaffirming his dream for a more independent, balanced Malaysia. I wanted to give RPK a monkey jump-clap like the one the hardcore 'uncre' (uncle) in front of me gave earlier but lets not spoil the moment shall we?

Finally, RPK has shown the neutral side of him since the first half of the session was more one sided. All the half dozen of questions I wanted to ask him were answered without me having to put up my hand and ask. That was the moment I was waiting for and I finally sincerely gave him a round of applause as the session ended.

All in all it was a time well spent. To be honest, I was quite disappointed with the crowd since only about 10% of them were Malays and most being hardcore partisan. I still do not approve RPK though for some of his writings which are more coffee shop chat or Mastika-like tales than credible information (the statutory declaration he made for example). I am still sticking to my stand that ISA should not be abolished but rather amended to only detain terrorists by specifically mentioning the terms of practice.

However, I respect RPK for his bravery and vision. Plus, he is still trying his best to be as impartial as possible even if he was misunderstood and mistreated by one side. In fact, he is not affiliated with any political parties although there is a question mark over his financial backers.

Uncle Pet(ra), do you mind telling us who they are?

p/s: RPK denies residing in Trinity Court, Paddington as suggested by some... and I believe him.