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Friday, November 7, 2008

RPK at the scene

Fatwas, Control, Choices and Women

Protest against anti-tomboy fatwa

RPK many Malaysians are with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Raja Petra, surrounded by his wife and supporters, is all smiles after his release from detention. — Picture by Choo Choy May

It is not only a happy moment for Marina Lee but also to all those did candle vigil and effort through out the country from the day RPK was arrested. I am personally as a fan of RPK's articles waiting to read more and more of his wonderful writings which can change the nation.

Bravo PRK. National Express Malaysia wish you happy coming back.

Admin NEM

Raja Petra freed following court ruling

Controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin was released from his Internal Security Act (ISA) detention at 3.20pm.


The editor of the popular Malaysia Today website was brought to the Shah Alam High Court just five minutes earlier.

Expressing surprise with the decision, Raja Petra said: "Not many people have challenged the act (ISA) so much and I did not have much high hopes (of being released).

"This application allowed under Section 8 is a special prize. I am tired."

"This showed ISA cannot be used. I hope this is not a political decision. I don't want to be the prime minister. I want Anwar to be the PM," he said.

raja petra to police station on burma doctor sd 040908 03Raja Petra was greeted by his wife Marina Lee Abdullah and two daughters. Some 50 supporters and friends clapped and cheered when the blogger appeared.

He later left the courthouse with his family in a red Rolls-Royce.

This morning, the Shah Alam High Court this ruled that the detention of Raja Petra under the ISA was illegal and ordered his immediate release.

Judge Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad said that Raja Petra's detention was unconstitutional.

He said the home minister had not followed proper procedure under Section 8 of the ISA to issue the detention order against Raja Petra.

The judge also ordered that Raja Petra be produced in court by 4pm today after which he should be immediately released.

Raja Petra was being held at the Kamunting detention camp in Perak.

"Now is about 10.30am, and I think there is enough time for Raja Petra to be released. I do not want this matter to be prolonged as the weekend starts tomorrow," said the judge.

"I thank the prosecution for their cooperation in handling this case and require your assistance to ensure that the order would be carried out."

Senior federal counsel Abdul Wahab Mohammad said he would make the necessary arrangements by 4pm.

The release comes more than a month after Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar signed the ISA detention order on Sept 23, although Raja Petra was initially arrested under the Act on Sept 12 at his house in Sungai Buloh.

Reasons for the detention

Raja Petra, 58, had named the home minister as the defendant in the habeas corpus application which sought among others for his immediate release and an order that his detention under the ISA was unlawful.

The minister had stated three reasons for Raja Petra's detention:

  • that he owns and operates the Malaysia Today website;

  • publishing his articles and readers' comments intentionally and recklessly which were critical and insulted Muslims, affecting the purity of the religion and the personality of Prophet Muhammad; and

  • publishing articles deemed defamatory or false concerning Malaysia's leaders, with the intention of undermining public confidence and inciting hatred against the government; the articles are alleged to be a threat to national security.

The articles in question were 'Malays, the Enemy of Islam', 'Let's send the Altantuya murderers to hell', 'I promise to be a good, non-hypocritical Muslim' and 'Not all Arabs are descendents of the Prophet'.

raja petra kamaruddin habeas corpus case 071108 03Raja Petra was represented by counsel Azhar Azizan Harun, J Chandra and Ashok Kumar.

Upon hearing the judgment, Marina broke into tears and hugged her daughters.

Raja Petra's supporters who were wearing black, yellow, green and orange t-shirts with the message 'No ISA' and 'Free RPK' had clapped when the decision was made.

A procedural non-compliance

Syed Ahmad Helmy in his judgment said the court looked into two factors, namely the constitutionality of the Act and whether the home minister acted correctly within his jurisdiction to issue the order.

He said Section 8(b) of the ISA indicated that those issued with the detention order by the minister might not be allowed for judicial review. However, the court could hear such an application if there were instances of possible abuse of powers.

raja petra kamaruddin habeas corpus case 071108 02"I agree the formulation of the ISA was to protect the security of the nation and is constitutional. However, the court can review the detention order if it finds instances where the minister could have acted beyond his jurisdiction to issue the two-year detention order.

Syed Ahmad Helmy said there was no relevance for the minister to issue the order against Raja Petra on the basis of 'mala fide' (bad faith).

"Following this, the court finds there is a procedural non-compliance as stated under Section 8(1) of the ISA based on the minister's affidavit.

"Hence the court finds the minister had acted 'ultra vires' (beyond his powers) in issuing the detention order under the ISA section. For example, the minister cannot issue an order if a person has in bad faith decided to colour his hair red.

"Following this, the court is allowing the plaintiff's application and orders for his release," the judge said.

Raja Petra's lawyer Malik said during submissions earlier that the court has jurisdiction to scrutinise the detention order and to determine if it was made in bad faith.

"This is not a situation like Jemaah Islamiyah or communists. This is just a man whom the government thinks can bring it down to its knees," the counsel had argued.

Wife: A good sign

Marina, when met by reporters, said she had been hopeful but had not expected the decision.

raja petra kamaruddin habeas corpus case 071108 01"This is a good sign that the country is changing and I hope that this change will continue," she said.

"I am speechless and satisfied with the decision. I have not taken breakfast and will do so and wait for my husband's return."

Marina also thanked all her lawyers for their effort in securing her husband's release. Their two daughters - Suraya, 34, and Sarah, 19 - were present as well.

This was the second time that Raja Petra has been arrested under the ISA.

He was also detained in 2001 at the height of the reformasi movement triggered by the sacking and jailing of former deputy premier and now Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

However, Raja Petra was released after 53 days in police custody, without being sent to Kamunting.

Sodomy trial: Anwar wins first round

(Malaysiakini) The Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today ruled in favour of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and decided that his sodomy trial would be heard in the same court.


anwar ibrahimDelivering the ruling this afternoon, judge SM Komathy Suppiah had ruled that the transfer order signed by Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail was invalid.

The court fixed next Friday for mention.

The decision will pave the way for the sodomy trial to begin - three months after Anwar claimed trial after being charged with sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 23.

If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in jail. He is currently out on a RM20,000 personal bond.

AG's role disputed

In previous arguments on the case transfer, Anwar had objected to the application because the transfer certificate was signed by Abdul Gani.

The defence team's objection was on the basis that the AG should not have played any role in this case as he is being investigated for allegedly having tampered with evidence in Anwar's trials 10 years ago.

The defence has also argued that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had given an assurance that Abdul Gani would not be involved in the case.

Raja Petra freed

SHAH ALAM, Nov 7 — The High Court today ordered that Raja Petra Kamarudin, editor of the popular news portal Malaysia Today, be released from detention after ruling that his arrest for allegedly causing racial tensions was unlawful.

High Court Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad ruled that the Home Minister acted outside his powers in having Raja Petra arrested on Sept 12, said the blogger’s lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.

He quoted the judge as saying the grounds given for Raja Petra's detention were insufficient and that his arrest under the Internal Security Act was unlawful.

The ISA allows the government to detain anyone for an initial two-year period without charges, and to extend the detention indefinitely.

Raja Petra, who was accused of threatening public security and causing racial tension by publishing writings that ridiculed Islam, will be taken to court later today to be formally set free.

Malik said the order was a "historic ruling”.

It's not the first time that a court has ordered the release of ISA detainees, and the ruling also does not prevent the government from re-arresting him under the ISA. The government can also appeal the ruling.

Raja Petra, 58, has increasingly infuriated authorities by publishing numerous claims about alleged wrongdoing by government leaders on his highly popular site, Malaysia Today. The government has denounced most of Raja Petra's allegations as lies.

He is also on trial in a separate case, having been accused of sedition by implying that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was involved in the murder of a Mongolian woman. Raja Petra denies the allegation. If convicted, he faces up to three years in jail.

The detention came at a time when the government's popularity hit at an all-time low and is riven with factional fighting and faces the threat of being ousted by the opposition.

The ISA is a holdover from British colonial days, when it was used against communist insurgents. Independent Malaysia's post-colonial government has kept it in the statute books and has used it sparingly against political dissidents, ignoring calls from opposition groups and others to disband the law.

Raja Petra's arrest triggered widespread protests by civil society groups, lawyers and other online commentators.

Some of Malaysia's most popular blogs offer strong anti-government commentaries and present themselves as a substitute for mainstream media, which are controlled by political parties or closely linked to them. The government estimates there are more than 700 Malaysians who blog on social and political issues.— AP

Raja Nazrin: Rulers may disagree with government leaders

Raja Nazrin says the Rulers cannot accede to acts which do not symbolise justice. — Bernama pic

KUCHING, Nov 6 — The Rulers shall not agree with advice given by government leaders which goes against the spirit of the constitution, rule of law and universal principles of justice, the Raja Muda of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah said last night.

"Generally, the Rulers act based on the advice by government leaders elected by the people. Nevertheless, the Rulers cannot accede to acts which do not symbolise justice or sanction moves which do not mirror truth.

"The Rulers' views, observation and counsel in the administrative affairs of the country touching on the question of integrity which encompasses justice, law, judiciary, misappropriation, power abuse, corruption and wealth distribution, are with the desire to strengthen the government so that it is stable and receives the people's trust," he said at a dinner in conjunction with National Integrity Day here.

To ensure the Rulers' integrity is not questioned and the throne remains respected, Raja Nazrin said the Rulers shall always be intelligent and wise, master knowledge, understand the surroundings and changes, and possess a group of advisers comprising experts and people knowledgeable in the relevant fields.

"This will enable the Rulers fulfil their roles with integrity and make the smart, accurate, just and fair decisions," he said.

Present were Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and Chief Justice Tan Sri Zaki Azmi.

Raja Nazrin said the Rulers are part of national institutions whose role is to strengthen the democratic system by carrying out the check and balance responsibility and the function as an independent tribunal for the legislative, executive and judiciary branches.

As a source of reference should a crisis occurs, he said, the Rulers function as the balancing mechanism which safeguards national stability, protects people's wellbeing, ensures justice, enhances the government's integrity and strengthens the democratic practice in the country.

"The Rulers have a role as the pillar of stability — source of justice, thrust of unity — hence enhancing the level of people's confidence in the systems of governance and society based on democratic practices, rooted on the doctrine of separation of powers.

"The Rulers have constitutional responsibilities and the responsibilities need to be carried out intelligently so that it can help build a high-integrity country," he said.

Raja Nazrin said the institution of Rulers shall have the role and function to productively and constructively contribute to the nation.

"The Rulers reside at a special position, have the opportunity to give smart views to influence and determine the direction of the nation positively and constructively through counsel, encouragement, persuasion, reminder and admonition," he said.

To strengthen integrity, Raja Nazrin said, the Rulers shall hold consultations and negotiations, gather opinions and be open minded to assess each advice rationally, objectively and fairly. — Bernama

Announcement on fatwa on yoga postponed

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 — The announcement of the ruling on yoga exercise for Muslims, which was to have been made today, has been postponed to a date to be fixed.

Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) director-general Datuk Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz said this was because the National Fatwa Council chairman, Datuk Abdul Shukor Husin, was overseas on official business.

"A news conference will be held to make the announcement and the date will announced later," he told Bernama.

It was reported that the council would issue a fatwa on the matter today.

A lecturer of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's Faculty of Islamic Studies, Prof Zakaria Stapa, said recently that yoga, which is based on Hindu elements, could affect the faith of Muslims practising it. — Bernama

Zaid: Judges were sacked

Zaid insisted the judges were sacked.

By Shannon Teoh

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 — Former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has refuted his successor Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz's claim that the six Supreme Court judges who lost their jobs in the 1988 judicial crisis were not sacked.

"I have only this to say. The judges had been sacked and a miscarriage of justice of the gravest kind has been committed," he told The Malaysian Insider today of the judges who were removed in the fallout from an intense dispute in Umno which saw the party being deregistered.

Yesterday, Nazri, the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, announced in Parliament that RM10.5 million was paid as ex-gratia to former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas and the five others, explaining that requests from MPs had forced the government to renege on a promise by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi to keep the amounts secret.

Stating that "if they were sacked, there would be no pension," Nazri claimed that the judges were not sacked as pensions were paid to and "accepted faithfully" by Salleh, Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin, Tan Sri George Edward Seah Kim Seng, Tan Sri Wan Hamzah Mohd Salleh and the families of the late Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdolcadeer and the late Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawanteh.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had been portrayed as the villain in the saga considered by the Bar Council to have marked the end of judicial independence, but he has consistently denied the charge by pointing out that the judges had been removed by properly set up tribunals.

Abdullah’s government had announced the decision to pay the judges the ex-gratia sum in his speech at the Bar Council dinner on April 17.

"The government would like to recognise the contributions of these six judges to the nation, their commitment towards upholding justice and to acknowledge the pain and loss they have endured," he had said.

Zaid, then the de facto Law Minister, had initiated the effort which came under criticism from Dr Mahathir and his supporters.

The Malaysian Insider understands that the Cabinet had decided to refer to the monies as "goodwill ex-gratia payments," as stated in Abdullah's April 17 speech, instead of "compensation" as the latter would imply an admission of guilt.

Since his resignation from the Cabinet and Senate, there has been a push by some ministers, including his successor Nazri, to disclose the sum in the name of accountability.

"Any responsible government would do the only right thing and that is to compensate them. That's what I had done and the Prime Minister was right in supporting the decision," Zaid told The Malaysian Insider.

Entering the Malay mind

by Azly Rahman

[Lecture notes of a recent speech given to Malaysian students in New York]

In this digital age of postmodernity, hypertextuality, alienation, and of chaos and complexity in which the historical march of capitalism has dictated the way nations think, it is becoming difficult for us to understand how the mind of a people work – unless we build a metaphysical chariot (like the one Krishna prepared for Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurusektra) to journey into it, through the eyes that will also bring us through their soul. At strategic points in that much the soul is corrupted by the material condition created by those who own the means of controlling the march of “progress” and the definition of “history”. At every epoch in the history of nations, there will be those who will be clueless of what they exist for and who they exist for; marginalized by those who have a better command of the art and science of social control and in the art of war.

I realize that the above sentences, for some, are dense and complex and require clarifications through simpler language; but like the monologue of Colonel Kurtz in Francis Ford Coppola’s classic, “Apocalypse Now,” we ought to try to understand the meaning of such a statement. Like James Joyce’s stream of consciousness, sentences may flow gracefully with intensity.

The subject of our inquiry is the Malay mind in this time of chaos and complexity, cynicism and uncertainty. These are the times that try the Malaysian soul and it is through cognitive science and the archeology of the mind, and through deep probing questions alone that one may accomplish the task of entering the mind of the Malay.

How do we do this?

Interpretations of what the Malay is – from the time of Frank Swettenham, Munsyi Abdullah, Tun Sri Lanang, the Sumatran Sufi scholars of ancient times, and others paid or unpaid writers of Malay history or from scribes who do not know the meaning of neutrality – all these are useful to a certain extend for us to understand what exactly the mind of the Malay.

Because we are rooted language and language constructs one Inner sensibility and determines how we construct our social reality and next, because we then use language to define how we create our economic condition, educate our tribe, govern each other, and work and play, we will need to define how the Malay mind works through the use of definitions.

But however we define what a Malay is, we will have linguistic difficulties and we will have problems determining from what and from whose historical perspective we are defining it.

Each definition of what a Malay is is contingent upon premises that are rooted in culture as some point and the Constitution in modern times. The world “Malay” is elusive, as argued by many a Malay and non-Malay cultural analysts trying to justify this or that rights and privileges. At every argument in history, conflict either bloody or bloodless may happen – because we are trapped in the prison-house of language. Only philosophy may free us from this shackle. Only by consistently attacking words and definition and demanding for their clarity may we be liberated. Connotations and denotations arise not only out of history but also out of the class divisions and antagonisms as a result of the evolution of who gets to own the tool of domination called “literacy”.

Malaysia has prepared herself to enter the Age of Deconstructionism in which in every sphere of our lives we are experiencing rupture and waning of affect; an age in which relationships have become meaningless and power is used to set fire to the voices in the wilderness. Consider these in we enter our very own “postmodern condition” wrought but the “cultural logic of our own brand of late capitalism”. We are experiencing rupture in our Judiciary, Executive, and Legislature. We know we want justice for all but we may have none. We know we want power to be executed the good of all, but we may have power concentrated in the few to let evil prevail. We want to be governed by the rule of law but we may end up seeing our lives governed by the iron fist of lawlessness.

How do we enter the Malay mind? What set of questions do we need? What will our metaphysical chariot look like? We need the following questions:

What is a Malay? Herein lies the need to consider the idea of “Constitutional versus cultural” aspect of the definition

What shapes the Malay mind? Herein lies the need to consider the idea “The Historical material condition”

How has history define Malay culture and consciousness? Herein lies the need to consider the idea of “social construction of reality”

How has economic condition create the Malay mind? Herein lies the need to consider the idea of “technology and culture”

How has globalization affect the consciousness of the Malays? Herein lies the need to consider the idea of “border crossings and heteroglossia”

How has modernization and hypermodernity shape the newer character of the Malay mind? Herein lies the need to consider the idea of “the neo-feudalistic cybernetic capitalistic Malay

Herein lies the beginning of the phase of self-reflection of the Malays as a people who has arrived at a historical juncture in which more and more rhetoric and words left undefined are used to construct the meaning of the word “Malay”.

Entering the postmodern Malay mind is a complex journey worth taking. It will be a journey like the poems of T.S. Elliot or Rilke. But to engineer this Copernican Revolution, we must take the first step.

Abdullah would fail in judicial reforms if original Article 121(1) not restored

The parliamentary reply of the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, yesterday on judicial reforms and the RM10.5 million ex gratia payment to six judges who were victims of the 1988 “Mother of all judicial crisis for two decades” has raised more questions.

Firstly, Nazri most irresponsibly tried to rewrite history about the 1988 “Mother of all judicial crisis for two decades” when he denied that the judges, particularly the then Lord President Tun Salleh Abas and two supreme court judges the late Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawanteh and Datuk George Seah were “sacked” , saying that they were asked to “retire early”.

Nazri was flying in the face of facts of history in making such a claim, for there can be no dispute that Salleh Abas, Wan Suleiman and George Seah were sacked after the outcome of the two “kangaroo” judicial tribunals set up by the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad time, while the other three judges, Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin, Tan Sri Wan Hamzah Mohd Salleh and the late Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdolcadeer were victimised when they were suspended and virtually “sent to conventry” for the rest of their judicial service after their suspension was lifted.

Why did Nazri openly mislead Parliament yesterday in his dishonest and revisionist version of Malaysian judicial history?

Secondly, Nazri backtracked from the promise of judicial reform given by his predecessor Datuk Zaid Ibrahim when he responded to my speech the day earlier (see video) and categorically denied that there is any plan to amend the Malaysian Constitution to restore the original wording of Article 121(1) and the position of judicial power in the Merdeka Constitution.

One of the first pledges of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when he became Prime Minister five years ago was to uphold the doctrine of the separation of powers among the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, which implicity includes the restoration of the original wording of Article 121(1) on the inherent power of the judiciary, which was arbitrarily usurped by the Executive in a 1988 Constitutional amendment using the Barisan Nasional’s brute two-thirds parliamentary majority.

Nazri’s predecessor, Zaid Ibrahim has publicly stated that the restoration of Article 121(1) was one of the judicial reforms in the pipeline, and the then Chief Justice, Tun Abdul Hamid Mohammad had publicly supported such an amendment, when he said that the government’s proposal to amend Article 121(1) “shows that an amendment made in anger as a reaction to a decision of the court could last (only) for one generation” and that just as “water tends to find its own level”, the country was finding its way back “to the original provision”.

Why has the government lost its way and will on judicial reforms on the amendment of Article 121(1) after Nazri replaced Zaid, who resigned on a point of principle in September in protest against the abuse of power and arbitrary use of the Internal Security Act to detain senior Sin Chew reporter, Tan Hoon Cheng, DAP MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok and blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin.

A clear and unmistakable message must be sent to Abdullah, that he would have failed in his promise to push through judicial reforms before he steps down as Prime Minister next March if there is no constitutional amendment to restore the original wording and position of judicial power in Article 121(1).

The Prime Minister should direct Nazri, as the Minister responsible for shepherding the necessary legislation through Palriament on judicial reforms, to consult with the Pakatan Rakyat MPs to reach a consensus on the necessary constitutional amendments to ensure far-reaching judicial reforms – not only on the appointment of a Judicial Appointment Commission but also to restore the original wording of Article 121(1).

"Don't let my hubby rot inside Kamunting"

Triumph against ISA: One out, 65 still inside. The Court, ordering for RPK's immediate release, has described his the Malaysia Today editor's detention "illegal".
What, does that mean the detention of others still languishing inside Kamunting on the orders of the Home Minister "legal"?

When I heard of the news of RPK's release from Elviza, who was at the Shah Alam court this morning, I wondered about the families of the other detainees. Nuraina Samad, who late Bapak was detained for 5 years throughout Hussein Onn's premiership, called me. Excited. This isn't the first time she's wished that the people of three decades ago had the power they do now to go against the ISA dread.

I got in touch with with Laila, whose beloved husband Mat Sah Mohd Satray s one of the longest-serving Kamunting detainees. I told her about the good news.

"Alhamdulillah", she said. But, at the same time, she's sad. "I Sedih. Nothing much I can do except to compose myself and be steadfast in the struggle.

"Will I be alone?"

Laila's wish:
"I wish there'll be vigils, the MPs will walk their talk, the momentum to abolish ISA will be maintained or raised higher than now. One released but 65 still inside. Plse dont let my hubby rot inside ..."

Excerpts from Malaysiakini::-

Court orders Raja Petra's release
Hafiz Yatim | Nov 7, 08 9:46am

The Shah Alam High Court this morning ruled that the detention of well-known blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin under the ISA was illegal and ordered his immediate release.


Judge Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad said that Raja Petra's detention was unconstitutional.

He said that the Home Minister had not followed the proper procedure under Section 8 of the ISA to issue the detention order against Raja Petra.

The judge also ordered that Raja Petra, editor of the popular 'Malaysia Today' website, be produced in court by 4pm today after which he should be immediately released.

Court orders Raja Petra's release

The Shah Alam High Court this morning ruled that the detention of well-known blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin under the ISA was illegal and ordered his immediate release.


Judge Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad said that Raja Petra's detention was unconstitutional.

He said the Home Minister had not followed proper procedure under Section 8 of the ISA to issue the detention order against Raja Petra.

The judge also ordered that Raja Petra, editor of the popular Malaysia Today website, be produced in court by 4pm today after which he should be immediately released.

Raja Petra is being held at the Kamunting detention camp in Perak.

raja petra kamaruddin habeas corpus case 071108 03Raja Petra's wife Marina Lee Abdullah who was present in court this morning expressed her gratitude to the court for ordering the release of her husband.

A handful of Raja Petra supporters were also present in the court.

The ruling by the court followed a habeas corpus application by Raja Petra's counsel seeking his release from detention under the security law.

The blogger was arrested on Sept 12 by police and held at an unknown location before he was sent to Kamunting on Sept 23.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar on Sept 22 had signed a detention order for him to be held under section 8(1) of the ISA. Under the Act, the initial two-year detention period without trial can be renewed indefinitely

Syed Hamid had at the time told reporters that he was satisfied with the reasons given by the police for the blogger's detention.

raja petra to police station on burma doctor sd 040908 03"The detention is due to Raja Petra's articles that ridiculed Islam which could arouse anger among Muslims," he had claimed.

"The police had recommended his detention and after going through the papers, we are satisfied that there are strong grounds for him to be further detained for two years (in Kamunting)."

According to his lawyer J Chandra, Raja Petra (left) was arrested for publishing articles on his news portal which allegedly tarnished the leadership of the country and insulted the sanctity of Islam.

The former newspaper columnist had earlier been charged with sedition and defamation after linking Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife to the sensational murder of a Mongolian national.

raja petra kamaruddin habeas corpus case 071108 01This was the second time that Raja Petra has been arrested under the ISA.

He had first been detained in 2001, at the height of the reformasi movement triggered by the sacking and jailing of former deputy premier and now Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

However, Raja Petra was released after 53 days in police custody, without being sent to Kamunting.