Three scenes in one act
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Act One Scene One (phone conversation)
Hello. Raja Petra?
ASP Aibee Abdul Ghani here. Can you come to Bukit Aman? We would like to talk to you about some articles you wrote on your website Malaysia Today.
Can you come now?
Now will not be possible. I am at the IC office doing my daughter’s IC. Can we do it later?
What about after Friday prayers?
4.00pm may be too late. I am expecting someone to come to my house at 6.00pm. Can we finish in time?
We only need one hour. Okay, what about 3.00pm? That should give you enough time to be home by 6.00pm.
Okay. 3.00pm is okay.
Come to Commercial Crime Division at Bukit Perdana. I am from Seremban. I will be borrowing ASP Victor’s office. You ask them at the gate where it is.
Bukit Perdana? Where’s that?
You know the PM’s old office?
Okay, I know. See you at 3.00pm then.
Act One Scene Two (at Bukit Aman’s Cyber Crime Division, Bukit Perdana)
A police report has been made against you about your article called The King’s Revenge. Did you know that?
Now I know. Who made the police report?
The Istana. Tuanku is very angry. He told me to arrest you and put you in jail.
So, are you going to?
We have to investigate first.
We need to take your statement first. Is that okay?
Okay. Under what section?
Section 112. Are you familiar with it?
You are a veteran right? You are used to this.
I am. I was interrogated under the same section in March 2001.
Okay, can we start?
Hold on. What charge are you interrogating me under?
No charge yet.
I know. But is this under the Sedition Act?
Okay. And aren’t going to first caution me and tell me my rights and responsibilities under Section 112.
Okay. Never mind. Let me tell you then. First, I must answer all questions and not refuse to answer – if not I can be charged. Second, I must tell the truth and cannot lie – if not I can be charged. Third, whatever I say can be used against me in court – whether I tell the truth or lie. Right?
I said you are a veteran already. That’s why we need not caution you.
Still, it’s your duty to caution me. Okay, let’s start.
Who wrote the article The King’s Revenge?
I can’t tell you.
But you said you must answer all questions?
I am answering. And my answer is: I can’t tell you. And that’s the truth. It is not a lie.
Okay, that’s your choice, if that’s your answer.
You didn’t write it yourself?
You know I didn’t. That’s why you asked me who wrote it. And you can see the style of writing is different. Every writer has his ‘trademark’ and that article does not have my trademark. It is not my style of writing. Anyway, all my articles carry my name. That one does not.
Then who wrote it?
I can’t tell you. And that is my answer.
Is the writer in the country?
I don’t know.
Then where is he?
No one living in Malaysia would be crazy enough to write that article when they know they can be arrested for sedition. Only someone outside the country would dare write it.
I put it to you that the article is full of lies.
No, it is not. Are you a Negeri boy?
No, I am from Kelantan.
Oh, Ibrahim Ali’s man is it? Nice man. Jumps parties a lot but has a clean record. No sex or corruption scandals.
Never mind. You probably support him. All Pasir Mas people do. But you cannot admit this openly. I understand. How long have you been living in Seremban?
Okay. So you know what was written there is all true then. All Negeri people do. Tell me which part is not true.
You see, you know it is all true. So what’s the issue?
But Tuanku is very angry. He wants us to take action against you.
But the truth always hurts doesn’t it? He is angry because it is all true and he knows it.
But how do you know it is true?
How? How do you know?
Because I have good sources.
Yes, inside sources.
Who are they?
I can’t tell you. But they are very reliable inside sources.
But how can you be sure?
Writers have to trust their sources. All writers do. How else can we get information? Not all information is based on documents. Many stories are based on interviews and anonymous sources. Even Newsweek, Time and all the reputable foreign journals need to depend on word-of-mouth information and interviews. There are no documents to use.
But how can you be sure the information is all true?
I know. After all I am orang istana. I know what goes on in the palace. Do you know there is more politicking in the palaces compared to political parties? Even Umno politics is not as intense as palace politics. But you are not ‘palace people’ so you will not know all this. I am, so I know.
So your source is the palace?
I can’t tell you.
Look, it can be anyone. My cousin, younger brother to the Selangor Sultan, is married to Tuanku Jaafar’s daughter. He is the son-in-law of Tuanku. I am not saying he is my source. But that is how close I am to the Negeri palace.
Okay, but maybe we don’t mention his name in this statement. We don’t want to create any problems.
Okay, fine with me. I don’t want Tuanku Jaafar to quarrel with my cousin anyway, especially since he is not my source. I just mention his name to show you I do have links and sources. So I know what is true and what is not. And what was written in that article is all true. Do you agree with me?
Never mind, you don’t need to say you agree even if you do. And I know you do.
I put it to you that you do not have reliable sources and what was written is not true and all lies. Do you agree?
No, I don’t agree.
Why you don’t agree?
I already told you why. I have already replied to that.
I put it to you everything written in Malaysia Today is not true. Do you agree?
No, I don’t agree. I also carry Bernama and New Straits Times news in Malaysia Today. How can these not be true?
But what was written is seditious.
How can truth be seditious? Everyone knows that Tuanku Jaafar is not the rightful heir to the throne. You also know this. Many books have been written about this. Even Tunku Abdullah, Tuanku Jaafar’s own brother, has written about this. Many renowned historians have also written about this.
But that is not the issue.
That is the issue. That was what was written. We all know Tuanku Jaafar is trying to appoint his son as his successor. He is 83 years old and very sick. He may not last a year. Maybe at most another two years. And before he dies he wants to make sure that his son succeeds him. But the rightful successor to the throne is Tunku Mukhriz. That’s what was written. How can you say that is not true? That is a historical fact.
But that has nothing to do with us.
Exactly, so why are you getting involved? You are not from the royal family. This is a palace issue, not a police issue. This is between us royalty. It is a family matter.
But Tuanku Jaafar is very angry and he wants us to take action.
You already told me that. You mean you are from Seremban and you don’t know that Negeri Sembilan has the most pig farms in Malaysia? And they are owned by Singapore Chinese while the land is owned by the royal family. The Linggi River is so polluted because of the pig farms…even JKR does not recommend you drink water from the taps. That is fact. How can what was written be not true? And as someone from Seremban you don’t know titles can be bought? Of course you know.
How do you update Malaysia Today?
What do you mean you don’t?
I don’t update the site.
Then who does?
You have a webmaster?
I have two.
Who are they?
I can’t tell you.
Are they in Malaysia?
Then where are they?
I can’t tell you. But I use overseas webmasters, just like how I did for the Free Anwar Campaign website.
So you have two people working for you?
No, I have ten.
Who are they?
I can’t tell you. But they are my webmasters, programmer, and writers.
Are they all outside the country?
Some are outside and some in Malaysia.
And you cannot tell us who they are?
Right, even if you put me in jail. I protect all my writers and sources. Even in the US, the largest democracy in the world, journalists and editors have gone to jail to protect their sources. So this is quite normal, even in the US.
Where is your server?
I know, but do you mean the domain name server or the host server?
Okay, the domain name is in the US but the host is in the UK.
So you update the site in the UK?
Then? The US?
I just update the blog.
Yes, blogger dot com.
How does it work?
All writers are given access to the blog and they blog their items.
Then the sub-editor goes through them, edits the pieces and then publishes the approved and edited items using the blog.
Then the blog is automatically updated with the latest pieces.
How is this done?
The programmer writes the script into the blog that will automatically float the latest items. Then the old items are sent to the archives.
From where do you do your work?
Anywhere I can get access to the Internet.
I can use my PDA, my notebook with wireless broadband, or even my handphone which can access the Internet. I can go to a cybercafé. I can even use your computer there.
Our computer cannot access the Internet. We have no Internet.
You are the Cyber Crime Division but you cannot access the Internet from your office? How do you do your work?
Hmm…we just moved here so we don’t have Internet access yet.
Funny isn’t it? Bukit Aman’s Cyber Crime Division does not have Internet access. Well, I can even access the blog from here.
You cannot. We don’t have Internet access.
Yes, I know, you told me that. But if you did have Internet access then I could access the blog from here. So I can do my work from anywhere, even from my car while on the move.
What about your log files?
Log files? What is that?
When you update the website there will be log files. Where are they?
What log files? I use blogger dot com to publish. It’s all done online.
How do you do your writing? Where are the files?
What files? I write everything online.
There are no files in your computer?
No. How can there be when everything is done online?
You have part two to the article isn’t it? When are you going to publish it?
This morning. After you phoned me.
Oh. So fast….hmm…
So, is that a second charge?
No, we will treat both as one.
And this goes on for two-and-a-half hours.
Act One Scene Three (at my home)
We have come to look at your computer.
Do you have a warrant?
Then how can you check my computer?
We just want to look at it.
Ah…Can we come in?
Sure. Please come in.
This is your computer?
Yes. Actually it’s a family computer. My daughter and wife also use it.
One more in my bedroom, my notebook computer. That’s my personal computer. No one touches it. Well, sometimes my daughter borrows it when my wife is on this computer. So what do you want to see?
We just want to look at your files inside your computer.
Okay. Let me open the Windows Explorer. You can see all my files inside.
But all these files are 2001?
Yes, that was when I got detained under ISA. Since then I no longer save any files on my hard disk. The files that were found in my computer in 2001 were used as evidence to detain me under ISA. So I no longer save any files in my computer.
What about your notebook?
You can see. My notebook is new so I have no files at all. It is empty. Here, see.
I am not an expert.
Okay. So which one of you is the expert?
None of us.
You come here to check my computers but none of you are the expert? How are you going to check them then?
We have to bring your computers back with us.
Bring them back? No way! The last time you guys took my computer in 2001 you destroyed it. I am not letting you take this one.
If we spoil it you can sue the police.
Sue the police? Hello…since when in Malaysia we can sue the police?
You will not allow us then?
No! If you want to check the files in my computers go ahead. But I am not allowing you to take them away.
But I have been ordered by my boss to bring back your computers. He is expecting me to come back with your computers.
But you can check them now.
We will not check them ourselves. We will be getting the experts from MIMOS to do it.
First of all, I never save any of my files in my computer. Secondly, even if I did, I would have deleted them all by now since I suspected you will come to my house to check my computers. I have gone through this in 2001 so I know how the game is played.
But MIMOS can still find them. They have forensic experts. They can find files in your computer even if you have deleted them.
Not when I incinerate the files.
Yes. I do not delete the files. I incinerate them. And my incinerator program is not free. I bought it. And it surpasses the US Government and US Military standards. So it is very secure. MIMOS will not find anything. I am using CIA standards to securely delete my files by incinerating them.
But we still have to take your computers back.
What if I say ‘no’? Tell your boss I am stubborn and will not let you take my computers.
Then we have to charge you for obstructing the police in carrying out their duty.
First you say you want to look at my computers. Then you want to see inside. Now you want to take them away…Okay, let’s take a bet then.
Yes. We take a bet. You bring my computers back and if you find nothing you pay me one month of your salary. Okay? What is your one month salary anyway?
And if we find something, then what is your one month salary?
I am retired. I have no salary. But why do you need my salary? If you find something you can charge me for sedition and put me in jail. That’s better than one month of my salary isn’t it?
We are just looking for the two articles. Tuanku’s private secretary has been calling many times pressing us to take action. So we need the evidence.
Well, you won’t find it. I guarantee you that.
If we don’t find it then you have nothing to worry about.
What makes you think I am worried? Tuanku Jaafar is the one who should be worried. If you send me to jail, Malaysia Today will be more controversial and we will hit even harder…When can I get my computers back?
If we find nothing, then maybe on Monday.
Okay, you will find nothing, so see you on Monday. And get your one month salary ready.
Acts 2 and 3 to be continued (The Arrest and The Trial)