Raja Petra: I asked to be Interviewed by NST

(Malaysian Digest) – Self-exiled blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin said he was the one who approached New Straits Times to be interviewed, refuting the perception that he consented to the interview session by the paper.

“First of all, I did not ‘consent’ to the interview. Consent is hardly the right word to use when it was I who asked to be interviewed. Yes, they did not approach me. I approached the NST,” said Raja Petra in his portal Malaysia Today.

He said some have questioned on why he had ‘consented’ to the interview by various mainstream media knowing that “they would distort his statement, or at least sensationalize it and focus on the parts ‘damaging’ to the opposition while blacking out the parts that are damaging to the government”.

People had also questioned why the editor and founder of the Malaysia Today who initiated the boycott towards New Staits Time, Utusan Malaysia and TV3 (along with the late Rustam Sani, Zul Sulong and political cartoonist, Zunar) had agreed to talk to the ‘enemy’.

To this Raja Petra said he has his reasons and he does not have to explain why and what he does but hinted that it’s part of his “strategy” behind what he’s doing.

“If I reveal my strategy then it is no longer a strategy. Anyway, who are you that I need to confide everything I do to?

“As long as those in my team and in my circle know what I am doing, that is good enough for me. They have been told and they know what I am up to although some of them may cringe at my modus operandi and the unpredictable manner in how I respond to questions,” he explained.

He said all these while he has always been unpredictable and unconventional and that is nothing new and that even PKR had found him to be unpredictable and unconventional.

He added that there have been occasions when the PKR leadership “discussed his actions during the supreme council meetings, which even the party found unpalatable”.

“My response was, if they don’t like what I do then sack me. But don’t expect me to do things their way. I do things my way and if that is not acceptable to the party then I will move on.”

He also said when he started Malaysia Today, his founding charter was that the portal will be independent and will not take sides.

“No one determines the rules in how I operate – not the government, not the opposition,” he said.

He said if he wishes to work with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he turned against Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that is his choice, pointing out that he did just that in 2006 and 2007.

“Of course, Azmin Ali whacked me publicly during the PKR convention in Penang for ‘selling out’ to Dr Mahathir. But why must I explain to Azmin what I am doing? Who is he to me that I need to confide in him?” said Raja Petra.