Haris: I’ve had enough of RPK

Raja Petra responds by saying Haris did not have a consistent view of MCLM, and that he had supported him over many things despite not agreeing with them.

Patrick Lee, FMT

Controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, according to his former confidante and social activist, Haris Ibrahim, has gone too far with his writings.

Haris accused Raja Petra (better known as RPK) of causing division through his Malaysia Today blog, strongly implying that the latter, now living in Manchester, England, was on former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s payroll.

“By late September, I had come to terms with the fact that RPK and I were not on the same cause,” Haris wrote in his blog posting.

He added that many times he was at a loss with RPK’s writings.

He cited a recent article by Raja Petra, saying that it was full of “untruths” and an attempt to divide the Anything-But-Umno (ABU) movement and its allies through his blog.

Haris added that he had been corresponding with the blogger, and had questioned RPK’s political stance.

“I told him that I have only declared war on Umno-BN and it was he who needed to make clear where he stood in this war, so that I too would know what to do,” he said.

Haris disputed several of RPK’s claims, including one where potential election candidates under the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) pulled out because of problems with Pakatan Rakyat.

“They withdrew because they were put off by RPK’s interview with TV3 which was aired just before the Sarawak state election [in April] last year,” said Haris.

He also called RPK’s claim that the Jan 2, 2012 interview with the NST was part of a plan for MCLM personnel, including Haris, to smoothly exit the group as a “blatant lie”.

Haris said that RPK spoke about an alleged “Anwar-Najib” deal, seemingly gleaned from Umno insiders.

“But I’m convinced that this revelation by RPK now is with a view to drive a wedge between ABU and our allies in Pakatan,” said.

‘The ugly side of the Chinese’

Haris further cited an anonymous Facebook post, which claimed that RPK was being hired by Mahathir, and that Malaysia-Today was created by the former premier to topple his successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The anonymous person, Haris added, said this after a September meeting with RPK.

Haris also cited FMT letter-writer Victor Lim, who hinted that the controversial blogger not only had strong financial backing, but was also mysteriously allowed to escape to England.

“Who had the power and influence to faciliate RPK’s migration?” Lim had asked.

It was a view that was not shared by RPK, who criticised these allegations in an article entitled, “The ugly side of the Chinese”.

RPK also accused Lim of supposedly being under the payroll of PKR-Batu MP Tian Chua. Haris, however, thought differently, seemingly agreeing with Lim.

“RPK has gone into overdrive in blaming the Chinese, Malays, Muslims over what’s wrong with the country. Since Jan 2 until now, I’ve had to closely read his writing and rebut them,” Haris told FMT.

Asked if these accusations meant an end to his relationship with RPK, Haris said that all he cared about was making sure that BN would lose the next federal elections.

“Right now, I’m working with many people on the ground, and they’re not in Manchester, shooting from the hip. I’m not prepared to remain silent every time he takes a very racist stand,” he said.

RPK: I’m not a racist’

In an e-mail interview later, RPK denied being funded by the former premier, citing a letter written against him by Mahathir’s former political secretary, Matthias Chang.

“It is of course, not true… what Matthias Chang wrote about me would certainly not be done to someone who is on Dr M’s payroll,” he said.

He said that his family had faced many hardships, and hinted that these would not have come about if Mahathir was behind him.

One of his hardship was his daughter, Raja Suraya, having to buy back his stake, confiscated by the government, in a Bukit Rahman Putra house she owned, which cost RM300,000.

He also asked how he could have been working with Mahathir when he only “began associating” with the premier in 2006, two years after Malaysia Today was formed.

RPK also denied being a racist, and that he was only being termed such after he attacked Malaysia’s Chinese.

“Why was I not considered a racist before? Why am I a racist only now? When I attack the Malays, the Muslims, the religious department and scholars, the Sultans… I’m a freedom fighter. When the non-Malays are included in my attacks, I become a racist,” he said.

RPK was also critical of Haris, adding that the latter had different views and that they would sometimes clash.

“Haris wanted to use MCLM as a platform to ‘outsource’ 30 potential MP candidates for Pakatan Rakyat. I felt MCLM should not be political but nevertheless went along with him,” he said.

He also attacked Haris for not having a consistent view of MCLM, and that he had supported him over many things despite not agreeing with them.

“It appears, though, he is not returning that same courtesy I extended to him… he has his views on what ABU should be, as do I.

“However, while I respect his views, he does not respect mine. He expects me to agree with his view with no conditions attached,” he said.