The Q&A with Free Malaysia Today

FMT makes it sound like I am attacking Haris Ibrahim. Actually I am not, so maybe the full text of my Q&A can better explain what I said. FMT asked me three questions and I responded accordingly, not as an attack but to explain what happened. Everything I say should not be seen as an attack or even a criticism.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Q: First off, it is implied that you’re on Dr Mahathir’s payroll. Would you say this is true?

A: First of all, it is, of course, not true. Have you not read what Matthias Chang said about me? Matthias is Dr Mahathir’s man. What Matthias wrote about me would certainly not have been done to someone who is on Dr Mahathir’s payroll. That was a most hard-hitting and damaging piece that Matthias wrote about me.

Furthermore, the government deleted my name on the land title of my house in Bukit Rahman Putra in Sungai Buloh. My daughter, Raja Suraya, who owns 75% of that house, was forced to buy back that 25% share of mine, which the government had confiscated.

Finally, the amount my daughter had to pay came to about RM300,000, legal fees and taxes included. On top of that, the government hit my daughter for property gains tax even though we had bought that house 18 years ago in 1994 and therefore there should be no tax. My daughter had to take a loan from MBF to settle that amount.

Further to that, my Malaysian passport expired three years ago in September 2009. I have checked and have been told that the government will not renew my passport or that of my wife.

I started Malaysia Today in 2004. I began associating with Dr Mahathir in 2006. All this is on record. All you need to do is to check on the Internet to find records of this. So how can Dr Mahathir be behind Malaysia Today when I began associating with him two years later and even then only when he started attacking Pak Lah.

Q: I was told that you appear to be rather racist as of late. What would you say to this?

A: I have been a ‘racist’ since the very beginning. For many years, long before 2011, I would attack the Malays, the Muslims, the religious department, the ulama’ (religious scholars), the Sultans, etc.

I was arrested in 2004, soon after Malaysia Today was launched, for attacking the Sultans — although they never charged me in the end. I was arrested a few more times for ‘attacking Islam’. Finally, they detained me in 2008 because there were so many ‘insulting Islam’ police reports made against me.

And that was what my Detention Order stated (which worked in my favour because that was one of the arguments my lawyers raised to get my detention declared illegal).

Only lately, since 2011, did I add the non-Malays to my list of ‘targets’. But that does not mean I have stopped attacking the Malays, the Muslims, the religious department, the ulama’ (religious scholars), the Sultans, etc. It is just that now the non-Malays are guilty of what Umno is doing. Hence, just like Umno, they too need to be criticised.

Why was I not considered a racist before? Why only now am I considered a racist? When I attack the Malays, the Muslims, the religious department, the ulama’ (religious scholars), the Sultans, etc., I am a freedom fighter. When the non-Malays are included in my attacks I suddenly become a racist.

Q: Have you been in contact with Haris recently? Have the both of you cut ties, or is this just a tiff?

A: I have my views and Haris has his. We have always had differing views from the beginning. Once, when Haris was representing me in court, I shouted to the judge that I was sacking my lawyers because I did not agree with their opinion regarding bail.

On another occasion, I refused bail and walked off to the lockup. Haris disagreed with this and he and my wife spent an hour trying to get me to change my mind. Finally, because of my wife’s tears and Haris’s pleading, I relented and accepted bail.

When MCLM was first launched, it was supposed to be just a civil liberties movement. I asked Haris to head it but at first he did not want to. Later he agreed. Then Haris wanted to use MCLM as a platform to ‘outsource’ 30 potential Member of Parliament candidates for Pakatan Rakyat.

I felt MCLM should not be political but I nevertheless went along with him since this was his project.

Then MCLM was accused of wanting to engage BN-PR in three-corner fights. This public perception of three-corner fights is what hurt MCLM and we got accused of being a Trojan horse, etc.

These videos can tell you more:

You can see from those videos above that many things Haris said up to a year ago is what I am still saying today, although Haris no longer says these things.

There were many things I did not agree with, such as Haris’s quarrel with the late Tunku Vic in Chiengmai. But I held my peace and backed him in spite of the fact I did not quite agree with his approach.

It appears, though, he is not returning that same courtesy that I extended to him.

Haris is angry with me for what he says is my act of undermining ABU. 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 to his view with no conditions attached.

Maybe this will explain what my views on ABU are: