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What is it they are trying to hide?

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on May 2, 2009

Malaysia Today

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The Special Branch is supposed to serve the nation, like in the days of past. Today, however, it serves the powers-that-be and those who walk in the corridors of power. This is a blatant abuse of the Special Branch.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

There is something I have kept under wraps for more than eight years now. Even my wife does not know about this particular matter (no, I am not gay, if that is the first thought in your mind). Normally, I tell my wife everything and there is almost nothing she does not know — except for this one thing. However, of late, I have been contemplating whether I should continue keeping this piece of very crucial information to myself, which I have kept hidden for eight years, or whether I should just let it rip.

I know once I reveal it many are going to get shocked, maybe even become disillusioned, so there is a lot of merit in taking this secret to my grave. Well, let’s see what Bukit Aman has planned for me. And if they give me shit then maybe I should just let it rip and watch everyone run and hide for cover once the shit hits the fan.

“And what is this so-called crucial information?” many of you may ask. “Is it another Statutory Declaration like the one you signed in April last year, which came to nought in the end?” Well, yes and no. Okay, let me put it this way. If you have read books like The Jungle is Neutral or The War of the Running Dogs and many more, then you will know what I am talking about (but the trouble is most Malaysians do not like to read, especially Malays).

What I want to bring to your attention is that the Malayan Special Branch, back then, was considered the best intelligence agency in the world, even far superior to the CIA or KGB some say. But that was in the days when the British were running the Special Branch and the officers were mostly veterans of South Africa, Palestine and Ireland. They certainly knew their work back then and this was the main reason why Malaya managed to prove the domino theory wrong.

Did you know that the Special Branch successfully infiltrated the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) and even the Communist Terrorists (CTs) operating in the jungles of Malaya?  Because of this they managed to kill quite a number of the top or key leaders of the CPM. One example was the successful ambush during the Batu Caves conference that the CPM organised where the Malayan armed forces managed to kill some key figures in the CPM.

The irony of this whole thing, however, was that some of the Special Branch officers who were sent to infiltrate the CPM were actually CPM operatives who had, in the first place, been sent to infiltrate the Special Branch. In other words, they were CPM operatives working in the Special Branch. And these same people were sent back to infiltrate the CPM.

So what were they then? They were double agents no doubt. But were they CPM operatives who had infiltrated the Special Branch or were they Special Branch officers who had infiltrated the CPM? Yes, a most interesting question indeed, and a question that can never be satisfactorily answered until today.

Okay, that is all I want to say about that matter for the meantime. My war is not with the Special Branch. I have no quarrel with them. In spite of what many may think of the Special Branch we do need such an intelligence agency for the sake of national security. But the Special Branch, since the last decade or so, is being wrongly used against the very people they are supposed to serve and protect.

The Special Branch is supposed to serve the nation, like in the days of past. Today, however, it serves the powers-that-be and those who walk in the corridors of power. This is a blatant abuse of the Special Branch. Our target is Umno and Barisan Nasional. But if the Special Branch masuk campur and allows itself to become a tool of the powers-that-be, then it too will become a target. And all is fair in love and war, as they say.

I will put this issue aside for the meantime. The Special Branch knows how to reach me if it really wants to. But if it decides that I am the enemy and it attempts to bring me down, then it is the Special Branch that declares war first and I will have to do everything within my powers to defend myself — and that would include hitting these people where it hurts most.

I think I have given enough hints as it is, and those in the top echelons of Bukit Aman know what I am talking about. After all, the documents with my signatures on them are in their possession. So let the games begin. And what game we play will depend on those sitting right at the top of Peace Hill. The ball is at their feet. So they can decide what happens from hereon.

Okay, let’s move on to another matter.

When I was detained under the Internal Security Act on 11 April 2001, I spent almost two months in the Police Remand Centre (PRC). This is where you are detained for up to 60 days while they decide what to do with you.

The first 30 days of those 60 days is for you to be interrogated about your ‘activities’. You are asked many questions, which you can choose whether to answer or not. Of course, if you cooperate by answering all the questions, then it works in your favour. Better still if you volunteer information without the need to even ask you any questions.

After the 30 days is over, you are given a statement to sign. Mine was about 200 pages thick and came in 20 copies. Ezam Mohd Nor’s statement was 600 pages (I suppose he had more to confess than I did).

The balance 30 days is then spent ‘turning you over’. Meanwhile, your signed confession is brought before a Board of Inquiry and they study it to decide whether you are safe enough to be allowed back into society or you are still too dangerous and must be sent to Kamunting for at least two years.

How successful they ‘turn you over’ in the final 30 days will also have a bearing on whether you get to go home or you spend the next two years in Kamunting. So it is a combination of your confession plus how you demonstrate that you have repented and have seen the error of your ways that decides your fate.

Assuming they are not convinced you have reformed, then you get sent to Kamunting, and every six months they review your detention to see if you can be released within two years or your detention gets rolled over another two years, and then another two years, etc., until you give up and cease your stubbornness. They longest serving ISA detainee is 27 years while six or eight years detention is not uncommon.

Now, as I said, my first detention in the PRC on 11 April 2001 was for almost two months, after which I was released on 6 June 2001. For my second detention, however, I was in the PRC was for only ten days. I was brought in on the afternoon of 12 September 2008 and then packed off to Kamunting on the morning of 23 September.

Nevertheless, while I may have been in the PRC for ten days, my interrogation (read: ‘confession’) was for only five days. For the first five days, I refused to leave my cell and only on the sixth day, after they allowed me to see my wife, did I agree to be interrogated.

Actually, on the fifth day, they would not allow me to sleep and I was forced to stay awake the whole night. So the sleep depravation tactic partly helped change my mind. The following morning, when Dr Vasanta visited me in my cell, I broke down and cried like a baby and she had to hold my hand to calm me down (actually that was a trick to get to hold her hands).

Anyway, after only five days, they decided to abandon my interrogation and I was sent to Kamunting. Now that was very strange. But even stranger were the events leading to that.

On 22 September, my interrogation suddenly ended. I was surprised because I had expected to be subjected to at least 30 days of interrogation like usual. On the morning of the 22nd my interrogators told me they had received instructions to prepare their report. So they needed to go over a few things to polish the report.

Just before 2.00pm we completed the editing and I was asked to read my statement to see if there were any errors. I read it and told them that all was in order. At 2.00pm I was sent back to my cell and was told that they would be coming back the following morning to get me to sign my confession. They needed to show their boss my statement and unless there was more information they required then I could sign it the following morning — after which they will start my ‘turning over’ process while the Board of Inquiry studied my statement to see whether I can be released or should be sent to Kamunting.

At 3.00pm the police came to my cell to inform me that the officers wanted to see me. I assumed they had studied my statement and needed more information so I prepared myself for another day of interrogation. But I was quite surprised because it was only an hour since they left and surely they could not have completed reading it in that short space of time.

I was brought into the interrogation room and was met with three very unfamiliar faces. These were not my normal Special Branch interrogators. These were officers from the Home Ministry, people I had never met before.

They asked me to sit down and I was handed a Section 8 detention order. I was shocked. The Special Branch interrogators had just left me an hour ago with a promise they would be returning the following day with my statement for me to sign.

I asked the officers from the Ministry as to what happened to my statement. I was supposed to sign it the following day before they decide whether I should be sent to Kamunting or whether I could be released. The officers said they know nothing about that. Their job is merely to serve the detention order on me and arrange for me to be sent to Kamunting.

It was then that I realised my statement was too ‘hot’ and they did not want even their own Board of Inquiry to see it. After all, the Board of Inquiry comprised of civilians, ex-judges included, so what I had confessed was too sensitive for these people to see. The only alternative, therefore, was to serve me with a Section 8 detention order and pack me off to Kamunting. Then nothing need come out since there would no longer be any need for the Board of Inquiry to sit to review my statement.

And what was it that I confessed to that shook them up so much? That will be revealed in part two of this article. Meanwhile, stay tuned for more. Till we talk again, take care and stay safe. And don’t forget we are storming the Bastille in Ipoh on the morning of 7 May 2009.

Oh, by the way, Nizar has invited all of us to join him for tea and breakfast on the morning of 7 May. So, if you are thirsty and feel like a glass of teh tarik, do join us in Ipoh on 7 May 2009.

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