You can blow out a candle
But you can't blow out a fire
Once the flames begin to catch
The wind will blow it higher
Biko - Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel, an important musical influence in Walski's life, wrote the song Biko in tribute to, and memory of Stephen Biko, an anti-apartheid activist who died in police custody, after a brutal police "interrogation" session, on September 12, 1977. Today, Steve Biko is regarded as one of South Africa's heroes, making the ultimate sacrifice to fight against an abomination called apartheid.
The story of Steve Biko was told to the world by a South African journalist, and Biko's friend, the late Donald Woods. Woods smuggled out pictures of Biko in the morgue, and published a biographical account of the activist's life, which later was made into a film called Cry Freedom. Walski had the privilege of meeting Woods while in college many years ago, while the journalist was on a lecture tour.
Fast forward, exactly 31 years later, September 12, 2008 - this time much, much closer to home. Another activist, whose vocal criticism of the powers are behind the Malaysian government caused him to be incarcerated under the pretences of something that's equally as abominable - the Internal Security Act - a sad remnant of British colonial rule, now proudly proclaimed as Malaysia's own.
It doesn't take much grey matter to deduce that Raja Petra Kamaruddin's incarceration - without trial - is politically motivated. Only morons, or die-hard UMNO disciples (same difference, Walski sometimes thinks) would think that RPK's detention under the ISA is a justifiable act.
In a legal system where there are many laws under which someone could be charged with wrongdoing, using the ISA can only mean one thing - that there is no evidence against the accused sufficient enough to charge him or her with. Walski's no lawyer, and neither is he legally trained - therefore this deduction is based on logic and his own gut feel.
And Walski's conclusion that in this day and age, no amount of real national interest can justify the continued existence of the ISA. Especially when the power to incarcerate someone for 2 years without trial rests in the hand of one single individual.
Which is where our Zero comes in.
(Zero-ing in on the nation's most hated, and more, in the full post)
Meet the man, who very soon will most likely be voted Malaysia's Most Hated in myAsylum's current straw poll - Syed Hamid Albar.
In a last-ditch effort to silence RPK, Syed Hamid signed the detention papers to put the blogger away for a two-year jail term, without trial, under section 8(1) of the ISA, which essentially means that custody of RPK no longer belogs to the police, but to the Home Ministry.
This Malaysian Zero has single-handedly underlined how desperate the UMNO/BN-led Malaysian government is. Zero traded his own self dignity and humanity for a politicalyl expedient alternative. What little claim Zero had as a human being has now all but disappeared in Walski's book. Acting to defend his political masters and the survival of his own sorry political career took precedence and became more important.
It's a wonder how this sorry excuse for a human being can sleep at night.
What's worse, and perhaps most sickening of all, is the excuse of why Zero placed a national Hero under preventive detention - for allegedly insulting Islam. Namely in two articles on Malaysia Today: "I promise to be a good non-hypocritical muslim" and "Not all Arabs are descendents of the Prophet". Walski urges you to read them. Why? Because reading these articles will tell you straight away that RPK was not insulting Islam. Quite the contrary - what he was criticizing was the hypocritical behavior of those who claim to be "good Muslims".
What Zero has done, with the help of a few government-funded Islamic bodies, is use Islam for political gain. Plain and simple. Read the articles, and decide for yourself - who are the ones that feel the most painful sting of these articles?
Stephen Biko, in fighting against an abomination called apartheid made the ultimate sacrifice - giving his life for a noble cause; a cause to ensure that all who call themselves human are treated as equals, regardless of creed or color.
Raja Petra Kamaruddin has also made a huge sacrifice - his freedom. And for what "crime"?
The crime of uncovering the wrongdoings of those who walk the corridors of power? For standing up and criticizing those who behave in the worst ways and still have the gall to call themselves good Muslims?
Those responsible for putting RPK away on the flimsy pretext of "protecting the sensitivities of Muslims" are the biggest of hypocrites. And the bulk of the sin of this hypocrisy lies squarely on the bald head of one big loser Zero who signed the detention papers.
In Walski's eyes, if there were a living person whom Walski would consider a true patriot, it's Raja Petra Kamaruddin. He's paid a big price for the love of his nation. Our nation. Let's make sure that he doesn't have to pay, anymore.
How can you show your support for this patriotic Hero? A few things, actually (via Malaysia Today). Like flying the Malaysian flag, inundating certain parties with letters of protest, and shaving your head bald. Or, if you happen to be in New York City, organizing and participating in a protest against the ISA.
Dear Pete - in many ways, Walski wishes he could do more for you, apart from this paltry post, those that have come before it, and those that are to come. You certainly do not deserve what has befallen you.
They may imprison your body, but the idealism that your uncompromising stand for the truth has inspired roams free in the hearts of each and every Malaysian who wishes for a better tomorrow. They may have blown out the candle of your freedom for now, but the fire you've ignited grows bigger each and every day. A fire representing the yearning for a better Malaysia.
Our prayers are with you, Hero, that your ordeal will be a temporary one...
Pete, this one's for you....