Saturday, July 14, 2007

Is Nat Tan's Arrest Umno Inspired Or A Police 'High Command' Order?

It had to happen sooner or later. If it wasn't Nathaniel Tan it would have been some other convenient and easy target. The simple truth is that the government and especially the Umno warlords leading it, are not comfortable at all with the freedom which blogs have given the average Joe. To the great dismay of our pemimpin2, Malaysians, once a voiceless people, subjected for decades to daily doses of government propaganda were at last empowered by the magic of the Internet and given free rein to publicly express their thoughts, opinions, likes and dislikes. And they embraced this freedom with relish and gusto. The heady zest with which they indulged in blogging naturally worried the authorities who were unable to do anything to stymie it. To a government long used to force-feeding (mis)information, such considered, independent opinion being articulated by ordinary citizens, especially when such opinion was contrary to government claims, was unacceptable. But what could they do except bite the bullet and look on with apprehension and anger from the sidelines?

Apart from the occasional diatribe by the Information Minister and whinging from "setuju" screaming Umno underlings, basically no one else was much concerned in the beginning. However when socio-political blogs took off with vigor, garnered sizeable readership and the comments flowed in, much of it against government policies and actions, the authorities sat up and took notice. When of late, government misdeeds and corruption in high places were exposed and bloggers became more daring in their posts, the powers that be probably decided that they've had enough and should intervene somehow.

The unhappiness with and hostility towards Internet news portals like Malaysiakini had been there for quite some time as the politicians felt that such unrestrained sources of news, apart from revealing embarrassing information about government abuse and wrongdoings, would also set a precedent for others to follow and in the process government-created and perpetuated sacred cows may be trampled on and violated. As we now know all of the government's misgivings and worries on this score have come true.

Why is Nathaniel Tan being detained? Is it because of some serious wrong that he had done? Or is he being used as a stepping stone to trap a larger prey? Who could this prized catch be? Ever since the Inspector General of Police was named as being involved with underworld figures by Malaysia Today, there has been speculation that there would be a crackdown on the Internet media. The question was only when and how. 'When' is now and 'how' remains to be seen.

Is this arrest at the behest of the Umno leadership or is it a police-initiated action? Bukit Aman's servility to the government is well known but when the interests of the force and the 'good name' of their Ketua is involved, who can say that the police won't act independently? (The dust-covered IPCMC is a good example.) While it may have the tacit support of the government, there are those who feel that the IGP is directly involved in ordering this arrest and it is only a prelude for more to come, step-by-step until the one who exposed him and 'tarnished' his image and reputation, Raja Petra Kamarudin is safely ensconced in a bilik at Bukit Aman. Paranoid? Perhaps.

Here's wishing Nat a safe return to freedom.
Image - Source

What happens during detention: Raja Petra's Experience In 2001.

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Blogger Rauff said...

This reminds me of how the people fought for independence 50 years ago. Being oppressed by the British. History repeating?

12:25 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UMNO is the real enemy of the people because they they support corruption and practice blatant racism.

12:07 PM GMT+8  

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