Tuesday, March 23, 2010

RPK laughs off Zahrain's conspiracy theory

Blogger-in-exile Raja Petra Kamarudin appears more amused than upset by renegade Bayan Baru MP Mohamad Zahrain Hashim's contention that he is in cahoots with the opposition - read Anwar Ibrahim - and Malaysiakini.

Zahrain had also alleged that they were up to no good and urged the authorities to investigate them.

Malaysiakini and I could not possibly be working together,” laughed Raja Petra in a telephone call last night from London.

raja petra kamaruddin and malaysia today 250707“How could I be working with them? Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today (RPK's blog) are rivals.”

Malaysiakini had managed to make contact with Raja Petra with the help of Hindraf Makkal Sakthi chairperson P Waythamoorthy, who is living in London.

In the past, Raja Petra had readily admitted that he is no journalist. Apparently, this has been “a blessing in disguise” for him since he is not bound by the constraints of journalism as a profession.

Highlighting the ringgit and sen side of the news business, Raja Petra disclosed that “Malaysiakini would scream bloody murder if I so much as took one of their articles and posted it on my website”.

When it was pointed out that Malaysiakini is a serious news organisation with bills to pick up, he retorted, “as if we (MT) don't have any (bills)”.

“Suffice to say that we too have financial commitments just like Malaysiakini although our website is free. Malaysiakini is a subscription-based model. That's why they discourage their articles being reproduced elsewhere.

“Assuming that we are working together, which we are not, I must stress again, what's wrong with that? Must we all be carted off to jail for that?”

He pointed out that News Straits Times, Malay Mail, Berita Harian, Harian Metro and Utusan Malaysia are all owned by Umno. These papers, he alleged, had all degenerated into a one, big propaganda machine for the ruling elite.

NONE“Shouldn't they all be investigated, using Zahrain's (right) logic, for the way they cover issues?” asked Raja Petra rhetorically.

“Must (Prime Minister) Najib (Abdul Razak) be carted off to jail for his role in all this?”

Raja Petra cited Ahirudin Attan (or Rocky) as an extreme case of defection from the opposition to the Najib camp.

“Must Rocky (too) be investigated as well a la Zahrain and be put in jail?” asked Raja Petra.

“Why just investigate me, Malaysiakini, Anwar and the opposition over the coverage of issues?”

Malaysiakini 'no friend'

Raja Petra went on to allege that Malaysiakini has in fact been sometimes nasty towards him seemingly for no rhyme or reason. This, he continued, gives the lie to Zahrain's statement.

azlanAs a case in point, he pointed out that the online news portal had reported that his son Raja Azman (left) was in jail when he was in fact only under remand because he (Raja Petra) had refused to bail him out.

“How can they report that my son was in jail when he wasn't? I do not know whether they deliberately did that to make me look bad.”

Finally, some of Raja Petra's friends took it upon themselves to bail out his son.

“Of course, they asked me first. How can I tell them to leave my own son in jail (under remand)? I never asked my friends to bail out my son. Neither did I stop them. But I did tell them that I would not bail him out.”

He did not touch on Zahrain's contention that he is in cahoots with the opposition, Anwar in particular.

“I met Anwar when he was in London over the weekend. I would just say that he had a good visit,” added Raja Petra, without going into the details.

Raja Petra did not touch on his decision to go into exile or the manner of his departure from the country. But he did clarify that he had never been in Brisbane, Australia as widely reported at one time.

Zahrain quit PKR on Feb 12 to turn Independent. Since then, he has embarked on a series of exposes on PKR and its de facto leader, Anwar.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

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