International PEN protests the detention of Raja Petra Kamaruddin, founder and editor of the web site Malaysia Today, who was sentenced without trial to two years in prison on September 22, 2008 under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for his critical writings published online. The sentence can be renewed indefinitely. PEN considers Kamaruddin to be detained in violation of Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.

Background Information

According to PEN’s information, Raja Petra Kamaruddin was arrested on September 12, 2008 for allegedly “insulting Islam” and publishing articles on his web site which "tarnished the country's leadership to the point of causing confusion among the people.” Raja Petra filed a habeas corpus application at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur on September 16, 2008, seeking his release from detention, but on September 22, 2008, in a move thought to counteract the probable release of Raja Petra Kamarudin, the Malaysian Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar signed an order to remand him in custody for up to two years under Section 8 of the ISA. Remand orders under Section 8 cannot be challenged in court and can only be ordered or overturned by a minister of the government. Two other journalists have been arrested under the ISA in Malaysia in recent weeks, but both were released after a brief detention.

Raja Petra Kamaruddin is being held at the Kamunting Detention Center in northern Perak state. On September 23, 2008, Raja Petra’s lawyers submitted another habeas corpus petition to the Kuala Lumpur High Court to overturn his detention, and a judge has ordered lawyers to make their submissions on the case by October 28.

Raja Petra reportedly started the Malaysia Today web site and his blog to facilitate open discussion on Malaysia's political and social scenes. In his online writings, he is known for his outspoken criticisms of the government and his advocacy of transparency, accountability and justice in the Malaysian political system.

Write A Letter

  • Protesting the detention of Internet writer Raja Petra Kamarrudin solely for the peaceful expression of his opinions;
  • Calling for his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

Send Your Letter To

Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi
Prime Ministers Department
Federal Government Administration Centre
Bangunan Perdana Putra
62502 Putrajaya
Fax: + 60 3 8888 3444
E-mail: [email protected]

Attorney General
Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail
Attorney General’s Chambers
Level 1-8, Block C3 & Level 2, Block C7
Federal Government Administrative centre
62512 Wp Putrajaya
Fax +60 3 888 9378
Email [email protected]

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Malaysia in your country if possible.

Please check with PEN if sending appeals after October 15, 2008: ftw [at]