Marina was able to visit RPK on his birthday in Kamunting on Saturday, 27 September. Interesting that part of RPK’s rehabilitation (or is it punishment?!) involves reading the NST! 🙂
Here is another touching account of their encounter:
Happy 58th Birthday, Love
Yesterday, 27 September 2008 was Pet’s Birthday. My two daughters’ and I were allowed the scheduled visit to see Pet at Kamunting on his 58th birthday.
When we wished him Happy Birthday he had forgotten it was his birthday and we told him that we had brought along birthday cards hand-drawn by his two grandchildren, ages 5 and 6, one from Jia Wei age 7, one card signed by a few of his friends and also three books. We had to handover all the items with the prison authorities and they would only give it to him after inspection. I told him of the numerous emails, sms, calls, on the blogs and our sons in the UK also sent him Birthday wishes.
This visit was also face to face and so I was holding on to his hands all along.
An officer came along to inform us that we were allowed two visits for Hari Raya the 1st and 2nd day and it could be in the courtyard. But then it would also depend on the Recording Officer (RO) whether he is considered a hardcore and if he is then the visit would be face to face across the counter.
Then Pet asked him “Am I considered a hardcore?”
He said he would have to refer to the RO and get back to him. He also told us that our subsequent visit after Raya would be through a screen and we would have to talk on the phone.
Pet then said, “In here it is like stick and carrot”; if you are good, you get a carrot; when bad, you get the stick. So when you don’t cooperate, you get fewer family visits, and if you do they give you more face-to-face visits.
Well, I guess if the RO don’t consider him a hardcore and allows the courtyard visit, that would be the only time I would be able to give him big hugs and kisses, even though it is considered “kelakuan tak senonoh” (unbecoming behavior) until he is FREE again. When he told me about this “kelakuan tak senonoh” the last trip, I did wonder whether the officers know we are married and that it was all right for married couples to show affection. Pet and I have been together for 40 years and married for 35 years.
He looked in better spirits, and I asked him how he was coping and what have they been doing to him. He said that he was reading a lot and finishes a book a day and asked for me to bring him more books but no books on religion.
He is allowed to step out of his cell from 7am to 6pm and at this juncture my daughter advised him to do a bit of excise due to his arterial blockage and extreme stress; we don’t want his condition to worsen. But he said that he usually reads and was reading like a book a day cause from 6pm onward the lighting in his cell was very bad and he could not read anymore. If he wanted to read after 6pm, he had to try and get some light from the passage way and it was very difficult.
He said he is also given the previous day’s NST newspaper to read. Then he asked us about what he was told by an officer on a report in the NST that there was a signature campaign asking for 150,000 signatures to free RPK and it was not getting any respond and it was a failure. I told him yes we have all sorts of campaign and the signature campaign is one of them and the response is overwhelming cause to have just started that campaign and the last I looked before coming here was about 28,000. I also told him that we are having T-shirt campaigns, going bald campaign and getting supporters to send him birthday and Raya cards to Kamunting Prison. He then said no wonder I am getting 10 Raya cards a day.
I told him, “Love, please don’t believe anything they tell you; they are trying to break your spirit”. I said, “Trust me, you have tremendous support out there; this time around I am not alone fighting to get you out. We have a huge family out there and they are all praying everyday, burning candles in their homes; having candle light vigil all over the country for your release and to abolish the ISA”. I saw tears in his eyes at this time, he was touched. I said, “Love, don’t let them tell you otherwise”.
He then said: “Please send MT readers’ my Hari Raya greeting and thank them for remembering me and to continue supporting Malaysia Today. Malaysia Today now belongs to them and they will have to keep MT going until I am out to make that change.”
He told us that he is still in solidarity confinement all alone in that block unless they bring in someone new. He has three guards outside his cell at all times on a three hourly rotation and he remarked “what a waste of manpower guarding me inside for writing, when you can read in the NST there is so much crime and murders outside there.”
When we were there, two other detainees had family visits as well, and Pet said that the detainees get very few family visits after awhile especially the Malay detainees. At the beginning of their detention, they get frequent visits, but since some of them have been in here for a long time the family visits gets fewer and fewer due to many constraints, money being one of them. But he said, there was one Chinese, detained for two years, he had family visits’ without fail.
I told him “Love, I will be here, I am Chinese and will be here every week rain or shine and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
He also asked about how my daughters’ were managing and my youngest daughter’s final exams. Then time was up my daughters and I kissed his hand and left. Source: Malaysia Today
Okay, folks, sign that signature petition here, if you haven’t already done so.