Late last night, a group of us met up and, very quickly, the conversation turned to RPK’s ‘Probably my last message’ post.
The discussion became very heated.
At the heart of all that was said was an earnest concern for a man who has come to mean so much to so many of us.
A man who has thus far displayed such tenacity in pushing for change, in pressing for greater transparency and accountability in governance, and tirelessly working to free so many from the mental bondage inflicted by a media so long subservient to their corrupt, political masters.
Yet, we feared that it was this same tenacity that would leave our friend dead in less than two weeks.
A suggestion was made to mobilise a huge turnout for the hearing in the Federal Court next Monday of the Home Minister’s appeal against the order of the Shah Alam High Court that set RPK free last November.
Even as the merits of this suggestion was being deliberated, the task of speaking to and persuading RPK that that which he now contemplated and had made known through his last post could not serve the best interests of the people that he had surely come to love, was thrust upon me.
Back at my hotel room and alone, I revisited RPK’s post. As I read each of the almost 300 comments, I could not help recall my thoughts that I had shared with you last September in my ‘Have we misrepresented ourselves to RPK?’ post.
I had breakfast with RPK this morning.
For a change, I did most of the talking whilst RPK did most of the listening.
I presented to him what I thought were viable options to that which he vowed to do.
He said that he would give due consideration to all that I had said.
Frankly, I felt that this concession that he offered was with a view only to bring the discussion to a close, and I told him so.
I told him that I had one more thing to say before we parted. In his post, he asked that we all continue the struggle to make this country a better place. I told him that the many who worked with him to this end, myself included, were not as yet prepared to continue the struggle without his leadership. I said that if indeed he lost the case next Monday and was packed off again to Kamunting, and it became obvious to us on the outside that he was carrying through with that which he said he would do, I wanted him to know that, with a view to persuading the authorities to end his detention or him to end his vow to ‘fast to the end’, a number of us would join him on the outside in a ‘fast to the end’.
RPK eyeballed me, for almost a half minute, as if trying to suss out if I were bluffing, then asked, “How many?”.
“For now, just a handful”, I replied.
“You?”, he asked.
It was my turn to smile.
We embraced and parted.
For the unfamiliar, the title of this post was taken from the Gospel according to John, Chapter 15 verse 13.