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I had the same problem on a Dell Inspiron laptop and cured it by disabling apm so the apm daemon did not run. The machine by itself suspended fine, but it seemed there was some bad interaction between it and apm. Hope this helps.
I do not know Red Hat or your machine but it may be worth a try. Somewhere you should be able to view the services that are running - Mandrake had a Control Centre. In the list of services you should find apm or apmd (the apm daemon). If it is running try stopping it and see if it fixes things. You may lose your readout of battery power but at least it will show up the problem. Apm controls laptop power management.
There is a later alternative called Acpi that you might have and this may be causing the trouble if you do not have apm running. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than I can help you with the details.