Tuesday, May 15, 2007

May 13 Book Seized

Thanks Amir for keeping me updated.

According to Malaysiakini copies of the book May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969 by Dr. Kua Kia Soong were confiscated by a team of ministry officers visited the MPH bookstore in Midvalley Megamall this afternoon and the officers advised the popular bookstore not to sell the book as it "may be banned".

This also follows the call by three senators for the book to be banned.

What's so controversial?

According to Malaysiakini:
The ‘official version’ of it has always been the violence was triggered off by the Chinese-dominated opposition supporters’ provocation in celebrating their electoral victory which saw the ruling Alliance Party suffered a major setback.
Dr. Kua who spent three-months researching recently declassified documents at the
Public Records Office in London including official correspondence and intelligence reports by British officers, apparently argues that the riots were not random acts of communal violence but a coup d’etat attempt by a faction within Umno, and that the coup attempt against then premier Tunku Abdul Rahman was also backed by the police and army with the intention of forging a new Malay agenda.

The official records and history books it seems put blame on the
opposition parties “infiltrated by communist insurgents” and this does rather turn the whole thing on its head.

Update

Just read on Elizabeth Wong's blog that the book is not banned - just that the first printing is sold out and now you will need to wait for the second. (Get your orders in!)

She describes exactly what happened at MPH yesterday ... and threatens legal action.

Hmmm ... I think the KDN has actually done Suaram a big favour by boosting the "must have" value of the book.


Further Update

The Sun reports Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Fu Ah Kiow as saying that the copies of the book were taken:
... for checking purposes
Meanwhile bookshops are free to sell copies.

22 comments:

midnite lily said...

i was wondering when this would happen. that's the only efficient thing our govt's known for isn't it?

how do i get my copy now? =( my maybank2u won't work at the mkini bookshop online.

jen said...

oo ... now this book is a must read ... controversial subject, banned some more ...
where can i get a copy?

Jordan said...

As soon as I saw a recent post announcing the publication of this book, my first thought was 'hey, I wonder how long it'll be before it's banned...'

bibliobibuli said...

if it isn't banned already! i'm going to see is suaram still has copies and maybe nip over there this morning if they have. the first printing is almost sold out and if the book is banned there won't be a second.

gRaCe said...

Hey Sharon,
Are u able to get a copy of the book? Think u can get a copy for me too? I'll be seeing u during BC4.. ;o)

bibliobibuli said...

hi grace. when the book is reprinted, sure. there isn't much point in me going after it today if there are no more copies haha.

Tunku Halim said...

Wow! Them books are burnin' again . . .

David Byck said...

I just called Mid Valley MPH for the book, May 13 and they told me it is BANNED! No backbone.

Greenbottle said...

OH BUGGER!!!

i hate book banning as anyone else but still, we should be clear that this book is just ONE perspective of things and the way it's described (as a coup d'etat attempt ) sounds as kooky as any other explanation.

the way i see it this may 13 happened when chinese chauvinists and malay chauvinists just went mad and started killing each other. period.

who stared it first? that's a complicated question

enar arshad said...

well whatever really happened that day but we deserved to know each side of the sory.

Anonymous said...

it is NOT banned lah, woi, ppl. u all dono how to read English izit?


Viz

fei said...

The KKDN is looking into the book to decide wether to ban it or not, but the sad truth is, no one will feel surprise if the book is banned.

Sham said...

Raman is getting his copies in later today - or tomorrow.

bibliobibuli said...

sham - silverfish doesn't have copies and doesn't know when they're getting it. best to order from kinibooks

midnite lily said...

i finally got the payment thru at kinibooks. now i'm just hoping the book arrives - you know, good old pos malaysia....

lil ms d said...

i got two! i got two!

bibliobibuli said...

where from??????

Anonymous said...

Someone beat Amir at his own game ? maybe he should write conroversial books instead. Controversy always sells regardless of content.

gRaCe said...

Sharon,
yep..that's true. waste of time going over there. hehe..

midnite lily,
tell me bout it. i still havent receive a postcard my fren sent from Aust. I'm crossing my fingers they dun get lost..

where did u get ur copy from dina??

Amir said...

Kua Kia Soong has been writing very consistently for the past 2 decades. I hope Malaysians will now get to discover his 'back catalogue' in order to engage with one of the country's most interesting minds. Although my favourite book of his, INSIDE THE DAP, appears to be out of print ...

My first book is planned for October! I am collaborating with a Biblio regular. But I announced this in print almost a year ago and can hardly be accused of latching on to Kua :-)

The weather in Cannes is great. Haven't had time to watch any films, though!

The Eternal Wanderer said...

Well, fret not if it's banned... Dr Kua was quoted saying in The Star today that if the book was banned, he will get Suaram to come out with a online web edition.

Still, I am waiting to get my copy...will be going to Popular at Ikano to see if there's any copies left there. RM20 plus a 10%discount for Popular members makes the book a well worth buy.

caving liz said...

In Thur, today's SUN, it says the book is taken away for checking. They are inspecting samples to see if they contradict the PPPA.

And also in SUN, the Bible has attracted 838 indecency complaints in Hong KOng as it contains stories of rape, incest and violence.