Wednesday, June 20, 2007

"Picked up" vs "Seized" ... What a Difference a Verb Makes

The controversial May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969, by Dr Kua Kia Soong has not been banned says the Ministry of Internal Security, and won't be. According to yesterday's Star:
The Internal Security Ministry allows it to be in the market, as its contents do not jeopardise national security.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who heads the ministry, said it had studied the contents of the book and decided that it should not be subjected to a restriction order under Section 7 (1) of the Printing and Publishing Act 1984.

“The police have also never confiscated or issued warnings on the book,” he said, in a written reply to Chow Kon Yeow (DAP – Tanjong) and M. Kulasegaran (DAP – Ipoh Barat).
The book, May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969, by academician Dr Kua Kia Soong was snapped up fast after it was launched on that date last month.

Several groups called for the book to be banned, prompting the ministry to pick up 10 copies to “study” it.

In his book, Dr Kua, who spent three months researching the documents at London’s Public Records Office, said the May 13 riots was a coup attempt against the then prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, and not a racial outburst.
The book is available, as several of you have dropped by to tell me, in bookshops across the city.

But the fear of it being banned was what fuelled the dramatic run on sales when the book first came out.


Chet said...

A copy of May 13 will be returning to Vancouver with my cousin. He made a surprise visit last weekend, and knowing how much he loves to read but not having the time to go and get anything, I gave him my copy of May 13. I hope it doesn't get confiscated at Customs or something.

Ted Mahsun said...

Score 1 for the good guys! Yeay!

Anonymous said...

the book aint even great. the evidence is so clumsily threaded together. and worst of all, it's badly written!


Anonymous said...

This is proof that controversy sells. It's been proven time and time again, controversy will sell a book/website regardless of content quality. Get some controversy behind it, and people will buy it just to feel that they are "sticking it to the man." Everyone wants to support the underdog :)

Also the delicious feeling you get when you think you're doing something "naughty" is probably another factor.

Who cares about content :)