Thursday, November 27, 2008

Zedeck Investigates

Zedeck Siew in online Malaysian newsportal The Nutgraph has also been investigating the disappearance of Farish Noor's From Majapahit to Putrajaya from the bookshelves of Kinokuniya.

The bookshop's corporate affairs manager Theresa Chong told The Nut Graph :
Kinokuniya will not be selling these titles until the Home Ministry arrives at a judgement. We do not practice self-censorship, but this is a pending issue, so we will wait for a proper decision ...
But though he bookstore was supposed to have been told of a decision within two weeks, three and a half months later they are waiting! Other titles, apparently mostly on religion, were also seized.

As Rashid Khan of ZI Publications (which also publishes the book in Malay translation) says :
Books do not require a permit ... The ministry should first study the product, read the book, and conclude that it is unacceptable. Then only can they direct bookstores to not sell the book. I believe that a book is legal until it is banned. ... [These confiscations are] not fair — not to the author, the reader, the publisher, or the bookseller.
I managed to miss this excellent article The Bane of Book Banning by Ooi Ying Nee which came out in August shortly after the arbitrary banning of Muslim Women and the Challenge of Islamic Extremism edited by Noraini Othman.
The article points out that incidents of book banning have increased almost 43% under Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's government, despite avowals of greater openness and transparency.

I believe, Noriani Othman is also yet to hear of the fate of her book.

This is simply not an acceptable state of affairs!


animah said...

As a reward for emceeing tomorrow's event, may I speak about this issue?
Are you bringing those postcards?

bibliobibuli said...

i have given out my postcards already and have no more. sure you can talk about the issue.

Chet said...

Animah - are you doing your hair again? Oh that reminds me, I need to go and get something for Sara.

animah said...

Aiyoh, I don't do my hair everytime I do a readinglah. Ooo, Sara absolutely orders the "oh that Aunty who loves pandas".