Monday, December 01, 2008

Arresting Books?

Raman of course writes about the confiscation of Farish Noor's book in his Silverfish newsletter :
... this is totally unacceptable besides being absurd. This is not because Farish Noor is the country's leading public intellectual whose non-partisan views are well known, not because the book is almost four years old and everyone who wants to read it already has, but because we have a rule of law that presumes innocence until guilt is proven.

By their actions KDN have reversed this. Books are proscribed until they are proven to be innocent. What next? Thoughts and ideas? Are all our thoughts and ideas guilty before being proven innocent?

Kinokuniya is a business concern. True, they have probably already written off this loss as one of the costs of doing business in Malaysia. But they should not have too. They should not have to operate under a constant threat, not knowing if they have violated some vague (sometimes, non-existent) rule, not knowing when they will be raided, and not knowing what for.

It is almost seems a waste of time asking the Minister for an explanation, and listen to some inane platitudes or a quote suitable for Amir Mohammad's next collection. He (or she) probably doesn't know what is going on, has no control over what departmental staff, and is not likely to take any responsibility. But, ask we must.

So Minister, can you please tell us if all books by Farish Noor have been banned?
This blogger wants an answer too. And really an answer to this whole business of "arresting books". Or maybe an answer to the question "Is Malaysia a de facto Police State"? Because that's where you would expect to see such things happening!


Yusuf Martin said...

This is an extremely worrying state of affairs.

Fahrenheit 451 next?

Anonymous said...

i wonder what would happen if any KDN people read preeta's evening is the whole day?

i haven't read it myself but what little bits i read in the reviews she had some interesting things to say about malaysia and race relations. but i could be wrong.

everybody on bibliobibuli blog seems to love this book . may be because it's er... very positive about malaysian politics??! . i don't know.

ah pong

bibliobibuli said...