Arumugam banned January 19, 2007Posted by elizabethwong in Human Rights, Malaysia, Race Relations.
My fellow Secretariat member of Suaram, K. Arumugam, is in good company.
He now joins Kassim Ahmad, Bobby Sayyid, Karen Amstrong and Asaari Muhammad in the Ministry of Internal Security’s list of banned books of 2006.
His was the last book to be banned of the year. The gazetted order came out on 28 December 2006.
So what was his book all about?
“March 8”, which was written in Tamil, records what had happened during the Kampung Medan racially-based clashes in which, til today, is still shrouded in mystery.
It incorporates the research of Dr. Nagarajan, who had studied the events for his PhD thesis.
Arumugam is hardly seen as a radical. His quiet solemn demeanour, his soft-spoken way of debating pertinent and contentious issues won him many friends and admirers. And he isn’t the type of self-glorified writer/advocate who goes around declaring, that his book would be banned or that he would be arrested for the issues he writes about. He was genuinely surprised when he found out about the ban today.
I did however congratulate him. Anyone who incurs the wrath of MoIS, for standing up to speak truth to power, deserves all our support. Perhaps some kind soul would look into sponsoring a multi-lingual edition of his book, considering activists do not have the financial resources to do so.
For those of us who live in close proximity of Kampung Medan, we still find it hard to forget the eerie still from the evening onwards, punctuated by nightly helicopter runs. Hardly anyone dared to venture out on the streets from dusk to dawn. Neither are we able to forget our visit to the University Hospital where more than a dozen Malaysians of Indian descent laid, their bodies bruised, cut and battered; perhaps more killed.
Until the truth of Kampung Medan on March 8th 2001 is revealed, the matter will never be put to rest.