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“See you in Court” (Mr Minister) January 25, 2007

Posted by elizabethwong in Human Rights, Malaysia, Note2Self, Politics, Race Relations.

AFP carried the press statement by Suaram (see below) on the banning of the book, ‘March 8’, by our Secretariat member, Arumugam.

While details are still be finalised, I am delighted to let slip that we fully intend to challenge this order. While chances of overturning it is very slim, it doesn’t mean the Ministry of Internal Security should be allowed to get away that easily.

At the very least, Suaram will get to say to the Minister for Internal Security – i.e. Abdullah Badawi – “See You in Court”.

Press Statement: 23 January 2007

Lift Ban Immediately on the Kampung Medan Incident Book and 17 others

Suaram condemns strongly the banning of the book written by one of its secretariat member, K. Arumugam, who documented the ethnic clash incident in Kampung Medan that took place between 8-23 March 2001 based on research and eyewitness accounts of the incident.

The book, titled “March 8”, alongside with 18 other titles, including among others, “Islam and the West: A New Political and Religion Order Post-September 11” by Robert van de Weyer; “Negara Tuhan” by Tigga; “The Origin of Species” by F. Susilohardo Basuki Hernowo; and numerous other titles, are banned with effect from 28 January 2007.
The ethnic clash in Kampung Medan had left six dead and about 30 seriously injured, predominantly from the ethnic Indian minorities. To this date, the government has failed to bring any of the perpetrators that committed the heinous crime in Kampung Medan to justice.

The banning of this book is perpetuating the culture of impunity and inflicting further injustices to the victims of the Kampung Medan incident. We believe this is also an attempt by the government to prevent the book uncover the shameful failure of the government in providing justice to the victims and the total abdication in its duty to maintain the rule of law in Kampung Medan, where police were alleged to have stood by and taken no action in stopping the bloodshed.

By banning the book, all Malaysians are not only denied of their basic rights to freedom of expression and freedom of information, their rights as Malaysian citizens to understand and reexamine events of great importance and significance in the history of this country have also been gravely violated.
Suaram is in view that the government should respond to questions deemed “sensitive” by rebutting or answering them, rather than banning them frivolously.
We urges the government to firstly, lift the ban on all books immediately, in particular “March 8” by K. Arumugam; and secondly, repeal the Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984 which clearly violates the freedom of speech and expression and freedom of information in this country.


1. Libra - January 25, 2007

“While chances of overturning it is very slim, ..”
It all depend on the sitting judge – someone in the likes of Abdoolcadeer, George Seah, Hashim Haron, Wan Sulaiman but such breed are long gone.
Now waving a kris is safer than waving a book!!!
Nobody bans a keris!

2. Minda - NTU, Singapore - January 25, 2007

Hi bloggers, you’re invited to participate in our study on blogs and relationships (and it’s not a spam, really)

Our study is affiliated with the Singapore Internet Research Centre (SiRC) and examples of previous studies can be found here: http://www.ntu.edu.sg/sci/sirc/workingpapers.html.

Simply fill in the survey and you stand a chance to win US$50!! 3 prizes in total available.

This is an academic research and all data are confidential. You may send any queries to: gohh0003@ntu.edu.sg or mind0001@ntu.edu.sg. Good luck and spread the word to fellow bloggers!

The survey link: http://www.questionpro.com/akira/TakeSurvey?id=591306

3. out of the box - January 25, 2007

Responsible writer’s books are banned.Responsible bloggers are sued.What has come of Malaysia. Responsibilty should not be expected of underdogs only.Those who are holding power should be the one shoulder the burden.The Executive with 90+% mandate has tremendous power.It can rewrite the Constitution.This is frightening and threatening every born free Malaysian.”Power corupts,Absolute Power Corupts absolutely.”-Lord Acton.(90+% is defenitely absolute power). This government could use the mandate positivley in guranteeing dignity and respect to the people who empowerd them.Instead what we see now is encroachment of individual’s freedom…nibling off our fundemental rights. Freedom of speech and expression as enshrined in Article 10 of the Constitution should be honoured if not there is no meaning in saluting our Jalur gemilang.

4. min - January 25, 2007

Why isn’t ‘March 8’ uploaded onto the net? All Malaysians surely would like to know whose funeral procession got into a confrontation with whose wedding ceremony and who started it all. A lot of banned books such as “the satanic verses” are freely available for download from overseas sites.

5. Rikey® - January 26, 2007

You need to be Unresponsible to become a Minister
– Comments: No such thing! We are the cheapest, we did our best but still need to compensate and raise prices….

You need to be Unresponsible to become a Councillor
– Comments: Yes, we know he’s not been paying for 20years but that’s the most we can do about it…. what more do you want!

You need to be Unresponsible to become a Police
– Comments: Sini tak boleh buat report you mesti pegi lain station tapi ini tapi-tapi hari jadi kenapa susah buat report kami sudah tahu!

6. bibliobibuli - February 28, 2007

am happy to hear that the author is appealing against ministry’s decision …

7. elizabethwong - February 28, 2007

In many ways, we got lucky, as they picked on a person who happened to be in Suaram, otherwise we will have no locus standi to challenge this.

8. 48 hours later ... book 'ditahan' (detained?) « elizabeth wong - May 16, 2007

[…] And suing government wonkers makes many of us very happy bunnies. […]

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