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Drafting thoughts: Open letter to Minister of Internal Security May 17, 2007

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

I read in the Sun today, the reason why the books were ‘seized’.

Apparently, the Ministry of Internal Security wanted to ‘check’ the contents.

Some random thoughts below before I compose my open letter to the Minister in charge i.e. Abdullah Badawi and his henchman, Fu Ah Kiow.

1. If the Special Branch had the good manners of purchasing the book like everyone else, and even sat through the whole public forum, why couldn’t you do the same? Are you above everyone, even the police?

2. Would it kill you to ask for a review copy?

3. Did you check with the National Library’s ISBN counter? You do know we always send ten copies there, right?

4. Do you know it costs less to purchase a copy (RM 20.00 only) than to have three officers work in the afternoon? Do you know how much it will cost you to defend a civil suit? Haven’t you figured out how to save taxpayers money?

5. Do you know you are embarassing the nation in the eyes of the world?6. Do you know anything at all???

Wake up and smell the coffee, Minister of IS! You ain’t in the National Operations Council any longer.

May 13 books taken away for checking
Husna Yusop and Kimberley Lau
The Sun

Copies of the book “May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969” were taken from a bookshop for checking purposes, Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Fu Ah Kiow said.

He told theSun today it was normal for the ministry to check on the contents of books to determine if they were suitable for sale.

“Once (a publication is) published for sale, (if we get a) complaint or information, we make inspections by taking samples back for checking to see if the books contradict the Printing Presses and Publication Act (PPPA) 1984.

“We have only taken some copies for checking, it is normal procedure. Any other book gets the same treatment,” he said, adding that bookstores were free to sell it while its contents were being reviewed.

The book, launched last Sunday (May 13), is authored by Dr Kua Kia Soong, a former DAP MP and currently New Era College principal and a director of human rights group Suaram.

It was reported yesterday that 10 copies of the book were confiscated by ministry officials from the MPH bookstore in Mid Valley Megamall on “suspicion of being an undesirable publication” based on Section 7 of the PPPA.

John Liu, who is Suaram documentation coordinator, alleged that the seizure was arbitrary and illegal as the book had not been banned.

“We were further informed that these officers had advised the bookshop not to sell or display the book.”



1. dreyy6 - May 17, 2007

This is the direct consequence of living in a sham democracy where everything is self-proclaimed to be “democratic” except the process of democracy itself. There are numerous such sham democracies in the world nowadays such as the Philippines, Somalia, Zimbabwei and Sudan whose leaders cling to power via “elections” of the type we saw in Ijok

2. Libra - May 17, 2007

Why not sue the bastards so that this will not be repeated. They think they own the country.

3. Shawn Tan - May 17, 2007

Haha! You should start your 3rd print run soon. I’m sure that the book will sell even faster now! All this is just free ‘positive’ publicity for the book! You can’t buy this kind of publicity with money.

4. anggoron - May 17, 2007

I wonder who actually IS owning the country?

5. Yap Sing Yeong - May 17, 2007

This issue had been politicized as the historical facts were erased. Historical materials become the tools to serve the interest of the ruling party. Mistakes would be repeated if truth were not ducumented.
History never lies and don’t deny the past.

6. kapkaplui - May 18, 2007

When will the book be available at Kinokuniya? Wanna get it ASAP. Hopefully Kino ppl aint gonna tell me it got “banned” type of BS.

EW: Sadly Kino has cancelled their order of 300 yesterday, though they had sold out the 1st batch. However the other two major bookshops have ordered a total of 1600. Too bad for Kino then.

7. monsterball - May 18, 2007

What else do you expect from UMNO….using idiotic excuses to ban a book that tells the other side of the story of May 13th 1969 riot. they dare not allow youngsters to read and question them…and call it sensitive issue…yet they will instigate the malays to hate chinese with their kris holding up high…as if to say they are prepared to go to war ..if chinese try to be funny.
Yet if a chinese were to say something with a sword held up high…you can bet he will be arrested.
Aboveall..the Gerakan and MCA who claims to represent the Chinese of Malaysia are deaf and dumb…no balls.

8. WATTAHACK? - May 18, 2007

lets see…
stealing is OK
rudeness is OK
racism is OK
mcp is OK
bocor is OK
long live the idiots….

9. smoothriver.net » Blog Archive » I learned something today - May 18, 2007

[…] know, I learned something today. If you want to read a book, you don’t have to actually pay for […]

10. mob1900 - May 18, 2007

Look on the bright-side peeps, good publicity for the book. Now everyone is curious and it’s selling like hotcakes! Stack ’em before they take ’em!

11. Top Posts « WordPress.com - May 18, 2007

[…] Drafting thoughts: Open letter to Minister of Internal Security I read in the Sun today, the reason why the books were ’seized’. Apparently, the Ministry of Internal […] […]

12. links for 2007-05-19 « Hic Sunt Dracones - May 19, 2007

[…] Drafting thoughts: Open letter to Minister of Internal Security « elizabeth wong Pem-bodoh-fication by the government. You (KDN) can’t even sat through the whole public forum? Would it kill you to ask for a review copy? Did you check with the National Library’s ISBN counter? You do know we always send ten copies there, right? Bodoh. (tags: elizabethwong pem-bodoh-fication bodoh malaysia government KDN may13 books banned consumer rights fahrenheit451 anti-intellectual) Filed under: del.icio.us   |   […]

13. Philip Lau - May 21, 2007

Elizabeth Wong,
I am unable to understand the fuss, the seizure of the 10 books from MPH by the officers from the Ministry of Internal Security. Those guys are rather stupid and do not have brains. They need not seize the above at all. As far as I remember, the practise here in Singapore whenever a New Book or Newspaper/Periodical etc is being printed, the Printers would have to go to the High Court to give to the Registry the Information as required in the Application Form. A number of the printed copies IMMEDIATELY is out will have at that time to be deposited to a certain Government Department. If that is also the procedure in your country, they have the books in their possession. Why seize the books?
If they breach the law, if I were you, when the SEVEN (7) DAYS is up and even before that direct your solicitors (in preparation) to file the Writ of Summons in Court, with a Formal Police Report made against the persons named by you as it appears they breach the law. This is a good opportunity for you to hit them back and make them laughing stock and fools. You will then have an upper hand. Have both the entire Police Report and the Writ of Summons for RM200.00 published in your Blog. Time is the essence. Is the SEVEN DAYS up? It appears to be so. Am I right? Please do not waste time, as it will take a short moment for your solicitors to perform the needful. In order to gain respect from your Bloggers and the public you must mean what you say. Here in Singapore, once a Police Report is made or a Writ of Summons is filed, you are IMMEDIATELY given copy of each. I presume the practise is the same, as your laws and ours are based on the British System. You can serve the Writ on the officers concerned IMMEDIATELY, so can your Digital Cameras Read, please to srove to the bloggers. Hope to hear from you soon, Liza.

EW: Yes, we sent them the bill late last week.

14. Philip Lau - May 21, 2007

Elizabeth Wong,
I think your Government is very imcompetent generally from TOP to Bottom. The seizure of the 10 books May 13 speaks for itself the way the Ministry of Internal Security perform their duties.
1, Their Inteliigence Service, presumably their Special Branch, is NOT functioning at all or they may be sleeping. If they are doing their work they should have known the contents of the May 13 book by Dr Kua. You were the Moderator last Sunday, 20th May 2007 at the Selamgor Assembly Hall. If they are performing their work, I am pretty sure, the Special Branch has a thick file on you as well as your blog colleague, Susan Loone. I hope all of your idealists can work with Raja Petra Kamaruddin towards your objectives and just cause or at least lay the foundation. Even before that, the Special Branch should have already all the information on their book. The Author if he is a subsersive would have been detained but he is not. He is still I believe the Principal of the New Era College, a former lecturer of NUS here.
2. Over here, Singapore worked the other way around. When Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew was the Prime minister, he told all the Singaporeans WHATSOEVER occurs here he knows immediately. That is the way he governed Singapore. I need not go through the details. Every of our Intelligence Officers are very dedicated and able to their course of duties. A recent exanple was the JI attempt to bomb and detailed explosives pipes laid near where the Americans are and near to our MRT. Before they were able to carry out ALL of them were arrested and place under the Internal Security Act.
3. It is the quality and type of people the Special Branch employs. It is well known ALL are Malays based on their Civil Service Code. I shall tell you some facts unknown to you before you were born. Do you know PREWAR days, unlike now, there was not a SINGLE MALAY DOCTOR to my knowledge. The only Malay doctor was Dr Ismail, your Dy PM under Razak Of course it was the British Policy, to keep the ignorant, backward and some called stupid. Prewar, the Malay Race generally are very friendly, of course except the socalled Royal Familes, there are NINE of them to handle. Even, the most cunning PM the Tun Dr Mathahir was unable to handle them, as he thought they were a burden to Malaysia. India. is different, the British and the Ghandhi/Nehru were able to do with ALL the Indian Rulers.
4. How to overcome all these problems? I am sure your Raja Patra Kamaruddin have all the tricks in his sleeves.

EW: The Special Branch chaps from Dang Wangi bought a few copies, and sat through the forum. We know each other well and sometimes even have tea with them. At least they have the courtesy to buy copies, unlike KDN.
The opportunities during the pre-war era to do medicine were extremely limited for those living in Malaya. Dr. Ismail Abdul Rahman was the first Malay to obtain a MBBS from University of Melbourne. Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, who is 10 years younger than Dr. Ismail, is also a medical doctor from UM-Singapore. Certainly there were many more during that time.

15. Raja - May 22, 2007

“We know each other well and sometimes even have tea with them. ”
Yep. Don’t be surprised if other SB officials one day appear at your door middle of the night and bundle you into an unmarked car.
It is all about modus operandi of the SB officers.

EW: So?

16. Philip Lau - May 23, 2007

Elizabeth Wong

1. You may agree with me, there, the Malaysian Special Branch (SB) is cock-eyed, the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. Their officers were at your Forum on Sunday, 13th May 2007 and even purchased a few copies of the books from you. Datuk Fu, the Deputy Minister of Internal Security (MIC) (under your Prime Minister incharge of the Folio) did not read his papers, he should not have directed his SB officers to seize the 10 books at all since 1. The Govt. per the National Library were supplied copies of the May 13 and 2. The SB officers above purchased the books at the above Forum. I am unable to understand both the logic of SB and MIC on the whole matter. Here, at the little Red Dot below you, we do not act in this manner.

2. You commented there were many other doctors before Dr Ismail bin Abdul Rahman. I regret I do not agree with you. You can ascertain from Dr Ismail’s younger brother, (I believe to be alive and kicking,) a CharteredAccountant, as I have not seen him for sometime theinformation some time ago, from Dr Han Su Yin, a neighbour of Dr Ismail.

For a country to be progressive and dynamic, we need to concentrate on educating their citizens from the cradle until their death bed. Learn from the Jews.


I would not be surprised at all. If both the SB and MIC considered you to be “dangerous, subversive” no doubt they will charge you in Court and of they do not have sufficient evidence place you under detention. In that case you shall be a heroine to the people, like Ghandi, Nehru, Mandela and countless of others.

Knocking at the door at 12 midnight is part and parcel of the game. Please do not worry un-necessary. For what I see you are far from security risks now. The future, only God knows.

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