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yeeaAND they’re back in the ring :) May 19, 2007

Posted by elizabethwong in History, Malaysia, Politics, Race Relations.

Everyone‘s back in the ring, including the one in that very tall building.

Thanks to some rather persistent media folks and customers. Business sense probably kicked in too. Plus someone who said, listen to the Minister, not the officers! 😮

Life’s crazy like that.

Hopefully the news will come out in the English dailies in the morning. Here’s hoping you will receive your copy very soon!


This news first came out last night in Malaysiakini (Chinese version):

Bookstores back to order fast-selling May 13 book
Yong Kai Ping and Ng Ling Fong | May 19, 07 6:04pm

Two major bookstore chains have reversed an earlier decision not to sell a new book on the May 13 communal riots.

Spokespersons from MPH Bookstore and Kinokuniya have confirmed that they have placed orders for the book ‘May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969′.

A MPH spokesperson who requested anonymity, told malaysiakini that his company had initially stopped selling the book after officers from the Internal Security Ministry confiscated several copies of the book on Tuesday from one of its outlets.

Ministry officers also reportedly warned the company not to sell the book as it may be banned.

The seizure of 10 books followed an announcement by Deputy Internal Security Minister Fu Ah Kiow that his ministry was ‘studying’ the book. On Wednesday, he was reported to have said that there was no ban in place.

According to the MPH spokesperson, the company reversed the decision lately but he was unaware of their rationale for doing so.

Similarly, a Kinokuniya Bookstore spokesperson said the company, taking into consideration Fu’s announcement that the book was not banned, has placed a fresh order for the book.

It was displayed on the shelves on Tuesday, but all 30 books were sold within three hours. The store did not place fresh orders upon hearing about the seizure but Fu’s assurance on Wednesday has now reversed its decision.

Media spotlight

Another major bookstore chain Popular Bookstore, told malaysiakini that the company has no qualms about selling the book.

The book distributor who declined to be named suggested that due to the media spotlight on the book, many readers have swamped bookstores looking for the book and hence influencing the two major bookstores to reverse their earlier decision.

Book publisher Suaram said the first batch of 1,000 books were sold out within two days of its launch on Sunday. The first reprint of 2,000 books are underway and should hit the streets next week.

Suaram had also demanded that the Internal Security Ministry return the seized books, which was not paid for, in seven days or they would proceed with legal action.

In another development, China Press yesterday reported that the Internal Security Ministry may not take action on the book, in order to give the public another perspective on the May 13 incident.

Quoting ministry sources, the report said the public should not rely completely on the recently declassified documents from the Public Records Office, London, which formed the backbone of the book.

“British information is not always right, such as their involvement in Iraq and Middle East. Moreover, when the riots happened, the British have left Malaysia for about 10 years. The documents are not credible,” said the source.



1. Alvin Lim - May 19, 2007

Goodonya EW!!! I think I can hear the champagne corks popping from here!!! 😉

Let the truth come out and let the ppl of Malaysia understand how they have arrived at where they are now.

2. DW - May 19, 2007

My email to Kino yesterday:

To the MD/CEO of Kino Malaysia,

I’m extremely disappointed with Kinokuniya for ‘self banning’ the May 13 book which has NOT been banned by the Government, on the basis that it’s controversial.

I’ve been a loyal customer of Kino since the day it opened in Suria KLCC and must have spent thousands of ringgit over the last few years on book purchases from Kino (since your books are not exactly affordable). So I feel a sense of betrayal over this action to ban the book even before the it is banned by the Govt. Please think of your clientele – they are people who value independent and critical thinking and not simply believe whatever the govt tells them to believe. Think of what Kinokuniya is all about – it is a bookshop. If you truly understand what that means, you will see that your business (other than making handsome profits) is to have a vital role in disseminating information, knowledge and understanding of our world today both historical and present, with a view of ensuring we do not make the same mistakes, and that we learn to protect the rights of all Malaysians regardless of race and religion. Isn’t that a noble aspiration?

I understand that Kino is a foreign company trying not to ruffle feathers locally. But try to think about this, with a conscience, and with a view to the future in enhancing transparency and awareness of our future generations. Banning books is no different from burning of books by the Nazis, the Communists and the fascists of the past.

Does Kinokuniya really want to leave that as a legacy? I pray not.


3. WATTAHACK? - May 19, 2007

i was at the very tall building yesterday harrasing them to sell me the book with KDN banned chop but since there’s no such chop made on the book yet they can’t sell me one! hehehehe so no chop cannot sell, got chop also cannot sell …. just kidding LOL!

4. seantang - May 19, 2007


I’m in Singapore right now, and will not be back in Malaysian until sometime in June. I’ve tried looking for Kua Kia Soong’s book on May 13 in Singapore bookshops, but none have it.

Any idea whether it’ll be in Singapore, which bookshop and when?


5. Fahrenheit - May 19, 2007

I don’t understand the drift of this post. meanwhile, my friend was just being told by the worker at THE POPULAR bookstore in Sg Wang Plaza has been banned and they are not selling the book. Malaysians really are prone to self-censorship and pre-emptive action, maybe because they are really scared of the Keris at the UMNO General Assembly. it is a symbol of the sad state that Malaysia is in now.

EW: Best that you check back with Popular Sg Wang on Monday. It’s not banned and they are selling it. Perhaps you could also persuade them to stock up from the HQ.

6. sam - May 19, 2007

“… when the riots happened, the British have left Malaysia for about 10 years. The documents are not credible …”

What kind of freaking logic is this?

7. WATTAHACK? - May 20, 2007

EW: where’s my signed copy with burned marks and KDN chop! if you ever get back those hijacked 10 books pls allow me to sell them on Ebay as collectors items! … 😉

8. WATTAHACK? - May 20, 2007

“British information is not always right, such as their involvement in Iraq and Middle East.”

so our Gov knows where Bin Laden is then? our info is far superior than MI5 now? then who is behind the Mongolian murder Mr.Minister since it happened only recently and not 38 years ago.

9. Libra - May 20, 2007

What the government should do is to cull those parts that are “not credible” and rebut them intellectually.
But then these Internal Security guys have no brains. How the hell are they going to engage readers with intelligence.

10. kengleong - May 20, 2007

if the British infos are not credible… then please declassify Special Branch’s files la.

talk cock. pathetic bastards.

11. sam - May 20, 2007

Libra… The “intelligence” gathered by the “unintelligent” people are credible… Boleh! Hahahahahahaha…

12. ckchew - May 20, 2007

My Dearest Eli,

Can u pls keep 1 sopy of the book for me.

I will pay u once I return from egypt on 25th May. I will be in seremban on 26May.



13. cderty - May 20, 2007

“British information is not always right…The documents are not credible.” Yeah, the most (in)credible documents in the world comes from Malaysia, under the censorship of Info Minister Zamzam Alakazam.

14. monsterball - May 20, 2007

Great news! I went to a bookshop and was told they do sell the book under the counter and all sold out and told me to come back tomorrow.
They are defying govt to ban a book. Democratic people are getting more and more brave. Looks good for Malaysia.
Now I read MPH is also saying they have ordered the book for sale.This means all my friends can get their books soon.

15. Ding - May 21, 2007

I got my copy on Tuesday evening at Kino. They brought it out from under some counter. It was not on display. Probably after they heard of the seizure of books at MPH. I’m so glad they’ve decided to sell it again! I’ve been telling people to get their hands on the book. I am already halfway through

16. wits0 - May 21, 2007

Have they paid for the 10 seized copies yet, Eli. Pursue that, otherwise.

17. gary - May 21, 2007

I just bought 2 from CzipLee Bangsar. They were displaying it next to The Secret! HAHhaahahaha…talk about the irony! I think they have got quite a few in, and they’ve already got some big orders while I was queing up for the book! I guess by the time anyone decides to REALLY banned the book – Dr Kua would have probably sold tens of thousand copies! We’re in Malaysia remember! =)

EW: ‘The Secret’??? Hahahahahahaha! 😛

18. Tim - May 21, 2007

Odd. I put my name on the waiting list at MPH Malacca last week. Today, a rep called me and said that the book was now available and I should pick it up; but that they were not going to openly display it on shelves.

19. Angie Tan - May 22, 2007

I went to MPH (Subang Parade) and could not find any. 😦

I went to Kinokuniya to search it out but could not find any either. In the end, I opted to get it straight from Kinibooks. 😉 It’s convenient anyway, just pay via credit card and MB2U. 😛

20. keroppi - May 22, 2007

I got my copy in Popular Bookstore, Jaya Supermarket.
This was the last copy on their shelves.
I asked them whether they had any in their store, they said sold out.
Then i said “Order banyak sikit lah .. I nah beli few copies..” they looked weird when i said that ..

21. gary - May 25, 2007

Yar, the Secret! I asked them…they said they were trying to make ppl think why M13 gets all the ban-talk and not the Secret! =)

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