Pua: Book bans are the actions of a ‘communist-like’ regime

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Free Malaysia Today

PJ Utara MP Tony Pua says banning of Zaid Ibrahim’s book shows the immense and arbitrary power that the Printing Presses and Publications Act holds.

PETALING JAYA: Tony Pua has called the government’s action to ban a book by Zaid Ibrahim as akin to that of a totalitarian communist-like regime.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP was referring to the decision by the home ministry last month to ban Zaid’s book “Assalamualaikum: Observations on the Islamisation of Malaysia”, under the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPA).

“As usual, the only official reason given for this ban is that the book is ‘likely to be prejudicial to public order as well as public interest and is likely to alarm public opinion’.

“This book joining the list of books previously banned by the government is proof of Putrajaya’s outright disregard for freedom of expression and ideas in Malaysia,” he said in a statement today.

Last Thursday, the home ministry confirmed that a Federal Government gazette published on Dec 19 said the book, “Assalamualaikum: Observations on the Islamisation of Malaysia” had been banned. The order was signed by the home minister on Dec 4.  Read more

Ezra Zaid’s Shariah trial over book to start Feb 22

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — The Shariah court today decided that Mohd Ezra Mohd Zaid’s trial over a book will proceed on February 22 despite a pending civil court case challenging his Shariah prosecution.

Zulkifli Che Yong, the lawyer for Ezra in the Shariah case, confirmed that there was a hearing today for his client’s application to stay the Shariah trial until the conclusion of a separate case at the civil courts.

“The court fixed for trial 22 February,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted today.

On March 7, 2013, Ezra was charged as ZI Publications’ director and majority shareholder under Section 16(1)(a) of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Selangor) Enactment 1995 with two alternative counts of publishing and distributing the Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta book, as well as a third alternative count under Section 16(1)(b) for possession of 180 copies of the book. Read more

Art Harun: Publications Act not effective in maintaining social order

Source: The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: Lawyer Azhar Harun has slammed the government over its use of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA) to ban books, saying it will not be effective in maintaining social order and morality.

“With all these books that are deemed ‘dirty’ being banned, we still have cases of fathers raping their daughters 365 times. So, does it work?

“In law, there is a school of thought that says, any law that is unenforceable or impossible to enforce, is a bad law,” he said this at the “Books, a source of knowledge, or a threat to harmony” forum on Monday (Oct 30).

Azhar, popularly known as Art Harun, also pointed out that with the advancement of technology, anyone could have access to banned publications in the form of e-books online. Read more

Govt confirms G25 book ban for ‘promoting liberalism and pluralism’

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: The government has finally confirmed the banning of a book published by G25, a group of prominent Malays, in a statement released by the home ministry yesterday.

The book, “Breaking the Silence: Voices of Moderation – Islam in a Constitutional Democracy”, was one of 18 in the prohibition order issued by the home ministry, for containing material that may be “detrimental to security and public order, jeopardising morality and public interest, and corrupting the minds of the public”.

The statement, issued by the ministry’s secretary-general Alwi Ibrahim, revealed that the order was issued on July 27, 2017.

“This order specifies that the printing, importation, production, reproduction, publication, sale, distribution, issuance, circulation, distribution or possession of the publications are strictly prohibited in Malaysia,” he said in the statement.

The reason for the banning of the G25 book was given as “it contains elements promoting liberalism and pluralism which are contrary to Islam’s Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah (Sunni) teachings”.

It was previously reported that the ban on the book was made under the Printing Presses and Publications (Control of Undesirable Publications) (No. 12) Order 2017, and signed by Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on June 14.

When news first broke of the book being banned, there was much criticism, given that Malaysia was projecting itself as a model of moderate Islam on the international front. Read more

Banning books ‘a betrayal and a form of terror’

Source: The Malaysian Insight 

Dr Mohd Faizal Musa, who writes under the pen name ‘Faisal Tehrani’ and has had six books banned by the government, finds that his latest work, Bagaimana Anyss Naik Ke Langit, is being shunned by booksellers. – Book cover pic

AUTHOR Dr Mohd Faizal Musa has slammed the banning of books as a betrayal of the 1957 Proclamation of Independence and a form of “terror”, following the recent ban on “mind-disturbing” publications.

He said the ban was a symptom of a defeated Constitution, which was meant to safeguard fundamental rights and liberties.

“Book-banning in Malaysia is, among others, a sign of rising extremism globally, the kind that stifles and violates the rights of people. It is another kind of terror,” he said in his opening speech at the 4th Asean Literary Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia, tonight.

Yesterday, Home Ministry secretary-general Alwi Ibrahim said eight books had been banned since March for having content that “disturb the mind, pose a threat to public peace, go against moral teachings and are obscene”. Read more

There’s good news and there’s bad news — Azmi Sharom

Source: The Star Online


Dr. Azmi Sharom is a law teacher.

First came a surprise ban, but it was followed by an inspiring, heartwarming Court of Appeal decision.

THE banning of the book Breaking the Silence: Voices of Moderation – Islam in a Constitutional Democracy came as a surprise to me.

I wasn’t surprised that it was banned. The Government has banned around 2,000 books since 1960. It’s not exactly a bestseller.

Full disclosure here folks: I have a chapter in this book. I can hardly remember what I wrote, but it was about fundamental liberties in the Federal Constitution.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that the book is a collection of measured and scholarly articles, with a foreword by former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, not some rabble-rousing diatribe. And yet it was deemed to be prejudicial to national security.

No explanation was given how this is so. Read more

Home ministry bans 8 ‘immoral, disturbing’ books

Source: The Malaysian Insight 

THE Home Ministry (KDN) has gazetted a ban on eight publications which contents disturb the mind, pose a threat to public peace, go against moral teachings, and are obscene, said KDN secretary-general Alwi Ibrahim today.

He said the prohibition order for the eight books was issued under Section 7(1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (Act 301).

“The order stipulates that the printing, importation, production, reproduction, publishing, sale, issue, circulation, distribution or possession of that publication is absolutely prohibited in Malaysia,” he said in a statement today.

Alwi said five publications were found to have content contradictory to the teachings of Islam as practised in Malaysia. Read more

G25 mulls legal action on book ban

Source: The Malaysian Insight 

Screenshot of book cover

G25 is mulling to take legal action against the banning of its book on role of Islam in Malaysia by the Home Ministry if there is no explanation given on why the book is deemed prejudicial to public order.

Group spokesperson Noor Farida Ariffin said in an interview with business radio station BFM earlier today that the ban did not make any sense as they had never heard of any incident of public disorder or rioting caused by the book.

The book, ‘Breaking the Silence: Voices of Moderation – Islam in a Constitutional Democracy’, which was launched by Razaleigh Hamzah, had been on the market for the last one and a half years, Noor Farida said. Read more

Cenbet calls for review of government censorship process

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: Following the government’s ban on a book authored by a group of eminent Malay moderates, the Centre for a Better Tomorrow (Cenbet) says the home ministry should review its censorship process for print publications.

In a statement today, the NGO’s co-president Gan Ping Sieu said this was not the first time the ministry’s decision to ban certain books had attracted bad press for the country.

He pointed to the 2011 ban on an article in The Economist on Malaysia’s electoral reforms, adding that numerous other “questionable” decisions to ban books and magazines had been made over the years. Read more

Academic: M’sia becoming ‘nanny state’ with G25 book ban

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: An academician has cautioned that the country is heading towards becoming a “nanny state” where the government interferes in almost every aspect of a person’s personal choices and views.

Prof Tajuddin Rasdi of UCSI University said Malaysian intellectuals should be allowed to discuss matters of religion and other social issues.

“It seems now intellectuals cannot offer an opinion on religion because they did not go to a madrasah.

“It is a problem because religious groups are allowed to comment whether a sculpture is okay or not, or whether a mosque should have a dome,” the architecture lecturer told FMT.

He was commenting on the home ministry’s recent ban on a book titled “Breaking the Silence: Voices of Moderation – Islam in a Constitutional Democracy”, featuring essays by members of the Group of 25 (G25) eminent Malays, as it was considered “prejudicial to public order”.

He said the book was written by noted former ambassadors, judges and high-calibre academicians, such as political scientist Chandra Muzaffar.

He said it offered a different perspective on issues and the writers were not trying to jeopardise society.

Tajuddin said there was a need to allow ideas to be aired. He said the absence of diverse opposing views had led to Malaysian university students lacking the ability to articulate ideas and issues well.