Kuala Lampur, Feb. 7 — The wolves are out baying for Tommy Thomas’ blood. Like a pack of wolves, with the herd mentality, they condemn his book and lodge police reports all over the country. In Johor alone, 16 reports were made.
Since the first edition of the book was sold out online, and the second edition is not yet available in book shops, we wonder on what basis the police reports are being made.
How many of them have really read the book?
It looks like a well-orchestrated and planned strategy to lodge reports creating the impression that a vast number of Malaysians are outraged with Tommy Thomas’ book. Numbers are meant to create an impact of unrest and disquiet.
There is no doubt that this so-called reaction is instigated by those who don’t want the truth to be told and their less than exemplary conduct exposed. In attempting to ban the book, they hope to bury the truth.
The police should not waste time investigating these reports based on conjecture and falsehood. The police should insist that those making their police report produce the book as evidence that they have read the book and not acting as lackeys for some discredited politicians who are implicated in Thomas’ book. The police should demand which portion of the book that they found provocative and offensive. They shouldn’t simply come to the police station and report some nonsense.
Since the book is not yet available in book shops, how could they have read the book? If they have ordered online, let them show proof. If anyone brings a borrowed book as evidence of having read it, the police should chop the book to prevent the same from being passed around to others making similar reports.
The ministers and politicians who are upset with the contents of the book presumably because they have been implicated should seriously consider hiring a QC to rebut the book. This was what was done when the excellent book by Tun Salleh and K. Das – May Day For Justice – embarrassed those plotters who lied and cheated to destroy the career of an upright jurist.
If anyone felt that they were defamed in any manner, they should take up the matter in court to settle the issue. Let the court consider the merits of their objection. Their presumed grievance cannot be resolved by banning the book. There must be a basis for such drastic action. The forum to settle the issue is the court – not the police or the home minister.
Those who disagree should get into a discourse and debate in order to establish their point of view. This would be the democratic way to confront an issue that may be troubling them. This will be the sensible thing to do.
The truth hurts, so it has been aptly put. And going by those who are jumping up in anger, it would seem, Thomas had stepped on too many toes! These are the people, who don’t come out as angels in Thomas’ book and who are planting the idea of banning the book as a means to suppress the truth.
If we take a look at the hundreds of unflattering comments flooding the internet, it is crystal clear that a vast majority of Malaysians empathize with Thomas and share his candid views of issues and personalities. Those of us who have been following Malaysian politics and the unfair policies of discrimination stand solidly with Thomas for his sincerity, courage and integrity in speaking the truth without fear or favour.
Let the following two quotations throw some light:
Any book worth banning is a book worth reading. – Isaac Asimov
Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime. – Potter Stewart
* P. Ramakrishnan is the former president of Aliran.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or organisation and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.
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