Walski's advice? Get the book while it's still legal, because he has a very, very tingly spidey feeling that it'll be banned pretty soon...
Check out this post at Eli's blog to find out how you can get a copy. It's already going into its second reprint (or is that imprint?). And it's selling hot 'n fast... hotter than Nicholas Cage blazing thru the streets on his moped.
(sequence of events, and more, in the full post)
To recap, and borrow (not plagiarize) from Elizabeth Wong's narrative on the entire saga, the book, "May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969", researched and written by Dr. Kua Kia Soong, was launched last Sunday, marking the 38th anniversary of this black mark in Malaysian history. A mere 24 hours after the launch, 3 senators called for its banning, and just like previous incidents of politically motivated bans, these senators probably haven't even read the damn book - the usual modus operandus of these hyper-sensitive dolts.
Then, on Tuesday, officers from the Internal Security Ministry (KKDN) seized 10 copies of the book from MPH in Midvalley Shopping mall (this was also reported in Malaysiakini, and picked up by Alphabet Soup, among others). Hey, what a great scam if you want free reads, eh? Reading Eli's post on this seizure... well, kinda comical. She's even got names 'n shit. LOL!
Yesterday, SUARAM issued a press statement demanding that KKDN pay for the books, or return them to MPH within 7 days. Or face legal action. RM 200, plus interest, compounded daily, calculated on a daily rest basis.... okay, okay... only the RM 200 part is true. Wouldn't wanna be accused of being a lying blogger, right?
What Walski found interesting in the first Malaysiakini report, up at the top of the post, was this statement:
“We can finish reading the book in a day and decide whether it should be banned. However, it will take us two to three days to write a report to the minister or his deputy who will then sign the (ban) order and gazette it (the decision, if any),” Che Din noted.
(referring to Che Din Yusof, secretary of the Publications and Al-Quran Texts Control Department at the Internal Security Ministry)
We speed-read just fine, but can't write fast to save our asses... but doesn't all this sound a little foregone-conclusionish?
Okay, granted it's not a very thick book - let's hope that one day is enough to read, and digest, the contents, and not merely finding fault with it. But reading the full news report, Walski reckons that regardless of what they find, the book will likely get banned. It's just one of those idiosyncracies of our beloved Government - there can be only one truth - the version of the truth that they're comfy with. And we aim to be what by 2020 again?
Oh, and why 2 - 3 days to write the report?
One can only guess, but perhaps it's several hours to hand-write the report, a day to get it processed through the secretarial pool, another several hours to proof-read it, then sent back to the secretarial pool for corrections, if any. Add to that the numerous customary tea break time-outs the typical civil savants live for, and voila!
... three days of the tax payers' hard earned moolah well spent...
With the end-result being that Malaysians continue to be protected from having to know beyond what they're allowed to - the powers that be resting assured that the citizens remain as ignorant, stupid and docile as they've always been... and if that fails, Ijok-ize 'em.
Walski apologizes if all this sounds unduly cynical. When the interest of only one party is so paramount that any criticism, any call for change, any motion for improvement, is met with such vehement over-reaction - and it's not just about the book; it's all the crap that's been happening lately, compounded, with interest calculated on a daily rest basis - Walski can't help but be cynical.
On second thoughts, Walski takes the apology back.