The Internal Security Ministry confiscated 10 copies a controversial book with new claims on the May 13 racial riots from a major bookstore in the Midvalley shopping centre today.
According to the publishers of ‘May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969′, a team of ministry officers visited the MPH bookstore this afternoon.
The officers advised the popular bookstore not to sell the book as it may be banned.
According to a letter issued by the ministry officers to the bookstore, the books were confiscated from the shelves for suspicion of being an “undesirable publication” based on Section 7 of the Printing Press and Publications Act 1984.
The act empowers the minister to ban any publication which is “prejudicial to or likely to be prejudicial to public order, morality, security, the relationship with any foreign country or government, or which is likely to alarm public opinion”.
The book is penned by academic Dr Kua Kia Soong as a result of a three-month research at the Public Records Office in London to study records and declassified documents on the May 13, 1969 communal riots.
Based on official correspondences and intelligence reports by British officers, Kua argued that the riots were not random acts of communal violence but a coup d’etat attempt by a faction within Umno.
He asserts that the coup attempt against then premier Tunku Abdul Rahman was also backed by the police and army with the intention of forging a new Malay agenda.
Kua said official records show was evidence that portrayal of the event in history books were heavily distorted, which blamed the riots on opposition parties “infiltrated by communist insurgents”.
Senators want book banned
Official figures said the May 13 riots claimed 196 lives, 180 were wounded by firearms and 259 by other weapons, 9,143 persons were arrested out of whom 5,561 were charged in court, 6,000 persons rendered homeless, at least 211 vehicles and 753 buildings were destroyed or damaged.
Following this, Malaysian government embarked on an affirmative action policy, the New Economic Policy, to uplift the economic standards of the Malays, which objectives have been kept in place up to today.
Yesterday in the Dewan Negara, three senators have called for the book to be banned.
In response, Deputy Internal Security Minister Fu Ah Kiow today said that the ministry would study the contents of the book and take action soon, according to the evening edition of China Press today.
Unveiling the May 13 riots