Kit Siang: Why ban book endorsed by former PM?

Lim Kit Siang questioned why the home ministry had banned the G25 book that had been endorsed by a former prime minister. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Lim Kit Siang questioned why the home ministry had banned the G25 book that had been endorsed by a former prime minister. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — Former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi endorsed the G25 book that the Home Ministry banned last week, Lim Kit Siang said.

Pressing the ministry to justify the ban, the DAP MP claimed such a move would not have happened under previous administrations.

“In fact, if we take into account the 10 Deputy Prime Ministers in Malaysia since Merdeka in 1957 — the second-to-sixth Prime Ministers together with Tun Ismail, Tun Musa Hitam, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Tun Ghaffar and Zahid himself), the voting would be eight versus two as Ismail, Musa, Anwar and Ghafar would not have supported the ban on the G25 book,” said Lim.

He was referring to a recent ban on the book Breaking the Silence –Voices of Moderation: Islam in a Constitutional Democracy produced by pro moderation group G25.

He pointed out that in his foreword for the book, Abdullah endorsed the G25’s call for the prime minister to “exercise his leadership and to demonstrate the political will to establish an inclusive consultative committee to find solutions to the intractable problems that had been allowed to fester for far too long”.

Lim argued that the book represents the concerns of former high-ranking Malay/Muslim civil servants, civic leaders and politicians who want a rational dialogue on the position of Islam in a constitutional democracy as they are deeply disturbed over developments regarding race relations, Islam and extremist behaviour in Malaysia.

The Home Ministry banned the book purportedly for being prejudicial to public order.