Report: Police question cover designer of ‘Rebirth’ book banned over state crest

Bukit Aman Criminal Investigations Department deputy director for investigations Mior Faridalathrash confirmed that federal police have questioned the graphic artist behind the cover of the book, ‘Rebirth’. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Bukit Aman Criminal Investigations Department deputy director for investigations Mior Faridalathrash confirmed that federal police have questioned the graphic artist behind the cover of the book, ‘Rebirth’. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — Federal police said they have questioned the graphic artist behind the cover of the book, Rebirth, that was banned on Tuesday for allegedly demeaning the Malaysian state crest.

According to Malaysiakini, Bukit Aman Criminal Investigations Department deputy director for investigations Mior Faridalathrash confirmed the matter.

“We recorded the artist's statement yesterday (July 2),” he was quoted as saying.

The police previously said they were investigating the matter under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Sedition Act, and the Communications and Multimedia Act.

‘Rebirth: Reformasi, Resistance, And Hope in New Malaysia’ was published by GerakBudaya Enterprise Sdn Bhd’s Strategic Information and Research Development Centre. ― Picture via Twitter
‘Rebirth: Reformasi, Resistance, And Hope in New Malaysia’ was published by GerakBudaya Enterprise Sdn Bhd’s Strategic Information and Research Development Centre. ― Picture via Twitter

They also seized nearly a third of the 1,000 extant copies.

The book’s full title is Rebirth: Reformasi, Resistance, And Hope in New Malaysia and it was published by GerakBudaya Enterprise Sdn Bhd’s Strategic Information and Research Development Centre.

The book features articles from political analysts and journalists as well as reports on the 2018 general election.

Authorities’ attention was drawn to the book after at least 32 police reports were lodged over its cover that featured two tigers atop a crocodile — in a manner reminiscent of the Malaysian crest — and stylised as a headpiece.

The publisher later apologised and said the cover was not meant to demean the country’s coat-of-arms, but this did not stop the Home Ministry from proceeding with the ban.

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