Press statement by Kim Quek on banning of his book “The March to Putrajaya”

I refer to the banning of my book “The March to Putrajaya” and the various reason given by the Home Ministry’s Secretary General Mahmood Adam as reported by Bernama and relayed by various web portals and blogsites on Sept  30.

The ban was effected by invoking Subsection 7(1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, and as such, Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein was supposed to have exercised his personal judgment upon satisfying himself of the pertinent facts before signing the order.  And hence, in respect of the various grounds advanced by the Secretary General, I will address my response to Minister Hishamuddin, as he is the elected representative who should account to the people for this act including the various reasons given to justify it.

What hatred against the Constitution?

You said my book has “incited hatred against the Constitution”.  This is a sick joke.  Throughout my book, one consistent theme is my appeal to everyone to be faithful and to defend the Constitution.  Even on the much politicized Article 153, which has been deliberately and dishonestly misinterpreted to carry out all sorts of racist agenda and therefore has attracted much misgiving, I have only words of praise for it.  I quote from my article titled “The Constitution and Malay Rights” in page 27l of my book:

“The center of controversy is Article 153 of the Constitution which provides for what is popularly known as Malay ‘privileges’.  Due to misrepresentation by Umno in the past, many have come to identify Article 153 – and even the entire Constitution – as racially discriminatory.  This is not so.  In spite of numerous constitutional amendments, the egalitarian spirit of our Constitution in respect of racial equality remains largely intact. Public misunderstanding is attributed to Umno hijacking Article 153 to practice unbridled racial discrimination for self-enrichment in the past few decades”.

On the subject of the Constitution, I have only advocated adherence – not defiance, and if at all I made criticism, these are always directed at the people who betrayed it, like the masterminds who engineered the unconstitutional power grab in Perak, the judges, prosecutors and police who trampled on the Constitution in order to protect and preserve the unconstitutional state government. 

I would therefore request Hishamuddin to name one example – one single example would do – where I show disaffection to our Constitution, not to mention “inciting hatred”.  If he can’t, he should apologise to me and withdraw his statement.

Baseless accusation?

You also said my book contains “baseless accusations and speculations against national leaders and incite hatred and anger among the people”.

Yes, I have criticized leaders who are corrupt and who have abused power, but these are based on facts that are well known and not having been satisfactorily rebutted.  If I have told lies and defamed people, why hasn’t any one sued me or denied to me the veracity of my articles, which after all have been well publicised in many popular web portals and blogsites and party organs, and hence such information has been in public domain for a long time.  I have not received a single complaint from any one claiming to be injured.

Again, I invite Hishamuddin to cite instances where I have indulged in “baseless accusation and speculations against national leaders”.  I will be only too happy to give my clarification to any example he might bring up.

When the corrupt acts of leaders are exposed, how do you expect the people will react?  Of course they will be angry.  But who should take responsibility for having caused the people’s anger?  The one who betrays the people’s trust by stealing public funds or the one who inform the people of such public frauds?  The blame rests squarely with the corrupt, not with the whistle-blower.

Not by the wildest stretch of imagination can you accuse me of “inciting hatred”!

My message of reforms

If there is one dominating theme that persists throughout my book, it is the message of reforms.  The country must undertake serious reforms and it must be done now, lest we will have to pay a price that no one would like to bear. 

I consider myself a patriot for pointing all the ills of our current political status quo, and in fact Umno should thank me for doing that, for isn’t it true that all its top leaders of Umno have been singing the tune of reforms since the 2008 general election?  Why not take the hard medicine from me – medicine that will do you good?

I welcome any criticism and open dialogue over any part of my book, as it is through honest discourse that we will bring benefit to the nation.

As for the Ministry’s ban over my book, I reserve my right to take the necessary legal recourse to protect my constitutional rights.

Kim Quek