Reviews for “No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians”

“If the Government cannot give us our fundamental rights and our fundamental freedom, then it has no right to be our government.”

Candid, cheeky, honest

The younger journalists who remember seeing Kee Thuan Chye while he was at the New Straits Times, oh, say, some 20 years ago, would most likely recall him as a quiet, unassuming man, this writer being one of them.

About three years ago, this personal opinion was shattered to smithereens and scattered to the elements when an article titled Najib Speaks With A Forked Tongue carried by new portal Malaysiakini was chanced upon.

It was quite a thing because to remember Kee as someone with a quiet, don’t-speak-very-much personality, and then to read this excerpt was quite an eye-opener: “If Umno is not racist, why does it allow the newspapers it owns, particularly in the Malay language, to run stories and commentaries that could easily be deemed seditious? Don’t tell me that it’s because Umno believes in the independence of the media and therefore does not intervene. I’ve been in journalism for more than 30 years and I know that’s a lie.”

This article, among several more, can be found in his ninth book titled No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians, a compilation of Kee’s previously published commentaries and excerpts of his plays in addition to several talks he has given over time. Several of his commentaries have been featured on FMT.

Kee, or Chye as he is more popularly known, writes blistering commentaries that can make one flinch. Having said that, reading what he has to say page after page is akin to being slapped repeatedly, effectively bringing one out of a slumbering stupor. In short, it’s the kind of writing that has the ability to knock some sense into a brain-in-denial about what’s really going on in the country.

The book is not divided into chapters as such, but by headers below which are the sub-headers for excepts taken from his writing. For example, under the header of Bersih 2.0 And All That Dirt, are his writings titled Why is Perkasa Against Bersih 2.0What Is This Country Coming ToMove for a Healthy DemocracyNajib and Gang Say the Darnedest ThingsGood Things that Came Out of Bersih 2.0,Electoral Reform a Must Before Next General Election and an excerpt from The Swordfish, Then The Concubine.

In this timely released book, Kee deadpans stark zingers such as:

“On the issue of governance over all these years of Barisan National (BN) domination, one has to acknowledge that no other Prime Minister has been as autocratic as Mahathir Mohamad, and I’m happy to go on record to say that I’ve never liked or respected him.” (The Man Who Created A Culture Of Fear, pg 40).

“Are we going to get any answers at all? Or will this, like the many intriguing mysteries that have arisen in this wonderful land of ours, such as the murder of Altantuya, be swept under the carpet? Could it be that the police are waiting for instructions from their political masters? Are these political masters calculating when the right time would be to take action, how the case should be spun, who should be arrested, what should be done so that they can make political capital out of it?” (Sex, Lies and Videotape, pg 271)


Kee Thuan Chye: The anti-bullshit crusader


Very little is capable of startling a veteran journalist with over three decades of writing under his belt. Unless it is being recognised on the street by strangers by virtue only of his recently produced work.

These are almost regular occurrences for Kee Thuan Chye, 58, yet each one still floors him. Like a few weeks ago when yet another stranger footed his dinner bill as a token of appreciation and encouragement.

“I was a fulltime journalist in the mainstream media for 30 years and I was never as well-known then as I am now,” Kee marvelled during an exclusive interview with FMT.

“I now write for the online media which you would think lacks the penetration of the mainstream media but yet more people are reading my articles.”

So many more, in fact, that he was driven to compile selected pieces into a single volume in the hope of reaching out to more people with a starkly simple message – to stop taking Barisan Nasional’s (BN) bullshit.

“No More Bullshit, Please, We Are All Malaysians” is directed at the ruling party and dedicated to the younger generation. Kee explained that the title is a reflection of the times in which so much bullshit has been ladelled out that Malaysians should start putting their foot down.

“The title is targeted at both BN and the opposition because we don’t want any bullshit from the latter either,” he said. “But for now most of it has been spun by BN so it’s mainly directed at them.”

The book, of which 6,000 copies were published on Feb 27, showcases Kee’s commentaries, interviews and excerpts from his plays. According to Kee, the selections were based on their relevance, contentiousness and themes.

“I realised that I have written quite a lot about (prime minister) Najib (Tun Razak),” he grinned.

“So I thought that would come together quite nicely as one theme. And of course there are pieces on my old friend (former premier) Dr Mahathir (Mohamad).”

The grin widened. Anyone who has read Kee would be familiar with his disdain for Mahathir, a sentiment he has never bothered to disguise or downplay.

His brazenness of wearing his heart on his sleeve has alarmed both friends and fans who have repeatedly asked him if he isn’t afraid of the now abolished Internal Security Act (ISA).

“I was asked that again just a few nights ago!” Kee chuckled. “My answer has always been, what is there to be afraid of? If you speak what you think is the truth, then there is nothing to fear.”

“We need to speak up without fear or favour and hold the government accountable. This book is my way of showing a bit of example. Anyway, I’m just a small fry and no one’s going to take me in.”

A small fry he may be, but his words have big influence, especially in the run-up to the highly anticipated 13th general election.

“No More Bullshit” was pieced together with the same sense of urgency that surrounded the publication of his earlier book, “ March 8: The Day Malaysia Woke Up”.

But while the latter’s relevance was tied to the aftermath of the 2008 political upset, the former is aimed at rattling BN’s position even before Malaysians go to the polls.

“I’d been toying with the idea for a while and when I finally found the time to work on it I realised that the elections could be around the corner,” Kee said. “So I pushed my publisher to get it out quickly and I’m glad that I made it in time.”

“I hope that Malaysians especially the fence-sitters and those who only read the mainstream media, read this book before they cast their votes. It might give the latter group a different perspective.”

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