‘Superman’ Hew seeks to challenge ban on pro-China comic book

(FMT) – DAP member Hew Kuan Yau is seeking to challenge the home minister’s ban on his comic book on China’s Belt and Road Initiative which sparked controversy after copies of it were distributed to schools as reference material.

In his application for leave for judicial review, Hew asked the court to quash the minister’s order on Oct 23 under the Printing Presses and Publication Act (PPPA), which was gazetted that same day in the federal gazette.

He also sought a court declaration that Section 7 (1) of the PPPA is unconstitutional, as well as an order for the government to return all copies of the comic book previously seized.

Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said ministry officials had seized over 2,000 copies of the book, titled “Belt and Road Initiative for Win Winism”.

The government said “the contents of the book can be detrimental to public order and safety”, adding that the comic book had elements that might encourage support and sympathies for the communist struggle.

Hew’s comic book drew criticism after news that 2,500 copies in Bahasa Malaysia had been distributed to school libraries as reference material.

Hew, also known as “Superman” Kuan Yau for wearing T-shirts featuring the superhero logo, was also questioned by the police as part of their investigation into the pro-China comic book.

High Court judge Mariana Yahya fixed Jan 6 to hear Hew’s application for leave to challenge the book ban.