Farish Noor’s books removed from Kinokuniya’s shelves?Posted: November 27, 2008
Read this from Sharon Bakar’s Bibliobibuli:
Since I was making my weekly (expensive!) pilgrimage to Kino anyway that afternoon, I decided to check out the status of the book, and discovered, yes, that the KDN (Home Ministry) officials had make their rounds and confiscated all the copies of the book, telling the bookshop that they were going to investigate it further and that in the meantime the store was not allowed to sell copies of the book.
Today I learned that this ban applies to all Farish’s books which the store is not allowed to bring in until further notice (although there are still copies of the Malay translation of Di Balik Malaysia published by ZI Publications still on the shelves).
As I’m not in KL currently, I cannot confirm this for myself, although I would say that Sharon has no reason to lie. And after all, Sharon DID go check it out herself.
Sharon goes on to ask some very valid questions about this action. Amongst others:
Why did the officers decide to take the copies? The book has been on sale since 2005!
Why can’t they supply the bookshop with any valid reason for wanting to remove the book?
Do officers really need to go into bookshops and take books from the shelves?
Do officers actually have a legal right to remove books or tell a shop that the book may not be sold if the book is not in any sense legally gazetted as banned?
Ironically, the books are not banned as yet. Meaning that you could probably still get a copy of Farish’s books now at some other bookstores, just not at Kinokuniya.
Why target just Kinokuniya? Can this be considered a form of harrassment?
I have no answer. I just find this highly odd. And slightly worrisome.