Don’t ban Tommy Thomas’ book. Get a QC to rebut the book, as was done with May Day For Justice!


By P Ramakrishnan

The well-orchestrated and planned strategy to lodge police reports across Malaysia was done to create a negative impression about Thomas and his book. Nevertheless, Ramakrishnan argues that in attempting to ban the book, they hope to bury the truth.

The wolves are out baying for Tommy Thomas’ blood. Like a pack of wolves, with the herd mentality, they condemn his book and lodge police reports all over the country. In Johor alone, 16 reports were made.

Since the first edition of the book was sold out online, and the second edition is not yet available in book shops, we wonder on what basis the police reports are being made.

How many of them have really read the book?

It looks like a well-orchestrated and planned strategy to lodge reports creating the impression that a vast number of Malaysians are outraged with Tommy Thomas’ book. Numbers are meant to create an impact of unrest and disquiet.

There is no doubt that this so-called reaction is instigated by those who don’t want the truth to be told and their less than exemplary conduct exposed. In attempting to ban the book, they hope to bury the truth.

The police should not waste time investigating these reports based on conjecture and falsehood. The police should insist that those making their police report produce the book as evidence that they have read the book and not acting as lackeys for some discredited politicians who are implicated in Thomas’ book. The police should demand which portion of the book that they found provocative and offensive. They shouldn’t simply come to the police station and report some nonsense.

Since the book is not yet available in book shops, how could they have read the book? If they have ordered online, let them show proof. If anyone brings a borrowed book as evidence of having read it, the police should chop the book to prevent the same from being passed around to others making similar reports.

The ministers and politicians who are upset with the contents of the book presumably because they have been implicated should seriously consider hiring a QC to rebut the book. This was what was done when the excellent book by Tun Salleh and K. Das – May Day For Justice – embarrassed those plotters who lied and cheated to destroy the career of an upright jurist.

If anyone felt that they were defamed in any manner, they should take up the matter in court to settle the issue. Let the court consider the merits of their objection. Their presumed grievance cannot be resolved by banning the book. There must be a basis for such drastic action. The forum to settle the issue is the court – not the police or the home minister.

Those who disagree should get into a discourse and debate in order to establish their point of view. This would be the democratic way to confront an issue that may be troubling them. This will be the sensible thing to do.

The truth hurts, so it has been aptly put. And going by those who are jumping up in anger, it would seem, Thomas had stepped on too many toes! These are the people, who don’t come out as angels in Thomas’ book and who are planting the idea of banning the book as a means to suppress the truth.

If we take a look at the hundreds of unflattering comments flooding the internet, it is crystal clear that a vast majority of Malaysians empathize with Thomas and share his candid views of issues and personalities. Those of us who have been following Malaysian politics and the unfair policies of discrimination stand solidly with Thomas for his sincerity, courage and integrity in speaking the truth without fear or favour.

Let the following two quotations throw some light:

Any book worth banning is a book worth reading. – Isaac Asimov

Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.– Potter Stewart

(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)

First published on 7 February 2021 at this link.

P Ramakrishnan is the long-serving former president of Aliran who served three and a half decades on its executive committee, and has been with Aliran since its inception in 1977. Now an ordinary Aliran member, he continues to highlight issues of public interest to a larger audience.
Rebuilding Malaysia

1 Comment

  • Paul Wolfobitch says:

    Our monkeys do really put excessive worship in QCs. You don’t need a QC to “rebut” the book, or review it.

    There isn’t really much in the book that requires any legal expertise or even legal knowledge to deal with (yes, I’ve read it, *yawn*). Any of our chickenshit plantation lawyers can read the book and shag their usual excruciating profusion of legalese and plantation Latin over it while they look for a job while driving or biking grub for Grab.

    They can play Rumpole of the Old Irish Cream or Frank Cannon or LA Lok Ann Cafe Law.

    I can’t tell if it is fiction or just pages of Malaysian sarabat café style titillating gossip not worth getting the girlfriend’s knickers in any twist over in any legal discourse with it, though it has certainly, and as usual, got our excessively thin-skinned monkeys infuriated and running to the police and lawyers to seek redress.

    Banning the book is being utterly silly, it will definitely get more of our illiterates to want to read it. It will just get a wider audience for the book, what would happen would be the enterprising would make the book available for nothing on the internet. And our enterprising kiasus would make the book available to all their kiasu friends and their legal hounds, beavers and eagles.

    I don’t think much of Tommy as a lawyer, but he’s certainly got our other garden varieties all worked up, bitching, huffing and puffing, and banging their balls in rage.

    If any of our plantation lawyers is two percent smart, a better seller would be a book or two doing some half-decent study of why lawsuits against Tommy may or may not work.

    Once the lawsuits (if worth their belacan) are out, expect our half-baked longkang-grade plantation lawyers to do their sarabat stall or kopitiam grandstanding and energetic masturbating with getting nowhere with the “finer points” as usual only known by our unemployed and unemployable monkeys.

    One thing I can say for Tommy though, if he can get so many of our fcukheads pissed off, then writing the book was worth it, Alhamdulilah!

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