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Thursday, August 26, 2010

'March to Putrajaya' publisher quizzed by cops

Low Chee Chong, the executive director of publishing firm Oriengroup Sdn Bhd, was questioned by police in his office yesterday in relation to the book 'The March to Putrajaya' written by Kim Quek and published by the firm.

"Yesterday three police officers from Bukit Aman came to my office and they questioned me under Section 112 (of the Criminal Procedure Code as a witness)," Low told reporters during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

NONEHe said that the special officers from the Criminal Investigation Department told him that someone had lodged a police report against the book.

"But they did not show me the original police report," he said.

Low said that the police asked him questions ranging from his relationship with the author of the book, Yong Thye Chong - who signs off as 'Kim Quek' - to the book's contents.

"Most interestingly, the police asked me if I thought that the book might affect the country's security. Of course I said no!" he said.

Yong however condemned the police seizure of copies of 'The March to Putrajaya'.

"Police officers had raided bookshops in many parts of the country to confiscate the book. They did so without giving any reason and without issuing any official document. Neither has there been any public statement accounting for this operation," he said.

100 copies taken

He also claimed that the books were seized by Special Branch officers and that around 100 copies were taken.

"The officers just cleaned out the stocks in the bookstore and warned the operator not to sell it any more. Upon taking those books, only a piece of paper with the name of the officer was given. There was no official chop nor signature on the paper," he said.

kim quek yong thye chongLambasting the police operation as illegal, Yong (right) said that it constituted trespassing and theft since there were neither search warrants nor legal grounds.

"If articles in my publications contain falsehood or illegal elements that have endangered public security or caused injury to any party, I would have expected the injured party to have protested or acted against me. But there has been none," he said.

He added that any party who had been injured by his article could resort to a defamation suit.

"Harassing the bookshops to sabotage the sale of my publication is surely a response that is legally and morally wrong," Yong stressed.

anti chinese media monopoly 6th 290507 josh hongAlso present were Malaysiakini CEO Premesh Chandran - which is the e-retailer for the book, representatives from Writers Alliance for Media Independence (Wami) Josh Hong (left) and Ng Yap Hwa, writer Nathaniel Tan - copies of whose book 'Where is Justice' had been seized in January this year, and Gerak Budaya managing director Chong Ton Sin - which handle the distribution for 'The March to Putrajaya'.

The book was reportedly seized by police last week. However the Home Ministry's Publications Control and Quranic Text secretary Zaitun Ab Samad had denied any knowledge of its seizure.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

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