KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang has called upon the Home Ministry to review its ban on controversial former DAP member Hew Kuan Yau’s comic book on China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
He said it came as a shock to discover the publication Belt and Road Initiative for Win-Winism had been banned under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984’s Section 7(1).
“I do not believe that the Home Ministry acted rightly in levelling the charges that Hew’s comic book was promoting communism and sympathy for the communist struggle,” Lim said in a statement.
Although acknowledging he has not read the comic book nor does he agree with all of Hew’s thoughts and ideas, Lim said the former Malaysia China Business Council (MCBC) chief executive officer is “neither a communist nor a communist sympathiser”.
“I have known Hew Kuan Yau for over three decades, and he was an ‘angry young man’, unorthodox and irreverent, to the extent of being extremely crude and vulgar causing great embarrassment all round, in fighting for justice and a better Malaysia and the last thing he would do is to be a communist or to promote communism.
“I call on the Home Ministry officials to review the ban as the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government came into power on the promise to usher in an era of greater openness without undermining national security,” he said.
Lim specifically recounted PH’s 27th promise in its 14th general election manifesto, where it pledged to repeal oppressive laws like the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.
Yesterday, the ministry announced the ban of both the Bahasa Melayu and Mandarin versions of the comic, on the grounds that it promotes and sympathises with communist and socialist ideologies, sows doubts among younger Malaysians about the country’s history, and disputes the struggles of previous generations of leaders in paving the way for the nation’s independence.
Similarly, Hew was also summoned to the Bukit Aman police headquarters to provide a statement over the book. Earlier today, he resigned from the MCBC, ostensibly to ensure the organisation’s continued smooth operations.