Muhyiddin: We've received no request to review ban on Hew's comic book

  • Nation
  • Friday, 25 Oct 2019

PONTIAN: The Home Ministry has yet to receive any official request from any individual to review its decision on the banned Belt and Road Initiative for Win-Winism comic.

Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said so far he had yet to received a request and had only heard voices on the matter.

"It is not about punishing anyone, but what's important from the ministry standpoint is public safety and order where it is much more important.

"The ministry has to make sure that any form of ideology is not able to influence our rakyat," he said when met after attending a meeting with ministry agencies at Pontian police district headquarters here on Friday (Oct 25).

Muhyiddin was commenting on DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang remark that Home Ministry had, with the ban on the comic book by former DAP member Hew Kuan Yau, overstepped Pakatan Harapan's promise to usher in more freedom for the media.

The MP for Iskandar Puteri came to Hew's defence, stating that Pakatan, which DAP is a part of, had not acted correctly in handling the comic book saga.

In a media statement on Oct 24, Lim said the 49-year-old – an "angry young man" once – could never be a communist or a promoter of communism.

"I have known Hew for over three decades since the early years as an “angry young man”, who was unorthodox and irreverent, to the extent of being extremely crude and vulgar, causing great embarrassment all round, in the fight for justice and a better Malaysia.

"And the last thing he would do is to be a communist or to promote communism.

"It has therefore come as a shock to me that his comic book titled Belt and Road Initiative for Win-Winism was banned on Wednesday (Oct 23) by the Home Ministry under Section 7(1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA) for, among other reasons, promoting communism and having sympathy for the communist struggle.

"I do not agree with all of Hew’s thoughts and ideas, and I had not read his comic book when the controversy blew up, but Hew is neither a communist nor a communist sympathiser.

"I call on the Home Ministry officials to review the ban, as the Pakatan Government came into power on the promise to usher in an era of greater openness without undermining national security," said Lim.

He said that in the Pakatan manifesto for the last general election, the coalition pledged to repeal oppressive laws like PPPA.

In the past week, the comic book produced by Hew in collaboration with local artist Chong Po Ling has created a political furore among Pakatan Harapan leaders.

It was reportedly distributed to the libraries of some schools without the knowledge of the authorities, sparking controversy for bringing politics into the classroom.

The forward was written by Lim Guan Eng, who signed off as Finance Minister and DAP secretary-general.

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