Friday, 9 December 2011

Can't Handle The Rock-Hard Truths?

Yesterday, news broke about a list of books labelled haram by the Department of Islamic Development (Jakim). Among those were Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going (Straits Times Press) and Faisal Tehrani's Sebongkah Batu di Kuala Berang (PTS Litera Utama Sdn Bhd).

Faisal Tehrani's 'Sebongkah Batu di Kuala Berang'''Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going'
Disappearing soon from bookstores and libraries everywhere?

Many would wonder why Hard Truths ended up in a list of banned "Islamic-themed books". A Malaysian Insider article suggests that it could be due to what LKY said about Muslims in Singapore.

I don't know why they need to ban the book based on this statement. Isn't it an unspoken rule that Malaysians should ignore whatever this guy says? Anyway, TMI said that he'd retracted the statement.

Though the books have been declared haram, they have not yet been officially banned by the Home Ministry. With Jakim's list, however, it might only a matter of time.

The report went on to say that Jakim has "not responded to queries ... on why the decision was made nine months after [Hard Truths] hit the shelves in Malaysia." I bet it can't. And thanks to this bit of tardiness, there are people out there who have a banned book in their hands - after how many freaking months after it was released.

10/12/2011  It was incorrectly stated that Faisal Tehrani's book, Sebongkah Batu di Kuala Berang has been banned; the corresponding line has been removed.

It's also been reported that Hard Truths is still being studied and, therefore, not banned yet.

Many thanks to the readers who took the time to inform me.


  1. While it's clear why Faisal Tehrani's latest book was banned,

    It is? Why was it banned? I honestly want to know. In my blog I presumed it was because of his Shia' sympathies but that was just me guessing.

  2. I'm being pessimistic. While Jakim has clarified that the final decision to ban the books is the Home Ministry's, I don't feel that there will be any surprises.

    Then there's part of the subtitle that says, "Teori kedatangan Islam di Tanah Melayu". Would the powers-that-be allow any other interpretation of how that came about? Even in works of fiction?

    But I could be wrong.

  3. My name is Mohd Faizal Musa, better known as Faisal Tehrani a fellow researcher in UKM.
    Tell me why my book is banned?

  4. Mr Faisal, thank you for comments. Corrections will be up in a moment.


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