I refer to the malaysiakini report Groups back May 13 book.
One of the basic principles in a democracy is the right to speak and write. In a fledgling democracy, certain restrictions might be warranted, but for a country which has achieved independence for almost 50 years, these basic principles should be respected and should not be curtailed.
The recent book on May 13 by Dr Kua Kia Soong - copies of which were reportedly confiscated form bookshops despite no official ban on the book - should be allowed to be sold to Malaysians. I have not read the book personally but that does not really matter. What matters is the principle of the right to research, analyse and publish.
I understand the author has spent months of reading through declassified documents, which are official sources, and the fact that they are declassified means that these facts are now openly accessible. What is in the book is the author's interpretation and analysis of the events happening then.
If what the book professes contradicts the official story, then it is the duty of the government to do similar research and come out with evidence to back their own version of the story and to rebut such contradictions.
How are we to achieve excellence if we do not allow the freedom to probe and research? Without this freedom to probe and research, we will always be a mediocre nation and a mediocre people.
Thirty-eight years after the event of May 13, Malaysians are much more matured and sophisticated. A whole new generation has grown up. Are we to deny this generation the freedom to read and analyse for themselves?
Anyway, in this era of the Internet, banning the book would be futile. The digital revolution has made the world much more transparent and anyone with an Internet connection can easily source for the book if it is posted on the Net.