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Who do you have to pay to get a book banned in Malaysia? Since its release almost a month ago I've been counting on a command for my latest work to be confiscated and burned, thereby making it famous and thus a sure-fire best-seller on the black market, and what's happened?

Nothing. No lightning raids on bookstores by Special Branch. No zany comments from Zam on its transcending the limits of publishing freedom. No threats from the keris-waving Hishammuddin Hussein. No police report, at least that I know of, by the mighty Muhamad Muhamad Taib. No nasty note from my former would-be nemesis Mustapha Ong. Not even a damning review in one of those fearlessly self-censoring organs of the press like the Star or New Straits Times .

If this is a police state, as we have Tun Dr M's assurance that it is, plus ample supporting evidence like the arrest of blogger Nat Tan under the Official Secrets Act, the detention of countless other "suspects" under the Internal Security Act and Emergency Ordinance and control of news and views by the Publications Act, it's high time it got its act together.

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