YOURSAY | 'Jata Malaysia': Up in arms over a book cover


Modified 1 Jul 2020, 3:29 am

YOURSAY | ‘The artwork is there to decorate the book. But what ‘sells’ the book is its contents…’.

Publisher apologises over 'coat of arms' image on book cover

Home minister orders cops to probe 'coat of arms' on book cover

Vijay47: As a loyal, faithful, citizen of Malaysia, I strongly believe that all national symbols like the flag, the Constitution, the anthem, and the coat-of-arms should be respected by all.

Thus, I certainly support the home minister’s move to protect the sanctity of these icons. Anybody who displays disrespect should be charged in court.

So I studied the controversial cover of the book in question and in fact, I studied it again. But try as I might, what I did see was a rather amateurish drawing of two persons on their way to a fancy-dress party, garbed in some strange zebra costume complete with devilish horns.

Then again, they could be South Indian artistes of the famous pulli-aattam dance which is performed during certain festivals.

Above them is a baby smiling in the sun or it could be a moon-child, I am not too sure, maybe the two individuals were once hippies. Or still are. The pair is shown to be prancing on a crocodile, then again, it could be an alligator.

The confusing part here is that the crocodile aka alligator is smiling like the baby. Is there a hidden meaning here? Why is the crocodile smiling?

According to National Geography, they usually lurk near river banks waiting for an unwary buffalo to stray close. They almost never smile. Unlike hyenas who laugh.

So it appears that Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin and those who made a police report seem to have got their knickers all in a twist. How in heaven’s name did all of you conclude that the drawing was that of the Malaysian coat-of-arms?

I think Hamzah and the others should have action taken against them for equating a cartoon with the national coat of arms. And please, no apologies and crocodile tears.

Quietly Staying At Home: The Home Ministry finally woke up? The book was published months ago, where were Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and all these groups?

The Analyser: If you don’t like the cover of the book, then don’t buy it. However, your dislike does not give you the right to impose your bigotry on the rest of society.

This is not freedom of speech, because the critics acted on their criticism. This is some people exercising their “assumed” right to repress.

But, doesn’t book publisher Chong Ton Sing make the situation worse by apologising for something that wasn’t done with malicious intent?

By doing so, isn’t he kowtowing to the most narrow-minded elements in society? And by apologising, doesn’t he empower the bigots to become even more bigoted?

Vijay47: One would imagine that the publisher may have decided that surrender is the better part of discretion. In fact, the apology brings with it other unhealthy consequences.

We are again reminded that the abnormal views of retards out to score political points and mob law is the new order of life in Malaysia.

We are fast reaching a stage, if not already, where any action and position taken, however natural, sane, and justified, has to be withdrawn and recanted because of the demands of fanatics, extremists, and the lunatic fringe.

On that score, I am proud and glad that DAP leader Hannah Yeoh told those who opposed her book on her journey with Christ to go take a flying leap into Lake Tiberias.

Hang Babeuf: What publicity this book is getting! The publishers could never have afforded to organise such a promotion campaign.

Meanwhile, is the cover a commercial "rip-off" of the national coat of arms? I think not. Just a decorative artwork, creative design, the kind that you see all the time.

You can allude to something without ripping it off, "spoofing" it, or appropriating it for your own business or commercial purposes.

That artwork is there to decorate the book. But what "sells" the book is its contents, what it says - not the decorative artwork. Hardly a case of commercial misappropriation!

Simple Citizen 2204: Any Malaysian should know that these are symbols that represent the country and should show respect to them.

I don't believe it was done unintentionally. Some motive is hidden in there or to gain publicity from controversy to boost the sale of the book. Creative expression aside, these people should be punished severely as a strong deterrent.

The Wakandan: It is a matter of how you look at it. If you want to see what you want to see, you can always see the devil everywhere. Question is, where is the infraction?

BluePanther4725: This is making a mountain out of a molehill. Focusing on the trivial instead of bigger issues like corruption and abuse of power. What's wrong with the image? Is freedom of expression dead in Malaysia?

R.Venugopal: Indeed, when billions are robbed from the nation, none of these guys made any police report. People allegedly abusing funds in 1MDB, Tabung Haji, LTAT, etc, by the billions, and where are MIC, MCA, PAS, Umno?

All these police reports are more of a show to mark the attendance in their activity sheet.

Musang Queen: This culture we're cultivating whereby anyone with hurt feelings gets to lodge police reports is dangerous.

RedCheetah0747: One would think that with a pandemic raging and the world economy in tatters, people will have more important things to think about.

Anonymous 5035: The silly cover aside, I decided to check out the book. I read the blurb and it appears to be a collection of essays on the political landscape of Malaysia since 2018 - that so-called rebirth of a nation.

However, that rebirth was aborted by none other than Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the man who masterminded his own downfall.

To quote, "Mahathir botched the coup against his own government - and ended up stabbing himself". I think I should get the book and relive the nostalgia of 2018.

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