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Police to probe controversial book cover

A side-by-side comparison of Malaysia's coat of arms and the controversial cover of the book.

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – June 26, 2020: Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin has ordered the police to investigate the publication of a controversial book that features a desecrated image of Malaysia’s coat of arms on its cover.

Citing Section 3(1)(a) of the Emblems and Names Act, he pointed out that it is an offence for anyone to imitate the government’s emblem and the coat of arms.

The law only allows the usage of such imagery with written consent of the minister.

“The government will not compromise with any individual that has committed this irresponsible and unpatriotic act,” said Hamzah in a brief statement at Facebook today.

The book, titled Rebirth: Reformasi, Resistance and Hope in New Malaysia is a collection of news reports and essays relating to the 14th general elections on May 9, 2018,

Published on February 5, it is edited by Kean Wong, formerly a journalist with The Sun, Straits Times and BFM. Because this was more than five months ago, the question that needs to be answered by the authorities is why no one saw this as an offence earlier.

It caused a stir in cyberspace yesterday after the image of its cover went at Facebook.

Malaysia’s coat of arms comprises a shield laid below a crescent moon and a fourteen-pointed star supported by two tigers standing atop of the country’s motto “Bersekutu. Bertambah Mutu”.

The desecrated version shows a disinterested face of a woman in a red headpiece supported by two red tigers with human faces, standing on a red crocodile. On top of the woman’s head is a crescent moon with a naked baby wearing a star-shaped mane.

The book is published by the Strategic Information and Research Development Centre.

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About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.