Debate Tommy Thomas, not silence him using censorship and intimidation

By Charles Santiago


I HAVE been staring at my computer screen for some time now and still quite perplexed about where to start.

I am referring to the burst of emotions and red-faced anger following the release of former Attorney-General (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas’ book.

How does one respond to childish taunts and knee jerk reactions such as stripping off the Tan Sri title and calls to ban his book?

And now we have the police saying Thomas would be investigated under the Penal Code and Official Secrets Act.

This was brought about by the 134 police reports lodged against the former AG.

If people are so riled up by the content of the book, which has a beaming Thomas on the front cover, why not respond with facts, figures, observations or one’s own narrative?

I have not read the book yet but I have a copy. And given the long queue outside Gerak Budaya bookshop plus frustrations over sold out copies, I consider myself lucky to actually own one.

And this is primarily because of concerns that the book may be banned soon.

Banning books is a form of censorship. It limits the creative thinking process and prohibits a person from thinking laterally.

Thomas has put his observations into a book and while some may not agree with what he’s written, no one has the right to create a bubble and prevent others from reading his thoughts and ideas.

Screaming until someone is blue in the face without a proper narrative gets you nowhere.

Why not use this opportunity to create a society that can think critically?

Just allow everyone to read the book and debate Thomas, as opposed to making threats of police reports and hauling the publisher for police questioning. – Feb 9, 2021.


Charles Santiago is the MP for Klang.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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