Cops raid PJ publisher over controversial book cover

CID director Huzir Mohamed says 32 police reports have been lodged against the publisher of the book ‘Rebirth: Reformasi, Resistance, And Hope In New Malaysia’.

KUALA LUMPUR: Police today raided a publisher behind a controversial book cover whose depiction of Malaysia’s coat of arms sparked angry reactions.

Bukit Aman’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Huzir Mohamed said the raid was carried out by the Classified Criminal Investigation Unit.

He said 1,000 copies of the book were printed, 687 of which were already distributed or sold.

“A total of 313 copies are still being stored and have been confiscated,” Huzir told the media at the Bukit Aman police headquarters here.

The cover of the book, “Rebirth: Reformasi, Resistance, And Hope In New Malaysia”, bears a resemblance to the national coat of arms, featuring a naked child flanked by two tigers with humanoid faces stepping on a crocodile.

Earlier today, publisher Gerakbudaya reportedly apologised over the design, but said it had no intention of insulting or ridiculing the national symbol.

“I am truly sorry for the mistake but I did not think it would be a big deal or was even offensive because it is an old painting and felt it would not be a problem to make it the cover of a book,” said its director, Chong Ton Sin.

Huzir said police would also be calling the graphic designer as part of its investigation, which is being carried out under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, Sedition Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act as well as the Communications and Multimedia Act.

He said 32 police reports have been lodged against the publisher.

The Prime Minister’s Office has also criticised the misuse of the coat of arms, and warned of action under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act.

“Section 3(1)(a) states that without express written permission no person shall use the emblem or imitation of the emblem for the purpose of trade, business, occupation or profession,” it said in a statement today.

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