Apr 22, 2010

Home Ministry clears 'Malaysian Maverick' book


KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — The authorities have cleared the controversial political biography of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for sale in the country.

Copies of “Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times” have been held up in Port Klang while awaiting clearance from the Home Ministry.

Digital copies of the book, however, can be downloaded from the Internet.

The distributor was informed by the ministry of the clearance recently and the book is expected to go on sale next week.

It also plans to launch the book in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

“We have always stood by the book which has been subject to peer review to ensure its academic rigour,” said Alexandra Webster, associate director of the publisher, Palgrave Macmillan, in a statement.

Written by Barry Wain, a former editor of the Asian Wall Street Journal, the “Malaysian Maverick” has sold more than 12,500 copies in Hong Kong, Southeast Asia and Australia.

In Singapore, it has been on The Straits Times’ best-seller list for three months, with many copies being bought by Malaysians.

“We’ve been waiting for more than four months for the Malaysians to make a decision, and we’re extremely pleased they have given the book a clean bill of health,” said Wain in the same statement.

The book has been a subject of intense debate and discussion among politicians and critics of the fourth prime minister.

The book claims that Dr Mahathir had squandered an estimated RM100 billion of taxpayers’ money.

Dr Mahathir, who ran the country for 22 years, had said that he does not need any protection from the authorities and urged the government to release the book.

Just early this month, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein told Parliament that the government was still reviewing the book before making any decision.



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