Lynn D’Cruz | Mar 18, 2012
As one flicks through the early pages of Kee Thuan Chye’s second yet profoundly articulate book ‘No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians’, one cannot help but stare in wonder at the last two names in the dedication.
Soraya Sunitra Kee Xiang Yin and Jebat Arjuna Kee Jia Liang fly off the pages like a flag in the wind.
One knows instantly that beyond it’s ability to provoke change, this is a book by a true patriot. A patriot who believes that Malaysia is worth fighting for.
To the reader’s delight a whole chapter is dedicated to explaining the names of his children leaves the message “I am Malaysian first, Chinese second,” resonating deeply with the reader.
Having the layman understand the political climate in Malaysia is not an easy feat. Kee, manages to illustrate the political climate, the discrepancies and struggles Malaysians who harbour a love for her country face – in easy to understand logic.
He begins the book trying to convince his friends who intent to emigrate to stay back and fight for Malaysia. He ends his first chapter – with a resigned reply by his friends “but does this country really cares if we stay or go.”
Fight for reform
However, the whole book, including plays the writer had produced, is intelligently designed to convince people to stay back and fight for reform.
He discloses everyday run-ins with authorities, how the country is bullied by a minority and the infantile disregard for arts and culture.
Kee masterfully highlights how the national language is politicised to sideline and marginalise non-Malay writers. How, although their works speak volumes of patriotism and love for the country – yet, when written in English, are not respected as national literature.
He speaks about senseless censorship – in and around the performing arts industry and how a mere mention of a particular pharmacy may be the reason your permit is revoked.
“There is precious little that artists can do to defend their rights; not while the government and the people give in to tyranny.”
Kee names the autocratic former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the biggest mess maker in the country. His interference in press freedom, the judiciary, his building of the white elephant, Putrajaya and last but not least his Ketuanan Melayu ideology are all different degrees of Mahathir’s dirty linen aired in Kee’s masterful ‘No more Bullshit’.
This book will tamper with your conscience. It will not let you rest or feel indifferent – it points out, highlights and defines what a democracy truly means. It puts to shame the 54 years of feigned independence.
It is a book with acute documentation of Malaysian history since March 8, 2012. The author intricately outlines race-related incidents, political implications, dialectical struggles and highlights repeatedly the strength in people’s power.
This is a book one has to read in order to remember every single affliction Malaysia has faced in the last four years. It will solidify the reader’s resolution to want to make a difference in the next general elections.
It is a book every Malaysian should possess.
‘No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians’ is available in all leading bookstores at RM39.90.