The forum on non-sectarian politics at the book launch
A last-minute letter from Gerakan politician Chia Loong Thye’s lawyers failed to stop the launch of a controversial new book on Gerakan by authors Neil Khor and Khoo Kay Peng at the E & O Hotel.
The letter was sent to the authors during the book launch at the hotel. Issued by the legal firm Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill, it put the authors on notice that Chia would “claim for any aggravated damages that will arise from the launch of the book….”
The book “Non-sectarian politics in Malaysia: The case of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia” had already ruffled the feathers of certain quarters within Gerakan even before the launch.
High Court Judge Abdul Wahab Patail had earlier today denied Chia’s application for an injunction to stop the launch and sale of the book.
The book launch – along with a forum promoting non-sectarian politics – proceeded without a hitch in front of a packed hall at the hotel. Among the crowd of about 150 were Gerakan politicians, Penang civil society activists and even “old boys” of St Xavier’s Institution, the authors’ alma mater. The media showed up in full force. All quite extraordinary for the launch of a book in Penang.
Among the speakers at the forum were Gerakan stalwart Toh Kin Woon and veteran activist Anwar Fazal who spoke about the importance of adopting a non-sectarian, universal approach to politics and public life to counter communal trends.
The books put up on sale outside the hall flew like hot cakes and there wasn’t a single copy left.
The initial print run is 2,000 copies. An additional run of 2,000 copies is expected soon.