Kee’s latest book demands political introspection

Kee Thuan Chye is back again with his latest book titled ‘Ask for no bullshit, get some more!’.

Hot after the success of his first book ‘No more bullshit, please. We are all Malayisans’, which was released in February 2012, he has now come out with another book, ‘Ask for no bullshit, get some more!’.

As with his previous book, this book comprised of his already published political commentaries on online news portal like Malaysiakini, Malaysian Digest, Free Malaysia Today and also the magazine, Penang Monthly.

‘Ask for no bullshit, get some more!’ went on sale in December 2012 and the book will be officially launched in early February this year.

Also included in this book are his dramatic works comprising of excerpts and two short plays in their entirety.

At the end of the book are interviews of him by there online news portal and five reviews of his first book.

On the 6  January 2013, Kee held his first book reading session of ‘Ask for no bullshit, get some more!’ at Borders, Queensbay, Penang.

About 50 people turned up, not only to listen to his reading but for an interactive session to discuss and ask questions about his book.

Kee Thuan Chye reading his book at Borders, Penang.

Kee said that he specially choose Penang to do his first reading since Penang is his hometown, and although he stays in Kuala Lumpur, he has a fondness for Penang.

During the reading, he started off with the chapter ‘A Letter to Chua Soi Lek’.

In this chapter, Kee asked whether Chua is trying to intimidate the Chinese when he hinted that if the Chinese don’t vote for BN, there won’t be any Chinese representatives in the cabinet.

Kee was pretty irked with Chua’s stand on the Bersih 2.0 gathering when Chua mocked the large turnout (50,0000) at Bersih 2.0, saying he could easily master up 50,000 MCA members for a gathering.

Chua also said there were very few Chinese present at Bersih 2.0 but Kee said he was present at Bersih 2.0 and can testify to the fact that there were thousands of Chinese there.

After his reading of this chapter, an audience asked him whether Chua replied his letter.

Kee said no and did not expect a reply anyway.

To him, sometimes in instances like this, it’s better that the minister concerned do not reply.

Part of the audience watching the show

There were chuckles here and there when he next read ‘Why are people saying bad things about Rosmah’.

This chapter began with the issue of Rosmah receiving an honorary doctorate from the Curtin university in Australia and almost half of the chapter was devoted to comments from people (taken from various sources) bashing the university for granting this award to her.

“Malaysians are not noted to say bad things about the wives of past prime ministers – at least not in public. None of her predecessors have been bashed like this. So why Rosmah?” he wrote in the book.

When Kee read ‘Do you want the devil that you know?’ applause broke out now and then.

This time, Kee talked about leadership in the political sphere.

People had been asking him if PR take over, will there be good leadership?

Instead, he shot back, ‘What about the leadership in BN now? Are they good or  really good leaders  in BN?

He then moved on to the phrase ‘Better the devil you know than the angel you don’t’ which came from Dr Mahathir.

Dr M had hinted that even though BN is a ‘devil’, it is safer to keep BN in power than to have a new government.

However, Kee questioned that if the ‘devil we know’ has not brought us a single institutional reform, why should we have faith in them?

His last reading was ‘Lament of a stressed-out minister’. Kee wanted to highlight this because this was written in another perspective – from the point of view of a minister.

During the interactive time, when Kee asked the audience do they think BN will capture Penang in the coming election, there was a thunderous roar of “No way!”.

Someone asked Kee whether did he ‘have the luxury of time’ to check his facts before he write anything.

“Of course.” he said. “We must give due diligent to checking our source. This is the first principle of a journalist – check your source and when in doubt, leave it out.”

There were also discussions on electoral fraud and overseas voting.

Queuing up for Kee's autograph.

What made him come out with a second ‘bullshit’ book so soon after the first? Kee said it is because of the impending general election looming before us.

“I decided to bring this book out before GE13 so that people can still weigh some of the important issues before going to the polls.” he said. “I’m hoping that the fence-sitters and people who read only mainstream media will pick up this book and consider the alternative perspectives in it which they don’t get from the controlled media.”

Kee also said that he was happy at the success of his first book and thrilled when many people, strangers among them, wrote to him on how they loved his first book.

“I think most of the time people relate to what I write because as many have told me, I articulate what they themselves are thinking.

Through me, they found a voice and for this they are appreciative.

This encouraged me to come out with another ‘bullshit’ book.”

He laughed when saying that for sure if he comes out with a third book, there will still be ‘bullshit’ in it.

He hope that after reading ‘Ask for no bullshit, get some more!’, people will rethink about the real situation Malaysia is in and vote wisely during the coming election.

Kee’s second ‘Book Talk & Reading’ will be held at Borders, The Curves in KL on Sunday, 13 January at 3.00pm.

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