Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Book about SBY

When Soeharto was a President from 1966 until 1998, many books were not allowed to be publicized, even if they were approved for publication they can always be withdrawn from circulation if the authority felt that they might be dangerous for them.

After Soeharto stepped down on May 1998, I thought that the days of book withdrawal have been over.

That's why I was so surprised when the media reported that the Gramedia bookstore has suddenly withdrawn a book written by George Aditjondro titled: " Membongkar Gurita Cikeas " (Revealing the Tentacles of Cikeas) which tells about the business of President SBY & his family, and his alleged involvement in the Bank Century case.
Note: Cikeas is the area where President SBY's personal residence is located.

However, the President's spokesman Julian Pasha said that the President is still studying the book, and no decision has been made about the book.

For detailed media reports, please click here and here.

In my humble opinion, it would be better if the book is not withdrawn from circulation. Doing that would only draw public's curiosity about the book's content. And there is no guarantee that the pirate edition of book can be obstructed from circulation. Let the public be the judge to what is written on the book.

Photo - George Aditjondro (center) : Courtesy of Antara Foto.


colson said...


You are right. This really looks like the old autocratic ways; only flattering news on the 'monarch' is allowed, critical stuff is censored.

No books fit for print- even if the ruling elite doesn't welcome the content- should be banned, censored etc because of religious, moral or political reasons.

H. Nizam said...


The bookstore voluntarily withdrawn the book, and the SBY's spokesman denied any decision to withdraw, book is still being studied.
Let us wait and see, also hope that there would not be any withdrawal.

colson said...

@ Harry: They withdrew the book voluntary? If so, they are cowards who are a disgrace to their profession. Or there was no offical ban but the publisher/bookshop wiothdrew the book after some "informal" elicitation by some authority. Which would mean really bad news for freedom of speech.

H. Nizam said...


It was the bookstore, which happens to be one of the largest chain bookstore, who did voluntarily.
There's no official prohibition of the book, and SBY's spokesman denied.

The writer George Aditjondro is a well known anti corruption researcher since the Soeharto era.