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until 1998, many books were not allowed to be publicized, even if they were approved for publication they can always be withdrawn from circulation if the authority felt that they might be dangerous for them.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That's why I was so surprised when the media reported that the Gramedia bookstore has suddenly withdrawn a book written by George Aditjondro titled: " Membongkar Gurita Cikeas " (Revealing the Tentacles of Cikeas) which tells about the business of President SBY &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In my humble opinion, it would be better if the book is not withdrawn from circulation.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.