Muhyiddin: Home Ministry to call up those involved in Penang comics distribution

Ben Tan
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the authorities will conduct an in-depth investigation into the distribution of a comic book to educational institutions including schools. — Picture by Ben Tan

PONTIAN, Oct 18 — The Home Ministry will call up those involved in the publication and distribution of the comic book titled Inisiatif Jalur dan Jalan Meraih Manfaat Bersama for further investigations, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today.

The home minister said the authorities will conduct an in-depth investigation into the distribution of the comic book to educational institutions in Penang, including schools.

“There is something wrong with the comic, which is why action has been taken against those who publish and distribute it,” said Muhyiddin, after a working visit to the Pontian district police headquarters here.

Present was Johor deputy police chief Datuk Shafie Ismail and state criminal investigation chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Md Yusof Ahmad.

Muhyiddin said he was informed that the Education Ministry (MoE) has requested that the distribution be withdrawn.

He said this in response to an earlier statement by the MoE that said it will work together to obtain a review by the Home Ministry on the security aspects related to public sensitivities and foreign relations.

“We will investigate in detail how this happened. I was once the education minister and I know that no material can be distributed to anyone in the school education system except with the permission of the ministry,” said Muhyiddin.

The Pagoh MP also said all parties involved will be called for further investigations, but added this will not happen immediately.

Earlier today, the MoE in a statement said that it never gave any approval or permission to distribute comic books to all educational institutions including schools.

The ministry said it had received reports on distribution of the comic books to schools across Malaysia.

“The respective State Education Departments and District Education Offices have been ordered to ensure that all schools do not accept and distribute the comic books from any party or supplier,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin left to university authorities the matter of a group of five non-governmental organisation protesting at the gate of University of Malaya earlier today to express their support for the university’s vice-chancellor Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim.

He said it was up to the university’s administration as they have autonomy over such matters.

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