The people’s victory
3-YEAR SUBSCRIBERS @RM450
PROMO PERIOD: MARCH 2019
About the Book
The People’s Victory is the first book published to tell the epic story of how Malaysians took responsibility for their country and struggled against the odds to change their government.
Throughly researched, it is an important document of a historic phenomenon.
The book’s narrative begins from the outcome of the 13th general election (GE13) in 2013 and then moves through five years of drama, surprises, ironies and twists to the climactic 14th general election of May 9, 2018.
It grows from despair to hope to euphoria. It covers the Black 505 rallies after GE13; the infamous Kajang Move; the Barisan Nasional (BN) regime’s unrelenting persecution of political opponents and activists with the use of draconian laws; the break-up of the original Opposition pact called Pakatan Rakyat; the exposure of the 1MDB scandal; and it builds up to the final showdown between the newly reconstituted Opposition coalition renamed Pakatan Harapan (PH) and the BN juggernaut.
More than just tell the story of the battle for Putrajaya, the book pays tribute to the hard work put in by ordinary Malaysians to help the PH battalion headed by Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng and Mohamad Sabu succeed.
It salutes the brave citizens who carried on defying the corrupt and oppressive BN regime despite facing severe persecution. People like cartoonist Zunar, Mejar Zaidi Ahmad, graphic designer Fahmi Reza, Malaysiakini’s Steven Gan and Premesh Chandran, activist Maria Chin Abdullah, etc.
The book states categorically that the outcome on May 9 “was not just Mahathir’s victory, or Anwar’s, or Kit Siang’s, or Mat Sabu’s, or Guan Eng’s. This was a victory of the people. A victory of the Malaysian people.”
The People’s Victory is a book of the people, for the people.
About the Author
Kee Thuan Chye is an actor, playwright, stage director, journalist, political commentator and author of bestselling books including No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians; Ask for No Bullshit, Get Some More!; Can We Save Malaysia, Please!; March 8: The Day Malaysia Woke Up; Unbelievably Stupid!; and You Want This GOONvernment Ah?
Among the plays he has written, 1984 Here and Now is included in the international anthology Postcolonial Plays, published by Routledge UK.
We Could **** You, Mr Birch has been continuously studied in numerous Malaysian universities since the mid-1990s.
The Big Purge was featured in ‘Typhoon 4’, a playreading festival in London held in 2005. In 2018, it was translated into Greek and staged in Athens.
All the above three plays have been published by Marshall Cavendish.
Another play, Swordfish + Concubine, came out among the top 5 in the International Playwriting Festival 2006 organised by Warehouse Theatre in the UK. It was then called The Swordfish, Then the Concubine.
Kee has also written numerous radio plays many of which were broadcast on Radio Talivisyen Malaysia (RTM) in the 1970s.
He has directed about a dozen plays for the theatre, including Shakespeare’s Macbeth and We Could **** You, Mr Birch, which was invited to the Festival of Asian Performing Arts in Singapore in 1995.
His acting credits over the last 30 years include speaking roles in the Hollywood films Entrapment and Anna and the King. Other international productions he has acted in include the TV-movie Marco Polo and the History Channel docudrama Secrets of the Forbidden City.
He has also appeared extensively on Malaysian and Singapore TV.
On stage, he has acted in countless productions since 1977 but the one role he is proudest of is that of Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman (1989).
His poems have been published in numerous anthologies and journals at home and abroad. One of them, ‘A Figure Forgotten in Hours Not-of-Need’, was adopted for the English Literature subject for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).
A work of short fiction entitled ‘A Sense of Home’ is included in the anthology New Writing 10, published in the UK by Picador (2001). Another such work appeared in The Merlion and the Hibiscus, published by Penguin India (2002).
Kee has been a judge and regional chairperson of the prestigious Commonwealth Writers Prize. He was on the panel in 1997 and 1998 when the final judging was done in London and Jamaica respectively. He was recalled to be a judge for the Southeast Asia and South Pacific region in 2010.
He has been invited to writers’ festivals in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Hong Kong.
Responses to the Book
Wong Ming Yook in a review for Malaysiakini:
Kee’s carefully researched book traces the entire story of how things came to a head with the Pakatan Harapan victory that Malaysians hoped would reset the entire direction and narrative of Malaysia. Six months down the road, reading The People’s Victory evokes much of the earnestness and tension we experienced in the years leading up to May 9. It brings back memories of the intervening years between GE13 and GE14, and delivers a well-documented and informed narrative of all the key events that pushed Malaysians to vote as they did on that historic May 9.
… We put the book down with a happy sigh, gratified by the catharsis that The People’s Victory has provided. … Writing the book was a mammoth task, Kee acknowledges. But he dealt with large, complex political and social issues that galvanised Malaysians towards epic change in 2018, and did it in a way that was comprehensive, careful, yet engagingly conversational, personal and immediate. He told a story and he told it very well.
Bissme S. in the news daily theSun:
In my opinion, this is possibly the best book that Kee has written in his career. … The book reads like a film script, with the story laid out in three acts. … The best thing about it is the entertaining and uncomplicated manner in which he tells the story.
Blogger-activist Mariam Mokhtar on YouTube recommending The People’s Victory for a Christmas present:
The book is on the bestseller’s list. Great! Savour a piece of history which WE helped to create. Even Santa would be delighted to have this book.
Martin Vengadesan in The Star Online:
The People’s Victory … is a vibrant account of the days leading to Malaysia’s historic change of federal government.
Loshni Nair on Twitter:
The book … brings to light how the people rose against all odds, and it brings to light, Hope. … Countless voices were silenced, under ISA. Under the Sedition Act. Students were detained, people lost their jobs. Still, they fought. So will I. A quote by Dylan Thomas comes to mind, “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” I will continue raging … and I will fight. … Thank you, Kee Thuan Chye. For returning my rage, and with that, my hope.
Why Kee Thuan Chye wrote the Book
May 9 was an important moment to record. It happened because of the spirit and determination of the Malaysian people. They deserve to be recognised for their struggle.
I wrote this book to make Malaysians feel proud of themselves. This book will always remind them of that happened on May 9, and what they did to make it happen.
In years to come, they can share the moment with their children and grandchildren. The book is a souvenir of that historic moment.
The generations that come later can read it and discover what Malaysians had to put up with under a corrupt and oppressive government and perhaps learn from it so that they can take measures to prevent such a government from arising again in this country.
I wrote the book to remind Malaysians that we the people have the power to remove a government that is not fit to rule. We must, however, be constantly vigilant and keep the government of the day on its toes and point out its wrongdoings.
I hope the book will inspire Malaysians to keep fighting. For it is only from continuing to fight the good fight that we can achieve a better Malaysia.
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