Malaysian customs vows to look into withheld mag claims

Khazali Ahmad speaking at a press conference on Ops Outlet 2014 in Putrajaya.

PUTRAJAYA - The Royal Malaysian Customs has promised to look into claims that it had withheld a consignment containing The Economist.

When contacted by The Star, Customs director-general Datuk Seri Khazalei Ahmad said he would look into the allegations.

A report surfaced, claiming that Malaysian subscribers of the imported British magazine were advised of a delay in the delivery of its latest edition.

The delay was purportedly attributed to the magazines being held back by Malaysian Customs, although the cause could not be immediately verified.

According to a posting on the publication's portal, the cover of its latest print edition carried the headline "The Tragedy of the Arabs: A Poisoned History".

An article under the same headline had discussed "why Arab countries have so miserably failed to create democracy, happiness or (aside from the windfall of oil) wealth for their (350 million) people" today despite the Middle East being the leaders in trade and innovation many years ago.

Many other articles on world topics were also featured in the magazine, including write-ups on the United States and other parts of Asia as well as topics on business, finance, science and technology, among others.

This would not be the first time that the magazine has fallen foul of Malaysian authorities, as parts of an article published in 2011 was censored by the Home Ministry.

The 2011 article was related to the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur that year.