To the Editors:

Kassim Ahmad, forty-four, a leading Malaysian poet and writer of short stories, was arrested by the Malaysian government on November 3, 1976 and subsequently detained without trial under Malaysia’s Internal Security Act. While in detention Kassim Ahmad has written a novel, Zaman Pencaroba (Era of Crisis). The Malaysian government has declared the manuscript as proscribed material even before it could be published. The government has also confiscated the manuscript and has ordered it to be burned.

Also, Kassim Ahmad has not been allowed by the Malaysian Home Affairs Ministry to prepare his Ph.D. in Political Science in his detention camp, even though the Universiti Kebangsaan (National University) in Kuala Lumpur had accepted him as a doctoral candidate.

Kassim Ahmad is also the chairman of the legally constituted and registered Malayan People’s Socialist Party, and a former lecturer of the Malay language at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Representations on Kassim Ahmad’s behalf may be sent to:

Datuk Hussein Onn

Prime Minister of Malaysia

Prime Minister’s Department

Jalan Dato’ Onn

Kuala Lumpur


Fan Yew Teng

Former member of the Malaysian Parliament London, England

This Issue

September 27, 1979