The truth about My Johor Stories


In 2016, when Think City Johor Baru approached me to publish a collection of my Johor stories in a book, I did so in partnership with MPH Publishing Kuala Lumpur.


Photo from August 2017 captured in the
MPH bookstore, Johor Baru City Square

On 15 July 2017, Book One was launched in a simple ceremony hosted at DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Baru, a significant location opposite our grandfather’s old house on Jalan Ngee Heng.


The support of readers like you sent, My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage, to the Number One spot of the MPH Non-Fiction Bestsellers list on the first week Book One was launched.


At that time, MPH Publishing had two bookstores in Johor Baru. One was at the Sultan Ismail International Airport (now known as Senai International Airport), with the other opened in Johor Baru City Square.


The scam poster spotted on
Facebook that misused the
Sin Chew logo and my photo

MPH continued to support My Johor Stories by hosting Meet-the-Author events held at their bookstores in Johor Baru in August 2017 and in Kuala Lumpur in October 2017. [Please click on the links to read and review the collection of photographs.]


In December 2017, I was delighted to learn that My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage was among the book titles in the Best of MPH in 2017.


Last night, a friend who is familiar with My Johor Stories, shared with me an excerpt of a poster in Chinese he saw on his Facebook feed that featured two photos, along with a question, “Have you written a Chinese book?”


My friend, who is bi-lingual in English and Chinese, was alert and curious when he saw this poster and photo of me, so he responded by asking me because he was aware that I don’t read or write in Chinese.


He went on to say, “I think your photo has been used without your permission.”


At the Meet-the-Author event
in the MPH bookstore in JB

I was keen to know the contents of this poster because it featured a familiar photo of me with the sales team at MPH bookstore, holding up books.


On closer examination, I was shocked to see that the book cover design on the books in the photo had been photo-shopped and changed to something else!


I soon learnt that the poster used a logo which belonged to Sin Chew Media Corporation, a renowned Chinese newspaper publication, and the contents said that Sin Chew was giving away books to readers Free-of-Charge.


To receive the Free books, readers were asked to pay RM10 for postage.


With the help of two other media friends who are bi-lingual in English and Chinese, we connected with the Johor Baru Sin Chew Bureau. And the feedback received from Senior Chief Reporter, Ms Ho Wan Mee, clarified that this was clearly a scam.


According to Ms Ho, this was not the first time that Sin Chew’s name and logo was misused by unscrupulous scammers.


With my MPH Non-Fiction Bestseller book
and the happy team at MPH bookstore in JB

Sin Chew had reported this to Meta/Facebook but it looked like no deterring action was taken because it happened again, this time in a poster that featured a photo of me with the MPH team, holding up books.


It is indeed an utter shame that scammers are using such devious methods to cheat people out of their money, in “Free” book offers where those interested have to pay a sum purportedly for postage only.


Even though the request was for a small sum, we know the Malay idiom, Sedikit-sedikit lama-lama jadi bukit, and these scammers were aiming for a large volume of conned readers to cheat them out of their hard-earned money.


So please, PLEASE BE AWARE of the tricks these conniving con-men/women may cook up to take your money away from you.


I am grateful that my readers are also aware that the contents of My Johor Stories have nothing to do with the book title mentioned in the poster and cannot be duped into believing that I had published a book in Chinese.


Another photo memento from
the exciting event in Aug 2017

I appreciate that my readers have been faithfully following my stories and thought it rather strange – although not impossible – that I had written a book in Chinese.


But if and when I do publish in Chinese or other languages, readers would know about it, well in advance from what I often share in my regular updates.


Thank you, Ms Ho and the team at Johor Baru Sin Chew Bureau, for your prompt response in reporting this scam to Meta and for clarifying the misuse of your logo and my photo.


Meanwhile, the trilogy of My Johor Stories books is published in English, available from MPH bookstores nationwide and online from mphonline.


My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage was published in 2017, followed by My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People in 2018, while the final instalment, My Johor Stories 3: Proudly Johor, Then and Now, was launched in December 2022.


My Johor Stories books are also available for reference from the Sultan Ismail Library in Johor Baru and the Resource Centre at Yayasan Warisan Johor, the Johor Heritage Foundation.

No comments:

Post a Comment