‘Election Day’ by Huzir Sulaiman

Huzir Sulaiman’s play about the 1999 General Elections was staged weeks after the said elections without incident. In 2003, the full text of ‘Election Day’ was published in “Eight Plays”, a collection of plays by Huzir Sulaiman, and was widely available in bookstores. The restaging in 2004 by Five Arts Centre, was however refused a performance permit until all proper nouns or references to actual individuals be removed. This included words like Guardian Pharmacy, Dr Mahathir, Volkswagen and Datin Seri Wan Azizah. The playwright replaced the proper nouns with thinly veiled approximations. The list of words censored and their replacements were displayed in the theatre lobby, making the act of censorship visible to the audience.