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August 5, 2015

The Comic Book Redundas

Tom McLaughlin

Here are the latest tales about getting my comic book, "Borneo Boys," published. They are true.

After printing the comic book we decided to sell it to the schools. We took the comic in and they decided we needed a business license. That would be no problem.

We filled out all the forms and used the apartment as a business address. We them took them into the guy who approved business licenses. First, the (named after Dzul, my son) was wrong. It had already been taken. Then we couldn't use the home address as a business address. I know, I know.

We changed the name to Suriani Sahari (my wife) and then we used Cousin Siti's business, a 4x4 shack on the waterfront. We went back to the same guy. We couldn't use Cousin Siti's address because her address was already taken. What to do?

A tourist from New Zealand had told me about this new place that distributed business addresses to people like us. We found the place on the Internet and went to see them. We filled out a raft of forms and paid about $25. Along with the business address came a plat from the lands records office and a few other official forms duly stamped. Business address secured!

Before we got the business license, we had to get a chop with the business name on it. Anybody can have any business address made on a rubber stamp, I said. But they still needed one. We went to the guy who makes the rubber stamps and he said it would be ready in the morning.

Meanwhile, at the same place, the people published a bi-monthly magazine. We met Clara, the editor with a degree in English Literature, and agreed we would allow her to publish parts of the magazine for free in 12 issues or for the next two years. I am not sure I will hold up that long, but we signed the papers for that, too. An address and free publicity all at the same place!

We took everything in to the guy and he told us the business license would be ready in one month, but we need the numbers from a place called "Publications and Quranic Text Control Division State of Sarawak." I told him the comic called Borneo Boys had nothing to do with the Quran, but he insisted we go. Yes, the Chinese guy (who 99% are not Muslim) said we had to get everything in order before we sold the book, and it had to be sent to Kuala Lumpur, the capital, for approval but first we had to get a business license. We had been selling the book for about a month without this number.

I think you can publish one copy of something and sell it; but, if you plan to sell a series of items you have to apply for a control number, or what is better known a censorship form. But please don't quote me!

All of this took about two months of trying to find out what to do. We pick up the business license on Monday, a full month after we secured the address form and then we do battle with the censorship people. Wish us luck!

...Life is good. . . . .


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