Two avid readers recently discovered that a local author had plagiarised parts of his new book from the Internet and did not give credit to the original websites for the work
It started with a rant by a Twitter user who said she was disappointed with a book that she had borrowed from a public library.
"This prolific writer won an award for his books. But every page that I've read so far has been so bad," she tweeted, sharing pictures of the book that was published this year.
She said the author has written over 153 books, including a book that was completed in only five days.
"It's really a waste, considering its interesting title and possible content. But the end product... Ya Allah. I love books about good reading habits. But this is bad," she said, also questioning why there were English words in a Bahasa Malaysia publication.
The reader told SAYS that she is sure the author used Google Translate to copy and paste text from another source directly into his book
"The sentences that he used were like reading sentences that had gone through Google Translate. It is clear that the sentences were copied and pasted without correcting or editing their structure," she explained.
In another Tweet, she added that the most blasphemous mistake was that the author had also copied and pasted the same paragraph for a continuous three pages.
"When I read this, I thought I was in a time loop."
Her Twitter thread went viral and garnered over 6,200 retweets.
The next day, a fellow netizen replied and told her that he found where some of the text was copied from.
The Twitter users told SAYS that the author had threatened to pursue legal action against them for defamation
"[The author] has attacked me on my personal photos on Facebook and has messaged me to threaten that he is getting a lawyer," said the owner of the viral Twitter thread.
However, she insisted that she had the right to a critical opinion as a reader. She added, "I've never seen such obvious plagiarism for as long as I have been reading local books. No credit was given to the original websites and there was no reference list."
She encouraged readers who come across plagiarism to report the issue to an author's publisher, "At the very least, write an honest review on Goodreads to give a warning to fellow readers so they do not fall for these books too."
As this book was self-published, she said that Zamri Mohammad, the President of the Malaysian Writers Movement Association (MyMOVE), has given her some advice on how to report the plagiarised work if she is provoked once again by the author.