Book Banning: It’s finally out in the press!

 The pg. 4 report in The Sun, December 4, 2006

The Sun carried a news article (pix above courtesy of Bibliobibuli) on the controversial decision to restrict and ban books. The Star did the same on Sunday. Not sure whether News Straits Times carried the story too, but a search on their website revealed that they hadn’t (or may be they would not, considering is strongly controlled by the government?)

Anyways, they finally got the Internal Security Ministry to explain why books are being banned and restricted and the moronically-ran ministry decided to send out an equally moronic and intellectually retarded official to speak on the subject. Needless to say, I do NOT like some of the things he said in the article. The deputy minister’s comments in The Star article was far from satisfactory either.

No concrete or logical explanation was given for these questions: 1) why some books are banned now when they weren’t before, 2) what was so offensive about some of the books that they had to be banned and 3) Are they banning books because of title, author, content or the just the cover page?

Says Datuk Fu Ah Kiow, the Deputy Minister for Internal Security :

“We ban titles, not authors.”

There could be some element of truth in that statement above, seeing that some of Salman Rushdie‘s books had been available here before they started disappearing off the shelves of almost all bookstores (and not because they’re selling like hot cakes, mind you!). 

However, what really pisses me off is this guy named Che Din Yusoh, who is the secretary of the publications and Quranic texts division of the Internal Security Ministry. Some of the statements he made were:

“As the country’s moral guardian, we cannot let these books in!”

“Some children’s books may also have offensive content and contravene conditions in the PPPA.”

“Some classics are banned because they contained liberal Western ideas that were not conducive to Malaysian society!”

Country’s moral guardian? Offensive content in children’s books? Classics banned because of liberal Western ideas that are not conducive to Malaysia society?? What the hell?

Are we that fragile? Do they expect that hordes of people will be driven to insanity and epileptic shocks because we can’t deal with things like “sex”, “breasts”, “vagina”, “Spongebob” and “The Wiggles”?

Don’t tell me the government seriously think we cannot think and rationalise independently and thus needed to be spoonfed things that are good for us and throw out things that are bad for us?

I would like to warn the government that they had better NOT underestimate the public’s intelligence! They’re playing with fire here, banning intellectual property that is for the advancement of people’s knowledge and understanding of various matters affecting our lives everyday. The government will have no one but themselves to blame when the country becomes an “information desert”, no thanks to the book-banning and film censoring idiots. How do you expect people to grow when you’re stunting their growth by restricting materials that are to stimulate thinking and debate?

It’s no wonder we have so many graduates overseas who refuses to come back to this country because there’s simply no opportunity for growth. We’re not allowed to be intelligent, to be critically and creative thinking individuals and to debate about things that concern us. I cannot help but laugh if the government thinks we out to shut up, be good, and listen to the government because what they’re doing is for our own good.

Hogwash! Who voted for the government to be our “parents”? Their purpose is to serve the needs and wants of the people! And we the people want our right to read the books of our choice! The government has no right to decide what I should read and what I cannot read as it infringes upon my right to acquire knowledge and information! Knowledge and information is the key to a progressive, successful, intellectual nation!

Book Burning during Nazi GermanyI hope our country is not entering into an age where offensive books are torn and burned in massive bonfires like in the days of the Spanish Inquisition and the Nazis. Heck, this is not surprising as there are even groups of people elsewhere in the world that conducts massive book burnings in the 21st century (Click on link if you’re not averse to getting a heart attack from seeing precious books being burned!)

The only hope we all have is to vote in a government that is open-minded, liberal and well-read. The present government is littered with bigoted, power-hungry, religious conservatives and greedy intellectually-retarded fools who think they can lead the people and the country to better heights. Instead, they’re bringing this country down, tarnishing the image of this country more Christian fundamentalists in Ohio, USA, burning books, CDs and other materials they deemed offensive in 2001.and more with their idiocy.

I say overthrow Barisan Nasional and vote in Anwar Ibrahim’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat & Lim Kit Siang’s Democratic Action Party. Five years in the wilderness for Barisan Nasional will force to seriously reflect on where they’ve gone wrong and finally have the balls to sack the law-breakers, the inept fools, and the narrow-minded conservatives, racists and extremists.  

Related Links:

The List that started it all
Bibliobibuli – Offensive Publications
Bibliobibuli – Disallowed?
Manuscripts Don’t Burn
My Previous Post on the Issue of Banned Books
Sensintrovert – Are We Heading Towards a Third Reich?

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  1. Phil, you are definitely THE man. Vote for Opposition in 2009! BN has been in power for too long.

  2. Yes, I am certainly going to vote for DAP in the next election, even though Chew Mei Fun and Loh Seng Kok are both doing well in my constituency. In fact, I’m planning to join DAP Youth too!

    I believe that the BN is taking us voters for granted. They think they can get away with anything because they think that the people needed them regardless of anything. They think that though the people may be angry at their wrongdoings, we’ll soon forget as we grudgingly agree that we rely on them for help. Well, we should prove that they are so wrong!

    Heck, if the DAP continues to put more people like Chong Eng, Fong Po Kuan, Karpal Singh and former DAP politician Lee Lam Thye, I don’t see why they should not be given the chance to prove that they can lead the country. It’ll be even more of a sight-for-sore-eyes if DAP can form an alliance with Keadilan Rakyat.

    We’ll just see what the next couple of years is going to be like…if the BN politicians still behave like idiots like they did numerous times this year, I’ll definitely campaign for them to be given the boot!

  3. I personally like Chew Mei Fun, but Dr Wong Sai Hou has been too inefficient for my liking. I’m voting him out, though I’ll still keep Mei Fun.

  4. I like Chew Mei Fun too, Naoko-chan.

    I might retain her as well but for others, I’m gunning for DAP.

  5. leekahcheong

    testing

  6. dear friends,

    election is not about handing out support to those who are nice from their outlook. it’s about you, your pockets, your family, your environment, your career, your future, your money, your great grandchildren.

    vote the wrong party, no matter how good or how nice is the candidate, will bring you sufferings, as at the end of the day, the nice guy/gal will have to bow to his/her superior (UMNO).

  7. omo

    Ask our heart and conscience, for 50 years under BN, are we like the Jews still wandering EXTERNALLY in the DESERTS? Where is the promise land they have been telling? We know the the habits and style of MCA and Gerakan and they cannot do anything for us as we see Vietnam, cambodia, China and India overtaking us. So you cannot come back and vote for MCA May Fun as you are forced to cari makan outside Malaysia – just follw the trends of those Bangla and Indon workers in Malaysia




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