Protest Letter: Why Book Banning is Wrong!
December 11, 2006 in Bookworm Confessions, Local Politics, Social Activism & Religious Matter
My letter of protest on the banning and restriction of books was published in The Sun last Thursday. You can find the online version of the letter here though I have posted the original below. Still, the online version was 98% unedited.
Book Banning Cripples Social Growth (The Sun, Dec 7)
I am writing this in response to your article dated December 4 “Ministry Will Bar ‘Offensive’ Publications”.
I am an avid reader and a member of a group of bloggers who is wedging an online protest against the Ministry’s banning and restricting books which they deemed ‘offensive.’ I find the act of book-banning to be deplorable and that the Ministry’s move to ban books will severely result in the degradation of our country’s intellectual standing in the world.
How can we ever hope to compete with the best in the world when we’re not allowed to read books that are considered to be classics of our time and that can stimulate our minds by generating interesting discussions and debate? While I understand why the Ministry may be afraid of fiction books and books on religion, but how dare they ban books that serves the purpose to inform and educate such as “Practice of Business Statistics”, “How to Talk to Your Kids about Sex”, “Breastfeeding Your Baby” and “The New Book of Massage”?? What kind of laughable, incomprehensible reason or rationale has the Ministry conjured up to explain the banning of these books?
And let’s not forget books by children. I take offense against Che Din’s moronic quote “Some children’s books may also have offensive content and contravene conditions in the PPPA”. What could possibly be so offensive about a book for kids that contravened the conditions of PPPA. Don’t tell me we’re not allowed to teach our children how to pray and write and read poems (Poems & Prayers for Children) and we’re not allowed to entertain and educate our children through The Wiggles? Do they think there’s something wrong with grown men dressing up in funny costumes to entertain and educate young children? That it will make these children grow up into wanting to be like these men? God forbid that our children all grow up one day wearing funny costumes to make children sing and laugh!
The Ministry may be stopping the distributors and retailers from getting these banned and “restricted” books, but it is not going to stop individuals like myself and my other bookworm friends from getting these books elsewhere! What are you going to do about it? Ban us from entering the country of our birth? Sorry, but the Ministry has screwed up big time by banning books and the repercussions of this will be felt in the years to come when Malaysia experiences severe intellectual and cultural retardation and starved of open-minded academicians, poets, artistes,writers and authors.
Moral guardian of society? I think Che Din’s Ministry is more like a destroyer of knowledge and information!
Philipp C.K. Gan @ The Eternal Wanderer
Whether or not the jokers at the Internal Security Ministry took note of my letter is unknown, but I like the fact that The Sun published the letter even though I was near borderline calling the Ministry “stupid” and “idiotic”, which I personally think they are.
Wish there are more newspapers in this country that is like The Sun.
Book Banning: It’s Finally Out in the Press >>> My 2nd post on the book banning issue has The Sun article that inspired me to write the letter above.
My First post on the book banning furore
Manuscripts Don’t Burn >>> Join the anti-book banning cause by downloading the buttons and put it up on your blog! Read also what others had to say about the book banning issue!
Weblog Awards Recognition
The Keeper of Days
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Blogger ProfileWriter, photographer, counsellor, struggling author, aspiring actor (! XD), blogger, and critic of everything from entertainment stuff to social and political matters as well as education and youth issues...It's all in a day's work for this 20-something-year-old Malaysian kid (yes, I'm still very much a 12 year old at heart! Go ahead and try and change me if you dare!) whose living an okay life (no complains so far!) amid the hustle and bustle of life in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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