Sunday, December 03, 2006

THE STAR: Banned book list baffling

In case anyone missed it, The Star finally had a story on the Book Banning issue in the news pages today, on page 3 no less:

Banned book list baffling

Deputy Internal Security Minister, Datuk Fu Ah Kiow said disallowed entries were different from gazetted bans.

“If the distributors feel that any of the restrictions are unfair, they can always appeal by sending the book to our Putrajaya headquarters for review. We will see what the problem is and correct it if necessary.”

He added that there were no blanket bans on any authors, including Rushdie, whose controversial 1988 novel, The Satanic Verses, resulted in the late Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issuing a fatwa calling for his death.

“We ban titles, not authors,” he said.


bibliobibuli said...

yes was really happy to see this and to know that at last there is some kind of official reaction.

is the ball now in the distributors court? it would be interesting to see what happens when some of these books are presented to the minsitry headquarters ...

i think we need a test case or two

suanie said...

shall we compile a list and send in our petition?

Anonymous said...

I find the "restricted" list really weird...

1.Dora's Fiesta Adventure ActivePoint Book Set.
Dora's show is very popular with little toddlers. My daughter used to watch it on Astro Nickelodeon..I can't see how on earth the book got banned...

2. The Malayan Trilogy - Anthony Burgess. The book was available back in the 1980's. I bought my copy when I was a teenager from a well known bookshop in Bukit Bintang. The author had some pretty obnoxious comments about Malaya at the time, but that's no reason to ban it.

We need to train our young to think critically, how to reason and rebut ideas which they disagree with. We need to expose them to a wide spectrum of opinion. Banning a book because we disagree with its ideas just helps close the mind.

bibliobibuli said...

well said kittykat

a petition may be a good idea suanie. any way of getting the message out.