Thursday, March 22, 2007

More on Censorship

I'm becoming more aware of the censorship that happens in Malaysia, not only in television and movies, but also books. I recently came across a list of recently "banned" books as well as "restricted" books.

For some interesting reading on how book banning works in Malaysia, please read:

The following books have recently been banned in Malaysia (meaning they have been officially banned by the Internal SecurityMinistry of Malaysia for disrupting peace and harmony) :

1. The Bargaining for Israel: In the Shadow of Armageddon authored by Mona Johulan and published by Bridge-Logos Publishers, United States (USA).
2. Islam (Mathew S Gordon, Oxford University Press)
3. Lifting the Veil (Trudie Crawford, Apple of Gold, United States)
4. A Fundamental Fear of Eurocentrism and the Emergence of Islamism (Bobby S Sayyid, Z
ed Books Ltd, United Kingdom)
5. Islam Revealed - A Christian Arab's View of Islam (Dr Anis A Shorrosh, Thomas Nelson Publishers, USA)
6. What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam (John L Esposito, OUP)
7. Mini Skirts Mothers & Muslims (Christine Mallouhi, publisher not available)
8. The Battle for God: Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (Karen Armstrong, Harper Collins, UK)
9. Kundalini For Beginners (Ravindra Kumar, Health Harmony, B Jain Publishers (P) Ltd, India)10. Sacred Books of the East (Epiphanius Wilson, J-Jeiley Asian Educational Services, India)
11. Sharing Your Faith with A Muslim (Akbidayah Akbar Abdul-Haqq, Bethany House Publishers, USA)
12. Cults, World Religions and The Occult (Kenneth Bon, Chariot Victor Publishings, UK)
13. Petua dan Doa Pendinding, Penawar, Penyembuh Penyakit (Awang Mohd Yahya, Unsie Publisher, Kuala Lumpur)
14. Hakikat & Hikmah 7 Hari Dalam Seminggu (Abu Nashr Al-Hamdanly, Pustaka Ilmi, Batu Caves, Selangor)
15. Pemuda Bani Tamim Perintis Jalan Imam Mahdi (Abu Muhammad, Penerbit Giliran Timor)16. Kontroversi Hukum Hudud (Kassim Ahmad, Forum Iqra Berhad, Penang)
17. Risalah No.2 Dilema Umat Islam-Antara Hadis dan Quran (Kassim Ahmad, Forum Iqra Berhad, Penang)
18. Siri 7 Amalan-Amalan Bid'ah Pada Bulan Syaban (Ustaz Rasul bin Dahri, Percetakan Putrajaya Sdn Bhd)

Also, the Home Ministry or Kementarian Dalam Negeri (KDN) has the power to ban books that it feels are "detrimental to public order" or may "contribute to immorality". These are the "restricted" books. My understanding is that these can be arbitrarily confiscated by a customs agent if they feel that the book is not suitable for Malaysian readers. This happens on the spot when book shipments pass through customs.

Books Restricted by KND Johor Bahru - List 1 ISBN
1 1840282509 Well Woman's Sourcebook (Hardcover)
2 9812320822 Beauty of Yixing Teapots (Hardcover)
3 1903816378 The Heart of Tantric Sex (Paperback)
4 9813056223 The missing page (Paperback)
5 9813056703 No Money, No Honey! A Candid Look at Sex-for-Sale in Singapore
6 9813056096 The SPG Rides Again
7 0375756469 Women (Paperback)
8 0811845737 Fashion Illustration Next (Paperback)
9 981305655x "Ransom" by Douglas Chua
10 0312873077 Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time (Hardcover)) - Robert Jordan
11 1853755605 Things a Woman Should Know About Seduction (Paperback)
12 9813056606 Revenge of the Sarong Party Girl by Jim Aitchison
13 0099648814 The Private Life of Chairman Mao (Paperback)
14 0521609763 Company to Company Teacher's Book (Paperback)
15 0785378103 Poems & Prayers for Children (Hardcover)
16 0785368760 Read-Aloud Children's Classics
17 1840189096 1001 Nights Without Sex: The Curse of the Single Girl (Paperback)
18 1843401703 Composition (The Photographer's Guide To...) (Paperback)
19 1840725222 Seduce: 100 Tips to Arouse (Hardcover)
20 0749325003 Taking Chances (Paperback)
21 1844425762 "Vogue" Make-up (Paperback)
22 1844422968 Sexual Intelligence (Hardcover)
23 0099591111 Filth (Paperback) - Irwing Welsh
24 1850436665 Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror (Paperback)
25 0716757230 Practice of Business Statistics (Hardcover)
26 0099273675 A History of God (Paperback)
27 0304357278 E-tales: The Best (and Worst) of Internet Humour (Hardcover)
28 1844422968 Sexual Intelligence (Hardcover)
29 9813056363 The Official Guide to the Sarong Party Girl
30 0224077643 Memories of My Melancholy Whores (Hardcover)
31 1412735467 Sea Sale: SpongeBob Squarepants
32 1412733820 Counting Adventures Sound Activity Book, by Disney
33 1412731755 Dora's Fiesta Adventure ActivePoint Book Set! [ILLUSTRATED] (Hardcover) 34 1412735297 MUSIC FOR SLEEPY BABIES
35 1412731747 Count On Me (Spongebob Square Pants)
36 1412735610 The Wiggles Shop Wiggly Jukebox
37 0719566762 Mao: A Life
38 0572028806 Anatomy for the Artist: They Dynamics of Human Form (Paperback)
39 009189753X Feel: Robbie Williams (Hardcover)
40 0744586828 Bits, Boobs and Blobs (Paperback)
41 0679463356 Shalimar the Clown (Hardcover)
42 0099283360 Atomised (Paperback)
43 0224060066 Clubland (Paperback)
44 0091795346 The Dirty Girls Social Club (Paperback)
45 0099437880 Platform (Paperback)
46 0749932155 Carolina Moon (Paperback)
47 1844541320 Being Jordan (Paperback)
48 0521539064 An Introduction to Islam (Introduction to Religion) (Paperback)
49 1853755540 Sex Lives of the Famous Gays (Paperback)
50 1844425703 The Dirty Girl's Joke Book 2: Provocative Puns and Laugh-a-minute Gags: Bk.2 (Paperback)
51 0285635549 10 Commandments of Pleasure: Erotic Keys to a Healthy Sexual Life (Paperback)
52 1582380570 How to Talk to Your Child About Sex: It's Best to Start Early, But It's Never Too Late : a Step-by-Step Guide for Every Age (Paperback)
53 1844425991 "FHM" True Stories 2 (Paperback)
54 1841612146 Men ... the Insufferable Sex (Paperback) 55 0091878438 The New Book of Massage (Paperback)
56 0330411500 Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood (Paperback)
57 0752845985 Lip Kisses (Paperback)
58 0749931671 Lip Service (Paperback)
59 0091880688 Little Book of the Kama Sutra (Paperback)
60 0099648814 The Private Life of Chairman Mao (Paperback)
61 1400054788 The Probability of God: A Simple Calculation That Proves the Ultimate Truth (Paperback)
62 0521425387 Life on Earth: And Other Pieces (New Cambridge English Course) (Paperback) 63 1853755540 Sex Lives of the Famous Gays (Paperback)
64 0091815290 Mars and Venus in the Bedroom: A Guide to Lasting Romance and Passion (Paperback)
65 0744586836 Snogs, Sex and Soulmates (Paperback)
66 0749395923 The Malayan Trilogy: "Time for a Tiger", "Enemy in the Blanket", "Beds in the East" (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)
67 1896597777 Scrapbook (Paperback)
68 0969670117 Playboy (Paperback)
69 0340752114 Sex Etiquette (Paperback)
70 0969670141 The Best of "Drawn and Quarterly" (Paperback)
71 1896597440 The Poor Bastard (Paperback)
72 189659770X It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken: A Picture Novella (Paperback)
73 1896597416 Vernacular Drawings (Hardcover)
74 1896597831 My New York Diary (Paperback)
75 189659784X Clyde Fans: Bk.1 (Hardcover)
76 071532067X Bra: A Thousand Years of Style, Support and Seduction (Hardcover)
77 0099429780 Peoplewatching: The Desmond Morris Guide to Body Language (Paperback)
78 0679463348 Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002 (Hardcover)
79 1844424065 "Vogue" Beauty (Paperback)
80 1843308940 Sex,Lies and Stereotypes: Challenging Views of Women, Men, and Relationships (Paperback)
81 0375701958 Breastfeeding Your Baby: Revised Edition (Paperback)
82 1846091586 Addicted to Love: The Kate Moss Story (Paperback)
83 0812577566 Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time (Paperback)) (Mass Market Paperback)
84 0761535810 Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War On America (Paperback)
85 0330433059 Dining with Terrorists (Paperback)
86 0375756981 The Vagina Monologues (Paperback)
87 0812976533 Midnight's Children (Paperback)
88 0805053115 The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey (Paperback)
89 1857152174 Midnight's Children (Everyman's Library Classics) (Hardcover)
90 0099421860 Fury (Paperback)
91 0224061593 Fury (Hardcover)
92 0099443384 Fury (Paperback)
93 0679783504 Fury (Modern Library) (Paperback)
94 0375759603 Fury. (Paperback)
95 0312422784 The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey (Paperback)
96 0812969030 Midnight's Children (Modern Library (Paperback)) (Paperback)
97 0099578611 Shame (Paperback)
98 0312270933 Shame (Paperback)
99 0099421879 Step Across This Line (Paperback)
100 0333490207 Salman Rushdie and the Third World: Myths of the Nation (Hardcover)
101 0224061615 Shalimar the Clown (Hardcover)
102 0224061607 Step Across This Line: Collected Non-fiction 1992-2002 (Hardcover)
103 0679783490 Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002 (Modern Library (Paperback)) (Paperback)
104 0099578514 Midnight's Children (Paperback)
105 0099268132 The Swimming-pool Library (Paperback) 106 1844421791 The Best Sex Positions Ever (Hardcover)
107 1843171961 Sex in Every City: How to Talk Dirty in Every Language (Paperback)
108 9812040978 Bali Style (Hardcover)
109 0393061221 Making Globalization Work (Hardcover)

First let me say, I am completely against censorship in any form. However, aside from that, I guess I can sort of see why some of the more obviously sexually graphic novels make the list. But other than that, I figure it's pointless to try to figure out the logic here. Far be it from me to want to learn the latest makeup styles, how to breastfeed my baby, or what Michael Jordan's childhood was like. Furthermore, I guess wanting to teach my child about sex education (horror!), put music on to help my baby sleep and then dig into a nice business statistics book is detrimental to public order.

But alas! - Not all books are banned in Malaysia. Next time you are in the KL airport, you can pick up an English edition of Hitler's "Mein Kampf", right at the front of the store. Now, I don't think this book should be banned either. But given the list above, can someone tell me why this one didn't make the cut when SpongeBob is such an obvious threat?

So, read on, America! Maybe you can tell me how Dora's Fiesta Adventure ends!

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At March 28, 2007 at 3:45 AM , Anonymous donna said...

Well, that Dora is a dirty whore you know. Diego, Boots.... hasn't the girl every heard of monogamy?

At March 28, 2007 at 7:06 PM , Blogger Sarah said...

I've heard it's because they think Dora is a lesbian...what does Malaysia have against lesbians??

At April 9, 2007 at 8:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey now, without your Tantric Sex manuals, what the hell is the point of living??


At June 15, 2007 at 7:45 PM , Anonymous azlin said...

8. The Battle for God: Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (Karen Armstrong, Harper Collins, UK)

.. and she will giving a talk on 16th June 2007, Mandarin Hotel. She writes abt Islam positively and yet her book is banned. Can you see how the ministry just banned for the sake of banning?! I dont think the officer in charge even read the book! God!!

p.s: just discovered your blog and reading


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