Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Wicked Western Ways

The trouble with banning books is that, if you do it, you end up looking like a prize idiot.

And that is what has happened to Che Din Yusoh, who is the "secretary of the publications and Quranic texts control division" at the Internal Security Ministry here. After all, the moment you are quoted in a newspaper (see here) as saying "As the country's moral guardian, we cannot let these books in" and you are talking about books ranging from Spongebob to "Breastfeeding Your Baby: Revised Edition" to a book on collecting Chinese teapots, how can you not look a moron?

Che Din said most of these titles were offensive because of their sexual or violent content. Worse, he also said that some classics also had to be banned because they contained liberal Western ideas that were "not conducive" to Malaysian society. Huh. Just which liberal Western ideas is he thinking of? The one that says we should learn to think for ourselves?

I am still trying to work out if breastfeeding is a liberal Western idea, or has sexual content (breasts, you know), or maybe it's violent. (Babies can bite. Ask any breastfeeding Mum.)

3 comments:

hrugaar said...

Glenda, what political or religious leader (West or East or vaguely in the middle there) ever wanted people to think for themselves? :oD

But if politics is the art of lying in state, poor Mr. Secretary doesn't seem to be much of an artist.

Breast-biting babies was not an image I was looking for at this time of morning. Too much horror fic la. Though maybe there's a moral lesson in there about not biting the breast that feeds.

Alex said...

I hate it when all these people blame it all on the West. It's stupid, unfair and insulting.
Perhaps there's a reason why we're still in the 3rd World status.

Glenda Larke said...

Lol, Hrugaar! (And how's the writing going...?)

Dunno about that Alex. After 30 plus years or so, I am used to being told that Asian values are better than those of the decadent west, with the implication that I am somehow inferior, kurang ajar. However, when living in the west, my Asian husband gets just as stupidly and insultingly stereotyped...