Malaysian book lovers have created a blog with information about the books that are banned in their country. The opening post says:
Censors. They are gatekeepers, they are also jailkeepers. For banning a book is akin to imprisoning it. Making it unavailable to the masses, treating it like some criminal, something that society needs to be protected from. Who are they to pass judgement on a piece of writing? Do we really need protection from the printed word? Alas, it seems so for our own Home Affairs Ministry(KDN) considers policing all printed material its sacred duty.
All right. Take away porn, I can live with that. Ban the Satanic Verses, if you wish to win popular favour. But the latest list of books our censors have decided are bad for us is so ludicrous that I got shaken out of my apathy. .. who wants to live in a country where books are banned? .... It is high time we do something about this.
When even books on breastfeeding and for reading aloud to children are not allowed into Malaysia, then what will there be left to read? If we let this stand, if we let this slide, then think about what else could be banned? We just might end up like China or Burma where the government censors even the Internet. Little by little, we might end up losing the battle for personal freedom and our own freedom of self-expression.
Don't think of it as fighting for the books. There's more at stake here than just words on paper.
Please visit the blog and leave a comment there to show your support. http://freethebooks.blogspot.com/
This is not a matter of *condemning* Malaysian culture. By speaking out against censorship, we are *respecting* and *supporting* a very important aspect of Malaysian culture.