Monday, December 04, 2006

Are We Heading Towards A Third Reich?

Are we heading towards a Third Reich? I mean, first the whole country is anti-Semitic, then we try to emulate them by...let's see...

At first we had this:

Visit the website here and join the campaign.

Then, we have our 'moral guardians' doing more...


[Source: theSun, 4th December, pg.4]

Who dunnit? No prizes for correct guesses.

Visit the full list of banned Silverfish publications here and restricted ones here, since 2003.

Read what Silverfish Books say about the ban:

Banned books - the saga continues

It was another routine stock replenishment order. Then came the shock: the distributor is unable to supply copies of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children because the book had been 'restricted' in Malaysia by the KDN.

Our initial reaction was to laugh out loud. Who are these people? Midnight's Children, published in 1980, won the Booker in 1981 and won the Booker of Bookers in 1993. Every self-respecting reader in the country has not only read the book, but owns a special sentimental copy. Now, after 26 years, some barely literate little Napoleon - to borrow Pak Lah's term - sitting behind a KDN desk in Johor Bahru has decided that the book is not suitable for Malaysians.

We spoke to the distributor of this title. He confirmed that all Salman Rushdie books are now getting the 'treatment'. He related how he tried to ship in the hardback edition of Shalimar the Clown, and was told that it was 'restricted'. He didn't argue. He says he never argues, because he wants the rest of the shipment to go through. This is how all Malaysian (and Singaporean) shippers are treated. If they decide to argue, every single one of the hundred odd boxes will be detained for 'further inspection', if not ripped open right there on the tarmac. If a complaint is made 'further up', this treatment can be expected for every subsequent shipment. It is not surprising then that distributors prefer to suffer in silence, while we readers live in Coetzee's Disgrace, where victimising victims and shooting messangers is a national culture..

Besides the innocent but deemed 'too explicit' children's books (like Spongebob Squarepants) for some Little Napoleons, here are some interesting titles which include:

'Wild' SPGs...

1. No Money, No Honey! A Candid Look at Sex-for-Sale in Singapore

2. The SPG Rides Again

3. Revenge of the Sarong Party Girl by Jim Aitchison (Wah!!! SPG so wild one har!!!)

4. The Official Guide to the Sarong Party Girl

Some Anatomy and Physiology books (I think they are going to ban ALL medical books soon):

1. Breastfeeding Your Baby: Revised Edition (Paperback)

2. Anatomy for the Artist: They Dynamics of Human Form (Paperback)

Some biographies by celebs:

1. Feel: Robbie Williams (Hardcover)

2. Being Jordan (Paperback)

...and not to mention loads of sex-related books. Check out rest of the list here.

I am now trying very hard not to compare this gesture with this gesture.

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