Saturday, 29 May 2010

Censorship And Book Banning 528

The promise of access to censored stuff certainly clinched my presence at the KL-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall.

I didn't stay for the entire session, but I certainly wasn't disappointed with the offering either.

It confirmed a lot of things which I had suspected about government censorship - the whole harassment and banning routine which is the hallmark of a dictatorship government.

Young talents like Sharon Chin told their side of the story. She had researched it in depth and she knew her stuff.

More info on her exhibitions and the government shenanigans can be found at her blog.

To date, about 1446 books have been banned in Malaysia.

But it's not just the books that get banned - movies aren't spared either.

I did a series on the morality police in 2007 and touched briefly on Amir Muhammad's latest offering then, a movie called The Last Communist, which loosely depicted the life of Chin Peng, the Malayan communist leader post WWII.

What was notoriously spectacular is that the movie was banned for having insufficient violence. I credit the civil servant who had that brainwave.

Only in Malaysia, folks. Only in Malaysia.

There are legitimate reasons why you should not wash down your morning packet of nasi lemak with a substantial mug of milo-ais-kao-kurang-manis, even if that routine conjures up a gastronomic delight.

This is one of them, especially if you're a civil servant.

But I digress.

The excuses may seem funny and we may dismiss it as standard government stupidity.

But at some point, our rights to have access to those books and movies are being violated by those who deem themselves as the guardians of our minds and morality.


Pat said...

I love this line, Cranky, where you refer to the Censors as:

'... those who deem themselves as the guardians of our minds and morality....'

Yah, right!

Words just fail me when I think about the whole idea of censorship here! Sigh.

I get the need for censorship, but really, does it need to be done by morons? Perhaps these guys and the guys who do the translations and censor tv shows go to the same 'school' to learn their trade!

We are being treated like we have no functioning brains. And very few seem to be speaking up about it. It's like there is a wave of apathy or silent agreement from the masses that this is ok.

Plus, it riles me to read letters-to-the editor from idiot parents who complain about sex and foul words on tv that soil their children's psyches! After 9 or perhaps, 10 pm, tv should be free - and idiots' kids should be in bed, asleep!

As for books, so few people read, so why do they bother?!

And for both books and movies - the moment they ban the damn thing, I rush out and try to get me a copy!! So, thanks to the morons for 'reviewing' the stuff and pointing me in the right direction ;)

Crankster said...

LOL. But yes, Pat. I don't think anyone in this world is qualified to impose their opinions on others.

Perhaps some law is necessary to ensure no one's rights are trampled upon, but otherwise, I think it is each to his own.

Censorship is for children, because their mind is not equipped to cope with certain concepts.

It is not for adults.

Crankster said...

And yes, book banning is about the best review Malaysia can do for me.