Monday, September 11, 2006

No Book Market for Marriage Market

Another restricted novel - copies of The Marriage Market by Nisha Minhas bound for Malaysia prior to its October launch date were seized at Johor Bahru customs. As usual the letter (which I've seen) from the JB branch of the Kemetarian Dalam Negeri gave no reason at all.

Okay people, let's puzzle this. What could possibly be so abhorent about this piece of teen-fiction that Malaysians shouldn't be allowed to read it? I'm stumped.

Could it be because it's about a temporary marriage? Could it be because it's about a mixed-race relationship? Could it be the vestigal terror of the mat salleh man stealing our (Asian) women? Could it be because of the cover (the other cover shown here is a tad racier - white legs, brown legs - but still, when did legs become forbidden?)?

How can distributors or bookshops know where the axe is going to fall next?

10 comments:

starlight said...

And so, the level of ridiculousness reaches a new height.

Greenbottle said...

it must be the title...it should be subtitld: ...how dato' K and siti find true love...then it'll be ok with the custom..no problem

Zafar Anjum said...

You have got some great links on your blog. Thanks! They are so handy.

I saw this book in Borders recently in Singapore. Never imagined it could be so threatening that its import would be banned in your country.

bibliobibuli said...

thanks zafar!

zafar - you've seen the book. can you think that there could be anything controversial in it? + which cover did it have?

Xeus said...

I actually have this book! I'm staring at it right now. The cover is that of an Indian girl in a sari marrying a white man. I have read Nisha Minhas before (she writes chick lit fluffy stuff, quite humorous) and although she has a lot of sex in her stories, I don't think they're any different or 'racier' than most.

Eliza said...

I saw this book at our Borders at The Curve over the weekend. It's at the 3-for-2 book offer stand, if I'm not mistaken.

bibliobibuli said...

xeus - read on and let us know how hot it gets

eliza - and doesn't this just illustrate how inconsistent and fickle the KDN is? the Borders copies may well come in via a different route. or maybe another officer was on duty that day. the book is restricted for sure. but what on earth does restricted mean??? this stupidity is not fair on readers, bookshops or distributors who don't know where they stand.

bibliobibuli said...

btw eliza - all border's stock is from the US. maybe it comes in via port klang? different officers. (better read? more clued up?) different standards.

unfair on distributors and bookshops and the public

Anonymous said...

I don't know why it's restricted at all - it seems like a rather fun chick-lit novel. You could be right about the different ports but first of all, don't restrictions on books have to come from our Censorship Board? Zarina

bibliobibuli said...

they come from the kdn, zarina, not the censorship board which is for films. johor kdn seems to be acting independently too.