Sunday, November 05, 2006

Manuscripts Don't Burn

The Manuscripts Don't Burn blog Midnight Lily and Erna set up to protest the banning of books in Malaysia is really taking off, and now Eyeris and Ted have joined us. There are already a number of very well written posts up. It warms the cockles of my heart to see that there are folks who care, and I'm overjoyed to see how far the blog banners (that's banner as in "nice picture" - the other sort can stay away!) have spread.

I've been a bit worried that many people haven't quite understood just how books are banned here, and so have just added a clearer explantion - or as much of one as I am able to write without having all the facts at hand.

And have you seen Daphne Lee's column in Starmag today? She highlights just beautifully the total ridiculousness of the present situation:

Now, believe it or not, there are a few children’s books on the list. They include Spongebob Squarepants titles, a Dora’s Fiesta Adventure ActivePoint Book, Poems & Prayers for Children and Read-Aloud Children’s Classics. Of course, the banning of children’s books is not a new thing. It happens all over the world. In the United States, Britain and Australia, parents’ groups, religious bodies, libraries and schools might ban certain books. Whether it’s right or wrong is a matter of personal opinion, I guess. What some may consider completely innocuous, may be deemed a bad influence by others.

I do believe, however, that parents are the only ones who can decide what their children should or shouldn’t read. If you’re concerned about your kids’ choice of reading material, then pay attention and advise accordingly. And, sorry, but I don’t count opinions that are based just on the cover image, title and synopsis.

I think parents have to read a book if they want to pass judgment on it. Same goes for Mr Home Ministry. Did he think Patrick Star of SpongeBob Squarepants fame was dressed a bit too skimpily? Was Dora the Explorer’s adventurous nature considered unbecoming for a little girl? Or did the word “fiesta” in the title convince him that she was a party girl with loose morals? The mind boggles!


pablo said...

Hello Puan,
I believe this is the first time I come here. Yes, I did read the article on banned books in the StarMags today. My friend and I was flabbergasted and had much fun on thinking up what kind of basis the Ministry used for banning such books (Maybe because Patrick Star is just wearing boxers? if so they might as well ban Donald Duck-he's not wearing pants..)
I don't want any more wonderful books being banned...and I do care about what I read.
But I don't want to read what the Ministry thinks what I would like to read.

Ron said...

I think I read somewhere sometime ago, that dirty-minded people could see a homosexual agenda in the Spongebob cartoon.

(PS Hangs in head in shame because I haven't visited here for a while and haven't seen the great new livery Bibliobibuli boasts. Very impressive, Sharon.)

animah said...

I am still perplexed about SpongeBob, and that there could be tones of homosexuality never even occurred to me. If we went on a witchhunt, we could find gay themes in everything we see. And guess what, we could see heterosexualism in the very same things too.
Perhaps Spongebob is too intelligent for these Banners. By watching Spongebob, we learn to laugh at ourselves because it pokes fun at attributes we all have. Perhaps Mr Krusty Krab seems too much like a greedy UMNO politician.
There, I'm playing the Raman game again.
I was glad to see Daphnee's article yesterday and I'm sure it made some people sit up. We need more mention of it in the press to add momentum. See the power of the people's voice now - the media has been able to force some local councillors to resign, bloggers have been able to force a group editor to leave. So shout out at the top of your lungs!!!

sympozium said...

But SpongeBob is asexual isn't he?
He/she/it is a fr*gging sponge!! And so what if he IS gay?

bibliobibuli said...

pablo - welcome! glad you're angry too

ron - long time since i read you too, but slipped in last night (also in guilt!)

animah - yes, people power ... though BP's resignation (for wahtever reason) is not a good outome ... better if he'd apologies, had his knuckles rapped and we all moved on

sympozium - *LOL*

animah said...

Any regular Kakiseni contributors out there who can write on book banning for Kakiseni?

bibliobibuli said...

animah - who is asking ah?? i suppose i could but this mat salleh might get deported if she stirs up any more trouble. might this be time for you to move into journalism??

animah said...

Sharon, I somehow knew you would say this. I've never written for Kakiseni before. Knowing Kathy, she'd ask me to quote all kinds of laws etc. Which means research - which takes a while. As it is I'm working nights too - just on my day job. But you've got me thinking, I'd like to do it. Any other lawyers who hang out at this blog that would like to do this with me? What I need is a practising lawyer who can check the statutes. I already know where to look but don't have all the resources that a practising lawyer would have.

bibliobibuli said...

i'd help you if i were a lawyer - the problem is that if anyone else tries to write it without that knowledge, it won't carry any weight. ... aneeta might be the person ...

wouldn't mind co-writing this ...(then if i get deported i might have a friend to come with me)

Spot said...

Animah - Just a CLJ Online password would do. I've been trying to get my hands on one too :)

animah said...

Spot, I have one but those things drive me up the wall! Maybe I'll try gatecrashing a law firm library.

bibliobibuli said...

you can gatecrash abu's library animah - though i don't know it will have everything you want