The secretary of the publications and Quranic texts control division, Che Din Yusoh, said the minister could use "absolute discretion" to gazette "undesirable publications" as banned under Section 7 of the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA).And it's that line that really scares me. Particularly as it refers to books which were previously freely available.
At the same time, Section 9 empowers ministry officers at Malaysia's entry points to refuse the importation of "undesirable publications" that are deemed to threaten public order, morality, security or national interest, even if they have not been gazetted as banned.
... Che Din said he could not confirm if Silverfish Books' list of titles had been banned, noting that officers at each entry point might have different lists.
He said that sometimes, books were confiscated at entry point and only later gazetted as banned. The publishers may also be asked to return these books to the sender.
"As the country's moral guardian, we cannot let these books in," Che Din said, adding that most of these titles were offensive because of their sexual or violent content.
"Some children's books may also have offensive content and contravene conditions in the PPPA."
He said some classics also had to be banned because they contained liberal Western ideas that were "not conducive" to Malaysian society.
Why has the ground shifted so radically in the last few months?
Aminah posted this comment below and I want to highlight it:
Jacqueline called me up and said that this is the best time to send in letters to The Sun as this is now a current topic.
Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org
Everyone who reads this, flood The Sun with your letters.