Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The Malaysian government has banned the sex education book "Where Did I Come From?" on grounds that it contains elements that could be detrimental to the society’s morals and public interest.
Home Ministry deputy secretary-general in charge of security Datuk Abdul Rahim Radzi said on Wednesday 22nd February 2012, the ban was in accordance with the Printing Presses and Publications Act.
Under the Act, anyone convicted of circulating and distributing the book could be fined no more than RM20,000, or jailed three years or less, or both.
The decision comes a day after the ministry stopped the sale of the book by British author Peter Mayle to study its contents.
The issue was first raised by Umno Youth Community Complaints Bureau chief Datuk Muhd Khairun Aseh who claimed the wing had received complaints from the public on the book, which has sold two million copies.
The book, first published in 1973, describes the reproductive process in simple language along with cartoon illustrations.
Intended for children aged between four and eight, the book also features drawings of naked male and female bodies complete with genitalia.
Muhd Khairun said the Home Ministry should step up enforcement against publications with improper content.
He was puzzled as to how the book, which he described as “obscene”, made it through the vetting process at the country’s check-in point.
“The person to blame here is not so much the writer because his writing and products may be accepted in his country, but this country (Malaysia) has a different set of values.
“To talk about the sensational feeling of making love and the rubbing of genitals – how’s that (suitable) for children?
“If we fail to enforce (the law), our children will be exposed to bad influences through such reading materials,” Muhd Khairun said at the office lobby of the Home Ministry in Putrajaya.
He submitted a copy of the bureau’s complaints on the book to the ministry’s Al-Quran Text and Publishing Control Division secretary Abdul Aziz Nor.
Muhd Khairun also offered his staff members to be the “eyes and ears” for the division in the event that they found other books containing contents inappropriate to the law.