Home Ministry must justify its decision to ban 35 books

Press Statement
by Teresa Kok

(Petaling Jaya, Friday): I call on the Home Ministry to justify its decision to ban 35 books which are deemed detrimental to public health.

According to the list reported in the NST two days ago, most if not all the books are religious in nature and deal with Christian and Islamic theology. The books that are banned have also been gazetted under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (Amended 1987) and the Printing Presses and Publications Regulations (Revenue Control from Undesirable Publications) 2003.

To arbitrarily ban the books without proper or acceptable guidelines is unjustifiable and amounts to a violation of religious freedom. Moreover, did the Home Ministry consult the various publishers and religious groups and organizations concerned before deciding to ban the books?

The Home Ministry must therefore explain why it considers the books to be detrimental to public health and why they are categorized as undesirable publications.


* Teresa Kok, MP for Seputeh and Head of DAP NGO Affairs Bureau