Tuesday, 17 March 2015

“Fifty Shades” books banned? No worries!

Ideas are only lethal if you suppress and don't discuss them. Ignorance is not bliss, it's stupid. Banning books shows you don't trust your kids to think and you don't trust yourself to be able to talk to them. - Anna Quindlen

I bought these three copies in 2012! 
So, now that the Home Ministry had announced that all three "Fifty Shades" books by author E.L. James have been banned, everyone are asking, why does it take 4 good years since "Fifty Shades of Grey", "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed” hit the shelves of bookstores before the Home Ministry decided that it should be banned for it contained elements of pornography based on explicit sexual acts without a clear positive narrative plot and after thousands of copies have been sold to Malaysians?

Are the books too boring that it took the personnel from Home Ministry 4 years to read them? They have been sleeping in the job and just woke up from the sweet long slumber? Or they are too busy to be testing and trying out with erotic scenes written that they finally agreed it corrupts the mind of Malaysians? Or suddenly, what was deemed alright some years ago is now not so alright, especially with the rising tide of holier than thou attitudes championed by certain parties and one particular individual by the name of Ridzuan Tee Abdullah?

Saw this book at  Borders. Should this be banned too? 
Why only these books? Aren’t there are even more romantic novels available in the bookstores that contain even more detailed pornographic elements compared to “Fifty Shades”? A quick browse at Kinokuniya, MPH, Borders and Times will not disappoint those seeking novels with elements of pornography. Why doesn’t the Home Ministry ban all of them, instead of just “Fifty Shades” books? Selective prosecution or victim of its own popularity?  

Whatever the reasons are, it only shows the unwise side of the Home Ministry to ban these books. Instead, it is giving these books even more publicity, created curiosity and making those who don’t own copies of these books even keener to be getting them. Can’t get them in print in Malaysia? No problem! One can always purchase or even download for free the e-books. Not satisfied with e-books? Well..there are still many ways to go about it. Isn’t it we are living in a globalized world? However, there are many times that I can’t help to think that policy and decision makers in Malaysia still live in Byzantine era.

Banning of books is an archaic act that belongs to the historical department. It certainly doesn’t work in the 21st century. I am all against the banning of books because I believe that every adult is capable to think for themselves the good and bad after reading a book and own up to their actions.  If one’s faith is strong, one don’t even need to worry of other influences. 

And now, there is another question that most people are asking vivaciously. What should people like me who own "Fifty Shades of Grey", "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed” do with our books? Sell it to the old newspaper collector? Throw them away? Or continue having them because the authority won’t be so “free” to be checking every household for copies of these books right? And, if they are getting serious, isn’t most household and personal laptops contain porno DVDs and video clips? Or it is just another classic Malaysia style of announcement of ban to placate certain quarters but no serious action will be taken? 

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