Leave the book out of it!

FEB 22 — The people at the Home Ministry should do a bit of travelling and broaden their horizons. 

Instead of focusing on deporting foreigners against court orders while letting African ghettos form in parts of Kuala Lumpur, they should focus their energy on letting Malaysians live their lives, and read what they want, including the book “Where Did I Come From?”

Banning a book that has been around more than 30 years speaks volumes of their efficiency. And banning an illustrated book meant to teach children basic sex education, confusing it with pornography, is just plain stupid.

The ministry’s deputy secretary-general, Datuk Abdul Rahim Mohd Radzi, said it had ordered a temporary halt to the book’s sales to study if the content could harm the community’s “moral.”

He further said “If the contents are found to have elements that could harm the moral of the community, we would ban it.”

What rubbish.

If such statements can be made by the deputy secretary-general, what kind of mentality and level of intelligence can we expect from the rest of the ministry?  

The book has been around for more than 30 years, and if I remember correctly, the country’s “moral” was better back then. If anything, we need the book even more now. 

Sex education has been proven to reduce teenage and unwanted pregnancies, and with that, the awareness of diseases transmitted by sexual intercourse. 

Besides, it is the parents who buy the books for their children. They are the ones who will guide their children, and presumably, they are the ones who should know what is best for their child.

Dictating to parents on how or what to teach their children is never the answer. Don’t they (the Home Ministry) have other things to do?

With our print newspapers sensationalising politicians’ sexual escapades and describing in arousing details the alleged scandals, I thought we had a grown up lot. In fact, it was when the MPs requested to watch smut in Parliament that I told myself, “The MPs have all grown up!”

The book is not pornographic and banning it will not improve the country’s moral. It is an aide to parents who believe in such education. Who else is there to help them then, the Obedient Wives’ Club?

Please focus on keeping the country safe, and our borders tight. Do your job, and leave children’s education to those who know best — their parents. 

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.


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