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Books Banned In Malaysia

Updated on June 19, 2014

Some Background Information

I furthered my study at Texas Tech University majoring in Industrial Engineering donkey years ago. Upon my graduation, my American host family was kind enough to help me to ship all the books, which included text books, self-help books and other non-fiction books, back to my home country, Malaysia.

Collection Of My Books

Eventually, the books arrived at Port KIang in one piece and I went to collect them at the Customs Office after going through through some paper work. An officer told me that there were two books that were prohibited in Malaysia under the Home Ministry guidelines, namely The Joy Of Sex and Why I am Not A Christian.

He gave me two choices: either ship them back to the States or they would be confiscated. The first choice is nonviable since I had to spent money and on top of that I did not know whom I was going to send them to. So I opted for the second choice which to me was not a choice at all.

What went Wrong With The Two Books

The officer did not tell me specifically the reasons behind the confiscation. I think the reasons were quite obvious.

Although Malaysia is not an Islamic country per se, some 50% of the population was Muslims back then and Islam was and still is the official religion since this country is run by Muslims.

Even though Why I Am Not A Christian is about Christianity, the government might be concerned, in my opinion, that those Muslims who read it probably would question their own religion as well.

The Joy Of Sex, written by Alex Comfort, is an excellent sex manual (similar to Kama Sutra). However, sex is a taboo as far as Islam is concern and hence ownership and circulation of any printed materials on sex are prohibited under the law.

Some Advice For Foreigners

So if you were to travel to this country, find out what you cannot do here before hand to avoid unnecessary inconvenience.

For your info, drug smuggling and illegal possession of fire arms, if convicted, carries a mandatory death sentence in Malaysia.


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