SEMENYIH state assemblyman Nushi Mahfodz has hit out at the relevant authority following a public complaint that “The (nearly) Teenage Girls’ Guide to (almost) Everything” and “Happy in Adolescence” – two books advocating LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) lifestyle – can be found at book racks of MPH Bookstores (MPH).
As such, the National PAS Ulama Council secretary wants to know what action can the government take to curb the effects of this book if it they are read by Malaysian teenagers and if there are legal provisions that the government can take in this matter.
According to section 7(1) of the Printing and Publishing Act 1984, the Home Ministry’s jurisdiction covers aspects related to material that is harmful to public order, safety, morals, alarm public opinion or prejudicial to public and national interest.
“Items prohibited under the guidelines include content that touches on religious sensitivities, the use of obscene, vulgar and abusive language as well as any form of work or quotation that is explicitly or figuratively about sexual conduct,” Nushi penned on his Facebook page.
“Other items include promoting a free way of life outside the boundaries of religion and societal civilisation such as displaying stories of cohabitation, adultery, homosexuality and incest.”
Moreover, Nushi cautioned that Section 8 and sub-section 2 of the Printing and Publishing Act 1984, stated that it is an offence for any party to print, import, reproduce, publish, sell, issue, distribute or possess a prohibited publication and this offense can be prosecuted.
Those found guilty by the court can be imprisoned for not more than three years or fined not more than RM20,000 or both.
In addition to the Home Ministry guidelines, JAKIM (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia) has also issued specific guidelines to filter propaganda that are against Islamic values.
“Freedom of speech and opinion should not be left without limits until it damages public order, morality and brings blasphemy to religion,” cautioned Nushi. “It is the responsibility of the government in particular and all Muslims in general to join hands to close the doors of social ills.”
Added the Selangor Perikatan Nasional (PN) deputy information chief: “The government acts within the provisions of the law … The question is whether the current government will take action to curb the negative effects on the people by banning the distribution of this book in Malaysia?” – Feb 7, 2024