After Indonesian uproar, Putrajaya bans US-based artist’s book on childhood in Malaysia

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — The Malaysian government is banning a book titled When I Was a Kid 3 by author Cheeming Boey.

In a statement from the Home Ministry sent through the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), the government said it was exercising its powers under subsection 7(1) of the Printing Press and Publications Act 1984.

“This order may be cited as the Printing Presses and Publications (Control of Undesirable Publications) (No. 4) Order 2023.

“The printing, importation, production, reproduction, publishing, sale, issue, circulation, distribution or possession of the publication described in the Schedule which is likely to be prejudicial to morality is absolutely prohibited throughout Malaysia,” Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said.

Boey is a Malaysia-born animator-turned-artist-turned-writer currently residing in the United States.

His book is a series of illustrated stories focused on his childhood in Malaysia. It includes his humorous tales about school, siblings, and parents, while also touching on his personal experiences of being bullied and the trauma that follows.

Yesterday, dozens of Indonesians gathered outside the Malaysian embassy to protest the sale of his comic book over one of its pages that denigrates an Indonesian maid working in Malaysia.

Protestors from a non-governmental organisation known as Corong Rakyat demanded the authorities to stop the printing and sale of the comic book in several bookstore chains in Malaysia.

They also urged the authorities to investigate the motive behind the story and illustrations by Boey.