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5 things that are (or almost) banned in Malaysia in 2017


When we talk about the things that are banned in Malaysia, there’s a whole list of it, which can’t be helped as the censorship here has always been a serious and growing issue.

In recent years, there are already some seriously face palming things that are banned for the dumbest reason ever. Some of the popular ones include banning the words “dog” and “beer” on food item, such as Auntie Anne’s pretzel dog which has now become pretzel sausage, and A&W’s Root Beer, now known as just RB, while its Coney Dog has been changed to either Chicken or Beef Coney.

Let’s not also forget that A&W’s root beer has been rebranded as “sarsaparilla” when sold in bottles and cans at the supermarket or kiosks.

Of course, this year is no exception. There are several things that happened this year which are either prohibited or censored in Malaysia for questionable reasons, and the excuse for the ban really makes us go, “Ehh, seriously?”

Well, see for yourself.


1. Better Beer Festival
(Photo source: star2.com)
When the highly anticipated Better Beer Festival was officially cancelled in Malaysia, it had definitely angered the folks from the non-Muslim community – and we think that they have every right to do so. The festival was held in Kuala Lumpur every year in conjunction with Oktoberfest, but for some reason, this year, the festival is unable to proceed as it has caught the attention of some Muslim political parties.

But what we find weird is the reason given for the ban, which is for the “safety of the public” as they believed that the festival can lead to violence and they also think that it is “shameful” for an Islamic country like Malaysia to allow such festival to be held, because apparently, Chinese, Indians and the lain-lains are non-existant (haha). Weirdly enough, a few days before Better Beer was banned, Asia’s largest gin celebration, the Gin Jubilee took place at Damansara Heights, and it went by without a hitch.


2. Fights of Gods

This particular game has been banned in Malaysia because it pits various gods against each other. When the game was released on Steam, one of the world's largest online game stores, the Malaysian government blocked access to Steam when it failed to comply with Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission’s (MCMC) 24-hour ultimatum to disable downloads of the game in Malaysia. 

According to the game publisher PQube, the game “takes a humorous approach to religion in the same way that other entertainment formats have” and doesn’t promote “any religious agenda and is not designed to offend.” While no Islamic depictions like Allah or the Prophet Muhammad are included in the game, it does feature the Christian gods Jesus and Moses, who are also considered as prominent prophets in Islam. So, maybe that’s why it was banned – but it’s just a game! Hmm…


3. Despacito

So the famous hit was banned from the state radio and TV channels because someone was trying to show off her Spanish! Officials from the Malaysian government has reportedly banned the song from radio airwaves after receiving multiple public complaints, particularly from a certain member of a female-centric political party who noted that the song contains numerous sexual references and innuendos – even though it’s in Spanish. The person may have failed to realise that even though Malaysia is a multilingual country, Spanish was never one of our main languages. 

Disregarding the reason stated by the government, we understand why people have been complaining about the song – first, it is overplayed, second Justin Bieber sings it. But if sexually explicit lyrics is the reason why the song was banned, then the radio station might as well not put anything else on air since most of the songs nowadays have suggestive content, and they’re all in English!



4. Fidget Spinner

A toy that was initially designed to help people who have trouble focusing or people with anxiety, has somehow becomes the latest trend and craze among many youngsters for unknown reasons, and that’s exactly why the Malaysian government had almost banned the gadget as they don’t know what’s the purpose of it and what it can do.

When several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) expressed concerns that fidget spinners could be modified and used as weapons to commit crime (which is possible), the government decides to conduct an inspection on the gizmo and the potential harm that it could bring. Though this point is quite reasonable, we feel that the government may be overthinking things. Maybe they’re scared that kids will turn the fidget spinners into shurikens and start battling each other – something like this video below.



5. Beauty and the Beast

The movie becomes a huge controversial issue when its release in Malaysia was delayed due to some minor homosexual references in the movie. The Malaysian Film Censorship Board had previously decided to release an edited version of the movie where four minutes of “gay moments” were removed from the local release, but the Disney studio refused to make the cuts, which lead the Board to announce that it would be banned after all.

As homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia, many religious groups and concerned parents have called for the movie to be banned for fear that the movie might leave negative influences in young children's minds. But after a public backlash and appeal from Disney Malaysia, the film was finally released in the country without any cuts


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