As some of my friends are aware, I am very much against censorship. The reasons are many and varied depending on what the censorship board does.

My main issue with censorship is that it is done on the pretense of ‘protecting’ our culture from bad influences and decay. Why is it that we need a government body to regulate what we see like an overbearing parent?

Isn’t cultural decay and ‘keruntuhan akhlak’ a sign that the education system has failed to impart Malaysian values onto the younger generation and a sign of an even deeper problem where the youngster’s parents have failed to instill good values be it Asian or western?

Lets face it, the censorship board acts to ‘protect’ our culture and all that is a futile gesture that is as effective as trying to hold back the wind with a your bare hands. In today’s Malaysia, if somebody wants to see something really crazy, all that he or she has to do is go to the internet or go see a DVD peddler. You can gain things from black metal concerts to hardcore porn to extremists sermons.

The censorship board are using outmoded methods to contain the bad influences from the outside and are basically being idiots quite frankly. They always seem to send mixed messages, they made an issue whereby they wanted to ban Muslims from seeing the Black Eyed Peas and god knows what other western acts to protect Islamic values and Malaysian values, are they saying seeing the sexually charged Pussycat Dolls in actions is actually more damaging than a the Black Eyed Peas whose music is about having a good time and spreading love? Granted Fergie might dress very provocatively but is she more provocative than the Pussycat Dolls? Besides, if I really wanted to see the Pussycat Dolls strut their stuff, there is always MTV, Youtube and DVDs and I sure as hell can see more skin there.

If they are really serious about protecting Malaysian values and not doing this as some political stunt, they should focus on educating the young about responsibility and critical thinking. Currently, the education system’s method of imparting values and critical thinking is a joke. We learn Moral values just to gain more marks and the teacher’s themselves seem to be indifferent about this issue and as for critical thinking, the current system does not encourage independent thought, we just take in what is served from the teacher without knowing why and asking why frowned upon and at times might get the student into trouble as some teachers take it as disrespect.

Doesn’t this environment of taking in anything from the top without question create an environment where independent though is stifled by fear of being looked upon as a freak or loose canon? Doesn’t this make people more susceptible to adopting the less socially acceptable behavior that the government claims to want to prevent? Lets face it, Malaysians in general are suckers for things that come from outside our borders and it does not matter if the influences are good or bad.

So please for the love of god stop doing stupid futile gestures and attack this in places that actually matter. If the person has strong values and faith, nothing no matter how tempting will make him or her veer away from being a good person. I listen to all forms of music ranging from Black Metal to Jazz, see porn, drink and go clubbing. Does this mean I take drugs, participate in satanic rituals, rape women and be an alcoholic?

Strong moral values and love of ones culture from the person himself is always more effective than any legislation the government can do and yes, to reiterate, censorship of this kind is FUTILE.

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