The Pontificate - Contribute to help UCA News
The Pontificate - Contribute to help UCA News
UCA News


Malaysia Muslim censors black out pictures of pigs

Photographs taken on pig farm get the censors' thumbs-down

Jason Ng for Wall Street Journal

Jason Ng for Wall Street Journal

Updated: March 04, 2014 08:01 PM GMT
Featured Authors - Columnists | Make a Contribution
Featured Authors - Columnists | Make a Contribution
Malaysia Muslim censors black out pictures of pigs

Picture: Wall Street Journal

Share this article :
Censors in Malaysia sometimes feel there are things people just shouldn’t see. Nudity is one of them. Pigs, it appears, is another.

Readers of the International New York Times sold in Muslim-majority Malaysia found on Wednesday that the faces of piglets appearing in a front page photograph had been covered with black blocks. A second photograph of the animals on page 19, which accompanied a story about growing demand for pigs raised outdoors, received similar treatment.

The move has sparked a wave of criticism online and deepened concerns about religious sensitivities amid a recent increase in tensions between Muslims and Christians.

“Just like cats, pigs also have rights to be photographed and show off their cuteness,” Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, an activist with the Lawyers for Liberty group, wrote on Twitter.

KHL Printing Co Sdn Bhd, the company that prints the overseas edition of The New York Times in Malaysia, as well as the Wall Street Journal, declined to comment on the censorship, citing a confidentiality agreement with their client. They directed questions back to the International New York Times.

A spokeswoman with the International New York Times said the company was unaware of the censorship before the newspaper was printed. “We are discussing the matter with our printing contacts in the region,” she said.

The International New York Times is distributed as part of a pullout in The Malaysian Reserve business daily. Syed Mohd Fazilla Hussain, the chief executive officer of The Malaysian Reserve, declined to comment.

The Home Ministry, which grants the publication permits all local newspapers must obtain, denies ordering the photographs to be censored.

“The printer understands the sensitivity of our culture and they did it on their own initiative,” an official with the Home Ministry said.

Censorship is not unheard of in Malaysian newspapers. It might even have caused less of an uproar were it not for recent religious flare ups that have heightened tensions between Muslim and Christians and raised concerns about growing Islamization in a country often viewed as a model of moderate Islam.

Pigs are deemed unclean in Islam and followers of the faith are strictly forbidden from consuming pork. Physical contact with the animal, even if accidental, requires a lengthy ritual cleansing ceremony. Muslims make up about 61% of the population of 28 million people in Malaysia.

Full Story: Pigs Lose Face In Malaysia

Source: Wall Street Journal

Support UCA News...

UCA News provides a unique service, bringing you the voices of emerging churches and helping you see efforts made to evangelize and bring relief to people in all manner of need.

UCA News has more than 40 full time and part time reporters, editors and administrators bringing you this service from across 23 countries in south, southeast and east Asia. You, too, can be part of their efforts by contributing even a small amount to keep UCA News available to the world.
Click here to consider the options available to you.

Your contribution to UCA News will immensely help us continue to grow a strong media community by harnessing information technology to inform, engage, inspire and influence the Catholics of Asia and the world.

As a gesture of our gratitude to your commitment to UCA News, we are pleased to gift you a free PDF Book/e-Book titled Mission in Asia when you make a contribution.

UCA News Donate
UCA Newsletter
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution