Censored: KDN blacks out the Economist

By uppercaise

The heavy black marker ink of KDN (Home Ministry) censorship has appeared again on the pages of foreign news magazines, this time on this week’s issue of the Economist. The weekly newspaper’s July 14 report on the Bersih rally was blacked out in three places.



  • Umno-Barisan Nasional politicians
  • Ministry of Home Affairs (KDN)
  • KDN Publications and Quranic Text Control Unit
  • The Malaysian police farce
  • The Malaysian civil service
  • Tear gas man dies
    Police brutality
    Stadium swindle
    Tung Shin tear gas

    Readers were not permitted to read that:

    • One man died of a heart attack after tear gas
    • The march was banned, but a stadium was offered then withdrawn
    • Police were heavy-handed, provoking anger
    • An inquiry into police brutality was conceded by the government
    • Video showed tear gas and water cannon at Tung Shin maternity hospital

    The full article is available intact at the Economist’s web site. (The KDN’s arm doesn’t reach that far.)

    KDN’s censorship was of publicly-available facts, backed up by other published accounts and eye-witness reports available online. It is difficult to understand the kind of thinking that will not allow the sophisticated reader of the Economist — which presents itself as the newspaper of people at the top — to read what they already know or have read elsewhere.

    But the small minds of policemen and censors are more concerned with looking good than with being good.

    The black marker ink of censorship often appeared on foreign magazines such as the Far Eastern Economic Review, Time, Newsweek and Life most frequently during the 1980s and 1990s especially on photographs of scantily-dressed women — broad brush strokes of marker ink was splashed across the breasts, waists or hips. Even reproductions of classical nude paintings were censored this way.

    Read more at: http://uppercaise.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/economist-article-censored/