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This country might have been famous for a progressive leader, but Malaysia is still heavily conservative when it comes to censorship. This has gotten worse in The New '10s as the conservative extremists became more vocal and started gaining favors with the government.


  • Many films are edited or banned in Malaysia to appease the country's large Muslim population:
    • Any family film featuring pigs will raise an outcry among Muslims, who see them as filthy scavengers (whether or not they're used as food). In the past, this has led to temporary or partial bans (e.g. a film may be delayed for months, or it will be forced to go Direct-to-Video). Both Babe films were delayed for several months while the parties hashed this one out, and the first film went striaght to VHS (although several budget cinemas managed to get the reels for the first film and screen the film for several days albeit keeping things low-profile), while the second film had a much shorter run compared to other markets. Charlotte's Web nearly got the axe as well, but it was released on time.
    • Islamic tradition also prohibits the visual depiction of the religion's prophets; typically this is thought of as Muhammad, but even Jesus is a prophet in Islam, so Christian films depicting Jesus would cause controversy as well. Such films were banned in the 1990s; since then, films like The Passion of the Christ will be screened to non-Muslims only — and they do check IDs in the theater to make sure. It hasn't been consistent; Darren Aronofsky's film Noah was banned for depicting Noah, another Muslim prophet, but Evan Almighty got through okay.
    • Bruce Almighty, a film about a guy who gets to be God for a Day (and which implies that God is an Almighty Janitor played by Morgan Freeman), was nearly banned in Malaysia as Muslims protested the movie, considering it offensive. Weirdly, no other religious or secular groups thought it was offensive to any religion, so the film was eventually screened unedited. Its spinoff Evan Almighty, in which a character becomes a modern-day Noah, had a similar fate (despite its apparent depiction of a Muslim prophet).
    • The 2012 Indian comedy OMG, Oh My God! was banned for "sensitive religious content." The movie is about a shopkeeper who sues God Himself (depicted as a human) after his store is destroyed in a tornado. However, the Ally McBeal episode Angels and Blimps (where a child hires Ally's firm to sue God for crashing a blimp near him and injuring him) wasn't banned. It appears that the problem here isn't regarding the person suing God, but the depiction of God as a flawed human being.
  • The 2009 Indonesian film Macabre is banned in Malaysia for excessive violence.
  • Zoolander was banned because one of the main plot points is the assassination of the country's fictional prime minister (which is ultimately what they were trying to prevent) and its depiction of Malaysia in overall (impoverished and fueled by sweatshops). Also banned in Singapore, but was lifted five years later. The sequel, however, isn't banned, due to it having little to do with the country. The ban has also apparently been lifted since it was available on several legit online streaming services in 2016.note 
  • Steven Spielberg famously refused to let Malaysia screen the edited version of his movie Schindler's List, since its Zionist theme is the main plot point. The movie was only released on DVD more than a decade later. Munich suffered the same fate.
  • Borat was banned for its crude humor.
  • Initially, it appeared that Brokeback Mountain will never stand a chance in Malaysia with its strong homosexual themes. However apparently the ban has been lifted in mid-2017, with the film appearing on several legit online streaming services.note 
  • The last few Saw films never saw the light of day in Malaysia due to their excessive violence.
  • Sin City was banned for brutal violence and explicit sexual content.
  • Daredevil was initially banned due to violence, but has been released on home video.
  • Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me was initially banned due to crude humor, though it was eventually allowed on satellite TV and later home video.
  • The American Pie trilogy was banned for its sexual content, although it was eventually released directly to DVD. The fourth movie of the trilogy, American Reunion, was initially banned from screening on pay TV — the Malaysian feed of the HBO premiere was forcibly replaced with a completely different movie. It eventually got a direct-to-DVD release, then was banned again for no good reason.
  • The 40-Year-Old Virgin was banned due to sexual content, again finally released on DVD, and then re-banned for no good reason, and then unbanned again with several legit online streaming services now authorized to offer the show.
  • The Singaporean film Homerun was banned for political reasons; the film is a satire on Singapore-Malaysia relations set in 1965, the year the two countries split up.
  • Platoon was initially banned due to its excessive profanity and violence, but was finally allowed a DVD release.
  • Cannibal Holocaust was banned on its initial release.
  • Independence Day: Resurgence had a notable scene where the Petronas Twin Towers, a crown jewel of the country, is dropped onto the Tower Bridge in London when the entirety of the planet is pulverised beyond repair. It wasn't banned.
  • Ultimately subverted by Beauty and the Beast (2017), which was originally approved for screening by the censors after the controversial LeFou gay scene was cut from the reels meant for the Malaysian release, however Disney Malaysia suddenly decided to not distribute the movie in Malaysia anyway and demanded that the film be allowed to be screened uncut or it will never release the film in the country. Outcries ensued and Disney demanded a re-evaluation. Realizing that the film was smashing box offices overseas and the amount of potential tax money they're missing outnote , the film board ultimately allowed the film to be screened uncut but with a PG-13 rating.
  • Shortly following the BatB remake example above, the Power Rangers film was also destined to the chopping board due to the Yellow Ranger being a lesbian. Again, after heavy barrages of lament and anger, the censors decided to leave it be, and the film was screened in full. What didn't escape, however, was the "Mighty Morphin'" part of the title being reinstated, which caused the same illiterate helicopter moms who claimed that the title would drive kids to do drugs to come out of the woodwork and protest, causing Malaysia to pick up the UK release which also removed the "Mighty Morphin'" part of the title due to similar protests being held there (because there are people in the UK who can't speak English, surprisingly).

  • A notable aversion is that Mein Kampf can be found in major bookstores.note 
  • Nudity in non-sexual contexts in magazines like National Geographic is censored. Much like prudish Western Moral Guardians, the censors accomplish this manually, by scribbling out the offending body parts with black markers. This includes pictures of artworks, like Michelangelo's famous sculpture of King David. And that's for the locally-printed Malaysian edition; imported versions are banned outright, unless they can be justified as "for research purposes".
  • Fifty Shades of Grey, its two sequels, and its film adaptation are all banned for their explicit sexual content. Unusually, the ban on the books was only placed after the film was banned, 3 years after their release. However, the fourth book, Grey, is not banned, even though it's a P.O.V. Sequel of the first book.
    Live-Action TV 
  • The Jerry Springer Show was pulled off the air after only one episode due to its depraved content.
  • According to The Other Wiki, "The Queen Bee" episode of Ally McBeal has been banned.
  • Also according to The Other Wiki, the episodes "But I'm a Cheerleader" and "The Videotape" from Friends are also banned, at least from broadcast.
  • While Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers wasn't outright banned (although there are episodes that are withheld from broadcast), censors rather hilariously refused to allow use the word "morphin'", largely due to outcry from helicopter mums that the word was too close to the word "morphine" and would convince young viewers to use drugs. The title was initially restored with the 2017 reboot film, only to be cut again several weeks later because said mummies staged a protest again.
  • A documentary on the MH370 plane crash was initially thought to be banned from screening on the Malaysian feed of the National Geographic channel. National Geographic themselves claim that the documentary was not banned, but was produced solely for the UK market and was not intended to be screened anywhere else in the world. However, many Malaysian expatriates in the UK who have seen it claims that the documentary features some rather controversial theories which would've gotten it banned in Malaysia nonetheless. Also, a leak of the documentary onto YouTube was taken down just ten minutes after it was posted.
  • Gruff's Groove Box, a Nickelodeon music show, found itself banned because it had the misfortune of launching in Malaysia a day before the king's death, and local law outlawed upbeat music for a month after the king's death. It was never well-received anyway, even in countries where it could air, and it was cancelled within the same month. Nickelodeon now pretends it doesn't exist, and there's pretty much no way it will even be seen in Malaysia.
  • Coverage of the Bersih protests in 2011 on the BBC World News network was partially blacked out in Malaysia. After revelations of the blackout were revealed, it was found that the satellite TV provider had purposely blacked out the channel themselves, despite this being against their terms of their contract with The BBC. The provider then claimed they had to do it to please the censors, which angered the BBC.
  • Related to the Bersih coverage issue above, the same provider mysteriously dropped BBC Entertainment Asia from its channel line-up and replaced it with ITV Granada after Jeremy Clarkson smashed up a Perodua Kancil, A car from one of the two national car firms, on an episode of Top Gear. The satellite provider denied an upfront ban, citing that the channel has nothing new to offer, which is a very peculiar statement for a network that airs the award-winning Doctor Who, and was in the middle of a new season when it was dropped. The network remained unavailable until a rival Pay TV provider picked up the channel two years later (and Top Gear had been moved to its sister channel, BBC Knowledge). Local fans of the channel and its shows speculate that there is some foul play going on. The car-smashing episode did not stop a terrestrial station from airing the show though, or Malaysian versions of the magazine from being printed (although there is no doubt that the articles in the magazine are censored and any article criticizing local cars are removed anyway).
  • Season 10 of Doctor Who was initially thought to be this because the companion character Pearl Mackie was to be potrayed as a lesbian. Semi-averted in that the show is made available uncut on the BBC Player service, but is delayed three weeks and has any questionable scenes cut before being made available on the BBC First Video-on-Demand service.

  • Many music performances are banned in Malaysia due to not conforming with Islamic values. The censors particularly target female singers who might dress a little more revealingly than they would like. Then again, if a group or genre is really popular in Malaysia (like K-Pop), they can get away with more. This policy also has slowly gone away with the new government being elected in May 2018.
    • Madonna, due to her long, risqué resume, is not allowed to perform in Malaysia.
    • Linkin Park was not allowed to wear short pants, spit, curse, throw things into the crowd, jump around, or "scream excessively" during their concert. Their live routine typically involves all of the above, except for wearing shorts.
    • In his autobiography, Meat Loaf lamented how hard it was to perform his "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" number in Muslim countries, since he was not allowed to touch any of his female back up singers on stage. Also, the female back up singers had to cover their shoulders and midriffs to conform with Islamic Dress.
    • Beyoncé cancelled a gig in Kuala Lumpur and moved it to Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, after the Malaysian government told her she couldn't wear what she planned to because it didn't conform to Islamic Dress. Strangely, Indonesia thought it was okay even though it has more Muslims than Malaysia; the Moral Guardians there just aren't as powerful.
    • How The Pussycat Dolls managed to be allowed to perform in the country is a Riddle for the Ages. The organizers were fined, and the Cats wore less sexy outfits when they returned to the country for the 2008 MTV Asia Awards.
    • Michael Jackson's first concert in Malaysia was cancelled and he was banned from performing live in the country because of his infamous crotch-grab dance move. The concert was Un-Cancelled a few days later and the ban removed when Jackson promised not to do the crotch-grab for his Malaysian audience (although this had the unfortunate side-effect of changing the venue at the last minute).
    • In 2009, the Malaysian government declared that Muslim citizens would be prohibited from attending the Black Eyed Peas' concert there on the grounds that it was being sponsored by Guinness, a beer company (Islam prohibits alcohol in any form). The government later rescinded the ban and allowed Muslims to buy tickets.
    • In 2012, Erykah Badu was banned from performing in Malaysia due to accidental publication in a local newspaper of an image of her wearing a temporary tattoo of Allah's name, which is blasphemous in Islam. The problem was (a) the tattoo, we should reiterate, was temporary note  and has since been removed and (b) the image was not meant for publication in Malaysia, but rather just pulled off the Internet somewhere. Her Malaysian fans are not pleased of the ban.
    • In 2013, the Malaysian government tried to appease the extremist conservativesnote  by attempting to ban Elton John on the grounds of his homosexuality. However, the concert was in the state of Pahang, whose own sultan was a big fan of Elton John and vetoed the ban on his own.
    • In 2013, American metal band Lamb of God was forbidden from playing any shows in the country after accusations of infringing on religious sensitivities.
    • In 2015, British band Carcass was banned from performing in Malaysia over objectionable lyrical content.
    • Spacehog's album "The Chinese Album" has a cover with a girl holding a pig, something Malaysian Muslims would take exception to. But it wasn't censored, and the cassette release just covers the offending animal with a sticker. This article explains why.
    • That's not to say there are no exceptions - Avenged Sevenfold had been allowed there, as supporting example.
  • Malaysia bans a classical number called Mamula Moon and any other songs that share its tune because it's also the tune of the country's National Anthem.
  • The national broadcaster stopped playing Luis Fonzi's Despacito (especially the English version featuring Justin Bieber) on its radio stations due to the lyrics containing suggestive context. Good news: Private-run radio still play the song, and YouTube is always available.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • U.S. Acres comics are never available in print in newspapers in Malaysia unless the paper needs a strip as filler for Garfield, and even then the strip is censored when shown. The main character, Orson, is a pig — and although there's no requirement not to show pigs, any paper stuck with him will edit him out anyway.

    Stand-up Comedy 
    Video Games 
  • Electronic gambling, such as slot machines, is limited only to "licensed" premises. At present, there's only one such place, Genting Highlands; and you can read news about police raiding illegal computer gambling parlours every week. Acquiring a license is impossible as the government has outright refused to issue further licenses.
  • Arcade licenses are just a bit more lax; but the police has the power to raid arcades, revoke licenses, confiscate all machines on the premises and shut the business down if it finds a single gambling machine, which is enforced through tip-offs. Arcades will get around this by (a) using machines that don't pay out cash, but rather tokens, tickets or prizes, which aren't regulated as strictlynote , or (b) modifying a gambling machine to look like a legal arcade machinenote . In 2001, the government attempted to ban arcades as a whole, partly due to how students were often caught Skipping School to visit the joints, partly for being a gathering place for gangsters and delinquents, and partly for being addictive, in addition to all the negative presses from arcades who disguised their gambling machines to look like legal arcade machines. But the ban only lasted several weeks because most arcades found a loophole and started including claw machines, kiddie rides and/or small fairground rides on their premises, leading to them to be reclassified as "amusement parks".
  • The Taiwanese indie fighting game Fight Of Gods has become the first game to be banned in Malaysia since Postal as various religious leaders in the country demand that the government ban it for being disrespectful towards religion as a whole. Gamers are of course generally not pleased and backlash is brewing. The government then decided to block Steam as a whole when Valve did not respond to their e-mails. In a rather idiotic move, the Steam ban came into effect 4 hours after Valve quietly removed the game from the Malaysian store, and while most people claim that their Steam library wasn't blocked and that they could still get to their already downloaded games, people who were in the midst of reformatting their PC were suddenly locked out of getting the Steam installer, which in effect locked them out of the games they bought. Additionally there were reports that those using the Steam Mobile App for two-factor authentication were also locked out as they couldn't launch the app to validate their login on their PC, also locking them out of their games. The ban was rescinded at noon the next day, but the MCMC refused to acknowledge the guffaw and instead threatened Valve that they would block Steam again if they should allow anyone who try to publish games like these in Malaysia again, as well as threatening to jail and fine gamers who dare to try to import the game. This along with all the insult and mockery Malaysian gamers received from those in other countries. This is widely believed to be one of the points that caused the corrupt Najib regime to be toppled in the next general election.
  • The Grand Theft Auto series was often banned during Muhammed Idris' rule, likely due to the violence and sexual content depicted in the games. However, due to the Internet being young at the time, again only physical copies were banned and people could still get the game off Steam.
  • The Postal trilogy is banned from being sold in stores due to accusations of over-the-top violence. Thankfully, the ban is only for physical copies, so you can still buy them over Steam.
  • Notably not banned are Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (depicting an assassination done by 47 inside the Petronas Twin Towers), Just Cause 2 (Panau is a mishmash of various Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia), and SOCOM 4: US Navy SEALS (where the capital city is turned into a warzone).

    Web Original 
  • Since 2011, The Malaysian government will block access to any websites it feels contains illegal content per Malaysian law. Ironically, this has the effect of superseding a "Bill of Guarantees" and other legislation that generally grants Internet access as a right. However, every time the government has tried to go further (like a 2014 proposal to implement something similar to China's "Great Firewall"), public outcry leads them to back down. note 
    • An independent inquiry revealed that over 6500 websites have been blocked. Most of them pertain to online gambling, pornography, or criticism of the (former) government. Internet freedom increased after the 2018 elections where the Barisan Nasional Government was unseated by the Pakatan Harapan Coalition after 61 years of rule.
    • In 2014, ex-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad tried to convince the government to ban Facebook; public outcry led him to back down, and the government had to assure the populace that they wouldn't ban it. Oddly, the reason he wanted Facebook banned was that it wouldn't let him post a link to his website because it was hosted in the Cocos Islands, which is notorious for hosting scam sites. Four years later, strangely enough, Facebook became one of the reasons why his newly formed political coalition won the 2018 generalelections.
    • The former government blocked independent news site The Sarawak Report for being critical of the government and exposing corruption. The site defied the ban by mirroring its content on blogging site, who refused to stop them — and got banned in Malaysia itself. However the ban was rescinded after the despotic Najib regime was overthrown in the 2018 elections.
    • Malaysia became the second country to block after a group of stupid helicopter moms petitioned to block the site on the ground of containing objectionable material (spoiler: it contained no such thing). The Epic Fail lies in the fact that the block was enforced without any validation (read: fact-checking) by the body whatsoever, nor was there any referendum held to gage public opinion. This in turn angered local fanfiction writers and even educators, who started a counter-petition calling for the site to be unbanned.
    • Like Indonesia, Tumblr used to be blocked in Malaysia due to the sheer amount of NSFW content on the site. The ban was rescinded when Tumblr restructured, declared that such content are no longer allowed, and purged them from the site.
    • All ISPs block access to "in-the-clear" email servers, ostensibly to stop spammers and scammers.
    • Peer-to-peer clients like BitTorrent tend to fail to connect to peers from outside the country on many ISPs. This makes it a hassle for those who have a valid use for such networks, such as updating Starcraft II.
    • One ISP is blocking access to IRC (ports 6667-6670), falsely claiming it a dangerous security exploit. Aside from that, said ISP also blocks SSH (port 22) for no good reason other than a false claim that it facilitates hacking.

    Western Animation 
  • South Park is a weird case. Two providers carry Comedy Central; one outright blocks it and replaces it with other shows, while the other not only shows it with minimal edits, but also outright advertises the fact that it's the only carrier to show South Park in Malaysia. You can also find some episodes and the movie on DVD in certain video outlets. This is in spite of South Park perhaps being one of the most hostile shows to Islam the West has ever produced. That said, it should be noted that the Muslim population from Generation Y onwards are more moderate and open, and many even understand Self-Deprecation humor. It's the conservative generations, who are still alive and running the country, that are offended by these. Sadly however, the millennials are back to the old conservative mindset. CNN did a study on this and found that this is because most of them went to the Middle East for their college and university education, and thus were brainwashed by the Saudi government during their stay and thus came back extremist-conservative.
  • Family Guy was briefly banned in Malaysia after complaints from Muslim viewers. The ban has since been lifted, but episodes are now heavily cut, and it can only be seen on satellite TV because the terrestrial channel that aired the show refuse to carry it anymore.
  • The BBC refuses to screen Huxley Pig and Wibbly Pig on its Malaysian feed of CBeebies. The reason for this is unknown, since they do screen Big Barn Farm and Tilly and Friends, both of which contain pigs as supporting characters, uncut in the country.
  • NTV7 cancelled their plans to air Magic Adventures of Mumfie upon realizing that one of the main characters is a flying pig. No other channels have stepped up to pick up the show.
  • Nick Jr. does air Peppa Pig; a group of parents and educators even demanded it to appear there. But they scheduled it at a time when no one in the show's demographic will be able to watch it (i.e. during kindergarten hours). It also refuses to show Toot & Puddle, although its spinoff Olivia is airing on a different channel. It is also not showing Peppa on the dedicated Nick Jr channel but only on the Nick Jr segment of the main Nickelodeon channel.
  • Garfield and Friends has all of its U.S. Acres segments cut from the late 90s onwards, mostly because the protagonist of the segment is a pig. The segments are usually replaced with a "Garfield" segment from an older episode of the show.


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