VCDs with political speeches also banned in M'sia

First it was pirated and pornographic VCDs. Now the government has banned the sale of VCDs containing political content and speeches by opposition politicians.

KUALA LUMPUR--First it was pirated and pornographic VCDs. Now the government has banned the sale of VCDs containing political content and speeches by opposition politicians.

After a much-publicized announcement against street pedlars who deal in illegal copies of movies, music albums and dirty movies, the powerful Home Affairs Ministry has warned that the government will initiate legal action against those producing and selling "political" VCDs and cassette tapes.

Deputy Homes Affairs Minister Chor Chee Heung said the authorities recently confiscated hundreds of such VCDs in the city, many containing speeches made by opposition leaders.

He claimed the speeches were inflammatory and a danger to society.

"This is a threat to our multi-racial community. If we allow this to go on, I believe there will be chaos in our country," he was quoted as saying in The Star.

But the ban on the sale of VCDs, whether of a entertainment or political nature, would be hard to enforce especially as the trade in these items would only go underground making it more difficult for the government to keep track.

As it is, VCD sales have not abated, with street pedlars still plying their trade in many popular areas in the city, sometimes even in the presence of police officers.

VCD traders recently expressed the view that they would just have to find another way to sell their wares to the public.

Some traders are even talking about delivering VCDs to customers' homes to avoid detection by the authorities.

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