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Comic Books, Film
Malaysia’s Home Ministry has banned the release of Ultraman the Ultra Power, claiming the comic book contains elements detrimental to public order.
While it’s unclear what specific content in the Maylay edition alarmed the ministry, The Malay Mail reports the decision has been met with widespread mockery online. One government official even questioned the move, with Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin tweeting, “What is wrong with UItraman?”
In a subsequent story, the website indicates the use of the word “Allah” to describe Ultraman could be the problem: A Twitter user uploaded what appears to be a page from the comic that includes the passage “He is considered, and respected as, ‘Allah’ or the Elder to all Ultra heroes.”
The Japanese superhero debuted in 1966 in a short-lived but popular live-action television show that spawned numerous related series, movies, video games and comic books. Ultraman was licensed in other countries, including Malaysia, where localized versions of the TV show and comics were released.
Under the country’s Printing Presses and Publications Act of 1984, anyone who prints, imports, distributes or even possesses a banned book could face up to three years in jail, a fine of about $6,100 U.S., or both.