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Singapore halts destruction of controversial children's books

Singapore on Friday stopped its national library from destroying two children’s books with gay themes following an outcry over literary censorship in the tightly regulated city-state.

Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim ordered the books moved to the adult section, where parents can borrow them for their children, after another title had already been “pulped” by the National Library Board (NLB).

“We stand by NLB’s decision to remove the three books from the children’s section,” Yaacob said on his Facebook page, adding that the board “will continue to ensure that books in the children’s section are age-appropriate”.

Singapore has separately banned a volume of the long-running US comics series Archie because its depiction of a marriage between two men was deemed to breach local “social norms”. 

The two books to be moved to the adult section of public libraries are And Tango Makes Three – a true story about two male penguins in a New York zoo that raised a baby penguin – and The White Swan Express, which features children adopted by straight, gay, mixed-race and single parents.

The book that has already been destroyed is Who’s In My Family, which discusses different types of families, including references to gay couples.

Source: AFP