Good to read other views

"A PLACE for censorship" (Letters, Aug 9) refers. I agree that "censorship and banning of books are at times justified to preserve national security and harmony".

But we should examine the reasons for the need to ban a certain book. If it incites violence among fellow citizens or calls for unconstitutional means to overthrow a democratically elected government, then it should be banned.

In our country, sometimes books expressing points of view that are different from the officially sanctioned ones are banned. This should not be the case. For example, Irshad Manji's book, which was in the news some time ago, is a tame book. It merely expresses different ways of viewing and interpreting some teachings which she considers "dogmatic". I think Malaysians should benefit from considering her opinions.

In the US, there are scores of books disputing the many dogmatic beliefs of the Christian faith. One can choose to read them or ignore them. People don't necessarily riot over the publishing of such books. I certainly have benefited from reading them.

It puzzles me that our religious departments are so wary of our educated citizens reading books that discuss other points of view.

Cheong Sai Fah