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Monday, 19 February, 2001, 15:56 GMT
Mahathir raps rap
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
Urged young people to erect wall of good morality
The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, has delivered a scathing denunciation of rap music, saying that it encourages violent crime.

''There is even a rap singer who talks about strangling his girlfriend, locking her up in the car boot and doing unacceptable things to his own mother,'' Mr Mahathir said in a reference to the controversial rap singer, Eminem.


Many Malaysians commit rapes, murders and other crimes once unimaginable by people in the olden days

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
Mr Mahathir said the exposure to foreign cultures was responsible for violent crime.

He urged young Malaysians to erect ''walls of good morality'' against such music.

''Many Malaysians commit rapes, murders and other crimes once unimaginable by people in the olden days,'' he said.

But the prime minister acknowledged that a ban on rap music would be difficult to enforce and might even foster curiosity about it.

Mr Mahathir is a champion of Asian values and frequently accuses the West of promoting neo-colonial attitudes.

Bollywood ban?

The prime minister also called for a study on whether violent Indian-made films encourage crime.

His comments follow demands from Malaysian Muslim clerics for a ban on the films, which they claim contain values unsuitable for the country's majority Muslim population.

Mr Mahathir said such research would help the government decide whether to ban so-called ''Bollywood'' films, which are hugely popular in Malaysia.

Western, Indian and Chinese movies are widely shown on satellite television in Malaysia. Sex scenes and swearing are cut out, but violent scenes are often left untouched by the official censors.

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See also:

19 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Eminem confirmed for Brits
28 Dec 00 | Asia-Pacific
Malaysian women on top
06 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Islamic state bans karaoke
13 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
Malaysian Islamists demand modesty
03 May 00 | Asia-Pacific
Malaysian paper sues government
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