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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 July 2006, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
Malaysia outlaws unsuitable names
By Jonathan Kent
BBC News, Kuala Lumpur

Sean Connery as James Bond
Malaysians will be discouraged from naming their children 007
Malaysian authorities have published a list of undesirable titles to prevent parents giving their children names such as Hitler, smelly dog or 007.

Such choices are not allowed, but there is a right of appeal.

The list came as a response to the growing number of Malaysians who are applying to change their birth names.

Malaysia's National Registration Department made the decision after consulting with various religious bodies in the country.

They represented the country's Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist communities.

Traditionally, some groups have given newborns inauspicious names to ward off demons and evil spirits.

Further restrictions

Now names like the Hokkien Chinese Ah Chwar, meaning snake, and Khiow Khoo, meaning hunchback, are being ruled out.

So too are Cantonese monikers Chow Tow, meaning smelly head, and Sor Chai, meaning insane.

Members of Malaysia's Tamil community will be discouraged from using the likes of Karrupusamy (black god), and Malays from trying names like Woti, meaning sexual intercourse.

But the ban extends further.

Parents will not be able to call their babies after animals, insects, fruit, vegetables or colours.

Numbers are also not allowed, so little James Bonds cannot flaunt their 007 status on their ID cards.

Other restrictions stop parents giving children royal or honorary titles as names or calling their little ones after Japanese cars.




SEE ALSO
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Country profile: Malaysia
20 Jul 06 |  Country profiles

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