Indonesia lauds Malaysia’s decision to ban comic book insulting PMIs
Jakarta, Indonesianpost.com – The Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s spokesperson, Lalu Muhamad Iqbal, commended the Malaysian government’s decision to ban the circulation of a comic titled ‘When I was a Kid 3’ that contains content insulting Indonesian migrant workers (PMIs).
“The comic uses the word ‘monkey’ referring to our PMIs,” Iqbal stated on Friday when asked for a response to Indonesia’s stance regarding the Malaysian comic.
Regardless of whether the term was aimed at Indonesians or not, one part of the comic that tells the story of a father, who teaches his child to call humans “monkeys,” is still uneducative, he stressed.
“From an educational perspective, it is very uneducative and degrading to human dignity,” he remarked.
The comic, created by Cheeming Boey, is an illustrated story about his childhood. In ‘When I Was a Kid’ volume 3, chapter “Coconuts II”, Boey tells a story during his childhood when his father asked him to see a monkey.
However, it was not a monkey that he saw, but rather, an Indonesian domestic worker working in his house.
The working woman was called a “monkey” because of her skill at climbing coconut trees.
In a statement uploaded on his personal Instagram account, Boey argued that he wrote the story to show how amazed he was at the ability of his domestic worker, who climbed a coconut tree so quickly.
Read also: Bulog targets buying 16,577 tons of rice from Merauke’s farmers
The Malaysian-born animator and writer, who currently resides in the United States, then said how he wanted to make his father proud by trying to climb a coconut tree like his household assistant did, though he was unable to do it.
Boey began writing the comic ‘When I Was a Kid’ in 2012 which became a bestseller. The third volume of the comic was published in 2014, or nine years ago.
The circulation of this comic has drawn criticism from Indonesians. A demonstration was held in front of the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta on June 26, 2023, until the Malaysian government decided to ban the circulation of the comic starting this week.