KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — A bookseller has apologised to a Hindu group for selling posters of the cover of Jimi Hendrix’s 1967 album “Axis: Bold as Love” that depicted the late American rock legend and his band, the Experience, as various forms of Lord Vishnu.
Andrew Yap, managing director and co-founder of BookXcess, also said they had immediately stopped selling the “offensive” posters bearing the image of the Hindu deity at a book fair in March after receiving a customer complaint.
“There was never any intention to offend any racial or religious segment and for this, we are deeply sorry that the public was exposed to the offensive poster,” Yap told The Malay Mail Online today.
“Rest assured that we have taken every measured step to safeguard against this happening again. We will be more diligent in exercising good conscience taking into account cultural and religious sensitivities henceforth,” he added.
The sale of 24”x36” reprints from the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Axis: Bold as Love” album at a book fair in March had outraged the Penang Hindu Association (PHA), with the Hindu group demanding yesterday for an apology from BookXcess.
BookXcess’s apology letter to PHA, which was sent last night, said the company had never intended to hurt the Hindu community.
“With this letter, I will give you my personal assurance that the offensive poster will continuously not be on sale through our company at (any) given point,” read the letter that was sighted by The Malay Mail Online.
PHA deputy president P. Murugiah said in response that a mere apology note was not sufficient and demanded that BookXcess apologise publicly to all Hindus through newspaper advertisements.
“KDN should ban all these things from coming into the country. They should also not only give them a warning, but also a fine,” Murugiah told The Malay Mail Online, referring to the Home Ministry by its Malay initials.
The Hindu group leader further welcomed the Home Ministry’s move to ban compact discs (CDs) of the “Axis: Bold as Love” album bearing the cover art of Lord Vishnu.
A Home Ministry spokesman told The Malay Mail Online earlier today that in order to protect religious sensitivities, the government would prohibit CDs featuring the American rock band’s album cover art of the Hindu god from entering the country and they would seize such CDs found in Malaysia.
The Home Ministry stressed that it would allow the distribution of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Axis: Bold as Love” album, as long as the CDs do not feature the album cover art of Lord Vishnu.