KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — The comic book “Ultraman the Ultra Power” has been banned in Malaysia because it refers to a fictional character as “Allah” in a way that could confuse Muslims, a Home Ministry official confirmed today.
Hashimah Nik Jaafar, the ministry’s Publication and Quranic Texts Control Division secretary, told The Malay Mail Online that the book wrongly used the Arabic word for God to describe the fictional character “Ultraman King”.
“It’s stated that Ultraman King is Allah, so that is wrong for Muslims because Allah is not Ultraman King.
“We have banned that because it can create confusion among children who read this caption,” she said.
“They might think Ultraman King is Allah which is wrong for Muslims because Allah is not to be visualised in any way,” she said.
According to the official, the offending line in the book reads as : “He is considered, and respected as, ‘Allah’ or the Elder of all Ultra heroes.”
She clarified that the ban was not imposed because of “public order” but because it may “alarm public opinion”.
Hashimah stressed that the Home Ministry ban is only on the Malay-language version of the “Ultraman the Ultra Power” book, adding that there is no blanket ban on other Ultraman movies and titles.
Yesterday, national news agency Bernama reported that the ministry issued a ban on the publication of the Bahasa Malaysia edition of the comic book, “Ultraman the Ultra Power”, for allegedly containing elements detrimental to public order.
“It is an offence under Section 8 (2) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 for any person to print, import, produce, reproduce, publish, sell, distribute, offer to sell or have in his possession for any such purpose the banned publication,” the ministry said in a statement.
Ultraman is a fictional Japanese superhero who fights “Kaiju” (monsters), and first appeared on television in the 1960s.
It later gained popularity worldwide, including in Malaysia, leading to localised versions of the TV series and comic books.