Malaysia has ordered bookstores to stop selling a children’s sex education book by a British author over concerns it could “corrupt people’s minds” in the conservative Muslim-majority country.
Malaysia’s Home Ministry said in a statement Tuesday that bookstores were no longer allowed to sell “Where did I come from?” by Peter Mayle pending a review.
Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi, a senior ministry official, said in the statement that the book would be banned “if it is proven to contain elements harmful to public morals and corrupt people’s minds.”
“The ministry has obtained the cooperation of book sellers around the country to immediately stop sales until the review is completed and a decision is made,” he said.
The ministry did not specify how long the review would take or how many copies were in circulation.
The illustrated book aims to help parents explain to children such topics as sex, conception and birth, according to a book preview on online retailer Amazon.
Malaysia regularly bans publications, especially those touching on sex and religion.
Sex and sexuality are seen as taboo, while authorities are also on the lookout for interpretations of Islam that they consider stray from the mainstream.