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Banning Arcades in Malaysia? 283

Amon CMB was the first of several to submit a story from The Adrenaline Vault where they talk about arcades banned in Malaysia. The story is pretty scary, one of the reasons for the ban is that children were willing to steal from their parents to get cash for the games. Think about that next time you get worked up about the government censoring the amount of blood in a game. Seems kinda insignificant relative to some places.
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Banning Arcades in Malaysia?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well, anonymous coward, that's cool as handle for now. It seems that alot of Americans are intent on making the rest of the world live like we do before we have finished our domination of the planet. Let us bide our time and our time will come...if we really want children worldwide to be able to put a dollar coin in a machine and splash gore on the walls, we'll let 'em. In fact, government will pay for it. Our tax dollars will put it in the schoolrooms. But no, that won't really happen, because it's not really right. Letting each family judge on their own as to what's right for their children does carry some legitamacy in the world...letting each community judge for itself what is right is a necessary and logical extension. I'm an American, and a proud one, but I am tired of other Americans telling the rest of the world how to eat their cereal. Preserving the basic human rights of other people in faraway places is cool, making them live as we do is not. That is the difference between helping, and ruling. Ultimately, what right do we have to require that another culture allow arcades that show gore to be available to young children? Since when did that become a basic human right, defended by Amnesty International? Grow up man, and travel... You and I don't think alike, and I would regret that it be considered a 'basic human right' that we do. So would you.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why don't we have that kind of cards as well?

    That way whenever some bible-thumping asshole comes to me complaining about my "sins" I could show him the card and tell him to piss off or I'll call the cops and have his ass thrown to jail.

    Or better yet, we should wear some kind of a signia of our (lack of) religion on our clothes. That way they should steer clear without bothering us at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Think about that next time you get worked up about the government censoring the amount of blood in a game. Seems kinda insignificant relative to some places.

    In America we can't compare our problems to other countries. Once we do that we start giving up rights.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.
  • Now that you're older perhaps you'd like to talk to this about them and perhaps work out some issues?

    Or is that not allowed?

    - Mike Hughes
  • The government cannot "crack down on theaters" since there are no laws requiring theaters to abide by ratings. The ratings system is a completely voluntary thing (hence movies /rated/ "Unrated").

    In general, however, the movie industry does a good job of making sure little kids without parents with them stay out of things such as Pulp Fiction. They actually probably do better than stores that sell cigarettes to minors (something that *is* against the law and actively enforced).

    I am all in favor of places like Wal-Mart and K-Mart starting to enforce video game ratings. It makes it more likely that we will follow the movie model rather than the cigarette model (the farther the government stays out of ratings system the better - too close to censorship for me).
  • Carefull you don't fall for your own government's propaganda.

    The Syrians, the North Koreans and indeed the Cubans have a much greater respect for their own government than most people in the west have for their governments.

    We never question why democracy is supposed to be the holy grail of governmental systems. It may be, but many "oppressed" countries are much happier with their government than you are with yours.

    Many countries are oppressed but you nor I really can say which ones these are

  • Just for info.

    I can only speak for the uk here but if someone gets shot with a gun here, it's on the evening news. I don't have any stats on this but I suspect deaths by firearms in the entire country of around 50 million amount to less than 10 or 20 a year.

  • I hate to break it everyone, but when I was a kid, the town that I was in passed a law that kept kids under 16 from playing arcade games in without being accompanied by a guardian. The idea behind this was that parents were concered that some kids where skipping school and stealing to play video games. While I hates the law when I was a kid, I don't think that this is all that unconstitutional. Stupid and ineffective, yes but not unconstitutional.
  • First of all, the use of the term "we" to refer to the actions of one's government is common. I don't think his usage was intended to trick or confuse readers.

    Secondly, I'd like to know what you mean by proposing that the Malaysian government be "brought to justice." Do you mean that the Malaysian people should rise up against their government? Fine, let them do so. If you mean that the United States of America should enter the situation and bring down a foreign power, I have to ask what kind of crack you're smoking.

    Assuming that the people of Malaysia approve of their government, what right do we, the almighty United States of America, have to destroy it? Remember, sovereignty is an important right too. Just because a nation has the capability to impose their beliefs and culture on another doesn't make it right.

  • Banning something doesn't do anything, you need to back it up with *real* punishment in order to make it work.

    Very true. It's kind of funny to watch politicians with that dopey "Look ma, I done a good thing!" expression on their faces when they pass some big crime bill, only to realize that when you wake up tomorrow, the world will be exactly the same--except for a politician with a good feeling for having "done something for his country."

  • If EVERY Malaysian approved of his government, then yes, I would agree with you. That's an impossibility.

    Then every government on earth must fall since there is no such thing as absolute consensus. This just doesn't work.

    Furthermore, from what I have heard from Malaysians here on /., they approve of this action. Why? Because these so-called video arcades are more appropriately termed "illegal gambling dens." These are not the nice safe places you went to as a kid.

    I support the destruction of their government unconditionally. The Malaysian people will rise or they will be crushed, just like the Russian people. At the very least, I don't want to have to look back on a decimated Malaysia and think "But my opinions of what is right and wrong are no better than anyone else's, so I had no right to try to fix what I thought to be wrong."

    That's not what this is about. I am a firm believer in absolute truth. However, I have seen no evidence that the people of Malaysia are upset about this action. They seem to be happy about it. Remember that during the Cold War, citizens of the Soviet Union were told how horribly our government treated us and how much we desired to be liberated from our hard bondage (capitalism). Are you sad that they didn't succeed?

    The people know best, and I will fight for them.

    Is it not possible that they don't always know best? I wouldn't trust most of our population with making important decisions about public policy because they either have poor judgement or, more commonly, they aren't informed well enough about the details of the issues to make good decisions. This is why we use a republic rather than a democracy.

  • do you have a right to compute things?

    I'm looking in the Constitution and...nope. Isn't in there.

    a right to look at art?

    Scanning the Constitution again and...hmmm. That isn't in there either.

    I think most people believe that its your right to do something that dosen't harm other people

    Two points:

    It doesn't amount to a hill of beans what "most people believe." What matters is what the law says.

    Getting back to the original story, this is not about an activity that "doesn't harm other people." This is not the same video arcade you went to 20 years ago in the US where people are playing Pong or Pac-Man. Think of it more as a mafia-run gambling dive where killings and drug sales take place.

  • Um, I think not. As long as we're talking about America here (and only because these rights are explicity stated in our Constitution. I, and many others would argue that the rights below are the basis for any civilized government), black people, like all citizens have a right to life that cannot be infringed.

    You've missed his point. It was largely because of his poor choice of wording and example (minority in the political sense elided into Minority in the racial sense).

    What he's really talking about here is that the people of a democracy have the right to vote against something they disapprove of (in this case, illegal gambling dens). If a minority of the population of the country (not a Minority with a capital "M") like that thing (again, in this case, illegal gambling dens) then they have to put up with not having these places to go to. That's the reason democracies are often referred to as "mob rule."

    Huh? From here on in you stop making sense entirely.

    Again, he's talking about American arrogance. He's saying that if the Malaysian people want to ban gambling dens, then they can do that. We, the US of A, have no right to stop them.

  • Just to add to what you've said here. Most people read the headline "Banning Arcades in Malaysia" and think, "Malaysians can't play Pong or Pac-Man. What is the world coming to?" /. journalism strikes again! What they don't realize is that these "video arcades" aren't the same nice little cozy places they went to as children. They're more like "gambling dives."

    BTW, I applaud your understanding of popular government.

  • Available here []

    To be taken with a grain of salt as it does come from a Malaysian press.

  • I may have been misinformed. A friend of mine went over there to work and made sure the color faded out of his hair before he arrived, so he was seriously worried about this supposed regulation. On hearing reports back from him about the good and bad features of Singapore, this kind of arbitrary interference in things that should not be the province of government seems to be commonplace. So while this one may be a furphy, it seems to be the kind of thing that they *would* do.
  • by pwhysall ( 9225 )
    Don't you DARE lump us Atheists in with those other groups!

    "An Atheist loves himself and his fellow man instead of a god. An Atheist accepts that heaven is something for which we should work now -- here on earth -- for all men together to enjoy. An Atheist accepts that he can get no help through prayer, but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it and to enjoy it. An Atheist accepts that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment."

    Now what's wrong with that? (it's from the opening speeches of Murray v. Curlett, more info from

    Say what you like about merkins, god botherers and ditherers, but us Atheists are nice normal people who want everyone to play nice.
  • Atheism is not about proving that God exists or not.

    It's about believing that it doesn't matter.

    Personally, it makes NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER to me whether your God exists or not. Understand this, and you understand Atheism.

    I answer to no higher authority than my fellow man.

    If you are so weak and feeble-minded that you need threats of hellfire (in the next life) and fundamentalist religious government (in this one) to keep you on the path of righteousness, then I truly feel for you.
  • "In the end all Atheist beleive in a infinite power whether they liek to admit or not."

    Nope. Sorry. I don't believe in an infinite power. Did you miss that part? Here it is again:


    I don't claim to know what happens after death (actually, I do - nothing).

    Do you REALLY think I'm somehow "apprehensive" on the off chance that some kinda Supreme Dude is gonna get pissed at me for not having given generously of my purse and my soul for three score years and ten?

    I think not, sir. I'm gonna strive to make my heaven on earth; to treat my fellow man as I would have him treat me; to recognise the intrinsic value in every human life; and to just be a damn good bloke as far as is possible.
  • Its only real advantage is that it's easy to let someone out if it turns out they didn't do the crime - it's kinda harder to unwhip or unkill

    Yeah, but you can't give them the ten years of their life back.
  • In Islam the parents are held responsible for the care and education of their children more so than in Christianity or Judaism.

    You don't know much about Christianity, correct?

    I would say that if there were a Christian government in America they would probably go around banning things just like this.

    As usual, Slashdot has applied its typically American/Christian/Agnostic/Atheist mentality to the affairs of another country.

    The Christian and "Agnostic/Atheist" mentalities have almost nothing in common.
  • Of course it's the "best" country in the world.

    If you can, try to learn about your country's real history. Learn about what your forebears have done to countries in Central America and South America to say the least.

    People are usually shocked to know about conspirations developed directly by agencies like the CIA and think these were very isolated occurrences. They weren't.

    Your country is democratic only in paper. Proof is everywhere if you care to look.

    Don't take this as a flame. Take it as the truth.

  • The United States is basically the only "first-world" country that still has the death penalty. Have you seen the list of countries that have the death penalty? Members of that list include countries like Afghanistan, Sudan, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, United States, South America, and North Korea.

    Well, thanks for playing but: firstly, South America is not a country and lastly, there are no (to my knowledge) countries in it that have capital punishment in their civil codes, except for treason in times of war. Perhaps you meant South Africa?

  • I salute the efforts of organizations such as Amnesty International, who work for freedom in other nations.

    It is somehow annoying to yet again meet Americans who're all convinced of facts such as the above. Amnesty works to end all violations of the human rigths. If you think this is "in other countries" only, I suggest you go visit Amnesty's website and have a look for yourself.

    It's true that the US isn't by far the worst country with respect to human rigths, but it's very far from the best too. Which two countries has not ratified the UN convention on childrens rigths ? Answer: Sudan and USA.

    In particular the death penalty thing is stupifying to an European. Over there it's even used for getting cheap votes. Had a look at the statistics for number of executed after Bush decided he wanted to be elected ? If not I suggest you go have a look.

    Regardless of your opinion on death penalty, I can't imagine you find it okay to execute a lot of people as fast as possible for gaining a few votes...

  • I think there SHOULD be certain rights based on IQ level... the right to drive, the right to own a gun, the right to have children...
  • See, it's true... Children who are abused become child abusers. How would you like it if someone 3x your size slapped you around because they didn't like what you were doing?
  • haha... i used to do that too... collection time would come around for my paper route and i'd head to the bank and get a roll of quarters, then head to 7-11 and drop them in the gauntlet 2 machine.
  • > THey are all free to leave the country.

    Actually, no they're not. I travelled through Singappore (from Australia) on my way here, and all the Singapporean guys I met on a dive trip there were so jealous of what I was doing.

    Because of their compulsory national service, they can't leave the country for more than 3 months at a time!

    Don't kid yourself about Singappore being a "clean city" either. Wander around "Little India". It's as shabby, run-down, foetid and *interesting* as any other South-East Asian city. Plenty of prostitues, brothels and dodgy guys selling pirate hard-core porno VCDs in back alleys.

    Cheers, Robert.
  • Frankly, what I hear about Singapore reminds me of Genua under the rule of Lilith Weatherwax. The whole populace was joyful and merry the livelong day... OR ELSE.

  • Pig Hogger wrote:

    Odd, the same thing could be said for Europe or Canada, yet they offer considerably more freedom than Singapore.
    Could it be that this be the result of guns alone being banned???

    Well, you can see what good a gun ban did in Washington DC, or New York City. (irony intentional)

    I'd suggest that Singapore's domestic tranquility is a combination of good law enforcement, an efficient judicial system, and a societal more that holds the law in far more respect than is typical in, say, your generic American city or suburb. But don't see what a lack of guns has to do with it: a knife, bludgeon, or even a fist can hurt you just as much, or kill you just as dead. . .

  • An Anonymous Coward wrote. . .

    Nope. Dead wrong. Surivial chance from a bullet hitting you? 25% Survival chance from being stabbed? Around 85%. Average number of stab wounds to prove fatal? 40. Average number of bullets to prove fatal? 1.

    Depends on what was done. You're not going to die of a bullet through the arm, but get your throat sliced, and you're gone in under a minute.

    Details are important. After all, on the average, we're all female and Chinese. . .

  • I **was** responding to the poster prior to me, who claimed that you had a right to do anything that was not coercively harmful to others. As such, I was attempting to show that definition is more than a bit ridiculous. . .

    Do try and read the thread first, next time. . .

  • Pig Hogger, attacking Malaysia, quotes Amnesty International. . .

    restriction of individual rights and liberties, ...

    You mean like the CDA and COPA ???

    use by police of excessive force in dispersing peaceful demonstrators, ...

    Recall Seattle, Washington, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, earlier this year ???

    allows detention without charge for up to two years, renewable indefinitely, of anyone considered a potential threat to national security.

    We do it here in the States too, if they're foreign nationals. . .

    At least 27 prisoners of conscience were detained, ...

    We seem to have bunches of those here, too.... I remember a story about a divorce custody case gone bad, the mother hid the child. . .and did several years in jail (basic details here ) []

    My point ?? The US does the same stuff. . .

  • Bovine Excrement.

    By your definition, I have the right to paint swastikas on the wall and doors of the local synagogue (yes, I know, we're pushing Godwin's Law [] here. . .). But I'm quite sure that if I did it, I'd be prosecuted, and rightly so. Why ??? Trespass is not, as you would say, "coercively harmful", and as for the swastikas, hey, that's just freedom of expression. Or to use a more classic example, the right to free speech does NOT extend to the right to shout "fire" in a crowded venue. . .

    Rights ***DO*** have to be laid out and delineated as to how far they go. . .

  • And how about the ban on Half-life a while back. It was said that a parent who was an MOE (ministry of education) official complained to a LAN shop onwer that blamed the shop his son was playing too


    School teachers have to deal with spoilt parents as well as trouble kids. I spent sometime in primary schools servicing computers and was rather amused by the childish arguments put up by parents to 'protect' their kids.

    The half-life ban was definately silly. I'm glad they managed to reverse the ban.
  • Arcades were banned in the 80s in Singapore too.

    The ban was lifted in early 90s.

  • You won't lose your car, you would just have to pay the fine of about US$15. Else they just tow your car away, and then you will have to pay a heavier fine.
  • I don't think there is such a ban on colouring hair "unaturally". If you were to walk around the main streets of Singapore or visits the pub, you will see some blue, green or red coloured hair.
  • I just recently moved from europe to the states (california). And I must say I was not impressed and thought "wow, I'm in the land of the free".
    • To buy cigarettes, I have to identify myself.
    • To buy beer, I have to identify myself.
    • The goverment enforces 2am curfew on bars.
    • I can't enjoy a beer in the park with some friends.
    • I can't smoke in the bar, even if the owner of the bar thinks it's ok.
    • She's cute, but I have to check her age...
    And then theres the housing situation. I find it vaguely amusing that there is almost no rent control (at least that makes sense).

    And democracy ? Yeah sure, two parties and the one with the most money for the campaign is better off.

    Lets not forget censorship. So you're sitting there at 2:30am watching a movie on cable (you'd rather be at a bar socializing, but thats illegal). You've seen the movie before, you remember theres a scene with a pair of naked breasts because the scene is oddly enough missing from the movie...

    And half the music on the radio also seems censored, or the artists are just forgetting a few verbs here and there.

    So when you rant against other countries, remember that quite a few people coming over here, have the same opinion of the states as I see expressed about malaysia.

    I am just used to more personal freedom and less goverment interference in what I'm doing.

  • See, it's true... Children who are abused become child abusers. How would you like it if someone 3x your size slapped you around because they didn't like what you were doing?

    It's not about being "slapped around" or "abused." There's a big difference between appropriate punishment and child abuse. No one is claiming that abuse should be legal.

  • You need to be shot. At point blank range. Multiple times. In the head. With an elephant gun.

    Ummm, hello? For someone who speaks of the evils of aggression, you sure are violently minded.

    People like you are the reason the country is so fubared. Are you too brain-damaged to realize that this simply fosters aggresion and loathing?

    I was spanked as a child and yet I am a very mild mannered (some would say nerdy) kind of guy. Furthermore, I appreciate what my parents have done for me. I love them with all my heart and respect them. There are many times I feel they were too easy on me, in fact. Appropriate discipline is born of love for a child. It's the, "I care about what happens to you and how you turn out as an adult," kind of love rather than the, "here's twenty bucks, go hang out somewhere and leave me alone," kind of "love" that most parents seem to practice.

    Oh, and a "healthy" "respect" for authority isn't always the best thing for someone either.

    Why do you think he used the term "healthy"? Because there's a difference between blind adherence to authority figures and appropriate respect for legitimate authority.

    Go ahead, be a good little drone.

    As those who know me will tell you, I am far from being a drone. Read my .sig. Yes, I know it's from Monty Python and is intended humorously. I still see a lot of truth to it.

  • ...with its ban on chewing gum, etcetera. And the caning of that little bastard who was damaging cars.

    Huge restrictions on what you can do, when you live in Singapore.

    But on the other hand, you can walk the streets safely at any time of night, and you don't worry about people breaking into your car and stealing the stereo.

    It's a trade-off, just as with all things in life.

    When you allow a lot of freedoms, you also allow a lot of assholes to infringe on your own freedom.

    Let some jerk chew gum, and you just *know* he's going to stick it on the seat of the bus when he gets up to leave, just as you're about to sit down on it.

    Ban the gum, and you don't have to worry about it.

    But, then, you don't get to chew gum, either.

    Trade-offs and balances, costs and consequences...

  • Fair, unilateral, and dead serious.

    There's none of this wishy-washy stuff with Singapore. You do the crime, you pay the time, no ifs, ands or buts.

    You don't get caught with an ounce of weed and then get off easy because "you're the Senator's son," while some other dude ends up locked up for life for *the same offense.*

    And there's none of this pussy piddly fine stuff, either. In my town, it's $3 if I get caught with an expired meter. It's *cheaper* for me to ignore the meter and pay the occasional fine than to follow the law.

    In Singapore, I'd probably lose my car entirely. You bet your life I'd be plugging that freaking meter!

    **CONSISTENT** consequences that are cost **MORE** to ignore than to follow and the *GUTS* to enfore them -- that's the key to success!

  • The thing is.. most of Singapore's laws make *sense*.

    Then perhaps you'd like to explain to me why colouring your hair "unnatural colours" is banned? Seriously though, it's not the vandalism laws that are worrying about Singapore, it's things like the censorship of foriegn news (thankfully, the Internet makes that far more difficult these days), the electoral jerrymander, and the abuse of the legal system to control political opponents that Singaporeans should be worried about.

  • the imprisonment of the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia on trumped-up charges to keep the current Prime Minister and his corrupt cronies in power for a while longer.Amnesty International's [] annual report on Malaysia (the direct link doesn't work, you'll have to get to it yourself) details some of the abuses. Makes banning video arcades look pretty bloody unimportant by comparison.
  • ...with its ban on chewing gum, etcetera. And the caning of that little bastard who was damaging cars.
    Huge restrictions on what you can do, when you live in Singapore.
    But on the other hand, you can walk the streets safely at any time of night, and you don't worry about people breaking into your car and stealing the stereo.
    Odd, the same thing could be said for Europe or Canada, yet they offer considerably more freedom than Singapore.

    Could it be that this be the result of guns alone being banned???

    Americans are bred for stupidity.

  • No need for Amnesty International in this particular situation then - I'm sure that AI is busy enough dealing with real infringments against human rights. In fact, do us all a favour and go and read their Annual Report and read about some real horrors before describing the banning of arcades as a travesty.

    It's a democracy? Really? Well, let's go have a look at Amnesty International's website []...
    Hmmm, lesseee.... Ah! Asia, Malaysia, there:

    restriction of individual rights and liberties, ... use by police of excessive force in dispersing peaceful demonstrators, ... allows detention without charge for up to two years, renewable indefinitely, of anyone considered a potential threat to national security. At least 27 prisoners of conscience were detained, ...

    Read it all here [].

    And next time, stop pontificating about Malaysia being a democratic country without doin' your homework.

    Americans are bred for stupidity.

  • If its any consolation to you I happen to agree with you on all those points and the ones you made below in response to the maniac with the elephant gun. As a father of two I speak from a position of some experience though.

    Unfortunately you'll find it becomes rather difficult in practice (i.e. when you actually have your own children) to follow through on these principles, because of the political climate in which we live (in this respect things are broadly the same in the UK as they are in the US).

    You see, punishing your child will only be effective if they are upset by it. And its painful for any loving parent to have to inflict that on their child. If the punishment was successful, inevitably you will often harbour some doubts as to whether maybe you were a bit too hard on them. As a result psychologically healthy parents are all to some extent inhibited from doling out punishment.

    Now if that were all, everything would be well. But unfortunately during the 1960's an idea arose which essentially states that disciplining children is always wrong. Good parents know in their hearts why this idea gained currency so easily, it is for most adherents nothing more than a reaction against the healthy sense of remorse I just spoke of. But as 1960's permissiveness took hold, society lost its backbone. In this, as in so many other things, most people no longer seem to have the stomach to face difficult moral responsibilities when there's an easy way out. And at some point since then, having acquired a wrapper of respectable post hoc rationalisation, the idea became a full-blown ideology. Nowadays people can reassure themselves that this abrogation of parental responsibility is all actually in a good and noble cause.

    Is it fuck.

    In the last twenty years, like many liberal ideas it has infiltrated social, health and educational policy, and has in some countries has even become enshrined in law. Although in some places you can therefore go to prison for slapping your child's rear end, that is not the most effective inhibitor to being an effective parent however. What is, is the fact that the ideology is now so widely accepted that most parents, teachers, healthcare professionals, welfare officers etc. would be shocked and offended to hear you admit that you are prepared to smack your child. Most people prefer to avoid public censure. More specifically, most people don't want to be regarded as the child-abusing monster they are made to feel they are. Unfortunately society at large no longer accepts the argument that the smack is necessary to teach an important behavioural lesson to a wilful child too young to reason with.

    So whereas parents used to think twice about using physical punishment they now think thrice and more often than not they just abstain altogether. Even though many of us still know deep down that in doing so we are simply evading an unpleasant responsibility.

    As everyone knows, it is in the first few years of life that our most basic behavioural patterns are given shape. If a child doesn't receive good discipline at that time it is going to be awfully difficult to change tactics later on when they are big enough to get into more serious trouble. But I'm afraid that too many parents don't realise their mistake until then and by that time it is of course far too late to do anything about it.

    As for me, when I became a dad I set out at the beginning with the firm intent to dish out the odd gentle smack when necessary. But because of the current atmosphere surrounding the practice and the risk that the children might be encouraged to complain to the "thought police", I have found myself increasingly unwilling to make the effort. I have fared no better than anyone else in the end.

    Consciousness is not what it thinks it is
    Thought exists only as an abstraction

  • I realize there are reasons for stupid laws. That does not make them any less stupid.

    As for security, I'm not advocating all-out anarchy, with no police or anything. However, there are things like banning handguns, banning violent games/movies/TV shows, breaking into my apartment to search for contraband while I'm not here, etc. that would increase security but that I do not approve of. I'm sure you would agree that posting a police officer for every person deemed incapable of defending himself should not be done even if it were practical.

    I've seen the expiration date idea before, and personally I think it's a wonderful idea! For one, you'd have a maximum limit on the number of laws possible, equal to the number of laws congress can pass in the amount of time it takes a law to expire, and it would get rid of old irrelevant crap.
  • Security X Freedom = a constant

    It's a simple fact of life. Personally, I'd like my Freedom to be very high, and I'll worry about my own Security thank you very much. But some people don't think like that, which is one reason why we get stupid laws. Of course, the worst laws are the ones that change the constant, the ones that reduce freedom without increasing security.
  • Good thing I don't live in your country. Wouldn't want anyone thinking we were the same kin...

    and I *AM* thinking of moving to singapore for a while.

    And I do like socialism.

    See, the one thing that makes singapore really work? A benevolent dictator.

  • Sorry.. call me a closet socialist.. (or did someone just do that earlier?)

    Groups of people don't often make good decisions. People in general don't know what's good for them, and don't see the whole picture.

    Nothing is black & white, you can't sum up all political ideologies as 'us' -vs- 'them'.

    Banning foreign news is also banning foreign 'propaganda'.
    Banning public hair color changes is a way of enforcing some kind of order. THey have a system that works well for everyone, and don't want it to crumble because people want to be 'different'. THey are all free to leave the country.

    I find it strange for the US to knock singapore when singapore has
    1) the most wired country on earth, even if it is state run
    2) completely electronic commerce
    3) the best health care in the world
    4) the highest standard of living in the world
    5) the nicest looking, most well run country in the world.

  • I did not know that. Thanks.... I'll go look that up.
  • It's just the way we think about it though.

    By the same token, a society built on respect, if Abdul needs an extra grand to do something, and I have it to give, that is a gift. Out of respect, Abdul will repay that gift at an appropriate time.

    If you look into where 'money' really comes from, you will probably find that interest is the devil itself.

    Many countries work like this..
    a national 'reserve' (the Federal Reserve, Bank of Canada, etc...) 'lends' money to the banks at prime. This is money 'created from ntohing'. This is the source. The bank, in turn, lends that money to people .Where is the 'interest' payment supposed to come from, if all money is loaned in the first place?
  • Yes, they do.
  • Good for them. Loans at that level do not mean the same thing as they do when you borrow money from Uncle Bob.

    Remember, money is illusory..
  • Gambling is only a 'sport' for people who can't do math!

    That's right folks. If money represents our hard work and ability to trade.. what purpose does gambling serve? It's not like you are buying a service or a good.. you are simply risking money.

    Muslims also don't believe in interest charges on loans, iirc. ANd this again makes sense; although it's so ingrained in our western society, think about it. Why should someone get interest simply because they lent you some money they didn't need anyway? Was more 'money' actually created in society through that lending? Why should more exist then? (Before ripping me apart, consider where money actually comes from)
  • Maybe we should ship them a few thousand copies of the movie

    Sadly, the movie has probably been banned.

  • I don't think you want to spend too much time on the streets of Marseilles at night. Not if you value your wallet, or your health.
  • Absolutely. You are a guest in someone's country, you are subject t their laws and punishments. All that outcry that someone shouldn't be caned because "that's not how he'd be 'punished' back home" (read 'probably not at all') is entirely unfonuded and self centred.

    The Australian government issues brochures re travellers overseas, stating in no uncertain terms, "Although you are a Australian citizen, when you are in another country, you are subject to their laws in every way shape or form. The Australian Consulate will not be able to get you out of jail yadda yadda"

  • I'm sorry, I really should have backed up my statements trough links, but I didn't have any at hand.

    I live in Switzerland, so I haven't been directly concerned by the censoring, but since I read a couple of german game magazines I have repeatedly heard about it.

    The only relevant link I could dig up from my bookmarks is the web site of the government organization which does the "filtering". It's called Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Schriften" [] (more or less meaning: federal investigation agency for youth-endangering writings).

    I have seen the german version of Half-Life however, and what I wrote is definitely true. In addition to this, I think most of the iD games have been "indiziert" (german word, which basically means censored, or at least no advertising or selling in places accessible by minors).

    Maybe someone from Germany would like to comment on this?

    PS: While I was writing this, I also checked out some links trough Google []. Here []'s a justification for the censoring of iD Software's Doom (in german).
  • ... But not nearly as bad: In Germany, games which are deemed too violent are routinely subjected to modifications in order to be allowed to advertise and sell them in places accessible by minors.

    A very funny example was Half-Life, in which the marines were replaced by some sort of combat droids which would spill motor oil instead of blood. Note that the gameplay doesn't change at all, you're still butchering like crazy...
  • I'm just curious.. What other countries have you visited?
  • Interest compensates the loaner for risking the money they "didn't need anyway." If I have $1000, and you come to me with this wide-eyed internet startup idea, and I'm not looking to get anything back from it, I'm not likely to loan you the money. If, on the other hand, I loan my money out to a bunch of different people, chances are not all of them will fail, and the interest I charge will be proportional to the probability that I get a return.

    In this way we allow the people with ideas to bring their ideas/dreams to fruition, when they don't otherwise have the resources to do so.

  • I dunno about the rest of the USA, but are there any arcades left in existence? I remember almost 20 years ago there was Chuck E Cheese's(before it was 99& kiddie/skee-ball games), Cirucs, Showbizz pizza place, and a couple others. Wall to wall of fun video games. Now you only see 1 or 2 games in movie theaters, etc. Blah. I miss the old days.
  • Actually, I am one of the few /.ers that agrees with age restrictions on games. However, I have seen politicians who want to outright ban game violence, since most stores do nothing to enforce the ratings levels. Here the problem is the same as movie theaters, crack down on the theaters, not the movie makers, and in parallel, crack down on the stores, not the manufacturers
  • The fact a few people aren't going to be able to play Daytona is unlikely to worry them.
    Question: If the law says that you aren't allowed to play Datoyna, what backs that up? Is it, "please don't play Daytona," or is it more like, "If you operate an illegal arcade, you will be sent to prison where you will be subjected to torture and death." Note, I'm not picking on Malaysian prisons, torture and death are a big part of the American prison system. Heck, Malaysian prisons might actually be better than US prisons, if rape and sexual abuse aren't considered a "normal and just" part of "rehabilitation" as it is in the prison system of the "freedom loving" (tee-hee) United States. They don't have to be, you know, we Americans have just decided that the best way to turn criminals into responsible citizens is to have them gang raped for a few years, work out in the prison weight room during that time until they get nice and strong, and then turn them loose on the US population. I certainly consider that a sane way to run a criminal justice system. (please note sarcasm in preceeding sentence) It amazes me that the American population, en masse seem to have decided we want torture and rape as part of our criminal justice system, but then we still get offended when one of our citizens goes to Singapore and has to get caned. But, I mean, America is a great place to live which has no problems, right?

    So, basically, if somebody in Malaysia decides to earn money by operating an illegal arcade out of his van, what will happen to him? In China, middle aged ladies are beaten by police and killed in prison because they want to do Falun Gong breathing exercises.

    I think Amnesty International is more concerned with state torture and judicial murder, not so much the crimes that these countries use as an excuse for their Draconian punishments.

    Hmm, that reminds me of an episode of Dr. Who about a society with only happy citizens.

    Of course, in the episode that achieved that by executing all the unhappy citizens.

    Ah well, a small price to pay for order, eh?

  • You are a moron.

    Where do you get your definition of "right" and "not a right?"

    There are only two kinds of rights. Inalienable rights, which are rights which can't be taken away. For example, the government can't order you to commit suicide, without using the threat of death or a fate worse than death against you. This is why we call the Right to Life an inalienable right.

    All other rights are enshrined in law. In our society, rights are defined in the constitution and interpreted by the courts. The most recent interpretations by the courts on video games, Federal judge dismisses lawsuit against movie, video game makers [] have been that video games are not responsible for murders committed by people who happened to play one once. This being the case, video games are supposed to fall, legally, well within the realm of our First Amendment Rights protection, even considering the Supreme Courts recent creation of the 'secondary effects' doctrine. Nude-dancing case threatens free speech []. Not that I agree with this moronic ruling by our wonderful Reagan/Bush appointees, but even considering the Supreme Court has been willing to undermine the First Amendment, video games are still protected. Maybe not for much longer, with the Hell hole people like you are turning this country into. (I really must get around to building a bunker, one of these days.)

    Oh, right, I keep forgetting the American mantra. If we Americans keep pretending really hard that we live in a free and enlightened country, it will be true no matter what the pesky facts say... []

  • We have Playdium []s in Canada ...
  • Muslims aren't allowed to *gamble* by law. Games per se are fine, it's wagering money that's not allowed for Muslims. And it's a little harder to get around than saying "I'm not Muslim" since Malaysians carry compulsory identity cards which (amongst other things) help to distinguish Muslims and non-Muslims.
    Knee-jerk reactions like this are typical of the Malaysian Government, unfortunately. We use the traditional approach to selecting Cabinet members - it's an intellectual race and the slowest ones win...
  • Somehow I doubt the government is going to start telling what you can and cannot play in your own home. One could even consider an extention of Roe vs Wade to cover this. I honestly don't think that a government saying that one has to be 18 or older to buy a game that has massive graphic violence in it is all that bad of a thing. That brings it to the point of one's parents telling you what you can and cannot play in your home, and I'm sorry, but you don't have that many rights in a matter like this. The point of that last like, imho, is that we should realize that government saying you have to be 18 or older to buy a game is a much more reasonable thing than alot of people think.
  • Just because theyre banning arcades in Malaysia doesnt mean we should let our gaurd down on the complaints by people that there is too much blood and violence in video games. We could say, oh well let them restrict the violence, at least were not as bad as malaysia. If we did that, pretty soon we would be as bad as malaysia. Attacks on freedom at any level, no mater how insignificant they seem in comparison to other countries, need to be opposed.

  • Of course, it didn't help when I kept telling them that he [Austin Powers] was a popular sex symbol in the US and considered the ideal man...

    It might not have helped you, but it made my day. The man who cracks mirrors with his bad teeth, the ideal man? The joke is complete! I just about laughed my head off, and I'll be lucky if I don't fall out of my chair. Say it ain't so! You don't really believe that, do you?

    Look out Mike Myers! the men and women of the world have fallen in love with Austin Powers!

  • In Malaysia 95% of the gaming is in Internet cafes not arcades anyway. Only the big arcades in the malls have any games from the last 10 years and will not be affected by the law. The arcades the government are referring to are not nice places...gambling is illegal in Malaysia (sort of...if you dont count Toto 3d etc). As usual an american centric view and bad journalism combine to make a story where there is none.
  • I went gambling in Mississippi and went in with $100 allowed to lose (yeah, I know, I know, last of the big spenders...). I came out $20 ahead so was pretty chuffed but yes, you're absolutely correct the only way to gamble (in a gambling house) is to expect to lose and load up on the free drinks and cheap hotel rooms.

    The best kind of gambling is among friends. That way, no money is going to some faceless third party. Although I still think that can be unhealthy if it gets too serious. Best to gamble for pennies.


  • By the same token, a society built on respect, if Abdul needs an extra grand to do something, and I have it to give, that is a gift. Out of respect, Abdul will repay that gift at an appropriate time.

    Or perhaps Abdul needs some money to tide him over until the pay from that construction job he finished comes through but noone is interested in lending it to him since they won't get anything from it so he has to steal a loaf of bread to feed his family, gets caught, has his hands cut off and so he can't work, loses his house and so his family dies of starvation and nasty diseases.

    That's the problem with Utopias. All very nice in theory but in practice, people are shitty.


  • The thing is.. most of Singapore's laws make *sense*.

    I tend to agree. Although lot's of Singapore's laws and policies have elicited ridicule or criticism in the west, they have, for the most part, been successful in creating a prosperous and surprisingly free society. For a forceful and rational discussion of Singapore's policies by the man who crafted many of them, read Lee Kuan Yew's new memoirs [].

  • (a) You are reading too much into the word "we". In fact, this said "we" also go to VCD stalls at night markets to buy said banned movies.

    (b) You are also using a technique call "strawman" by posing the "we" above as a bunch of murderers+bla-blah. So much for your "logical and reasonable"-ness.

    (c) I merely was stating certain facts of the "prudishness" of Malaysian Government. I laugh at this prudishness. But, instead, you make the judgement that I am condoning their actions. So much for your "logical....." (ditto)

    (d) You concluded the Malaysians are "terrorized by criminals." While I agree that the Gov is not perfect and corrupt, I think your statement would fall under the fallacy called "slippery slope". So much for .....

    (e) You keep invoking the concept of "Justice". However, I would like you to define "Justice".

    Anyway, your rhetoric, and command of English is commendable.

    Advice : Relax. Life's too short to get all wound up over /. posts!

    (Oh yeah, this is certainly Flamebait, so Moderators are welcomed to -1 Flamebait, but I am having too much fun to be held back! :))

  • You missed my point. Bad wording on my part to blame - your points are entirely valid and that was my point.

    I was trying to get across the difference between a right and a privilege, and how some people will argue something to be their right, when it quite clearly isn't. Over the last few months on /. I've seen more and more people bash down other countries claiming that rights were being infringed, with a "holier than thou" consitution-quoting arrogance.

    If you are unable to distinguish in your own mind a privilege afforded you by the rules and laws within your country, and basic human rights, you're just not getting it. For example, in Holland they have an interesting political experiment going on where the law is extremely liberal. It is legal to smoke dope in Holland. Is that a basic human right, or is it a privilege? In my opinion, it's clearly a privilege, because by removing that law the only harm you are causing is that it is now illegal to smoke dope. If however they decided to refuse women suffrage that is an infringment against women's rights to speak out against the political and legal system in which they participate.

    I admit my original argument was badly worded, but I'm getting kind of sick about the "rights" that some people on here think they are entitled to - in short, access to video games is a privilege, not a right, so treat it as such. Sure, it's a shame, but then is anybody going to be tortured or killed over this? Hope not, and it's pretty unlikely.
  • The one thing that makes me despise arguments about the preservation of people's basic human rights, is when people do not realise what is a right, and what is effectively a privilege. Being able to vote democratically is a right. Not being discriminated against due to race, creed or sexuality is a right. You have the right to not be imprisoned illegally, or to be tortured.

    Being able to play video games is a privilege, not a right.

    If you have the rights I've outlined above, you will be able to vote the government out of office who has banned video games, if that is your preference. A populous that is mostly in support of the banning of video games has the right to ban them (through democratic means) if they wish. Just because a minority disagree, does not mean that they are having their basic human rights taken away from them. If that were the case, the Klan would be able to argue it's their basic human right to set fire to black people, I would have the right to steal Dr. Pepper from the store whenever I couldn't afford it, and the legal system would just fall to pieces.

    Perhaps something I've never really noticed about American xenophobia before, and it's only just clicked for me in the /. context. I really hate to break this to you guys, but other countries than the USA are democracies as well. In fact, if you had looked up your very own CIA's World Factobook entry for Malaysia [] yourself, you would notice that they do indeed have a democratically elected lower assembly, just like the UK. Marvellous. If they don't like it, they can vote them out. In fact, the legal system is based upon UK law (which is pretty hot on the old democratic rights stuff) and they have universal suffrage at the age of 21. Fancy that, they even let women vote as well! These foreigners are getting very advanced aren't they, and there you all were thinking that just because it was somewhere "foreign" it must be one of those places you see on CNN with pictures 100 foot tall of Commies everywhere. Indeed.

    No need for Amnesty International in this particular situation then - I'm sure that AI is busy enough dealing with real infringments against human rights. In fact, do us all a favour and go and read their Annual Report [] and read about some real horrors before describing the banning of arcades as a travesty.

    Morons. Get your priorities right. I can understand you wanting to bitch about the FBI snooping your data - it's your contry, your right. But to bitch about a democratic government banning video games???? Purrr-lease....

    I bet this doesn't get touched by the moderators, or if it does it will be negative. :-)
  • actually runs as follows (or so I'm told). The gum ban only came into effect after S'pore had gotten a new, ultracool underground transit system. Automated doors, always on time, squeeky clean stations, the works. Then, one day, all this perfection comes to a crashing halt. For some strange reason, the train won't leave. The doors refuse to close and the driver can't take off. So the efficient as always in S'pore, transit mechanics proceed to take apart the entire train to determine where the problem is. After three or four hours, the train is completely disassembled, but still, nothing. So they put it back together again and tow it to some maintenance station or other, where it's given a good, solid cleaning before it's to be taken apart again, this time by more knowledgeable techs. Imagine the surprise when some underpayed malay or Indian scrublady discovers a piece of gum stuck to one of the electronic eyes that determines whether or not it's safe to close the doors yet.

    In Singapore, this means you ban chewing gum straight away.

    Don't know if the above story is true, but it went around at the time.

  • by Icebox ( 153775 )
    The media there has highlighted police raids on unlicensed game centers

    The amazing thing is that this is about video games, not crack houses or militias like the police in the US. I can't imagine that this is one of their biggest problems. Maybe there is there some kind weirdo fringe group behind it.

  • I salute the efforts of organizations such as Amnesty International, who work for freedom in other nations

    A slightly strange comment. AI concentrate on torture, political imprisonment, etc. The fact a few people aren't going to be able to play Daytona is unlikely to worry them.

    If I was wearing my flame proof pants, I might mention that it's this inability to see the line that gets merkins a bad name.
  • I both agree, and at the same time I disagree with you.

    First of all, I think we have to differ between "Beting the crap out of the kids" and "spanking" them.

    Here in Norway we can't even grab kids by the arm if we catch them stealing, because it's forbidden by law. And spanking is absolutely not recommended, if the authoroties has a chance of knowing it. Wich sums up to "Don't even think about beating the crap out of any kids".

    When that's said; I, too, got an occational spanking when I was a kid (I'm 27 now), but that was only when I did something really bad (like the time I totally killed my grandmothers flowerbed by feeding the flowers laundry detergant. There were some quite rare flowers in it, too.) Less serious "crimes" might be punished by just a slap on the hand, or just a verbal reprimande.

    Today, we have a rising problem with crime, especially among young people (14-25), and I think the law forbidding parents physically punishing their kids have som of the blame. I'm not saying that kids should be beaten up for everything wrong they do, but if a kid gets spanked for stealing money from his/her mothers purse the first time, he/she will think twice before doing it again.

    This fact that kids don't learn (by feeling) that crime is punished, makes it easier to resort to bigger crimes, since there is no fear for punishment. In addition, norwegian courts struggle with the problem that it takes a very long time to get a ruling, wich adds to the problem; there don't seem to be a punishment to the crime. I.e. the criminals are "told to say they are sorry and never to do that again", and that's it. No wonder they keep stealing when that's the way they're punished.

    Give the kids a spanking if they really deserve it (but be sure to make that the exception, not the rule). Being unable to sit for an hour or so shouldn't do any long time harm, as long as the kid knows he/she did something really bad and deserved the punishment.

  • When I was in high-school, they made it against the rules to go to the bathroom durring lunch when I was a Junior, because people smoked there.

    Whatever you think of smokming or video games, most good things end-up banned to stop something else that scares the authorities. Authorities like to dictate and ""criminals" tempted them to do it. Give humanity enough rope, they'll always hang themselves some how.

    As far as the reason, it seem the Malays actually have a slightly more justifiable reason than is often used here. Blood in gore have been in every media from folf lore ("Kill Snowwhite and bring me her lungs and liver"

  • As usual, Slashdot has applied its typically American/Christian/Agnostic/Atheist mentality to the affairs of another country. This seems rather prevalent in most Slashdot articles on 'freedom'. You cannot expect that every country wants to be like America. In Islam the parents are held responsible for the care and education of their children more so than in Christianity or Judaism. If a number of children are stealing money from their parents to play these arcade games, most of which advocate violence, sexual promiscuity and other things which fall under the term 'haraam'(forbidden) in Islam, then an Islamic government is going to take what ever steps that are neccesary to ensure that the moral fiber of their people is held intact.

    As a Muslim, I aplaud the move by the Malaysian government in banning these arcades. Many children go to the arcades instead of studying or doing useful and lawful things. Most Americans find it difficult to believe that anyone could have a different idea of freedom or democracy than they do. And when somthing like this happens in a predominantly Muslim country(our way of thought is entirely different from Western thought, trust me), you whine and complain and start shouting about censorship and how this should scare us all. The Malaysians removed a cancer from their society as they have every right to do. And if the people don't like it, it will show in the next election.
  • This is dangerously close to A Clockwork Orange. In order to remove the bad parts of someone (or a society), they take the good parts out as well. Maybe we should ship them a few thousand copies of the movie
  • those who steal from their parents will just have to steal more to cross the border over to enjoy arcades in Singapore...
  • by Windigo The Feral (N ( 6107 ) on Sunday October 08, 2000 @02:40PM (#722727)

    Reality Master dun said:

    you cannot install hidden cameras (as a security system) Reference? As far as I know, that is not illegal, unless you're using them to spy on others (like, recording movies of having sex with someone, and then selling the movie).

    Actually, certain types of hidden cameras are generally not allowed to be sold to the public, or if they are allowed to be sold at all, require special licensing. Certain types of security cameras (smaller than, say, around an 8mm movie camera) are not allowed to be sold to persons other than "qualified" law enforcement and to licensed private investigators because they are considered "surveillance equipment".

    New York State, in particular, has passed several laws on the books banning personal security cameras below a certain size (in an attempt to shut down "spy shops"), and many localities have similar laws.

    some places certain activities with your spouce are not legal. Well, first of all, that's not at the state or federal level

    In a word: Wrongo.

    Up until fairly recently, literally all sex outside of the missionary position was illegal in Kentucky (our sodomy law has recently been overturned in KY Supreme Court as unconstitutional, as it was used largely to target the state's homosexual population). In Alabama, not only is everything but the missionary position flatly illegal (yes, people have actually been prosecuted for sodomy for consentual oral sex in Alabama, and yes, there have been convictions even in the past two years) but in fact all sexual activity between unmarried persons is illegal. The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled this legal, by the way.

    A rather surprising number of states (often in the Southeast US, but a few other states have similar laws--Utah and Colorado are biggies) have laws that criminalise even consentual anal or oral sex. Most of these laws have not yet been ruled unconstitutional, and by and large, these laws are used to target homosexuals and/or teens "doing it"; they have been used to harass even straight, married couples in some cases, however. (Some good info on what is and isn't illegal is here []; while the link deals more with statutory rape laws, it does have info regarding sodomy laws as well).

    For that matter, a surprising number of states still have laws against adultery on the books. These are rarely enforced, but are sometimes used in divorce proceedings and the like.

    Yes, there are going to be wacky local laws, but 1) they are not enforced, and 2) if they were, they would be struck down by higher courts.

    A recent appeal to get Texas' sodomy law overturned has failed--and this was to the US Supreme Court. (Kentucky's sodomy law DID get overturned by the state Supreme Court, but this was because it was found it was used to blatantly harass homosexuals and that the definition of sodomy was overbroad--not on the merits of having a sodomy law in the first place.) Alabama's law, which (as noted previously) literally prohibits all sexual activity besides the missionary position between married adults, has not as of yet been overturned. (Incidentially--Alabama also has a law prohibiting gays from marrying, and (up until it was recently revoked after discovering it was still on the books) also had laws against interracial marriage. Some states still have these laws on the books, even though US Supreme Court decisions have overruled them.

    There are court challenges to sodomy laws, but their success in part depends on state challenges and in part also to what happens with US Presidential elections. (If Dubya gets elected, it is likely that any Supreme Court nominees he picks are substantially more likely to rule sodomy statutes that even prohibit consentual anal/oral sex are constitutional.)

    In any case, I'd say it would be quite inadvisable to, say, come into a small, rural Alabama town at night, going to Lover's Lane, being of one race and having a partner of another race--even if you ARE married (God help you if you're gay) and go through the entire Kama Sutra in the back of one's car. These are areas where the Kama Sutra is often banned for being considered obscene; doing such is probably a VERY good way to find one's self convicted under Alabama's sodomy laws. (Chances go up even more if your spouse or partner happens to be the same sex.)

    (I'll note, as an aside, that Alabama is all but a fundamentalist Christian theocracy nowadays. One of the major judges posts and preaches Christian scripture before trials, has stated flat out that "Hindus and Muslims and pagans" are "not worth protecting". The Governor of the fine state of Alabama flat out stated (when he was warned by authorities that this was stepping over the bounds of the First Amendment's separation of church and state) that if the judge was ordered to leave he'd send in the National Guard to prevent the judge being disbarred. If it weren't for the Supreme Court, they'd be as much of a theocracy as Taliban Afghanistan (and no, I am not making this up--the Southern Baptist Convention [which has become increasingly fundamentalist and coercive to the point that their own seminary may now be defined to be a coercive group--destroyed the world's only college of social works in the process of a fundy purge] and other fundy groups and denominations [most notably the American Family Association, the UnChristian Coalition, Focus on the Family, and the Assemblies of God] have an incredible amount of influence on both the common folk of Alabama and on its legislature--one almost cannot get elected there without the approval of the Religious Reich, especially in more rural areas [read: most of the damn state]).

  • by ronfar ( 52216 ) on Sunday October 08, 2000 @06:11PM (#722728) Journal
    Ok, I was reading about the fact that they have similar laws in China. It didn't eliminate arcades though, but it proved to be a boon for organized crime in China. (Of course, the arcade owners have to make payments to the local Communist party bosses.) I don't know too much about Malayasia, but I know that in my wife's native Thailand, they are prudish about movies and stuff, and censor them, and prostitution is technically illegal but...

    This stuff is all on the surface, and all aimed mostly at the upper class Thai's, like my wife and her family. However (and I'm not trying to embarrass the Thai government into "cleaning things up" here I'm a Libertarian and I think prostitution ought to be decriminalized), Bangkok is not exactly known as the puritan capitol of Asia.

    Incidentally, my wife can't understand why Austin Powers is popular in the United States. My brother tried to show it to her and her cousin, and they whispered to me part way through it "can we stop watching the movie now." Of course, it didn't help when I kept telling them that he was a popular sex symbol in the US and considered the ideal man...

    Incidentally, in the United States, we have de facto restriction in a lot of areas of the country over what types of games are allowed in arcades. Games which use plastic guns are particularly targetted, as part of the propaganda campaign against the Second Amendment. Unfortunately, restrictions like these are very bad for arcades in the US, which seems to be a constantly shrinking market.

    Basically, the Malaysian government is just more honest than the US government. If the US government wants something banned or censored, they just make the companies pretend they are doing it of their own free will. Of course, the companies wouldn't do it if people didn't threaten legislation, regulation, and litigation against them. The American people let the government get away with this, because we like to preserve the illusion in our country that the Bill of Rights means something and that we are freer than the rest of the world (yeah, life might be better in the US but we are not particularly free, we are just a fairly rich country.)

    So, don't worry about the condescension you'll probably hear from /.ers on this, things are bad all over. If they aren't as bad here yet as they are in Malaysia (and they may be) its just a matter of time till they are.

    I'm kind of sick of people claiming that people in the US should just shut up about the grim, Puritan Jihad that's going on in this country because other parts of the world are "so much worse." First of all, I happen to know that you make trade offs for living in the US, and that there are good things you give up as well as bad. Mainly, though, I think that the grim, humorless people who are rising to power in this country are a real threat. Both Weimer Germany, before Hitler, and Russia after the Liberal revolution, before Lenin, were temporarily free societies. All it takes to destroy that is a group of grim, humorless fanatics who are willing to use force against the populace to "save them from themselves."

    These are the people behind all the Culture War crusades currently going on, and these people are dangerous.

  • by AntonVoyl ( 125030 ) on Sunday October 08, 2000 @09:32AM (#722729) Homepage
    Think about that next time you get worked up about the government censoring the amount of blood in a game. Seems kinda insignificant relative to some places.

    Yes, the US government censorship of violent games seems mild compared to Malaysia's banning of entire arcades. But that doesn't make American censorship right. Just because someone is relatively worse doesn't make the situation in the US good.

    Being complacent about US censorship because it's worse somewhere else is a sure-fire way to end up like that somewhere else in a hurry.

    That said, comparing US censorship to Malaysian censorship is unfair. The US has a tradition of free speech and Malaysia does not. Malaysia bans all sorts of stuff:

    • Homosexuality will land you in prison.
    • Anything that denigrates Islam or Islamic interests is banned.
      • Schindler's List was banned for this reason because it "showed Jews in too good a light" and would "arouse sympathy for Zionism."
    • Anything racist is banned
    • No pornography allowed
    • No guns
    • You'd better not speak out against the government, or else.

    I'm pretty sure they'd ban Slashdot if it were based there.

  • by ToddN ( 190561 ) on Sunday October 08, 2000 @09:19AM (#722730)
    "fine for spitting on the sidewalk in public? Sure. It *IS* the primary way TB is spread. And is unsanitary."

    I sure wish they would enact that ordinance here in Detroit. The owners of the building I work in have to periodically pressure wash the sidewalk in front to blast away the accumulated phlegm, urine and vomit. An old guy the other day let loose with a lung oyster and almost hit me with it.

    Detroit is by far the NASTIEST city I have ever been in.... maybe caning some of these consumptives would be a good thing....

  • by mindstrm ( 20013 ) on Sunday October 08, 2000 @07:51AM (#722731)
    The thing is.. most of Singapore's laws make *sense*.

    $1000 fine for not flushing a public toilet? Sure, that might seem 'draconian'.. but what the fuck is wrong with you? why not just flush the fucking toilet? It's a health risk.

    fine for spitting on the sidewalk in public? Sure. It *IS* the primary way TB is spread. And is unsanitary.

    Mandatory death sentence for importing illegal drugs? Well.. what's wrong with that? It's clearly made known before you enter the country, and you are given the opportunity to dump whatever you were going to import without fear of reprisal. Bring it in and get caught, they whack you. And so they should.

    That kid that was caned? Why the hell should we put him in juvie and spend all kinds of money rehabilitating him? A good public caning was a swift and cheap punishment. Cruel and unusual? Well.. what purpose did his vandalizing that car or whatever serve? Any useful purpose to society at all? Nope. So he gets caned, and learns a swift lesson.

    Chewing gum? I believe the ban is on chewing gum in public; and it was done because the people were spending millions every year (the government was) cleaning up black sticky gum residue off of rail terminals, temples, monuments, etc... and some poeple were sticking it on the doors of the trains and such and delaying train runs. Draconian? perhaps... but it's 'if people can't be responsible, we will do something about it'. At least it's not some insidious corrupt government doing it to enforce their own brand of gum... it was fair and unilateral.

  • by oneiros27 ( 46144 ) on Sunday October 08, 2000 @08:05AM (#722732) Homepage
    I don't know where the rest of you grew up, but I know of a few people in my high school 10 years ago who didn't obtain their nintendo cartridges legally. (Oxon Hill High School, outside of Washington, DC)

    These days, they're having problems with kids stealing other kids Pokemon cards. I'm guessing there's a few kids out there who are lifting a little cash from their parents to get it, too.

    And the reason this happens is because unlike Malasia, if you give the kid a good spanking, you get brought up on child abuse charges, or your kid sues you for emotional trauma years later. But if you just let them steal, you're fine, as they're still a juvenile, and they'd just get sent up to Boy's Village for a little while.

    Not even a full generation later, and you're not shocked to see some 5 year old mouthing off to his mom. If I did that to my mom, I knew that after we got home, I'd not be sitting so easy for the rest of the day.

    Too many kids these say have no real adult supervision-- both parents work, and they're sent off to a daycare or have a babysitter watch after them 'till a parent gets off work. If they're lucky, they have an older brother who will beat them when they do something stupid. [of course, they could also get my brother, who would beat us for no particular reason]
  • by MustardMan ( 52102 ) on Sunday October 08, 2000 @07:03AM (#722733)
    Think about that next time you get worked up about the government censoring the amount of blood in a game.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I believe it is a travesty that there are other countries out there that take away personal freedoms like this. I salute the efforts of organizations such as Amnesty International, who work for freedom in other nations. And, I feel very thankful for the freedom we Yanks have in comparison to some of these other countries. My sadness over their own situation, however will NEVER make me stop fighting to preserve my own rights. While it pales in comparison to the situation in Malaysia, my government telling me what I can and cannot play in my own home is STILL a violation of my rights, and I will continue to fight every single time something like that happenes. Give them an inch, and they'll take a mile.
  • by Gerad ( 86818 ) on Sunday October 08, 2000 @07:05AM (#722734)
    I would like to note that a few years ago, when I took a trip to the UK, I ended up going into a few arcades there, and the place was about 75% gambling, 25% video games. If you read the article, it says that the ban was mainly focused at the illegal gambling 'arcades', and happened to catch the legitimate arcades as a side effect. I don't agree with this, but I don't think it's all that bad of a thing either. Given that the US has restrictions on gambling as well, I think people should realize that diferent countries are going to deal with different things differently.
  • by efuseekay ( 138418 ) on Sunday October 08, 2000 @08:18AM (#722735)
    I am sure glad to see that Malaysia has made a /. headline! -sarcasm- Malaysia Boleh! -sarcasm-

    Anyway, being a Malaysian, I can give a bit of history about this stuff.

    Malaysia is a prudish country. To illustrate, let me list out the movies _we_ have banned : Austin Powers, Prince of Egypt, Schindler's list, Saving Private Ryan, countless others.

    We also banned kissing scenes in American TV movies : they are always hilariously cut/bleeped off.

    We banned Ellen Degeneres' appearance in David Letterman.

    etc.. You get the Picture.


    The banning of Video Arcades, however, is not exactly a BadThing(tm), though. Have you ever seen some of these "video arcades" in Malaysia? They are not Dave and Busters' nice, clean stuff. But they are like gloomy, full of smoke, and lots of unsavoury characters.

    Basically, if I have kids (I don't), I won't even let them -near- that place. If my kids want video games, I'll happily buy a Athlon and QuakeIII for him.

    So, please /.-ters, don't judge too hastily. It's the knee-jerk reaction that, unfortunately, permeates too many people (including /. people) nowadays.

    (As a point of history, video arcades were banned for the same reasons some years back. But the licenses were reinstated a few year back.)

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