After Hendrix, retailer says Bob Marley and David Bowie covers also barred

Along with replica posters of Jimi Hendrix, album covers of David Bowie (pictured) and legendary reggae artiste Bob Marley were among items confiscated at a music outlet in Kuala Lumpur today. — AFP pic
Along with replica posters of Jimi Hendrix, album covers of David Bowie (pictured) and legendary reggae artiste Bob Marley were among items confiscated at a music outlet in Kuala Lumpur today. — AFP pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — A prohibition of contentious religious imagery that saw authorities seize posters of a 1967 Jimi Hendrix album also extends to cover art of CDs of other iconic musicians like Bob Marley and David Bowie, a music retailer said today.

Responding to queries on enforcement action on such material, Sulaiman Ahmad Junid who works as supervisor at Rock Corner in Mid Valley Megamall said album covers of Bowie’s “Diamond Dogs” and Marley’s “Kaya” were among others also disallowed.

“There’s a small picture of a burning joint (of ganja) on the back cover of Bob Marley’s album. For David Bowie’s ‘Diamond Dogs’, the cover is not allowed in because it shows a picture of his face on the body of a dog,” Sulaiman told The Malay Mail Online today.

“When we get the products, we just get the box and the CDs. The covers have been seized,” he added.

The late Marley was a prominent Jamaican reggae musician and the word “Kaya” on his album, released in 1978, is Jamaican slang for ganja. Ganja is prohibited in Malaysia.

Bowie is a British rock star whose album “Diamond Dogs” was released in 1974.

Controversy over such imagery erupted after a Hindu group complained about replica posters of Jimi Hendrix Experience’s album “Axis: Bold as Love”, which depicts the American rock band as various forms of the Hindu deity Lord Vishnu.

The Home Ministry said today that such imagery was prohibited.

Sulaiman said that Rock Corner has not stocked the album for the past six to seven years due to poor demand for the old album.

“When we used to stock it, we would tell customers that there’s an issue with the cover. We tell them, ‘What to do? We can’t do anything’,” he said.

Another local music retail store — Victoria Music Centre — similarly said that a few years back, the album cover featuring the late rock legend Hendrix and his bandmates superimposed on an image of Lord Vishnu, was prohibited from entering the country.

“The company will change the Hindu god cover to Jimi Hendrix’s face,” Eson Lim, manager at Victoria Music Centre in Sungei Wang Plaza, told The Malay Mail Online.

Like Rock Corner, Lim said Victoria Music Centre also rarely stocks “Axis: Bold as Love”.

Aside from the prohibition, the Home Ministry also said that posters from the album were confiscated from BookXcess last month.

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