KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 — The government’s ban on the book “Ultraman the Ultra Power” today invited a steady stream of ridicule from Malaysian internet users agape at the decision to exile the popular Japanese superhero.
“Ultraman” quickly became a trending topic on Twitter this evening as news began to surface that the comic book was banned by the Home Ministry for containing elements detrimental to public order, with Malaysians taking turns to poke fun at the decision.
“For goodness sake, what is this ban on #Ultraman? What’s next? Space Cop Gaban? Kesatria Baja Hitam? Why not Power Rangers too?” a user under the handle of @mfosa posted in response to the news.
Another user, @anthraxxxx, expressed support for the ban in apparent jest.
“I can understand KDN’s reason to ban Ultraman’s book. When Ultraman drops on a city fighting monsters, it will create chaos and destruction,” he wrote, using the Home Ministry’s Malay acronym.
Even Cabinet ministers were not beyond joining in the merriment.
“Apa salah Ultraman?” (What is wrong with UItraman?) @khairykj, the Twitter account of Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin posted.
A stream of posts ridiculing the decision soon turned into a torrent, with some predicting that social media lampoonery of the Home Ministry’s ban would match that of the prime minister’s remark on water spinach prices in January.
According to a report by national news agency Bernama today, 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.
The statement was not yet available on the ministry’s website this evening, but an official verified the ban when contacted by The Malay Mail Online today.
“Yes, KDN has banned the book ‘Ultraman the Ultra Power’,” the official said in a brief text message.
The ministry added that the gazette banning the comic that is published by Resign Publications and printed by Network Printers took effect on February 18.
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.