Marshall Cavendish Education apologises for Chinese-language children's book, stops sale and distribution

Marshall Cavendish Education apologises for Chinese-language children's book, stops sale and distribution

Chinese-language children's book Who Wins? by Wu Xing Hua
Who Wins? by Wu Xing Hua is a children's book about a school bully named Mao Mao, who is described as "dark-skinned with a head of oily curls". (Photo: Facebook/Umm Yusof)

SINGAPORE: Publisher Marshall Cavendish Education on Tuesday (Jul 21) apologised for any misunderstanding caused to readers after its Chinese-language children's book, Who Wins?, received a complaint about racist content.

"We have decided to cease the sale and distribution of this series and recall the books from retail stores," the publisher said in a statement in response to CNA's queries.

The book, titled Who Wins? by Wu Xing Hua, describes a school bully named Mao Mao who is "dark-skinned with a head of oily curls". 

A reader known as Umm Yusof wrote a Facebook post on Jul 17, calling it "an astoundingly racist local book", saying the book describes Mao Mao in "explicitly racialised terms, and in contrast to all the other characters who are depicted as fair-skinned".

The Facebook user also criticised Marshall Cavendish Education for publishing the book.

Marshall Cavendish Education said it wants to reassure readers that there is no intention from the publisher to "produce content that promotes discrimination in any way". 

"We appreciate the feedback from some public members who have highlighted their perspectives," it added.

"The books we publish cater to an all-inclusive society where diversity is respected and celebrated, and our team is dedicated and committed to that cause." 

READ: NLB removes Chinese-language children's book from libraries after complaint about 'racist' content

On Monday, a National Library Board (NLB) spokesperson, said NLB is currently reviewing the Chinese language book in its collection, after it was alerted to the complaint.

NLB added that all copies of the books have been removed from its libraries during the period of review.

Source: CNA/lk(ta)

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