NLB removes Chinese-language children's book from libraries after complaint about 'racist' content
SINGAPORE: The National Library Board (NLB) has removed all copies of a Chinese-language children's book from its libraries as it conducts a review following a complaint about racist content.
The book, titled Who Wins?, describes a school bully named Mao Mao who is "dark-skinned with a head of oily curls". In a Facebook post, a reader known as Umm Yusof called it "an astoundingly racist local book".
NLB said it was first alerted to the reader's complaint on Jul 17.
"In view of some feedback from its patrons, NLB is currently reviewing the Chinese language book in our collection, ‘Who Wins?’ by Wu Xing Hua. This will be done in consultation with our Library Consultative Panel, which is an independent and citizen-based panel," said an NLB spokesperson in response to CNA's queries on Monday (Jul 20).
"In line with our established procedures, we have removed all copies of the books from our libraries during the period of review."
According to Umm Yusof 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 said it has received "enquries" on the book and that it appreciates any feedback given.
"We are doing our utmost to look into and resolve the issue so please allow us some time to check with the relevant parties," it added.