Minister for Communications and Information comments on withdrawal of 3 library books
Minister for Communications and Information, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, says the withdrawal of three books by the National Library Board was not based on a single complaint.
The books are, "And Tango Makes Three", "The White Swan Express" and "Who's in My Family".
The first is based on the story of two male penguins raising a baby penguin together, the second features a lesbian couple who have adopted children, and the third features unconventional familiy set-ups.
In a Facebook post today, Dr Yaacob reiterated that National Library Board or NLB officers carefully assess the merits of the complaint, before making a decision.
He emphasised that the NLB is not deciding what books children can or cannot read.
Parents can still buy the books for their children if they wish.
Dr Yaacob said the NLB has to decide what books should be made readily available to children who are sometimes unsupervised in the library.
He said it is right that public libraries give consideration to community norms, as they serve the community.
And he said the prevailing norms - accepted by the overwhelming majority of Singaporeans - support teaching children about conventional families, and not alternative, non-traditional families.
While Dr Yaacob recognised that there were those who did not agree with these norms, he said the NLB's approach is to reflect existing social norms, not to challenge or change them.
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