PETALING JAYA: The International New York Times was not aware of black boxes being placed on the faces of pigs in its Malaysian edition, according to the eponymous website of American journalist Jim Romenesko.
“We were not aware of this before the newspaper was printed and we are discussing it with our printing contacts in the region,” wrote the Times vice president of corporate communications, Eileen Murphy, in an email.
On Wednesday, printers of the Malaysian edition, KHL Printing Co, had blacked out the faces of each animal in a frontpage story about humanely raised hogs.
A representative from the printing company said faces of pigs, like “pictures of nudity, smoking and weapons like guns”, were covered up as such images are not allowed in a Muslim country.
He is uncertain about whether there was any specific directive from the government to perform such stringent censorship. Reports indicate, however, that there was no such order to do so.
Like many amused readers of the Times, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar saw no reason why pictures of pigs cannot appear in the publication, and confirmed that there was no specific law against running photographs of pigs.
“During the H1N1 outbreak, you have seen a lot of pictures showing the culling of pigs in various publications,” said the Santubong MP.