Permit given for reading event featuring books removed by NLB because of homosexuality themes

   And Tango Makes Three, one of the books the National Library Board withdrew following complaints. -- PHOTO: BARNES AND NOBLE
   And Tango Makes Three, one of the books the National Library Board withdrew following complaints. -- PHOTO: BARNES AND NOBLE

The organisers of a reading event featuring two of the children's books no longer available at the National Library have received a police permit to go ahead.

It will be held at the National Library Building atrium this afternoon.

Writer Jolene Tan said the police told her on Friday night that the event would need a permit. She applied for it, and received it yesterday morning. "The permit says we have to maintain order and ensure that there's no disturbance, which is what we, the organisers, want as well," she said.

More than 400 people have indicated on Facebook that they will be at the event, which organisers hope will make a "peaceful statement about how much we - and our kids - love to read". They called on adults to bring the children in their lives, a children's book they enjoy and a stuffed toy penguin.

Ms Tan, who will bring about 10 to 20 children's books, said she hopes participants share what they bring with others.

Copies of And Tango Makes Three and Who's In My Family?: All About Our Families will be available. These titles are two of the children's titles the National Library Board withdrew following complaints. News of its action sparked an uproar online, with many expressing discontent and others expressing support.

On Friday, Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng, 42, wrote on his Facebook page that he would donate to charity the payment for the use of a 10-page excerpt from his book, The Gift Of Rain, in an anthology NLB published this month.

"I have informed the NLB that I find it very difficult to give my support to the NLB's literary projects now or in future, or to be associated with such projects," he wrote.

Writer Ng Wai Choy wrote on his Facebook page that he will not attend any NLB-related events unless it apologises. "I am single, and come from a single-parent family. Please remove my books from your shelves. It will not be a loss to me," he wrote in Chinese.

Ms Carrie Yu, who supported the NLB's action in the We Are Against Pinkdot In Singapore Facebook page, said she does not agree with today's event. Those who have made "unfair attacks" on the NLB "demonstrate they are intolerant of any views except their own", she said.

Comments