Earlier this week the National Library Board of Singapore decided to remove and destroy all copies of And Tango Makes Three, a children’s book based on a true story about two male penguins who raise an abandoned penguin chick together at the New York Zoo. Two other same-sex family themed books, The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption, and Who’s In My Family: All About Our Families were also withdrawn and pulped. The move led to widespread criticism online, with many writers and rights groups attacking the decision as an act of censorship
The Board’s chief executive Elaine Ng told the Straits Times following the outrage: “I’m saddened by their disappointment in us. I would like to engage those who have worked with us for a long time and hope they will accept our outstretched hands in future”.
49-year-old writer Cheong, who is protesting the move, said: “The only way forward is for NLB to at least recognise that pulping books is irrational and unacceptable, that there are ways these books can still be saved and made available to parents who would like to borrow them”.
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