The head of a Malaysian consumer rights organization has called for a ban on Grand Theft Auto and similarly violent video games.
The move comes following the murder of a Bangkok cabbie last Saturday. Thai government officials were quick to link that killing to what they said was the 19-year-old suspect's Grand Theft Auto play.
In an op-ed for the Star Online, Mohamed Idris, president of the Consumers Association of Penang, writes:
It was recently reported that the Thai authorities have banned a computer video game known as Grand Theft Auto... Violent video games and television programmes have previously been linked to expressions of violence and aggression in young viewers. It is time for the authorities to act.
If this particular video game is available in Malaysia, CAP calls on the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs to immediately halt its sales and ban this game. The Ministry should also warn the public and any stocks that have already been sold should be recalled.
CAP also calls on the Ministry to initiate immediate measures to weed out similar games and halt sales and also their use in video game arcades.
GP: It's very odd to see a consumer group demanding censorship. One might think that the CAP, which has the stated objective of giving a voice to the little people, would prefer that Malyasian consumers have choices in their entertainment.