Malaysia bans Ultraman book

The Malaysia government has banned an Ultraman comic book that uses the word "Allah" in connection with the Japanese superhero.

Malaysia has banned an Ultraman comic book because it uses the word "Allah" to describe the Japanese action hero.

The Home Ministry said in a statement on Friday that the Malay edition of Ultraman, The Ultra Power contained elements that could undermine public security and societal morals.

"Ultraman is idolised by many children", the statement said, and equating the lead character, Ultraman King, with Allah would especially "confuse Muslim children and damage their faith".

Allah, the Arabic word for God, is commonly used in the Malay language to refer to God.

Ultraman, a fictional Japanese superhero who fights monsters, first appeared on television in the 1960s.

A line in the book says Ultraman "is considered and respected as Allah, or the Elder, to all ultra heroes."

The government says Allah should be exclusively reserved for Muslims because of concerns its use by others would confuse Muslims and tempt them to convert.

Malay Muslims account for about 60 per cent of Malaysia's 30 million people, while Christians make up about 9 per cent of the population.

The ministry said irresponsible use of the word could provoke the community and threaten public safety.

"The Ultraman character itself is not banned and only this edition is prohibited," the ministry said. Anyone caught distributing the book could be jailed three years, it warned.

Source: AAP