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Malaysia bans Sacha Baron Cohen's movie Bruno over gay scenes

Malaysia's film censors have banned Sacha Baron Cohen's box office hit Bruno because it highlights gay life and has gay sex scenes.

Bruno - following Baron Cohen's hit Borat - is centred around the adventures of a flamboyant gay fashion journalist from Austria.

A spokeswoman for Malaysia's Film Censorship Board said the movie was considered unacceptable because of its storyline, offensive language, jokes and racy nature.

"It's banned because the story is based on gay life ... There are a lot of sex scenes," she said. "It's contrary to our culture."

Gay sex, or "carnal intercourse against the order of nature", is punishable by up to 20 years in jail and whipping in Malaysia. Sex toys, politically incorrect comments and jokes about religion also infuriated the censors, the spokeswoman said.

She said censors vetted the movie last month and the distributor was notified.

Ukraine has also banned the film, and some Austrian officials have spoken out against it, but have not taken action.

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, made fun of the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan and the US and was banned in Kazakhstan and Russia.

Malaysia also decided in early September to ban another American hit, the horror film Halloween II, because of its gory scenes and excessive violence, the spokeswoman said.

A Muslim-majority nation of 28 million people, Malaysia has strict public morality rules, including those applying to entertainment. US R&B star Beyonce Knowles, who is due to perform there on October 25, has promised to wear conservative clothes for the show.

Source: The Belfast Telegraph