Zunar’s stand


Three of Zunar’s part-time assistants were arrested for selling his cartoon books at the Palace of Justice a couple of days ago during the Anwar trial. (The information released at the time and reported was that his wife was among those arrested – but then his wife was in Port Dickson at the time, so how?! Oops.) The three – Rizaldy, Raja Norita and Norliza Mohd Kassim – were released at midnight.

Ten copies of Pirates of the Carry-BN and 33 copies of Buku Komplot Penjarakan Anwar were seized. (Check out the books.) The books are apparently being investigated under three laws: the Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Penal Code and the Sedition Act.

A few colleagues and I caught up with Zunar over a banana leaf lunch when he was in Penang recently. Check out the T-shirt he was wearing.

Zunar and his T-shirt - His stand is clear. What's yours?
Zunar and his T-shirt – His stand is clear. What’s yours?

Recently, the Court of Appeal lifted the banning of two of his comic books, 1 Funny Malaysia and Perak Darul Kartun – a decision that Zunar welcomed, as published in Aliran.

Zunar told me the court went through those comic books page by page to determine if there were really any grounds for their banning. They found that it was just political satire, even though the prosecutor tried to show otherwise.

Four of Zunar’s other cartoon books remain banned: Gedung Kartun, Isu Dalam Kartun vol 1, Isu Dalam Kartun vol 2 and isu Dalam Kartun Vol 3. Another book, Cartoon-O-Phobia, is being investigated under the Sedition Act.

Zunar is just back from his trip to the United States, where his cartoon books were accepted and catalogued by the US Library of Congress.

He said he had received a string of invitations to speak at universities abroad, but unfortunately local universities are reluctant to invite him. I wonder why.

That’s the life of a critical political cartoonist in Malaysia. Obviously some people don’t see the funny side of his cartoons, much less when they are … err, the butt of his jokes.

Zunar is clear: he is trying to raise awareness of the need for change – an end to corruption, injustice and oppressive rule – through his cartoons.

No one can accuse Malaysia’s leading political cartoonist of not taking a stand. What’s your stand?

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gk ong
gk ong
16 Nov 2014 11.23am

Latest quotes from Zunar: “Malaysia is different. People who are guilty are not necessarily dragged to court because the political system is such even though on paper, they (politicians) are not above the law but it is not practised. “People who are clearly involved in corruption are not brought to face the law just like in the cases of former Sarawak chief minister Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, the Scorpene submarine scandal that involved Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and the recent 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) despite documents proving they are guilty,” he said in an exclusive interview with The… Read more »

gk ong
gk ong
14 Nov 2014 11.56am

Zunar said political leaders should stop corrupt practices and abuse of power if they cannot accept criticism through cartoons. “For everyone’s information, whatever I draw, the ideas come from politicians in Malaysia. What they do, I draw. It is not my fault. I am not the one who created corruption for them, no. “They are the ones who are corrupt. I cartoon them. So don’t blame me in this matter. The scandals do not come from the cartoonist, but from the leaders themselves. “If they want me to stop drawing cartoons, leaders have to stop all corruption and resign from… Read more »

Ed G
Ed G
10 Nov 2014 10.28am

‘The books are apparently being investigated under three laws: the Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Penal Code and the Sedition Act’. How do the these laws, which are in almost every sense arbitrary and discretionary in words, spirit and enforcement, reconcile with the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Federal Constitution?

9 Nov 2014 10.16am

Kartunphobia di Bolehland?

9 Nov 2014 3.45am

As a show of support any possibility of buying his books mail order from oversea? Thanks Anil.

9 Nov 2014 11.12am
Reply to  eeyaw

You can watch this Zunar’s animation on Youtube:

8 Nov 2014 9.15pm

Quite simply, I guess that such activities are only banned in Malaysia for really questionable reasons.

Yes , I realise I am wasting my ink and 1 minute writing to you, based on your previous comments….hope is eternal for me, however…

8 Nov 2014 3.40pm

When a company is banned and not registered you cannot operate it. When a publication is banned you also cannot have a copy or sell it. When a voluntary organization has not been registered or approved through any act of Parliament or State Assembly you also cannot operate it. When you have not been given permission to use a hall or field, you cannot simply barged in and use it. Why is it that Pakatan and their supporters like to condone illegal activities.

10 Nov 2014 4.35pm
Reply to  Yang

In one of your comments on Anil’s website you said Malaysia was years ahead of the United States and had Najib as a MP at age 26!! I wonder why the AG in the US does nt take action on all the comments and whatsoever made by Americans. I presume you are right here too – the AG in Malaysia is years ahead of the AG in the US???