ZUNAR (To Fight Through Cartoon)
(To Fight Through Cartoon)
Zunar, or his real name is Zulkiflee Sm Anwar Ulhaque is a political cartoonist from Malaysia. Through his cartoons, he expose corruption and abuse of power committed by the government of Malaysia. His slogan is “How Can I be Neutral? Even My Pen Has a Stand”.
Throughout his career as a cartoonist, his human rights have been under attack by the Malaysian police and authorities who say his cartoons are “detrimental to public order”.
Zunar has been detained twice under Malaysia’s archaic Sedition Act. Five of his cartoon books have been banned. His office in Kuala Lumpur has been raided a few times.
It is not just Zunar who is being targeted; the printers, vendors, and bookstores around the country which carry his cartoon works, have been harassed. Their premises have been raided and they have also been warned not to print or carry any of his titles.
In 2011, Zunar was conferred the ‘Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award’ by Washington-based Cartoonist Rights Network International.
ZUNAR vs MALAYSIAN GOVT
Feb 28 2005, more than 20 policemen led by ASP Ramasamy from raided my launching event in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur and threaten to detain me and confiscate my book ROS in Kangkong Land if I proceed with the launching. I had to cancel the program.
Feb 14 2015, Hundreds of the books, ROS in Kangkong Land were confiscated by the police from the printer’s lorry en-route to the launching venue.
Feb 10, 2015, I was detained and locked up under the Sedition Act. I was accused to have tweeted seditious comments in relation to the Federal Court’s decision which upheld the conviction of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy, the second time it has been levied against me.
The police opened up two separate investigations on me under the Sedition Act. One case is on the tweet criticizing Mr Anwar’s sentence under the D5 Unit (Classified Crime) based at the Kuala Lumpur Police Headquarters. Another is on my cartoon books ‘Pirates of The Carry-BN’ and ‘Conspiracy to Imprison Anwar’.
a) 28 Jan 2015: There was a raid on my office while I was on a speaking tour stop in London. More than 150 books were confiscated. Laws used: Printing Presses and Publications Act, Sedition Act, Penal Code.
b) 6 Nov 2014: Three of my assistants were arrested and taken to the police station for selling my latest cartoon books. Law used: Sedition Act.
c) 16 Nov 2014: The webmaster, who manages my website and online bookstore, was called in by the police for questioning. Law used: Sedition Act.
d) 18 Nov 2014: The police have asked the online payment gateway that handles my book transactions to disclose the list of customers who have purchased my books through my official website www.zunar.my. The company was given no choice but to disclose it. Law used: Sedition Act.
e) 20 Nov 2014: I was brought in for questioning to the Dang Wangi Police Station in Kuala Lumpur under their ‘Classified Crime Section’ involving three different laws. Laws used: Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Sedition Act, Penal Code.
f) 24 Sept 2010: I was detained and locked up for two days after the publication of my book ‘Cartoon-O-Phobia’. Law used: Sedition Act.
g) July 2010: Five of my books – ‘Perak Darul Kartun’; ‘1 Funny Malaysia’,;‘Isu Dalam Kartun’ Vol.1, 2, and 3 – were banned by the Home Minister on the grounds that the contents are “detrimental to public order.” Law used: Printing Presses and Publications Act
h) Sept 2009: My office was raided by the authorities. Five hundred (500) copies of my book titled ’Gedung Kartun’ were confiscated. Law used: Printing Presses and Publications Act
i) Threats against printers
Date: Three companies which printed my books were raided. They were warned to not print my books in the future or their licence will be revoked. As a result, no printer dares to print my book. I have resorted to redacting the name of the printer to protect them. This is against the law, but I have no choice. The law in Malaysia requires both names of printing company and publisher on all publications. Laws used: Printing Presses and Publications Act, Sedition Act. News report:
j) Assault on vendors/book stores
Date: Bookstores’ premises around the country were raided by authority and they were warned to not sell my books in the future or their licence will be revoked. Law used: Printing Presses and Publications Act, Sedition Act
ZULKIFLEE ANWAR HAQUE, better known as ZUNAR to Malaysians, is a cartoonist who has been drawing editorial cartoons for the past 20 years in Malaysia.