Category: Satire

Malaysian Political Cartoonist Zunar Banned from Travelling Outside of Malaysia

Malaysian Political Cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, otherwise known as Zunar, has been banned from travelling outside of Malaysia since October of last year. Zunar was arrested by Malaysian police on December 17 at a public book promotion event in Kuala Lumpur. He was detained and interrogated before being released and 1,000 copies of his books were confiscated. He faces potential charges of “undermining parliamentary democracy” in addition to standing charges of sedition, which carry a possible sentence of 43 years in prison, for publicly insulting Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in his cartoons.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on the Malaysian government to drop all criminal charges again Zunar and to stop harassing him in what they call a “relentless campaign of judicial and police harassment of the journalist“.

On World Press Freedom Day, May 3, The Washington Post spotlighted Zunar’s plight along with two other persecuted cartoonists, “On World Press Freedom Day, the plights of three persecuted cartoonists deserve a spotlight“.

Zunar gave the talk “Cartooning in Malaysia: The Art of Protest” at NYU Florence in September 2015, followed by a cartoon-drawing workshop for students.

You can watch Zunar’s full Dialogue here:

Zunar’s Take on Sedition

Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, better known as Zunar, was born on May 15, 1962 at Bukit Junun, Gurun, Kedah and is known for his biting humor and satirical critique of Malaysian politics. Zunar often likes to bring along a pen and notebook during his drawing excursions, where he records ideas from all walks of life and translates them into caricatures or cartoons. He has been subject to raids, arrests and harassment under Malaysia’s increasingly strict censorship laws. He is currently facing up to 43 years in prison for the publication of a series of cartoons that the government alleges ‘violate’ Malaysia’s Sedition Act.

Read more