Zulkiflee SM Anwar Haque, better known as Zunar, is no stranger when it comes to his cartoons landing in trouble with the law.
This time around, the recipient of the “Cartooning for Peace” award ruffled the feathers of PAS with his take on Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor’s decision to cancel the public holiday for the Hindu celebration of Thaipusam.
Kedah PAS Youth filed a police report on the cartoon which was uploaded on Facebook and accused the cartoonist of slandering the menteri besar.
The wing’s chief Nurul Amin Hamid also reportedly expressed hope that the authorities would take action against the Facebook account owner under the Sedition Act.
He said the cartoonist should come forward to seek an explanation on the issue instead of using his talent to disseminate a wrong message to the people.
“Kedah’s doors are always open for discussions. There is no racial or religious discrimination in the state,” he was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian.
Speaking to Malaysiakini, Zunar described this as an attempt to curtail freedom of expression.
Not willing to discuss his work, the cartoonist said he would leave it to the people to make their own interpretations.
“I am commenting on a current issue. This cartoon is popular based on shares. I leave it to the people how to perceive it. I do not wish to offer an explanation.
“You have the right to agree to disagree. But don’t make your interpretation into law. Don’t expect the police to take action based on your interpretation. This is not right,” he added.
Zunar said it was unacceptable that PAS Youth had urged the authorities to take action under the Sedition Act.
“This goes against my freedom of expression. I am worried this government will use the Sedition Act again just like how its predecessor BN did,” he added.
On the same note, Zunar called on Nurul Amin to prove the accusation that he committed slander against the menteri besar.
“This is a serious allegation and he must prove it,” he added.
The decision to cancel the public holiday for Thaipusam courted flak from various quarters and placed Sanusi and PAS’ Muafakat Nasional ally MIC at loggerheads. – Malaysiakini