Cartoonist Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque, who goes by the pen-name Zunar, was questioned by police for two hours today over a cartoon he drew in relation to the Kedah government’s decision to cancel a holiday to mark Thaipusam.
Writing on Twitter, Zunar said he was questioned at the Padang Terap police station.
“This morning I was at Padang Terap police station to be investigated by the police under the Penal Code & Multimedia Act over the cartoon about Kedah MB on 21 Jan. It took two hours for the statement taking & my mobile phone was confiscated,” he tweeted.
Speaking to Free Malaysia Today, he revealed that this was the fifth time his phone was seized.
“They took my phone to carry out forensic analysis on my activities on the internet with regard to the cartoon I drew,” he told the news portal.
Police started an investigation after three police reports were lodged against him in Alor Setar, Pendang and Padang Terap.
Zunar is being investigated under section 505(c) of the Penal Code for allegedly making statements conducive to public mischief with intent to incite the community to cause them to commit an offence against any other communities, and under section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for abuse of network services.
Zunar said he had refused to answer any questions, instead he invoked section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which allows a person to not answer questions if they will expose him to a criminal charge or penalty.
Commenting on the police reports lodged against him, Zunar said the menteri besar was “hiding” behind the police.
“He does not have the intellectual mind to debate with me or rebut my cartoons in an official statement. You’re an MB, you can issue statements, but instead, you are hiding behind the police,” he said.
In January, Zunar drew a cartoon that showed Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor using a meat cleaver to smash a table where people of different races were seated.
Kedah officials have defended cancelling the Thaipusam holiday, blaming the Covid-19 pandemic. – TMI