Police to investigate Malaysian cartoonist’s ‘No Thaipusam holiday’ drawing

This drawing by Zunar Cartoonist is being investigated by the authorities. Photo: Zunar Cartoonist/Twitter
This drawing by Zunar Cartoonist is being investigated by the authorities. Photo: Zunar Cartoonist/Twitter

After hauling satirical graphic artist Fahmi Reza over the weekend oveer a Spotify playlist mocking the queen, Malaysia’s police have turned their attention to another familiar face in political arts, Zunar Cartoonist.

Zunar, whose real name is Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, 58, shared on Twitter today that he was expected at the Padang Terap police station in Kedah over a January caricature of Kedah’s Chief Minister Muhammad Sanusi in response to the minister axing the Thaipusam public holiday in the state.

“I have been contacted by the police for investigations regarding my 23 Jan cartoon on the Zunar Kartunis Fan Club Facebook page,” he wrote. Zulkiflee is known for satirical cartoons depicting the current political climate in Malaysia.

“I will be present at the Padang Terap police station at 11am, 2 May 2021,” he added.

The police said it will investigate Zulkiflee for allegedly causing public mischief and creating obscene content under Section 505(C) of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act, respectively.

The drawing featured a caricature of 46-year-old Sanusi holding a cleaver that had the words “No Thaipusam holiday” and was chopping up a table of people from various ethnicities including “Thai.”

Other text on the drawing implied that Kedah was better off without Sanusi’s leadership. One of them said, “Kedah people lived peacefully together before he came along.”

Earlier this year, Sanusi cancelled the Thaipusam public holiday for Hindus in Kedah, citing the ban on celebrations at the time. 

Other stories to check out:

Spotify keeps censoring satire artist’s ‘Jealousy’ playlist mocking queen
Frog art was work of fiction, not linked to Malaysian university: Fahmi Reza
Civil society groups protest Malaysia’s use of emergency powers on ‘fake news’

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