KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14, 2015:
Police seized a cache of books by one of the country’s political cartoonists — five days after the artist was detained for alleged sedition.
Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque — better known as Zunar — told AFP that 200 copies of his latest book Ros in KangKong Land were confiscated by police as they were being transported from the printers to a book launch.
The book of more than 140 cartoons targets Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and also touches on issues such as Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial.
The seizure comes just days after Zunar was arrested and detained for three days for criticising the jailing of Anwar in the case.
Since 2009, police have seized more than 1,000 copies of Zunar’s books and he has been accused by police of a hate campaign against the ruling government, the cartoonist told AFP.
“They claim the contents of my books are detrimental to the security of the country,” he said.
“But as a cartoonist, it is my job to portray what the public are talking about.
“My cartoons represent the feelings of the people. That is my job and I will not be intimidated by anyone.”
Only 20 copies of the Ros in KangKong Land were available at the book launch today.
The defiant satirist’s detention on Wednesday for alleged sedition was triggered by a Twitter post condemning Anwar’s five-year jail sentence.
Zunar, 52, had suggested in the tweet that Malaysia’s judiciary had bowed to the government.
“Those in the black robes were proud when passing sentence. The rewards from their political masters must be lucrative,” the post read.
Human Rights Watch, which had criticised Zunar’s arrest, said Najib’s government was “turning peaceful criticism into a criminal act that threatens the state”.
Earlier this month, Zunar’s office was raided by police as part of an apparently separate sedition investigation.
Seven of his books have previously been banned by the government on the grounds that the contents are “detrimental to public order”, Zunar said, while others were being investigated under the Sedition Act.