Posted on January 2, 2013 | No Comments
My latest cartoon book,”Lawak & Lawan” to protest Malaysian draconian printing act
My latest cartoon book, Lawak & Lawan (Fun & Fight) is produced to protest the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA). Among cited in this Act under section, 11 (2) requires the name of the printer to be printed in each publication. Failure to comply can be punished with imprisonment not exceeding one year and a fine not exceeding RM5000 ( about USD1800) or both.
Before this I have always complied the requirements by the Act to include the name of the printer in my books. What happens from that is that the printers, often times, get raided by the authorities. For example, back in 2009, the printer who printed “Gedung Kartun” was raided by the Home Ministry officials. In 2010, the printer who printed “Cartoon-O-Phobia” was raided by 20 policemen. In the raid, they searched the place and seized the printing plates.
It was reported that the printers were threatened that their licenses will be revoked if they continue printing my books in the future. There were also reports of these ministry officers demanding money. The actions by the government had instilled fear in the printers from printing my books.
For the book prior to this, “1 Moolaysia”, I had to search for theree months before finally found a brave printer who was willing to print my books.
These events proved that the requirement by the PPPA to include the printer’s name in books is used by the government not for the purpose of controlling but more of restricting freedom of speech by ‘killing’ books and printed materials that are critical of the Malaysian government.
Due to that, I have deleted the name of the printer in my new book “Lawak & Lawan” as a protest. I know this would be contrary to the law, but I have a moral obligation to fight against draconian laws such as the PPPA.
I am ready to face legal risk for my action.
I also know that, as a result, this book will be tough to sell since it cannot be sold in public premises, but I am also willing to bear that risk.
Zunar’s cartoons unravel the issues of the Altantuya murder, the Scorpene scandal, election fraud, corruption, injustice, abuse of power and waste of public funds by the Malaysian gevernment.
Zunar’s six cartoon books are currently banned by the Malaysian government for allegedly “having contents that can incite public hatred and stoke riots against the government”.
Zunar was arrested on the 24th September 2010 under the Sedition Act for allegedly publishing a ‘seditious’ cartoon book.
Zunar was the recipient of the “Courage in Editorial Cartoon” from the Cartoonist Rights Network International, Washington DC in 2011.