KUALA LUMPUR: It is “not right” for cartoonist Zunar to give a false impression of Malaysia by exhibiting his cartoons overseas, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak.
Commenting on Zunar’s decision to exhibit his works lampooning Prime Minister Najib Razak in Geneva, Switzerland, the BN strongman said Malaysia was a democratic country and any difference in views should be resolved locally.
Therefore, he said, there was no need to involve foreign nations.
Salleh explained the government was tolerant and accepted differing views but it had taken action against certain quarters in the past, as they did not respect government institutions chosen by the people.
When asked if he believes Zunar, whose real name is Zulkiflee Anwar Haque was backed by “certain parties”, Salleh said he believed that “they” were all working to topple Najib but did not name names.
“If the people don’t agree with Najib, they are free to choose their candidates and parties,” he said, adding this was the system in place in Malaysia.
Salleh was speaking to reporters after opening the Strategic Issues Forum, organised by the Asian Stratetic & Leadership Institute (Asli) at the Bankers Club here.
He said Najib’s critics were free to disagree, but in doing so, they should not tarnish the country’s image which could affect the economy and our reputation.
Last week, Zunar, received the 2016 Cartooning for Peace Award in Geneva.
Speaking at the forum earlier, Salleh said the government was focused on ensuring rural areas also enjoyed technological benefits, such as internet connectivity.
“We do not just concentrate on urban areas. Malaysia is more than just Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Selangor.
“We must pay attention to rural areas, and our concern goes beyond speed and affordability, it also includes coverage.
He cited the example of Long Urum in Belaga, Sarawak which recently gained 3G internet coverage.
He said the area, which was a two-hour helicopter ride from Sibu, was now connected to the world.