KUALA LUMPUR: Home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi hopes political cartoonist Zunar, who faces trial for sedition, will repent and find other ways to express himself.
Ahmad Zahid said he was leaving it to police to carry out further investigations into drawings criticising Prime Minister Najib Razak at an exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland.
Zunar (Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque or Zunar) and Kenyan cartoonist Gado were awarded the 2016 Cartooning For Peace Award by the Swiss Foundation of Cartooning for Peace earlier this month. His works and those of other cartoonists were exhibited after the prizes were presented.
The exhibition drew criticism from Communications Minister Salleh Said Keruak who suggested that criticising Najib in a foreign country could be viewed as an act of “economic sabotage,” and part of a plan to topple the prime minister.
Ahmad Zahid said he was leaving the matter to the police as it involved operational matters.
He added that the issue involved the moral and integrity of the individual. “Criticism is not a problem but to insult is another matter…I accept criticisms especially constructive ones which are healthy but to insult is a different matter.
“I think in this regard, I am seeking Allah to open his heart so that he quickly repents and uses other approaches to express opposing opinions,” he said.