PETALING JAYA: Cartoonist Zunar has decided to call off his exhibition scheduled to be held in George Town tomorrow and featuring political caricatures based on current issues in the country, saying it was due to likely disturbance planned by troublemakers.
In a statement today, the satirist whose real name is Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque claimed that the exhibition had to be cancelled after it was learnt that Penang Umno Youth was distributing posters to get members to “visit” the site of the display at Beach Street tomorrow morning.
“Last year’s experience tells me this is not going to be a normal visit, but more an act of physical intimidation,” he said.
“Umno Youth under (its chief) Khairy Jamaluddin has on many occasions become very rowdy and aggressive, as seen at my exhibition in Komtar last November.
“So, I have no choice but to call off the exhibition due to security reasons,” he added.
“Nevertheless, this will not stop me from disseminating messages of anti-corruption through my cartoons,” Zunar said.
Prior to the cancellation, he had said earlier that he was determined to get his message across and insisted that he was not out to stir up trouble.
“It is the duty of a cartoonist to provide such information through cartoons. Talent is not a gift, it is a responsibility,” he said.
In the incident in November, Zunar was surrounded by 30 people, said to be from Umno, who reportedly threatened him and demanded that he take down his artworks which they claimed were offensive as they depicted the prime minister and other national leaders in a bad light.
The exhibition entitled “Ketawa Pink Pink” was slated to take place at the monthly car-free day event at Beach Street in the morning.
He said it was to feature a series of artworks covering current issues like the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) civil suits, and a controversial pink diamond.
He said he now planned to make his works available through a “digital open source” platform for fans to download and distribute for free, when he receives funding for the initial print of the collection.