PETALING JAYA: Popular cartoonist and social activist Zunar has called out Umno for its hypocrisy in holding an exhibition of cartoon caricatures and photoshopped images with an anti-DAP theme at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC).
He was referring to the works that are on display at the Umno headquarters, where the party is holding its annual general assembly from today until Saturday.
“My message to Umno. Go ahead, do as many cartoon exhibitions as you want.
“But my question is, why when I did a similiar exhibition with the opposite subject in Penang, Umno came and physically attacked me?” Zunar said in a WhatsApp message to FMT.
With the general election just months away, the depiction of DAP as leading a group of Malay leaders against Umno, took centrestage in the exhibition.
Various cartoon caricatures and images modified to show DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang “lording” over PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Amanah president Mohamed Sabu are on display at the PWTC.
“This shows Umno has no shame and lacks any moral values,” said the political cartoonist whose real name is Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque.
He also questioned the police over their perceived “double-standard” on the matter.
“The second question to the police. When myself and Fahmi Reza did exhibitions, you arrested us, charging us under sedition and multimedia laws.
“So, why the silence when Umno does (the same). I am not asking police to arrest Umno’s cartoonist but why the double standard?”
In November last year, Zunar was detained and investigated by Penang police for sedition for allegedly insulting Prime Minister Najib Razak through one of his drawings.
An Umno Youth leader from Penang, Mohd Norhiesam Ismail had lodged a report against Zunar, saying it was unacceptable for the cartoonist to depict national leaders like Najib in a bad light.
Umno Youth members had demanded Zunar take down his drawings which were on display at the George Town Literary Festival held at Komtar, George Town.
The commotion that erupted over his drawings resulted in the satirist having no choice but to cancel the exhibition due to security reasons.
Less than a month after the investigation in Penang, Zunar was again arrested by Dang Wangi police at the “Tea with Zunar” fundraising event on Dec 17.
He was probed under Section 124C of the Penal Code for activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy.
Zunar filed a suit against the police and government claiming he was wrongfully arrested during the fundraising event.
He also claimed his books and t-shirts were seized without any basis at the same event and demanded the police and government return the 1,187 books and 103 t-shirts they confiscated during the event.
Zunar is also facing nine sedition charges for allegedly insulting the judiciary on his Twitter account.