KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 ― A local cartoonist said today he will “expose” Putrajaya’s alleged arbitrary use of federal laws to silence the opposition when he speaks next month at the United Nations (UN) forum on human rights in Geneva, Switzerland.
Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque or ‘Zunar’ as he is popularly known, has been invited as a speaker at the forum to touch on human rights in Malaysia as well as the welfare of cartoonists following the bloody Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris last month.
“I will explain in detail… some people think Malaysia is a democratic country but I want to tell and expose how the government uses a law to intimidate and how they use the judiciary to detain a political prisoner,” he said in reference to jailed Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Zunar turned up today at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters here to mark his solidarity with Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S.Arutchelvan who was arrested last night for commenting on Anwar’s sodomy conviction.
Arutchelvan had alleged that Anwar's imprisonment is a politically motivated move in a statement on February 10.
Director of Kuala Lumpur contingent crime prevention and community safety department SAC Zainuddin Ahmad told Malay Mail Online yesterday that Arutchelvan was detained over a PSM statement on February 10 denouncing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy verdict as a “political judgment, beyond reasonable doubt”.
When asked today if he was afraid his threat might irk the authorities, Zunar said he was ready to face repercussions.
“There is always a risk when fighting a repressive government like Malaysia but I don't want to think about it and practise self-censorship.
“I am ready to face it as a human, a Malaysian and a cartoonist. For me, the important thing is to do what I want to do and have to do and not think of what they (Putrajaya) are going to do to me,” he added.
On February 10, police arrested Zunar under the Sedition Act 1948 over his Twitter remark on the judiciary over Anwar recent sodomy conviction by the Federal Court.
On January 28, police raided his office and seized 149 of his books while he was away in London.
Zunar said the police confiscated Malay and English versions of his books “Conspiracy to jail Anwar” and “Pirate of The Carry BN”.
In a statement on January 28, Zunar said he was informed by the police that he is being investigated under Section 2 of the Printing Press and Publications Act, Section 4 (1) under the Sedition Act and Section 500 under the Penal Code over the books.