Cartoonist Zunar to sue cops over damage to impounded artwork

Cartoonist Zunar has had several run-ins with the law over the years, with the recent incident taking place last month when he had to cancel the launch of his book 'ROS in Kangkong Land' twice. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Cartoonist Zunar has had several run-ins with the law over the years, with the recent incident taking place last month when he had to cancel the launch of his book 'ROS in Kangkong Land' twice. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — Political cartoonist Zulkiflee SM Anwar Ulhaque will take legal action against the police over an original piece of art that was returned damage after years of confiscation.

Zulkiflee, popularly known as “Zunar”, said he is holding the police responsible for damage as the item had been kept in their custody.

“I will not tolerate this and will instruct my lawyer to take the necessary legal action for the mistreatment of my original cartoon drawing,” he said in a statement issued today.

The police returned more than 66 copies of “Cartoon-O-Phobia” and Zulkiflee’s original collage depicting the prime minister and his wife, last Friday.

The police confiscated the items when they raided his office and detained him under the Sedition Act on September 24, 2010.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court instructed the police to return the books and the drawing on July 2012 and this decision was later upheld by the Court of Appeal.

“Accompanied by lawyer, Michelle Yesudas, I received both items from ASP Baloo Muniappan, from Salak Tinggi Police Station, and I am satisfied with the condition of the Cartoon-O-Phobia books, but I am disappointed and outraged by the condition of the collage,” he said.

Zulkiflee said the drawing is unique because the hair on the prime minister’s wife’s head was made with real hair collected from barber shops and glued onto the image.

“I would like to make it clear that this is an original piece of artwork and should have been handled, and treated with utmost care and respect but it has been folded, and badly damaged, thus causing the hair in the image, to come unstuck,” he said.

Zulkiflee has had several run-ins with the law over the years, with the recent incident taking place last month when he had to cancel the launch of his book “ROS in Kangkong Land” twice, the first time after the police seized copies of the book and the second time after to the police threatened to arrest him for not obtaining a permit for the event.

He was arrested on February 10 under the Sedition Act 1948 over his Twitter remark on the judiciary over Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s 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.

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