Zunar wins 2016 peace award for cartoons

Cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque has pledged to continue drawing despite the government banning some of his books, saying it was impossible for the authorities to ban his ideas. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque has pledged to continue drawing despite the government banning some of his books, saying it was impossible for the authorities to ban his ideas. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — Political cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ul-Haque has picked up yet another honour for his satirical drawings, this time receiving the 2016 “Cartooning for Peace Award”.

The cartoonist popularly known as Zunar accepted the prize from former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan, who is the honorary president of the Cartooning for Peace Foundation, in Geneva.

“Talent is not a gift, but a responsibility. It is a duty for me as a cartoonist to use the art as a weapon to fight unjust rulers.

“Fear and intimidation are the potent tools being used by the regime to scare the people. I believe, strokes of art can lead the people to cross the line of fear,”  Zulkiflee said in a statement.

He also criticised the continued used of the Sedition Act to silence dissent in Malaysia. The cartoonist is facing nine charges under the colonial-era law.

Zulkiflee also pledged to continue drawing despite the government banning some of his books, saying it was impossible for the authorities to ban his ideas.

The award adds to the cartoonist’s others that include the 2011 “Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award”, two “Hellman/Hammett” awards from the Human Rights Watch, and the “International Press Freedom Award” from last year.

The Cartooning for Peace award was first given out in 2012. It recognises press cartoonists’ contributions to human rights, freedom of expression and their work in favor of tolerance and peace.

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