KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 ― The police raided an event by cartoonist Zunar here today, arresting him for sedition and five others, and confiscating his books and merchandise.
The artist, whose full name is Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, told Malay Mail Online that two of his assistants and three fans were arrested, ostensibly for obstructing the police during their operation at the “Tea With Zunar” event at the Kuala Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) here.
“They are arresting me, but for now they are still counting my books. Five people have been arrested. Two are my assistants and three people are my fans,” he told Malay Mail Online before cutting the call.
All those detained will be brought to the Dang Wangi district police headquarters for investigation.
Dang Wangi district police chief Assistant Commisioner Mohd Sukri Kaman told Malay Mail Online that the cartoonist was detained under the Sedition Act 1948 as his books were found to have seditious contents.
“The contents of his books were found to be seditious in nature. So the arrest was done under the Sedition Act,” he said when contacted.
PKR deputy information chief Ginie Lim, when contacted, told Malay Mail Online that there were about 20 plainclothes police officers who raided the event.
“They came at about 3pm. There were about 20 officers, most in plainclothes, and they came to confiscate the books
“Two fans of Zunar have also been arrested. We heard the police say they were obstructing their duty mainly for recording the operation,” she added.
The controversial cartoonist is no stranger when it comes to brushes with the law.
Last month, Zunar was detained under the Sedition Act over his caricature exhibition at the George Town Literary Festival that was disrupted by a group of Penang Umno Youth members, led by their divisional wing head, Rafizal Abdul Rahim.
National newswire Bernama reported Zunar's lawyer, Ramkarpal Singh, as saying that the investigations were being conducted under Section 4 (1)(c) of the Sedition Act and Section 504 of the Penal Code (intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace).
Penang police are expected to wrap up their probe into Zunar's George Town exhibition fiasco soon.
Zunar was also slapped with nine sedition charges last year.
If found guilty, he could be jailed for up to three years per offence, but with the multiple charges, Zunar risks being punished with a jail term of up to 43 years.