23
Feb
16

PM left red nosed by censorship protest – BBC

PM left red nosed by censorship protest

When Malaysian police warned activist and graphic designer Fahmi Reza that his Twitter account was under surveillance after he posted an image of the prime minister, Najib Razak, as a clown, they probably hoped such behaviour would stop.

But then members of an art collective, Grupa posted even more clownish images of the premier to express their solidarity with him and to champion the ideal of free speech.

The pictures have spread across social media with the hashtag #KitaSemuaPenghasut which translates as “we are all seditious”.

Fahmi’s mockery of the prime minister was part of a wider reaction to news last week, when the country’s attorney-general cleared Mr Najib of any corruption relating to a long-running financial scandal.

Grupa and Fahmi both have a history of protest against the current prime minister, though Fahmi stresses his work is anti-corruption rather than anti-Najib and says he has lampooned politicians from all sides in his work.

Grupa says it is an independent group of designers and illustrators that formed just days before street protests in August that called on Mr Najib to resign. It says it designed many of the placards used in the protest.

Fahmi, a long-time activist, is unrepentant. He responded to the police warning with another tweet mocking it: “Warning! This Twitter account is under police watch. Use it with prudence.”

On Facebook he has also made a tongue-in-cheek appeal to the authorities not to act rashly, saying his arrest would only give the issue more publicity.

In July last year, $681 million dollars was found in Mr Najib’s personal bank account. In the furore that followed, the prime minister removed the attorney-general investigating the issue and sacked the deputy prime minister who was vocally and actively criticising the way the matter was handled.

There was widespread scepticism about the explanation that the new attorney-general gave about the source of the funds – that they were a personal donation from the Saudi royal family to Mr Najib – and the story trended for days on social media.

…more
PM left red nosed by censorship protest
By BBC Trending
3 February 2016 – BBC

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