IGP should be catching thieves, not berating cartoonists

IGP should be catching thieves, not berating cartoonists

MP SPEAKS | Yesterday, inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar advised political cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, who is better known as Zunar, to channel his creative juices towards drawing “nice cartoons” if he wanted to exhibit his work.

“He can draw McDonalds or Donald Duck,” Khalid quipped when asked if Zunar would be allowed to showcase his cartoons in a public exhibition.

Perhaps Khalid failed to read and/or understand that we have a Federal Constitution which guarantees “fundamental liberties”, including “freedom of speech, assembly and association”.

While such liberties are not absolute, we are supposed to be far from a totalitarian or police state to the extent where the IGP tells an artist to draw “nice cartoons”.

Certainly, just because Zunar’s criticism of the ruling kleptocratic elite who are mired with rampant corruption, abuse of power and incitement of racial flames are portrayed in a manner which is unpalatable for those who are in power, that certainly does not mean that they are illegal in anyway.

In fact, Tan Sri IGP, you are not required to like Zunar’s art!

Khalid tried to justify his repeated arrest of Zunar by claiming that the artist had “insulted the country’s leaders”.

He asked what if the tables were turned when someone draws cartoons which insulted opposition leaders? “If tomorrow such cartoons targeted Penang Chief Minister (Lim Guan Eng), would he like it if we just ignored them?”

Firstly, a hopefully not too profound question for our inspector-general of police:

If a thief were to be insulted by a caricature of him or her as a “despicable thief”, would you arrest the thief or the artist?

Is the alleged “insult” that has hurt the feelings of the thief wrong in the eyes of the law, or should a thief who steals billions of dollars from the people of Malaysia be arrested, investigated and charged instead?

After all, as far as we are aware, no leader of this country is legislated to be above the law.

IGP should be catching thieves, not berating cartoonists
3 Dec 2016 – Malayiakini


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