Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

June 24, 2010

Malaysian Home Ministry Bans A Book And Two Comics By Zunar

According to English-language wire articles focusing on the part of the world in which Malaysia rests, that country's Home Ministry has used the 1984 Printing Presses and Publications Act to ban a book and two comics by popular cartoonist Zunar, whose real name is Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque.

imageThe book banned was Perak Darul Kartun while the two comics named were Isu Dalam Kartun and the wonderfully-titled 1 Funny Malaysia. All three were banned for specific contents within the covers. The 1984 act is designed to keep the public order, which indicates the content was somehow commenting on current government policy or conditions for which the current government might be held responsible.

Those found guilty under provisions of the 1984 act can be imprisoned for up to three years and be subject to a fee in the country's currency that I believe is approximately $6100 in US dollars.

Zunar saw his Gedung Kartun magazine seized in summer 2009, followed by a seizure of an earlier edition of 1 Funny Malaysia. While the latter was declared to be because of outright violation the 1984 publishing act, which Zunar called to be abolished, officials maintained the seizure of Gedung Kartun was because the publication lacked a license called for in law as opposed to content.

A review of Perak Darul Kartun from January can be read here.
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink

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