Sunday, 25 March 2012

’1 MOOLAYSIA’ Launch at Amcorp Mall

From : The Malaysia Reader
 It was supposed to have been hot off the presses on Saturday but Zunar informed those of us who turned up that Home Ministry officials harassed the printer all day Friday and they didn’t start printing until midnight which meant the book would not arrive until late afternoon. But since Nurul Izzah Anwar promised to make an appearance on Sunday, I decided to go back and try again the next day. And yes, the book was there and Nurul Izzah arrived just as we were all queuing for Zunar’s autograph.
Zunar has now become Malaysia’s go-to political cartoonist, a title once held by LAT, but LAT was (is? He’s still drawing stuff isn’t he?) a team player and never really drew anything close to controversial and besides he drew everything from current events to everyday life in Malaysia and never limited himself to politics. Zunar on the other hand is an unashamedly anti-Barisan Nasional (BN) satirist and draws nothing but cartoons aimed at BN and its leaders. In the foreword of his previous collection, “…Even My Pen Has A Stand“, Zunar defends his one sided criticisms because “at present, BN is in power and they are the ones who are committing injustice and corruption. If one day, Pakatan Rakyat rules this country and do what the BN did, they will equally face my sharp and critical pen“.
There is no subtlety at all in Zunar’s cartoons. He kicks his targets in the balls or in PM Najib’s case, in the general groin area since we all know who has a pair in that marriage. The submarine purchase, the discredited judiciary, Rosmah’s shopaholic tendencies, all get special treatment from Zunar’s inkwell. If there is any critique that can be thrown at Zunar’s cartoons is that he does not include a reference. What LAT did with his cartoons when he drew something topical was to include a quote or draw a cutting from a newspaper with the relevant headline so that the reader knows what the cartoon was referring to. Zunar doesn’t do that and yes, I realise this is nitpicking but if you want people to understand what you drew, you need to give them a heads up now and again. Sure, Malaysians know who or what he’s aiming at today but years from now people will probably have forgotten and don’t get the reference. Won’t someone think of the future generations??
This latest collection like all his other books is not available at any retailers because they will lose their license and maybe even face prosecution if they even hint that they have Zunar’s book in stock. Other than the book launch, this book is also available at Zunar’s own website,, or at anti-Establishment online book retailers like Kinibooks.
When you face jail time for poking fun at politicians, you know you’re doing something right.
Below are some pages from the book:
Member of Parliament Nurul Izzah Anwar’s signature on the left, Zunar’s on the right.
The RM240 million cow-rearing scandal that inspired the title of this book:   
The thrown shoe in the cartoon below refers to an imam who was arrested for making a police report alleging that funds at his mosque were being misappropriated. He threw his shoe at the magistrate and was given a one year sentence for contempt of court. His allegations of misappropriation of mosque funds? Swept under the carpet.
 When the PM’s wife was asked how she could afford a multi-million Ringgit diamond ring, she said that she started saving since she was a child. Taking the piss, much?

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