Another cartoonist being punished for being a meanie to people in power. (I thought that was what political cartoonists were supposed to do.)
Malaysian cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Alhaque has been charged with nine counts of sedition for criticising the country’s judiciary in a series of tweets.
Alhaque, known for ridiculing the ruling coalition, had criticised the judiciary in a series of posts on Twitter on 10 February, when opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was due to start a five-year prison sentence on sodomy charges.
He had tweeted: “The lackeys in black robes are proud of their sentence. The rewards from the political masters must be plenty.”
In another post he said: “Today Malaysia is seen as a country without law.”
According to Malaysian laws, if the cartoonist is found guilty, he could be jailed for up to 43 years as sedition is defined by the country “as promoting hatred against the government”.
Cool law. A law like that means no one can criticize the government at all, because any criticism can be described as “promoting hatred against the government.”
Alhaque – who is known as Zunar – was charged as the government launched a crackdown on opposition politicians and the media, using the colonial-era law, which has been slammed by critics in the country and abroad as a move to stifle freedom of expression.
Ya think? A law that allows the government to “crack down” on opposition politicians and the media might possibly be a move to stifle freedom of expression?
So far, numerous politicians, activists and journalists have been investigated and charged under the Sedition Act since 2014, for criticising the government.
Ahead of the 2013 general elections, Prime Minister Najib Razak had said that the government had planned to abolish the Sedition Act of 1949, but backtracked after he was elected.
Funny how that works, isn’t it.