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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cartoonist group vows to defy EC ban



Popular political cartoonist Zunar has pledged to lead a group of cartoonists armed with caricatures to campaign in the next polls, in defiance of the ban announced by the Election Commission yesterday. 

"I hereby would like to announce that I will be leading a group of cartoonists, the Kumpulan Kartunis Independen (KKI), and will be actively involved before and during the next election campaign," he said in a press statement today. 

NONEZunar added that KKI will be focusing on exposing fraud and corruption by the government, such as the Scorpene submarines and the National Feedlot Corporation corruption allegation scandals.
EC announced that political parties will not be allowed to put up posters or buntings bearing caricatures of any individual or personality. 

EC deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar claimed that the decision would protect the image of leaders and candidates contesting, as well as impose discipline in putting up election posters.

NONEZunar, or his real name Zulkiflee SM Anwar Ulhaque (left), said that cartoons have long been legally practised in Malaysia, and the EC does not have the right to forbid their usage.

"To ban the use of cartoons during the election campaigns is not only legally wrong, but also comical and ludicrous," he said. 

The award winning cartoonist also said that the EC should be spending their time fulfilling the demands of the electoral reform group Bersih instead of banning cartoons. 

He also stressed that what should be more important for the EC to address in not the medium but the contents or messages used by the political parties and their supporters.

"Irresponsible messages especially those in the form of personal attacks in whatever medium should be acted upon," he added.

Zunar's work has received international recognition, including the Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning by the US-based Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI) last year.

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