Interviewed: Zunar and his struggles in Malaysia

Lim Cheng Tju of Singapore took an opportunity to meet and interview Malaysian cartoonist Zulkiflee SM Anwar Ul Haque better known as Zunar about his struggles with free speech in his country.

Here’s an excerpt from the first question skipping the how he got interested in cartooning response:

Q: How did you get started drawing political cartoons?

A: In 1998, former Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim was arrested. I felt I need to make a comeback as a cartoonist and not to keep quiet about this conspiracy against Anwar. As a cartoonist, I need to show my stand and views about this situation. In February1999, I sent my cartoons to Harakah, the newspaper run by PAS. It was the only opposition newspaper then. They accepted my cartoons and they kept publishing them. I got good response from the publisher.

So here I can draw what I want to draw. I can make my stand and do my best. It was a turning point in my career. People started to know me.

Watching the struggles Zunar has had to face in the last couple of years should make us grateful here in the US that we have so much greater freedom of speech and press.

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