Cartoonist risks prison to challenge corrupt regime

January 25, 2014 

Well-meaning well-wishers sometimes characterize the work of U.S. cartoonists as "brave." Compliments are always appreciated, but that one we just don't deserve.

For true bravery we look to our cohorts overseas, like the Malaysian satirist Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, who goes by the pen name Zunar.

Relentlessly chiding Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for election fraud, civil rights abuses, manipulation of the judiciary and even complicity in a murder has gotten his books banned and resulted in his arrest and detainment under the country's pernicious Sedition Act.

As Zunar outlined in speeches this week at the University of Louisville's Center for Asian Democracy and at the University of Kentucky's Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, Najib's party has ruled Malaysia since independence from the British empire in 1963 and has a stranglehold on the Malaysian media, which means that cartoons like the ones seen here are circulated only on the Internet. You can see more at

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