By targeting Zunar’s online customers, the police appear to be trying to discourage the cartoonist’s satirical message that ridicules Umno from spreading far and wide, observes P Ramakrishnan.
Robberies, snatch-thefts, murders, cases of rape and corruption are on the rise causing Malaysians to be fearful for their lives. It is obvious that the plate is full for the police.
Solving these crimes and bringing the crooks to book – which should be the top priority – is a heavy burden and takes a lot of time and effort.
When they should be focussed on these demanding tasks, it is utterly strange that the police should be concerned with those who are buying Zunar’s cartoon books. Why do they need the particulars of these buyers? Why should the buyers be targeted? What offence have they committed?
On 20 November 2014, police asked MOLPay, which handles Zunar’s online transactions, to disclose the list of customers who have purchased the comic book ‘Komplot Penjarakan Anwar’.
An email sent by MOLPay to the cartoonist stated that it had received an official letter from Bukit Aman to disclose the list of customers.
Police have claimed that Komplot Penjarakan Anwar (Plot to Jail Anwar) contains seditious material.
Is this comic book – Komplot Penjarakan Anwar – banned? Even if it was banned, why should the police go after the buyers? If the book was indeed banned, then the police should go after the sellers for promoting a banned book.
If the police are convinced that the book contains seditious material, then they should take the author to court. Instead of doing what is obvious, they are wasting their time going after the buyers who have not committed any offence at all. This is ridiculous!
If the book casts the Barisan Nasional and Umno in poor light, then these parties should sue Zunar. The work of the police in this instance gives the impression that they are an appendage of these parties and are taking on tasks to protect these parties – which obviously is not their business to do so.
But why are the police acting in this fashion?
It is clearly to put fear into citizens and to discourage the sales of Zunar’s books. They don’t want Zunar’s satirical message that ridicules Umno to reach far and wide for political reasons.
They are stifling Malaysians and denying them the right to read and be informed. Not only that, they are even denying us our right to have a hearty laugh!