Who is actually shaming the country?


Who is actually shaming the country?
By Zan Azlee

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Salleh Keruak was reported to have said that local cartoonist Zunar had brought shame to the country.

This is in response to the cartoonist having exhibited his work in an exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland, recently.

At the same exhibition, Zunar, who is known for his hard-hitting political commentary cartoons, was also presented with the 2016 Swiss Foundation Cartooning For Peace Award.

Keruak was also said to have mentioned that if we had any differences in Malaysia, than those differences should be settled and resolved in Malaysia instead of bringing it outside.

But the funny thing is, Zunar’s cartoons which are very critical of the government have always been intended for a Malaysian audience rather than an international one.

And what happened when his cartoons were published in Malaysia? The authorities arrested him, charged him, confiscated his books and banned his work.

So is it really any wonder that Zunar has to bring his work outside of the country to be heard? And is it even any wonder that he is being recognised for it?

This is ironic seeing that Keruak says that Malaysia is a practicing democratic country. I didn’t know that democracies didn’t allow for citizens to criticise the government.

Keruak is reported to have said that he believes that this could be a coalition that is working towards toppling Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

I find it funny how he can see that voicing out for what people believe as an injustice as shameful for the country because that is exactly what democracy encourages.

How Keruak doesn’t see that those who are allegedly committing the injustice and crimes as the ones who are really bringing shame to the country really beats me.

All Zunar is doing is practicing his right to free speech, and in the process, echoing the thoughts and voices of quite a number of Malaysians too.

This is the same case as how the Malaysian authorities are spending more time pursuing and investigating whistleblowers rather than investigating those who have been exposed.

It’s like how I always tell my five year old daughter Athena whenever I discipline her that she should not be upset at me for reprimanding her if she does something wrong.

Instead, she needs to understand that she is being reprimanded because of her actions and behaviour. And, being five years old, she is slowly starting to realise it.

I don’t really know the exact ages of most of our politicians, but I think they should be more matured than my five year old daughter.

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