“How Can I be Neutral, Even My Pen Has a Stand”. Zunar exposes corruption by the Malaysian government. He targeted the most powerful and notable wife of Malaysia’s ex PM as based on his saying – “Why Pinch, when you can punch.”

Under the previous regime, he was slapped with nine charges under Sedition Act and was detained and locked behind bars five times. For him, “talent is not a gift, talent is a responsibility” – that encouraged him to continue.

Nine of his cartoon books have been banned. When interrogated, he said:

“You can ban my books, you can ban my cartoon, but you cannot ban my mind, I will keep drawing until the last drop of my ink.”

His office has been several times and thousands of his books, confiscated. The printers and bookstores around the country which carried his cartoon works were raided and warned not to print nor carry any of his works.

Three of his assistants were arrested and he was also slapped with a travel ban for two years since 2016.

“Laughter is the best protest. If you cannot beat them, laugh at them!” he says. Now all the charges against him are dropped. Regardless, he still continues to draw and criticize the new government.

He was chosen by Amnesty International as one of the icon for their biggest annual global campaign, ‘Write for Rights (#W4R) in 2015. He is the only cartoonist and the only Malaysian to be chosen.


  • “Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award 2011” by Cartoonists Right
  • Network International, Washington.
  • “Cartooning For Peace Award 2016” Geneva, which were presented by the late Kofi Annan.
  • Human Rights Watch Hellman/Hammett Award for 2011 & 2015.
  • International Press Freedom Award, Committee to Protect Journalist, New York 2015. The first cartoonist to receive such award.

Zunar's Artwork

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