Published: Wednesday June 15, 2011 MYT 6:50:00 PM
Cartoonist Zunar sues Govt over seizure of books
By M. MAGESWARI
KUALA LUMPUR: A political cartoonist is suing the Government, Home Ministry and three others over the seizure of his 66 books and a painting last year.
In a suit filed by the law firm of Daim & Gamany here Wednesday, Zulkiflee SM Anwar Ulhaque - popularly known as Zunar - claimed that he had suffered damages and losses due to the seizure of both items by the police.
He said a police team - led by one officer Asst Supt Arikrishna Apparau - had raided his office in Brickfield at about 4pm on Sept 24 and seized all his Cartoon-o-phobia books, which he was preparing to launch in a widely-highlighted event, and an original painting.
Zulkiflee, who was also arrested during the raid, claimed that ASP Arikrishna did not explain to him clearly the reasons for his detention and the seizure of the books, and that the officer had merely pointed out several cartoons as "being seditious".
In his statement of claim, he said he was also taken to several police stations here and in Selangor before being remanded for a day at Sepang police station and had his statement recorded.
Zulkiflee, who also named the book's distributor Sepakat Efektif Sdn Bhd as co-plaintiff, said he also had to put up at Kuala Lumpur International Airport police station for a night.
He claimed that his arrest was made in bad faith and was clearly intended to stop the launching of his books.
Beside the Home Ministry and the Government, Zulkiflee also named ASP Arikrishna, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar and Asst Supt Marina Hashim - who led a team to seize the books from the publisher Malaysiakini.com on Sept 25 - as defendants.
However, ASP Marina did not find any book and only took a statement from Malaysiakini chief editor Steven Gan.
Among others, Zunar is applying for RM1,650 in special damages for the books and is asking for the return of the items as well as costs, interests and other relief deemed fit by the court.