Hornbill Unleashed

November 13, 2014

Fearing the mop, but not the mob

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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MARIAM MOKHTAR

Zunar’s cartoons produce many laughs, but who would have thought that the mop on his head would be taken seriously by the Malay NGO Gerakan Memartabatkan Perjuangan Negara (GMPN)?

If these Malays are fearful of a mop, how would they deal with serious matters, or defend the nation against an external threat? Say “boo” to them, and they will scurry away, into the coconut shell.

People who are occasionally released from their tempurungs are familiar with the traveling one-man show, the stand-up comedian or even the street artist. Last Thursday, as Anwar Ibrahim and his legal team sweated it out in the Palace of Justice, his supporters were entertained by Zunar.

From newspaper accounts, it is difficult to know which was more entertaining: the gaffes of government prosecutor Shafee Abdullah, or Yang Arif Zunar, presiding over his comedy court.

Umno Baru lawyers are skilled at making themselves look like court jesters, and turning every court proceeding into a farce, such as the inquiry into Teoh Beng Hock’s death.

Zunar (left in photo) used a mop as a wig, and donned black robes whilst holding up a placard which read, ‘Judge of the Cartoon Nation’. Most would agree that the scene was full of ‘humour’, not ‘hina’ (insult). Zunar complemented his outfit with a plastic, toy hammer, the type that makes a squeaky noise when it is banged on a surface.

It appears that the Malays, who have been wrapped-up in cotton wool for the past four-and-a-half decades, have lost the art of reasoning and sense of humour.

The inevitable happened. GMPN lodged a police report and was given half-a-page of write-up, in Sinar Harian. Zunar’s Comedy Court was also mentioned on national radio and TV3.

None of these reporters contacted Zunar to get his side of his story. He was at the Palace of Justice daily and his contact details are available on social media.

But as PT Barnum said, “No publicity is bad publicity.” Although he is already famous, Zunar must be thankful for the free advertisements on TV3 and radio. I hope he will be able to keep up with the extra demand for his books.

The signs of a stitch-up are slowly being revealed. If Anwar Ibrahim wins this case, Zunar will almost certainly be hauled up before the courts, and blamed.

The reporting by the mainstream media is merely political propaganda. They failed to report the pepper-spray incident which took place after Anwar (centre) left the court building. As he came out of the building, pepper-spray was released onto Anwar’s face. The assailant escaped. In a high-profile case such as this, the police failed in their duty, yet again!

This breach of security is probably part of the Umno Baru script. When the verdict was announced in the Sodomy II trial in January 2012, home-made bombs exploded in the car-park outside the Jalan Duta court complex. To date, the police have found no lead!

Scare tactics

These scare tactics are deployed so that Anwar and the crowd will disperse quickly, without impromptu press conferences and gatherings. Umno Baru wants to isolate Anwar from his supporters.

Political propaganda involves false reporting. The mainstream media claimed that Zunar’s wife had been arrested for selling his books. Mindful of a lawsuit, Bernama quickly apologised.

Is it any wonder the rakyat think that the police are as farcical as the judiciary and the mainstream media?

The rag-tag army of pro-Umno Baru supporters were also ganging up on Zunar.

Former Kedah Parti Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (Kita) chairperson Zamil Ibrahim demanded that Zunar be punished and said, “The picture of him (Zunar) donning a costume similar to that of a court dress has spread. This does not put the country in a good light, as if our judiciary is flawed and filled with bribery. Zunar did this in front of the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya, and to me, this is unacceptable” (sic).

Zamil’s (right) reputation is flawed. A few years ago, he offered, what critics claim was a decrepit Rolls Royce, to the winner of a ‘Anwar Ibrahim look-alike’ competition, soon after the appearance of a smutty video on Anwar.

Yesterday, when contacted Zunar said, “TV3 was outraged by my outfit, claiming that I had insulted the judiciary. Don’t they realise that this is play-acting? The words, ‘Judge of Cartoonland’ were clearly seen, on my robes.

“Role playing, films and street theatre in the form of satire are performed around the world. Despite their entertainment value, these comedy farces address important issues.

“In 1961, P Ramlee directed the film ‘Ali Baba Bujang Lapok’. In the cave scene, one of the bandits dresses up as a judge.

“Why is TV3 scared and flustered by a mop on the head?”

The pro-Umno Baru supporters may have accused Zunar of insulting the judiciary, but many Malaysians believe that is one of the few things that the judiciary, are capable of managing themselves.

In a survey conducted last month, by the independent pollster, the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research, 48 percent of Malaysians said that they had little confidence in the country’s judiciary, with 19 percent saying that they had no confidence at all, in the judiciary.

When Bersih was formed to clean up the elections, the authorities feared everything yellow. Today, they are also scared of the mop. They seem to be scared of any reference to cleaning materials.

Don’t bother explaining satire to Malay extremists, because there is little point in telling them that in Putrajaya, justice is given to the highest bidder, just like, allegedly, Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s bottom.


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