February 2, 2016
A Fearless Cartoonist challenges The Royal Malaysian Police over his Najib Clown Cartoon
by Arfa Yunus
Artist and activist Fahmi Reza has warned police against arresting him over his artwork depicting Prime Minister Najib Razak as a clown.In an open letter posted on his Facebook page today, Fahmi said his arrest would only get him more publicity and draw more attention to his art pieces.
“With all due respect, I hope the Police would not make a rash decision to arrest me, following the Police report lodged by Ali Tinju and the Red Shirts movement against the poster I shared on social media.
As you know, the poster was a satire based on current issues, which is protected under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution, which guarantees ‘every citizen the right to freedom of speech and expression’,” he said.
Fahmi recently received a warning from the Police for uploading a caricature of Najib as a clown, as part of a campaign against the Sedition Act.
In lodging a police report yesterday, Ali Tinju, whose real name is Mohd Ali Baharom, said Fahmi’s artwork had caused “public outrage” and could influence the rakyat to hate the Prime Minister.
Fahmi, however, said that if he was arrested, it could draw more visitors to his social media accounts and would inspire more people to rebel, become more aware of their rights, and be unafraid to speak up against corruption, injustice and oppression.
“I end this letter with Newton’s Third Law: ‘For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction’.”