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Dr M lifts ban on book by cartoonist Zunar
Published on: Friday, August 10, 2018

Kuala Lumpur: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has lifted the ban issued by the Home Ministry on the book "Sapuman: Man of Steal" by cartoonist Zunar.

Zunar's lawyer, N. Surendran, said the decision was informed by senior federal counsel Natrah Idris to High Court Judge Datuk Azizah Nawawi during proceeding which was held in chambers Thursday.

Surendran said Natrah informed the court that the Attorney-General's Chambers had received a letter from the Home Ministry on Wednesday which confirmed that the Prime Minister had lifted the ban on the book since last Aug 2.

The letter stated that Dr Mahathir, who is also Home Minister, had decided to lift the ban on the book "Sapuman: Man of Steal", which was gazetted on March 3, 2017.

Surendran said the court also allowed damages, which would be assessed by the High Court deputy registrar, to be paid to Zunar, whose real name is Zulkiflee SM Anwarul Haque.

Thursday's proceeding had been fixed to hear a judicial review application by Zunar, who had obtained leave last Feb 12.

In his judicial review application filed on Jan 2, he named the Home Minister and the Government as respondents.

He sought, among others, to revoke the Home Minister's order, dated Oct 3, 2017 on the book ban, and a declaration that the order was unconstitutional and ultra virus under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.

In the supporting affidavit, Zunar said he had unveiled his new book, which was on current political issues in Malaysia, at the Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on Sept 13, 2015.

He claimed that the Home Minister, through the Federal Government Gazette, issued an order under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 prohibiting the publication, import, production, publication, sale, distribution and possession of the book in the country.

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