Zunar is best known for his provocative cartoons that lampoon issues of high-level abuse of government power and corruption. Malaysian police and authorities have claimed that Zunar’s cartoons are “detrimental to public order” and run afoul of the country’s sedition law. Over the years, his cartoon books have been confiscated and bookstores banned from selling his work. In 2011 and 2015, Human Rights Watch honored Zunar with its Hellman/Hammett Award.
In 2011, he was also the recipient of the “Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award” by the Washington-based Cartoonist Rights Network International. Zunar is the first full-time cartoonist to receive CPJ’s International Press Freedom Award. To Zunar, cartooning is not a gift but a responsibility. Zunar is now facing 9 charges under the Sedition Act which carries a maximum penalty of 43 years jail term.