10 April 2016
THE CLOWN APPEARS!?
Where was this taken? It can’t be within Malaysia!
selamat tidur pakcik
@NajibRazak‥ kalau bangun esok jawabla tau‥
@bedlamfury 10 hours ago
@kuasasiswa 35 minutes ago
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – A Malaysian designer’s caricatures of the scandal-plagued Prime Minister as a sinister clown have become a viral phenomenon, spurring a wider protest-through-images movement and making the artist a target of the authorities.
The parodies of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak have rapidly become Malaysia’s most controversial images, earning designer and activist Fahmi Reza comparisons to street-art provocateurs like Banksy.
Shared widely on social media, they have sparked copycat variations and struck a chord with Malaysians outraged by corruption allegations levelled at Datuk Seri Najib and his moves to thwart investigations.
“Our country is being governed by fools and crooks,” Fahmi, a punk-rock afficionado, said in an e-mail interview while on an extended trip overseas.
He seeks to “point out the hypocrisies (of Malaysian politics), to draw attention to these absurdities, and get people to laugh at it”.
But the Malaysian authorities are not amused.
Fahmi, 38, who has been arrested previously for his activism, was questioned by the police and told to stop posting the images, which show Mr Najib in powder-white clown make-up, with evilly arched eyebrows and a garish blood-red mouth.
He said the police were investigating possible violations of multimedia laws that could bring five years in prison.
Last year, a Malaysian political cartoonist famed for skewering the government was hit with multiple sedition charges that lawyers say could see him jailed for up to 43 years.
Fahmi, who calls art his “weapon”, remains undeterred.
“They can jail a rebel, but they can’t jail the rebellion,” he said.