On May 3, 2020, World Press Freedom Day, South China Morning Post journalist Tashny Sukumaran was hauled off to the police station for reporting on an immigration raid by the Malaysian authorities in downtown Kuala Lumpur. Two months later, she was again summoned by the police over a book cover that allegedly insulted the nation’s coats of arms. She was but one of the book’s many contributors.
Veteran cartoonist Zunar is no stranger to the state’s intimidation and harassment over his art. During the last decade, his office has been raided and books confiscated and banned from operating multiple times. Zunar has also been banned from traveling to speak at forums, and detained for his political commentary cartoons.
The actions against Tashny and Zunar have been justified by the Malaysian government under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act . In The Offensive Internet, the two recount their experiences, sharing the harassment they faced for speaking up and why they still choose to continue to speak up.