Racism degrades the mind and is a major obstacle to nation-building efforts, cartoonist Zulkiflee SM Anwar Ulhaque declared.
Better known as Zunar, he is hoping to drive home this message to Malaysians through his latest offering, titled "Cartoons against racism".
Announcing the release of his book, which is published in both Bahasa Malaysia and English, he said it contains 48 illustrations.
“This book is published in the midst of raging fires of racism and prejudice, stoked daily by certain groups and political parties. It is made worse when some of the leaders of the ruling government are doing nothing to stop it. Some even encourage these negative politics,” he said in a statement today.
Zunar said his cartoons also highlight that Islam prohibits racism.
“God made humans into different races, colour and creed, not for us to hate each other, but to learn to respect each other.
“To be born as a certain race is not our choice, but it's God's decision. Therefore, we do not have the right to be racist,” he added.
Apart from this, Zunar said the book, which is priced at RM30, also exposes how racial polarisation leads to social injustices.
“Discrimination is still rampant. All Malaysians should enjoy the same rights, regardless of race or religion.
“The cartoons express my belief that our education system is one of the reasons why our country is becoming more and more racist. As a solution, we need to reform our education system into a system based on meritocracy and free of racism,” he added.
Zunar pointed out that both the government and people have a role in eradicating racism and that he was doing his part as a cartoonist.
The book will be officially launched on Sunday at Apom Store, Bangsar Village 1, Bangsar, from 12pm to 6pm. It is also available on Zunar's website.