If you're sensitive, you've got no business in politics: Nazri

KUALA LUMPUR: Artists and cartoonists should not be intimidated by any attempts to suppress their criticisms of politicians and public figures in their works.

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said politicians, including the prime minister, should understand that they are subjected to criticisms when they ventured into politics.

He also said controversial artists such as Fahmi Reza and Zunar, both of whom had previously landed in hot water due to their political satire works, should continue expressing their thoughts.

“If you are very sensitive, then you got no business in politics ... remember that you are a public figure,” he told a press conference after launching the ‘Cartoon and Us’ Exhibition at Muzium Negara today.

“If you choose not to be criticised then stay at home. If you want to be involved in politics you must know what is coming.”

Fahmi and Zunar have pending court cases in relation to their works, which many have described as being critical to the government.

Nazri, however, reminded art enthusiasts not to go overboard in expressing their thoughts and understand the limit.

“Be careful of being slanderous as we do have laws. You must know where the limit is,” he said.

The outspoken minister added that he was open to any criticisms, but reminded his critics not to get offended when he responds.

“You know how poisonous or venomous when I say something. Don’t be personal,” he added.

Speaking on the proposal to limit the opening hours of 24-hour eateries, Nazri said the authorities should not be moral-policing the public by telling them what is good and not for them.

He added that rather than restricting operation hours, authorities should instead tighten their enforcement on restaurants that did not comply to present regulations.

“We should not penalise outlets that comply with the rules ... Let people decide what they want. If they are all for 24 hours then 24 hours la. So what,” he said.