|Zunar's work that was published by The Star which was earlier published by Malaysiakini.|
It is definitely wrong for The Star newspaper to use cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Haque or Zunar’s cartoon without his permission or even a credit mention on its special pullout in tribute of MH 17 published on 22nd of August. Realizing the mistake, The Star, via its online portal www.thestar.com.my expressed its regret over the omission on 24th of August.
At the time of writing it is yet to be known whether the same admission of mistake will be published in print on The Star but based on my experience as a faithful read of this newspaper, I am very sure that it will be. On the other hand, Zunar deserved all his rights to be angry with The Star and even to sue the newspaper under Copyright Act 1987, which he planned to do as reported by Malaysiakini.
Commenting on the statement of regret published by The Star on its website today, Zunar said he did not consider anything posted online as official.
“Anyone can write that and it can be simply deleted later,” he said.
“No one contacted me and I did not receive any apology from The Star. As far as I am concerned, they have not apologized,” he said, adding that apologizing was not merely through “a word”.
However, I hope that The Star and Zunar will settle this issue amicably without having to resort to legal action for the sake of MH 17. The tragedy of MH 17 is a national tragedy that affects every Malaysian, be it Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat and their respective supporters. I also hope that Zunar will choose to be a role model to all that forgiving is part of our culture as well as a role model for a united Malaysia in time of crisis.
For its part, I hope that The Star will do what is deemed appropriate for using Zunar’s work without his consent and credit mention. I believe that The Star do not do this with intention. We should let bygones be bygones. What is more important now is to fight for justice for the victims of MH 17 rather than over a cartoon.