By: Zaki Salleh
Photo: Department of Information
BATU GAJAH – Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, has announced that national cartoonist Datuk Mohammad Nor Mohammad Khalid, also known as Lat, has been conferred the title of ‘Seniman DiRaja’ (Royal Artist).
The announcement was made during the inauguration of the Lat House Gallery here today.
“In recognition of the significant role and contributions made by Datuk Mohammad Nor Khalid in introducing Malaysia to the international stage, I am pleased to announce him as the Royal Artist,” said Sultan Nazrin.
His Majesty also described Lat as an artist who has been bestowed with exceptional and extraordinary talent by Allah.
Sultan Nazrin stated that Lat’s contributions and involvement in the world of cartoons in the country have been outstanding, elevating him as an intelligent and genius cartoonist with a distinguished identity.
His Majesty emphasized that through simple sketches and the depiction of experiences, Lat has created unique artworks that have earned him various international awards and accolades, bringing honour to the country.
“His works portray his personal views and analysis of various issues, touching the lives of ordinary people, including bus drivers, taxi drivers, traffic police, customs officers, immigration officers, doctors and nurses, judges and lawyers, pilots and flight attendants, sports figures, religious leaders, politicians, and national leaders. They address local, national, and international issues,” Sultan Nazrin remarked.
“Behind the funny cartoons accompanied by concise dialogues, there are philosophies, serious messages, sharp satire, questions, and suggestions, all presented with wisdom and prudence, without inviting conflicts and hostility,” His Majesty added.
Earlier in the morning, Sultan Nazrin graciously officiated the inauguration of the Lat House Gallery in Batu Gajah.
Accompanied by Raja Permaisuri Perak, Tuanku Zara Salim, Sultan Nazrin was welcomed by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad and Lat upon his arrival at 10:15 a.m.
Sultan Nazrin and Tuanku Zara also took pleasure in visiting the gallery exhibition, which showcased Lat’s paintings and a replica of the Lat House.
Meanwhile, when approached by reporters, Lat expressed his gratitude for the bestowed title.
“I am amazed, and I highly appreciate this recognition. It shows the inseparable bond between the people and the monarchy. If we look at other states, there are indeed artists from those states who have received Royal recognition,” he said.
Lat also hoped that the gallery would benefit the community through the displayed artworks and provide an opportunity for people to learn from them.
He stated that people from all walks of life are welcome to enjoy the exhibition and embrace the pure and positive values depicted in his paintings.