Mohammad Nor Khalid
Datuk Mohammad Nor Khalid, more commonly known as Lat, (born 5 March 1951) is a Malaysian cartoonist. Winner of the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize in 2002, Lat has published more than 20 volumes of cartoons since he was 13 years old. His works mostly illustrate Malaysia's social and political scenes, portraying them in a comedic light without bias. Lat's best known work is The Kampung Boy (1979), which is published in several countries across the world. In 1998, Kampung Boy was made into a 26-episode TV series as a cooperative effort between ASTRO (Malaysia) Philippines Animated Studios Inc. (Philippines) and Matinee Entertainment (United States). A year later, an episode from the series entitled “Oh, Tok!” won a prestigious award for “Best TV series” for the 13-minutes and above category at the International Animation Film Festival in Annecy, France. Lat’s Kampung Boy cartoons were immortalised on Malaysian 30sen and 50sen stamps from 1 December 2008.
In 1994, the Sultan of Perak bestowed the honorific title of datuk on Lat, in recognition of the cartoonist's work in helping to promote social harmony and understanding through his cartoons.
Born in a village, Lat spent his youth in the countryside before moving to the city at the age of 11. While in school, he supplemented his family's income by contributing cartoon strips to newspapers and magazines. He was 13 years old when he achieved his first published comic book, Tiga Sekawan (Three Friends Catch a Thief). After failing to attain the grades that were required to continue education beyond high school, Lat became a newspaper reporter. In 1974, he switched careers to be an editorial cartoonist. Lat's style has been described as reflective of his early influences, The Beano and The Dandy. He has, however, come into his own way of illustration, drawing the common man on the streets with bold strokes in pen and ink. A trademark of his Malay characters is their three loop noses.
Lat paid attention to family life and children because of his idolisation of Raja Hamzah, a senior cartoonist who was also popular in the 1960s with his comics about swashbuckling heroes. Rejabhad, a well-respected cartoonist, was Lat's mentor, and imbued the junior cartoonist with a preference to be sensitive to the subjects of his works. Lat's attention to details gained him popularity, endearing his works to the masses who find them believable and unbiased. After 27 years of living and working in Kuala Lumpur, Lat moved back to Ipoh for a more sedate lifestyle in semi-retirement.
Cameron Highlands is a highland region located about 121 km east of Ipoh and about 214 km north of Kuala Lumpur, in Pahang, Malaysia. At 5,000 ft (1,500 m) above sea level it is the highest area on the mainland, enjoying a cool climate, with temperatures no higher than 25 °C and rarely falling below 12°C year-round. Cameron Highlands is actually a district in the state of Pahang Darul Makmur although the road entrance is via Tapah and Simpang Pulai in the state of Perak Darul Ridzuan. Cameron Highlands district is bordered by Lipis district on the south-east, Kelantan on the north and Perak on the west.