History of Dato Lat



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 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.




Datuk Mohammad Nor Khalid (Dato Lat)



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. His works, reflecting his view about Malaysian life and the world, are staple features in national newspapers such as New Straits Times and Berita Minggu. He adapted his life experiences and published them as his autobiographies, The Kampung Boy and Town Boy, telling stories of rural and urban life with subtle comparisons between the two.





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.






Datuk Mohammad Nor Khalid with Dr.Mahathir



Aside from writing and publishing cartoons, Lat has ventured into the fields of animation, merchandising, and theme parks with his creations. His name and works are recognised internationally; foreign cartoonists, such as Matt Groening and Sergio Aragon├ęs, admire his art, and foreign governments invite Lat to tour their countries, hoping to gain greater exposure for their countries through Lat's cartoons of his experiences in them. After 27 years of living and working in Kuala Lumpur, Lat moved back to Ipoh for a more sedate lifestyle in semi-retirement.

10 comments:

Unknown said...

Surorising that no comments on this article to date.
My family & I were in Malaysia / Singapore for nearly two decades when Lat ( then not a D'ato) had just begun to get noticed with his " Kampong Boy".
Even though we were then not fluent in Bahasa Malayu ( which by the time we left we were ) we had nomproblem in understanding all that Lat wanted his audience to convey.
Our kids are now much married & with kids of their own & can you imagine that we still share many many Lat moments together - the next one will be with my daughter whom I will go to meet next week
Many many happy days of cartooning & if you ever plan to visit India I would love to host you her in Delhi. Much rehgards Vinod Sahgal
His topical tongue in cheek sense of humour spared no one & neither did any one ever take offence since it was from his heart / pot belly & there was no malice what so ever.

Unknown said...


Surprising that no comments on this article to date.
My family & I were in Malaysia / Singapore for nearly two decades when Lat ( then not a D'ato) had just begun to get noticed with his Lots of Lat , " Kampong Boy" & what have you .
Even though we were then not fluent in Bahasa Malayu ( which by the time we left we were ) we had no problem in understanding all that Lat wanted his audience to convey.
His topical tongue in cheek sense of humour spared no one & neither did any one ever take offence since it was from his heart / pot belly & there was no malice what so ever.
Our kids are now much married & with kids of their own & can you imagine that we still share many many Lat moments together - the next one will be with my daughter whom I will go to meet next week
Many many happy days of cartooning & if you ever plan to visit India I would love to host you her in Delhi.

Vinod Sahgal

Anonymous said...

I have been following Lat comics since the 80s and have bought almost everyone of them. As I understand very, very little Malay, I always have to wait for the English version. His comics is really captivating, hilarious and bringing back memories, it is really MAGICAL!

hafiedz udu said...

Assalamualaikum n helo,i am hafiedz,do u have a copy for every lat's series,what i am looking for are budak kampung,lat the early series,entahlah mak,it's a lat lat lat world,lat at large,lat as usual n lat's lot,can u contact n reply me back to : artonbeatmusic@gmail.com or 0179380620,i am malaysian,hope to hear from u soon,tqvm ;)

Anonymous said...

Lat the famous cartoonist is my favourite cartoonist.His portray of Malaysian life is very poignant and heart touching.Growing up in the sixties I look forward to his daily cartoons in the daily newspapers.Life in Malaysia every day scenes were well illustrated and straight to the point.Lat is truly a Malaysian institution

Mamuka Maghradze said...

Even though we were then not fluent in Bahasa Malayu ( which by the time we left we were ) we had no problem in understanding all that Lat wanted his audience to convey I liked your blog, Take the time to visit the me and say that the change in design and meniu?

Anonymous said...

Can i know how to contact Datuk Lat

cxcguy said...

I love his cartoons
Awesome

hariyati dewi said...

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YTSL said...

A lovely tribute to a wonderful cartoonist and Malaysian, music and all! BTW, happy Hari Merdeka! :)