Lat's professional career began at the age of thirteen when his cartoons were published in Majallah Filem and Movie News. While still in his teens, his first comics 'Tiga Sekawan' and 'Keluarga Si Mamat' appeared weekly in the newspaper Berita Minggu. By 1974, his artistic talent was recognized and he became editorial cartoonist of the New Straits Times, a large Malaysian newspaper. He left the daily a decade later to freelance. Over the years, Lat did all types of cartooning: political, social, and gag cartoons; comic strips, commercials, and animation. Lat is especially known for his comic 'Kampung Boy'. His many achievements were crowned with the awarding of the very prestigious Malaysian honorific "datuk" in 1994.