Many decry mural vandalism as rude and unacceptable

PETALING JAYA: The defacing of several murals depicting the country’s leaders is unacceptable and Malaysians are condemning the act of insolence. Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah expressed his anger and was extremely upset over the vandalised murals located in Taman Cahaya Alam, Section U12, Shah Alam.

In a posting by the Selangor Palace, the Sultan decreed that the act of painting derogatory words on the murals of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, among others, was a “biadap” (insolent) act.“The Sultan is regretful and disappointed that such an act took place on an artwork in the state.

“Sultan Sharafuddin truly appreciates the work of local artists.

“The Sultan is of the view that the incident was not committed by a mentally unsound person or a mischievous child but based on hateful political motives, ” the palace said in a media statement on Facebook yesterday.The Sultan expressed hope that the culprit would be caught soon and brought to justice.

The murals, which had gone viral and attracted the attention of some of the leaders portrayed, were found to have been defaced with red spray paint.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the police must quickly investigate the motive of the person or group involved in the act.

“The act of vandalism is despicable. The painstaking work of the three young artists had gone to waste. The youths had channelled their energy into art which brought positive messages.

“The vandalism, if it is of a political motive, is highly regrettable and those responsible must face punishment, ” he said.

He also proposed that CCTV cameras be installed in areas where such murals were painted, especially in popular tourist areas.

Malaysians also vented their anger over the vandalism online.

Facebook user Nick Loong said a person’s civic-mindedness boiled down to education and culture.

“No respect for others, and that’s not even taking into consideration how much effort it took the artists to finish these art pieces.

“Just hope these irresponsible individuals will be apprehended and punished!” he said.

GS Arumugam said some people had “no sense of admiration and affection for our beloved King” and for “people who have contributed significantly to nation-building”.

Facebook user Chui Diana said she hoped the artists would not be disheartened to keep making art.

Politicians from both sides also publicly criticised and condemned the defacing of the murals.

Puteri Umno chief Datuk Zahida Zarik Khan said the horrible act of ruining the murals was saddening.

“As Malaysians, we have to support each other and appreciate young talent such as the three artists who completed them, ” she said on Facebook.

PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil retweeted the video and said: “I hope the police will be able to swiftly identify and arrest those who have ruined the murals.”

DAP Youth leader Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud also retweeted the video and wrote: “Why we don’t deserve nice things.”

Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation senior vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye described the act as “despicable”.

“This is something unacceptable. Even if there are people who want to show their disagreement or vent out their frustrations, this is not the way, ” he said.

MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong urged the public to assist the authorities in tracking down the culprits so that they could be given proper “mental treatment”.Moderation advocate Anas Zubedy said the motive behind such acts must first be discovered.

“I’m surprised that the murals of the King and Dr Noor Hisham were vandalised too as they are both above politics, ” he said.

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