SHAH ALAM (Selangor) • The Malaysian police yesterday promised stern action against those who had vandalised the murals of the country’s leaders that were painted on walls at a housing estate in Selangor.
“Give the police space to study and decide on the appropriate action according to the law,” said the police chief of Shah Alam district, Assistant Commissioner Baharudin Mat Taib, when contacted.
He said a police report had been filed over the matter.
The murals, painted by three local artists, included portraits of the Malaysian King, Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin, and Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Photos of the murals had gone viral in the last few weeks, with Sultan Abdullah and Malaysia’s Queen, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, visiting the area to pose in front of the mural of the ruler.
Others featured on the walls of the buildings at Taman Cahaya Alam in the Selangor capital of Shah Alam were Parti Islam SeMalaysia president Abdul Hadi Awang, de facto minister-in-charge of religious affairs Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, and Health Ministry director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah.
But the walls were found yesterday to have been defaced with red spray paint.
News site Malaysiakini reported that a short video clip of the vandalised murals uploaded on Twitter showed the word “babi” (which means “pig” in Malay) sprayed between the faces of Tan Sri Muhyiddin and Datuk Seri Hadi, and beside the portrait of Sultan Abdullah.
Dr Noor Hisham’s portrait had a Malay swear word sprayed on it.
A Twitter user with the handle @MrJamesLabu posted a video showing the murals with the eyes of the leaders sprayed with red paint, along with the derogatory words.
“Who is the person who has such a malicious heart?” the Twitter user said yesterday, urging the police and the Shah Alam City Council to take action.
City council workers have since painted over the murals with white paint. The vandalism has been condemned by several political parties, including the opposition.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK