Instead of removing Zachas’ “high crime” mural, it should be allowed to remain as a challenge to all relevant authorities to make JB low-crime and a standing testimony that high crime rate in JB is a “story of the past”

For the past few days, the relevant authorities in Johor Bahru including the Johor Bahru City Council, the Police and the Johor State Government had been most vexed and upset by one of three murals painted by internationally-recognised street artist Lithuanian-born Ernest Zacharevic highlighting the high crime rate in the city.

The city and people of Johor Bahru would have been the real beneficiaries if the energies expended on debating and deciding on what to do with Zachas’ mural of high crime rate in JB had been devoted to reducing the high crime rate in the Johor capital.

Instead of removing Zachas’ “high crime” mural, it should be allowed to remain to serve as a challenge to all relevant authorities to make JB low-crime and a standing testimony that high crime rate in JB is a “story of the past”!

The only way to remove the sting of Zachas’ “high crime” mural would be to remove JB’s notorious reputation as crime capital of the nation, when Zachas’ mural can become a tribute to the transformation of the Johore capital into a safe and secure city.

The “sting” in Zachas’ mural is not in what it depicts but in the high crime rate in the city.

Zachas’ mural is an unpleasant truth as it is a reflection of the sad present reality of the crime situation in the city.

Are the relevant authorities capable of turning an undoubtedly adverse commentary on high crime in the city into a challenge and inspiration to rally all the relevant authorities with the full support of the people of Johor Bahru to make JB low-crime and let it stand as a standing testimony that high crime rate in JB is a “story of the past”.

This will definitely be a more creative, innovative and positive response to Zachas’ “high crime” mural and will make Johor Bahru even more famous than being city with two dubious records – firstly, Zachias’ “high crime” mural and secondly, its being scrubbed off by the relevant authorities while crime remain high or even higher to haunt the safety and security of the affected population.

Right-thinking Malaysians will agree with Zacharevic – “Art does not damage a city’s image, crime does”.

Let this be a challenge to the relevant authorities including the Johor Mentri Besar, the State Executive Councillors, the Johore CPO and the JB city mayor and JB councilors to rise up to the occasion to use an adverse mural to transform JB into a safe low-crime city for its residents, tourists and investors?

  1. #1 by tak tahan on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 - 9:23 am

    The truth hurts otherwise why every critic is seen as a threat.Time for the higher authority to face the reality of the situation and put our nation safety above everything else.When will our government take criticism as constructively as it should be as a democratic nation ? Sigh…………haiiiiiiiiiiiiz

    • #2 by cemerlang on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 - 9:48 pm

      You have to do an audit. All the personnel sent for specialized training should use what they have learned and apply it in the local setting. In North Korea, you cannot watch a foreign film even.

  2. #3 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 - 9:29 am

    Typical umno reaction.

    Sensitive. Everything orso sensitive.

    Knee jerk. What jerks!

    If umno had taken heed of what lee kuan yew said some 20 yrs ago and took serious actions then to counter crime, today we could well be a low crime nation.

    Take the message contained in the murals seriously. Address the crime situation in the country. That ought to be the better and in fact more responsible reaction.

    If umno insists on denial and protecting its ever growing sensitivities then perhaps 20yrs from now malaysia would turn into (wot?) mexico?

  3. #4 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 - 10:03 am

    Yes it should stand as a reminder ESPECIALLY because the authorities want to remove it. They want to remove it because THEY ARE NOT CONFIDENT OF PERFORMING TO THE STANDARDS THAT WILL ERASE THE MURAL AS A REMINDER. In fact they know they will NEVER perform good enough that the MURAL WILL ALWAYS BE A REMINDER & JOHOREAN HAVE TO LIVED WITH CRIME i.e. that the authorities are ENTITLED to fail in their performance.

    The fact is these kinds of street arts actually are living work and if the authorities meet its challenge the ARTISTS THEMSELVES will change the mural and congratulate those who performed. But the fact is the authorities are afraid and want to keep escapes from not performing.

  4. #5 by undertaker888 on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 - 10:41 am

    These ketuanan types do not like to be told what to do. They need to hire and pay USD100Million for foreign consultants before they know how to tackle crime.

    See how much trouble they gave Zunar on his cartoons. Zachas may be banned from entering this country in the future.

    They are cartoon-phobia and mural-phobia.

  5. #6 by Winston on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 - 11:37 am

    They will never allow this sort of mural depiction as this country has been pronounced as the safest in the world.

    • #7 by cemerlang on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 - 9:44 pm

      Malaysia ranks 29 th in the top 20 % of peaceful countries. The real reason being the innate peaceful nature of many Malaysians. May be it is by nature, by genetic, by culture, by religion, by sound principles.

  6. #8 by john on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 - 12:56 pm

    Typical Bumno’s style and Mamak’s trademark. Swept ALL (eg. Altantuya many unresolved issues, Corruption, Cheatings, missing Billions, Wrong doings, etc.) under the carpet.
    Later, when it cannot be clamped down further, other unrelated topics stirred up eg. racial issues, ‘fighting’ melayu rites or other rethorics eg. ketuanan – all, attempting to sidetrack the real issues actually !

  7. #9 by daniel on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 - 12:03 pm

    While our attention is diverted to many side issues like this one, the MBJB has quietly send letters to property owner to hike 2014 property taxes by as much as 42% in Taman Pelangi and elsewhere under its jurisdiction. Maybe the DAP assemblyman might want to look into this matter too instead of spending time protesting the imminent removal of a street mural.

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