Ipoh is famous for its colonial-era buildings, kopitiams and, most recently, mural paintings on walls of pre-war buildings. Tourists and locals from outside Perak would flock to Ipoh, especially during festive seasons, to feast their eyes on these man-made attractions.
The murals, however, have been vandalised by people unknown. The ones affected are those found on the walls of buildings along the alley behind Jalan Masjid and Jalan Sultan Iskandar. These heinous acts have caused much outrage among Ipohites and tourists alike.
As if to add salt to injury, graffiti were spray-painted alongside the murals. Expletives were also found among the paintings. Norzana Mohd Zain, a staff of the Ipoh City Council’s Tourism Information Centre recounted the incident to Ipoh Echo and sought its help to highlight the negativity behind such irresponsible acts.
“As a staff of Ipoh City Council and a concerned citizen, I am appalled by the actions of some. Don’t they know that the murals are special? They are our new identity. Defacing them will only tarnish the city’s image and may affect Ipoh’s tourism industry,” she lamented.
According to Eric Lai, the man responsible for the paintings, touch-up works have been put on hold due to fears that the vandalism may have been done by gangsters.
“I’ve filed a police report and had discussions with Ipoh City Council regarding the matter. The safety of my students, who are assisting me in preparing the wall-paintings, is my primary concern. Therefore, I’ve decided to stop work for the moment,” he told Ipoh Echo when contacted.
“We plan to complete 57 mural pieces by September to celebrate Malaysia’s 57th Independence Day. However, due to the unfortunate incident and because of time constraint we’ve no other choice but to stop work. Nevertheless, we’ll proceed with the official launching by the Mayor scheduled for in September,” he exclaimed.