Graffiti an insult to Johoreans?

JOHOR BAHRU - Wall graffiti in Johor by Lithuanian-born artist Ernest Zacharevic has sparked a controversy, especially among netizens.

The graffiti shows a man holding a knife, apparently waiting for a female victim around the corner, Malaysia's The Star reported.

There have been diverse opinions after a picture of the graffiti was posted on "What's Going On In Johor Baru", a page dedicated to state events, the report said.

Facebook user William H.K. Goh said that the art was done in rather bad taste.

"Surely Johor Baru deserves better than this negative portrayal. As a Johorean, I feel insulted," he said.

Johor Domestic Trade, Con­su­merism and Tourism executive committee chairman Tee Siew Kiong also said that the painting of the knife-wielding man gave a negative image, especially for tourists.

But he said that it was up to the local authorities to decide whether it wanted to repaint the wall.

Meanwhile, the graffiti has attracted people to Taman Molek in Johor Baru to snap photographs.

Getting attention 

Passers-by and even families with young children had been stopping their cars by the roadside to take quick shots of the graffiti painted on two walls along Jalan Molek 1/9.

Mr Zacharevic had previously made the news when his art known as "Boy on a Bike" and "Little Children on a Bicycle" were painted on walls in Penang.

His two other paintings in Johor Baru included a couple looking at a large tree which the artist cleverly drew around existing clumps of green moss and a painting of a water slide that leads to an actual pipe opening in Taman Johor Jaya.

Mr Jacky Choo, 41, who lives in the area, took his nine-year-old daughter to see the graffiti after he saw several postings of it on Facebook.

Said the director of a printing company: "Hopefully, this will inspire Malaysians to get more creative with art."

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