JB Merdeka murals reflect Malaysian life

JOHOR BARU - Motorists and pedestrians are stopping in their tracks to admire a series of colourful Merdeka-themed murals splashed across several buildings in the city centre.

The five murals, part of the #Tanahairku 3.0 project commissioned by Petronas, were done by local artists at five separate locations in a street art style to reflect Malaysia's culture and plural society.

One of the patriotic murals depicts children hanging up traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian costumes and another includes Johor's kuda kepang in Jalan Segget, Jalan Dhoby, Jalan Trus and Jalan Ibrahim.

Housewife P. Kalaivani, 33, said the murals were a simple reminder of how we should cherish the country's culturally rich society.

"We should not let anything threaten our peace and I hope that we continue enjoying this peace and harmony," said the mother of three who took the opportunity to snap a few pictures of the murals.

Engineer Sahariddin Musa, 40, said the murals added more colour to the backdrop of the old buildings.

"I saw a sky lift in the area last week but I did not know what it was for. I am surprised they managed to do up all the murals in such a short time," he said.

Dr Edward Ng, 24, said the murals were an interesting addition to the old part of Johor Baru, which had undergone so much change.

"This part of the city used to be quite abandoned but now there are a lot of young entrepreneurs opening up cafes and boutiques. The murals add to the life of the area.

"To me, Merdeka is a checkpoint to see how far we have come and where we should go next as a nation and as a Malaysian," he said.

State Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumerism Committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said the state highly welcomed the project as it was in line with the Johor government's Tourism Masterplan under Urban Heritage and Lifestyle.