• Jonathan Shiek

‘Indecent’ Mural In Kampung Sungai Buloh Sparks Outrage Among Conservative Malaysians

Okay, the fact that Malaysians tend to be rather sensitive is by no means an exaggeration. This is because we live in a multi-ethnic country where traditional customs and apparently traditional mindsets are still very important. Therefore, you would assume that everyone would be careful not to offend members of another religion or race intentionally right?

Well that is precisely the case. As far as I am concerned, no Malaysian will want to start a war with another intentionally. Though unfortunately, there are instances where misunderstandings tend to lead to tensions among us Malaysians and for mural artist Lyana Leong, unfortunately, she experienced it first-hand.

See, Leong was commissioned with painting a mural on a building depicting three women holding each other’s in Sasaran Art Gallery Kuala Selangor in Kampung Sungai Buloh, along with a group of other artists. According to her statements, she had always intended to paint the women with clothes on but she had to draw them in their ‘birthday suits’ first in order to get a better understanding of their body proportions.

Being a Malaysian herself, Leong was aware of the conservative nature most Malaysians have and was proactive in ensuring that she didn’t offend anyone by draping a black cloth over certain sensitive areas of her painting.

As the perfectionist she was, Leong and the other artists were inclined to see how the painting was coming together and to correct any and all imperfections before they drew the clothes on. This obviously required the artists to remove the black cloth and in that short amount of time the cloth was removed, one passerby managed to snap some photos of the incomplete work.

Naturally, the passerby decided to go on a rampage on social media, calling out the artists for attacking the principals of Islam, thus instigating a mob of people to gather at the mural, almost in a life-threatening manner.

Thankfully, the tensions died down after her Instagram post which read “It’s completely understandable that people misunderstood the mural because the women in it WERE naked, but it’s part of a process and also training for us.” Following the post, the group was able to complete the mural, even receiving the local council’s blessing to proceed.

Credits: Mashable SE Asia

As an added measure, local police even offered them 24-hour protection. Wow Malaysians can be really scary at times huh…


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