'The Country's Saviours' stands tall in Balik Pulau

Audrey Dermawan

GEORGE TOWN: Penang, it seems, is never out of interesting murals to discover. The latest is of course a giant mural in Balik Pulau, the southwest part of the island, featuring Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the Jalur Gemilang, all in one. The idea (for the mural) was mooted by Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik, who is also Balik Pulau member of parliament, in conjunction with this year’s National Day. It took twin artists, Mohamad Faiz Zainal Abidin and Mohamad Farhan, 27, from Sitiawan, Perak, two weeks to complete their masterpiece. Both hold master’s degrees in fine arts from Universiti Teknologi Mara and have been professional artists for seven years. The mural is prominently placed at the main entrance to Balik Pulau, the wall of Bakhtiar’s service centre.

According to Tan Chor Whye, who curated the mural, the piece is titled “The Country’s Saviours.”


It took twin artists, Mohamad Faiz Zainal Abidin and Mohamad Farhan, 27, from Sitiawan, Perak, two weeks to complete their masterpiece. Bernama Photo

Sharing the significance behind the mural, Tan said it featured the most important figure and a controversial man in Malaysia’s politics that would never be forgotten, Dr Mahathir and Anwar, his political rival but friend beyond. “These two figures have been facing glory and lost since before modernisation took place until now. The ups and downs in Malaysian politics made them know each other better and unite for the new hope under the Pakatan Harapan. “Together, they have successfully brought down the strongest rival in Malaysian politics, Barisan Nasional, which had held its ground since before modernisation in Malaysia. “Now, by freeing people from corruption, both of them have become idols for the young generation in this country.

“In regards to their efforts, this is one way to express our gratitude to them. This mural is a remembrance of their achievement as the saviours at the crucial moment in Malaysia’s democratic history for the next generations,” he added. Tan, who is also Can Can Public Art founder, has curated both local and international streets artists’ Julia Volchkova, Emmanual Jarus, Gabriel Pitcher Ricky Lee Gordon and many more in the Penang Street Art scene. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd