Vandals appear to have sprayed graffiti along the Malacca river with the words “Kerajaan Gagal,” which means failed government in Malay.
Photos circulating online today showed the black and red graffiti painted on the construction hoarding along the river, a day after the government called for the country’s third nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus, sparking widespread online backlash. The graffiti has already been cleaned up, other photos showed.
Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong said he does not condone vandalism, but he understands why someone might have defaced the hoarding in an attempt to get their message across to the government.
“We don’t condone vandalism but I can understand why it was done,” the 50-year-old told Coconuts today. “People are angry. People are angry from the lack of leadership from the government. People are angry because the government seems disconnected from the ground reality.”
“The government is not listening,” the member of the opposition’s Alliance of Hope added. “After all we’re under an “emergency” and parliament can be shut down. What more to ordinary people? So I wouldn’t blame people from feeling angry and not having the space to be heard.”
The Melaka City State Department did not immediately respond to Coconuts’ request for comment via phone and email.
Others online echoed Khoo’s sentiments, supporting the message of the graffiti.
“Why are they removing the words? Are they feeling the pressure?” Facebook user Shamsuddin Amir commented on photos shared to the Natural Disasters of Pahang online group.
“I don’t agree with vandalism but I agree with the message,” Zackira Syahirah chimed in.
The nationwide Movement Control Order effective on the eve of Hari Raya Aidilfitri tomorrow is expected to last three weeks. Malaysia has reported 444,484 COVID-19 cases and 1,700 deaths since the outbreak started last year.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with a statement from Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong
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This article, ‘Failed Government’ graffiti spotted along Malacca River, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.