Instead of removing Zachas’ “high crime” mural, it should be allowed to remain as a challenge to all relevant authorities to make JB low-crime and a standing testimony that high crime rate in JB is a “story of the past”
For the past few days, the relevant authorities in Johor Bahru including the Johor Bahru City Council, the Police and the Johor State Government had been most vexed and upset by one of three murals painted by internationally-recognised street artist Lithuanian-born Ernest Zacharevic highlighting the high crime rate in the city.
The city and people of Johor Bahru would have been the real beneficiaries if the energies expended on debating and deciding on what to do with Zachas’ mural of high crime rate in JB had been devoted to reducing the high crime rate in the Johor capital.
Instead of removing Zachas’ “high crime” mural, it should be allowed to remain to serve as a challenge to all relevant authorities to make JB low-crime and a standing testimony that high crime rate in JB is a “story of the past”!
The only way to remove the sting of Zachas’ “high crime” mural would be to remove JB’s notorious reputation as crime capital of the nation, when Zachas’ mural can become a tribute to the transformation of the Johore capital into a safe and secure city.
The “sting” in Zachas’ mural is not in what it depicts but in the high crime rate in the city.
Zachas’ mural is an unpleasant truth as it is a reflection of the sad present reality of the crime situation in the city.
Are the relevant authorities capable of turning an undoubtedly adverse commentary on high crime in the city into a challenge and inspiration to rally all the relevant authorities with the full support of the people of Johor Bahru to make JB low-crime and let it stand as a standing testimony that high crime rate in JB is a “story of the past”.
This will definitely be a more creative, innovative and positive response to Zachas’ “high crime” mural and will make Johor Bahru even more famous than being city with two dubious records – firstly, Zachias’ “high crime” mural and secondly, its being scrubbed off by the relevant authorities while crime remain high or even higher to haunt the safety and security of the affected population.
Right-thinking Malaysians will agree with Zacharevic – “Art does not damage a city’s image, crime does”.
Let this be a challenge to the relevant authorities including the Johor Mentri Besar, the State Executive Councillors, the Johore CPO and the JB city mayor and JB councilors to rise up to the occasion to use an adverse mural to transform JB into a safe low-crime city for its residents, tourists and investors?