Johor state tourism executive councillor Datuk Tee Siew Kiong.
NUSAJAYA: The state government is planning to allocate an area in the old part of Johor Baru city centre for artists to do mural paintings on the walls of old buildings.
The state tourism executive councillor Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said there were several rows of pre-war shops housed in the city centre suitable for wall graffiti.
“This is part of our effort to beautify old buildings in the city centre with historical and interesting architectural elements”, he told a press conference here recently.
Tee said the state tourism department would work closely with the non-governmental organisations such as artist associations to undertake the mural painting project.
He said the state government would discuss with the owner of the buildings as well as the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) as the buildings come under the jurisdiction of MBJB.
Tee hoped those who are planning to do mural paintings to get permission from the building owners or the local councils to avoid misunderstanding which could cause unnecessary problems.
“We welcome every one who wants to make Johor Baru a more interesting place but it must be done positively as the city is not as bad as portrayed by certain quarters”, he said.
Tee was commenting on the wall graffiti by Lithuanian-born artist Ernest Zacharevic of a man holding a knife apparently waiting for a female victim around the two walls along Jalan Molek 1/9 in Taman Molek.
He said while the work was the artist personal expression, he (Zacharevic) could also put a painting of a policeman handcuffing a criminal on the walls.
“The crime rate has gone down drastically in Johor Baru in the recent years and crime happens all over the world and not only in Johor Baru”, added Tee.