KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysians on social media have been left puzzled by an image of the Kuala Lumpur city skyline that was carried on the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition's manifesto last week, which appeared to have missed one of the country's popular icons.
Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is also the BN chairman, unveiled its 220-page manifesto to a packed stadium of 40,000 supporters on Saturday night (April 7). The manifesto offered promises such as three million new jobs, a rise in annual cash handouts to as high as RM2,000 (S$680), a debt waiver for farmers as well as improved finances and public services if BN is returned to power.
The image of the Kuala Lumpur landscape on the manifesto depicted prominent buildings in the capital behind a lake. But it seemed to have left out the landmark Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) complex's iconic Petronas Twin Towers, even though the reflection of the skyscrapers was still visible in the lake.
The photo had appeared on page 17 of the physical copies of the BN manifesto, the Malaysiakini website reported, and was still up on a section of his website on Tuesday (April 10).
The missing detail was spotted by observant social media users, many of whom speculated that the towers may have been omitted because the 88-storey twin skyscrapers were the brainchild of former Prime Mahathir Mohamad, who is now Mr Najib's main rival in the country's general election.
Mr Najib is leading the charge for his BN coalition against Dr Mahathir's four-party Pakatan Harapan opposition alliance at the polls which will be held on May 9.
"Where are the Twin Towers?" asked one Twitter user, @yinghowe, who accompanied the tweet with the photo in question.
Another Twitter user @AmritaMalhi said: "Amazing that KLCC Twin Towers - a Mahathir project - were Photoshopped out of Barisan's manifesto. Their reflection is still there."
The photo was also a topic of discussion among some Facebook users, with one commenter, CP Yeo, saying: "Photoshop fail".
The Malaysiakini website ran a story on the apparent gaffe. It also posted a photo of the scenery it said was taken by its photographer from a similar vantage point, which depicted the towers clearly in the picture.
The omission did not go unnoticed by Dr Mahathir. The country's longest serving Prime Minister on Saturday re-tweeted user @The_Mamu's comment which said: "BN's manifesto is trying to wipe out KLCC because it is Mahathir's legacy. But the reflection can still be seen in the water. That's also a symbol of how Mahathir has been haunting Najib and Umno-BN."
Umno is the anchor of the 13-party BN coalition. Dr Mahathir left Umno in 2016 to form his own Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia party - which is part of the opposition alliance - after disagreements with Mr Najib over his handling of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
Dr Mahathir commented on the issue on Tuesday, telling the Malaysiakini website: "I don't think they are very smart," he said. "I would like to ask them not to stand near water, because if you erase your face also we can still see yourself in the water," he added.