SHAH ALAM (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian police said on Monday (July 20) that action will be taken against those who vandalised the murals of the country's leaders painted on walls at a housing estate in Selangor.
"Give the police space to study and decide on the appropriate action according to the law," said the police chief of Shah Alam district, Assistant Commissioner Baharudin Mat Taib, when contacted. He confirmed that a police report had been lodged.
The murals, painted by three local artists, included portraits of the Malaysian King, Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin, and Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
The murals had gone viral in the last few weeks, with Sultan Abdullah and Queen Tunku Azizah Iskandariah visiting the area to pose in front of the mural featuring the ruler.
Others featured on the walls of buildings at Taman Cahaya Alam in the Selangor capital of Shah Alam were the president of Parti Islam SeMalaysia Abdul Hadi Awang, de-facto Religious Affairs Minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, and Health Ministry director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah.
But the walls were found on Monday to have been defaced with red spray paint.
Malaysiakini news site reported that a short video clip of the vandalised murals uploaded on Twitter showed that several words of "babi" (pig) were sprayed between the faces of Tan Sri Muhyiddin and Datuk Seri Hadi, and beside the portrait of Sultan Abdullah.
Dr Noor Hisham's portrait had a Malay swear word sprayed on his face.
A Twitter user with the handle @MrJamesLabu posted a video depicting the murals with their eyes sprayed over, along with the derogatory words.
"Who is the person who has such a malicious heart?" the user had said on Monday, urging for the police and the Shah Alam City Council to take action.
City council workers have since painted over the mural with white paint.
The vandalism has been condemned by several political parties, including the opposition.