A picture is worth a thousand words but this painting raises more questions
Is it representative of Malaysia’s current status of democracy? Is it, on the other hand, an attempt to demonise the political class?
Whatever the case, the artwork shown in the Malaysian Parliament depicts a man resembling House Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun sitting over a room full of monkeys and frogs.
Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, Sultan of Selangor, has acquired the painting depicting. And the news went viral because netizens took to their mobile phones to start commenting.
The Sultan has decided to display it in his personal study space, according to news reports.
Before we go any further on the Malaysian painting, it is good to know that it is not the first painting to depict a Parliament as a house for monkeys, for example.
Devolved Parliament more than comfortably surpassed its estimated price tag of 1.5 million to 2 million pounds, with the auctioneer declaring “history being made” at one point.(Instagram/Banksy)
In 2019, according to Sotheby’s, a big Banksy painting portraying monkeys sitting in Britain’s parliament was sold for more than $12 million, a record price at auction for a work by the elusive British street artist.
“Devolved Parliament,” in which chimps substitute lawmakers in the House of Commons, easily surpassed its projected price tag of 1.5 million to 2 million pounds, with the auctioneer exclaiming “history being made” at one point during the live-streamed auction.
The 2009 artwork from a private collection sold to loud applause after a 13-minute bidding war for a hammer price of 8.5 million pounds, to which fees were added for a final price of 9,879,500 pounds ($12.2 million).
The Malaysian drama
The painting has gotten a lot of attention, with many netizens calling it a “perfect depiction” of the country’s current state.
While we are confident that the Malaysian drama will continue once the artwork is displayed on the palace wall, we are also confident that the political elite will be outraged.
However, there is nothing they can do to prevent locals from commenting on and mocking the picture.
Some people, however, are asking the difficult issues that most people would want to avoid. They want to know if the country’s top officials would be pleased if the artwork showed them in person, depicted as monkeys or frogs.
The answer, according to most Twitter users who are commenting on the post by a DAP politician, is that the latter should prepare for bail money if he were to publish such a painting on social media. (See tweet below)
Kalau saya lukis gambar Ismail Sabri dan semua menteri kabinet jadi beruk, agaknya akan kena tangkap atau tidak?
— Roman Akramovich (@SyedAkramin) April 12, 2022