There is no use being rich materlistically if a nation lacks artistic and moral appreciations, said Kuala Terengganu MP, Raja Bahrin Shah.
The Amanah leader was commenting the action by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to tear down the Puncak Purnama sculpture on Jalan Sultan Sulaiman, a work of art by the late national laureate Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal which was first built in 1986.
Raja Bahrin, who is himself an accomplished architect, expressed shock by the decision to bring down the structure without taking into acocunt public feedback or its artistic values.
“As an architect, i feel the government has acted with total lack of sensitivity and respect for a work by its own government decorated National artist.
“We may disagree on matters involving aesthetics appreciation, but we must respect works by recognised artists that we ourselves bestowed awards and decorations,” he said in a statement today.
“All art and heritage loving citizens must be appaled by this shocking government move. It shows total lack of respect towards local artists and arrogance by the government.”
He questioned why there had been no exercise to gather public feedback on the move to tear down the structure, or to consult Syed Ahmad’s family.
“Our government always demand respect from its citizens when it shows no sign of any onto its own people. “
He said the whole episode showed that Malaysia was becoming “a nation without soul”.
“We pride ourself of being a rich nation, that is being continously plundered, but sadly we are morally bankrupt of good values and sensitive appreciation.
“We will remain so as long as our Ministers continue to act arrogantly as if the prople have no say in the day to day running of our nation and ONLY THEY know what is best for us,” he added.
Prior to this, Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor defended DBKL’s decision to demolish Puncak Purnama, saying it was an eyesore and poorly maintained.
He also said the structure belonged to DBKL who had paid compensation to Syed Ahmad Jamal following a suit by the renowned artist, who died in 2011.
Puncak Purnama, or Lunar Peaks, was commissioned by the United Malayan Banking Corporation and was completed in 1986.