Malaysia's own 'Mount Rushmore'

KUALA TERENGGANU: “Creative, unique and very significant to Malaysian history, like Mount Rushmore in the United States.” Those are some of the spontaneous reactions of visitors after seeing the mural portraits of Malaysia’s seven prime ministers on the wall of a building that houses the Tunku Abdul Rahman Hall here. The mural is part of the Kuala Terengganu City Council’s (MBKT) project, costing RM30,000, to beautify the city’s oldest building and turn it into a tourist attraction. The 250sq ft (23sq m) mural is the work of four local artists from the Red Rebel Art Squad, comprising Raja Badruddin Hakim Shah Raja Kamarul Bahrin, 34; Wan Ansri Nizam Wan Ismail, 37; Zulkarnain Abd Latif, 40, and Mohd Fahmi Abdullah Sani, 30. Raja Badruddin Hakim Shah, popularly known as Ku Bad, said they took 27 days, between Jan 9 and Feb 4, to complete the mural portraits. “I regard this project as similar to that of the one at Mount Rushmore because the aim is the same, which is to create the face of the nation’s number one leaders. The difference is just in terms of the medium and method of doing it. “At Mount Rushmore, the sculptures of the face of the four US presidents were created by carving and chiselling, while we draw, using brush and quality paint, the faces of the seven prime ministers of Malaysia, ” he said. The murals of the seven prime ministers is believed to be the first in Malaysia. It is the third project by Red Rebel and has been viralled on social media. Prior to this, the Red Rebel had painted a large Jalur Gemilang and the Terengganu flag on the roof of the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium, which was a project carried out in conjunction with last year’s National Day celebration. In 2017, the group was entrusted to paint a mural on the colourful life of the Terengganu people on the wall of the old building at Jalan Banggol here, a project in conjunction with Visit Terengganu Year. Ku Bad, whose father is Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad Baharuddin Shah, said he and his colleagues painted the mural till late night after office hours. “The main challenge is the weather because we have to stop if it rains, and another is height because not all of us are brave enough, ” he said, adding that his team was proud to be given the opportunity to contribute ideas in the development of art in the country, particularly, Terengganu. — Bernama.

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