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Labuan’s beautification programme hit by vandals
Published on: Monday, October 07, 2019
By: Iffah Dilaney

LABUAN: Police here are on the hunt for the perpetrators who have vandalised several signboards across the island.

Labuan’s brand new street art, especially its new murals, have recently also become the targets of vandals. Barely two week after 10 local artists brought shine to the once dull walls of Labuan, at least one of their 13 majestic murals had now been spoiled by acts of vandalism.

Labuan Police Chief Supt Muhamad Farid Ahmad (pic) said the city had spent an estimated RM80,000 on the mural project in hopes that it will beautify the island, in line with the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 campaign.

“However, before all the 13 murals were completed, one of them was vandalised. We do not want this vandalism syndrome getting out of hand with vandals running around spray-painting over the murals on our buildings,” he told a press conference here Sunday. Not only that, he said several old buildings and road signages had also been the target of vandals.

He said the Public Works Department and Labuan Corporation (Development and Engineering Department) had recently lodged police reports regarding several illegal graffiti appearing at Jalan Pohon Batu, Jalan Batu Arang, Jalan Bunga Tanjung, opposite Chep Seng Hardware and Pasaraya Utamajaya, with losses amounting to RM6,357.

Farid said the reports were being investigated under Section 427 of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum jail sentence of five years.

Meanwhile, University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) senior lecturer Dr Romzi Ationg said local authorities were fighting a losing battle against the culprits as the penalties provided for under existing by-laws were grossly inadequate, thus had failed to deter the offenders.

“The time has come for a vandalism Act to be introduced to allow heavier fines and compulsory community service,” he stressed.

He said although the state of vandalism in Labuan town was not very alarming, it is nevertheless serious and warrants more stringent laws to put a stop to this ever-growing problem.



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