Beauty lies in the eye of the mind.
I do not mind graffiti on the walls of Malaysian houses which often are nothing but rows and rows of cut-and-paste designs by local architects who work for local developers keen to extract even sen from innocent housebuyers (and some not-so-innocent housebuying speculators!).
I will not even argue the design or the method of painting or even the messages. For all I care, we could have whole towns painted red or black, if it seems OK for towns to be whitewashed or, now increasingly, spinning in various hues of yellow, green and blue.
After all, we are democracy and where people do have a certain right to do as they wish, so long as their actions are not hurtful on others. But for authorities to tell the general population that they cannot scribble on their walls is for these authorities to exercise their sense of apparent power and authority over the seemingly ignorant and brainless citizens.
We have now, just discovered, that the city hall, despite its grand sounding name, is nothing but a bunch of bureaucrats acting at the whim and fancy of some politician who happens to sit on top of everyone and telling everybody want to do. I shudder to imagine what would become of this country when we have policy decisions made in this manner.
Maybe it is a bit too late for me to worry. It is already here.
Malaysia's biggest piece of graffiti (assuming the ugly ones) are already etched into our national mindset where it is OK to pursue and continue to pursue discriminatory policies which serve to explicitly benefit a particular section of society. It is not OK to pursue discriminatory policies because it perpetuates social and economic injustice.
But the worse of the act of discrimination is the rationale that is cooked up to justify that discrimination. All major atrocities committed in the history of this world started with a word and then a book. That justification is then twisted and misrepresented to suit the circumstances and purposes of groups for their own peculiar purposes. This twisting and turning of logic on the same basic premises become the great intellectual entanglement that we now see in the national life of their otherwise fair and beautiful country.
So, like all good deeds, evil is also first ignited by a person who thinks he is doing good when in fact he is only out to kill his own personal demons, demons which are only figments of his own imagination.
I therefore do not mind physical graffiti for open paints in the tropics will crack and walls in time will crumble. We can always rebuild. But the mental graffiti that is being persistently dished out to us by old men who, after having terrorised their own generations and then our own, will now try to terrorise the younger generations.
If we are looking for the reasons why this nation cannot progress as much as it should, we only have to look inwards within our midst. We just have to whitewash those ugly mental graffiti.