This is certainly a strange situation!
The man behind some of Penang’s most iconic murals, Ernest Zacharevic, has been reportedly barred from entering Malaysia, according to The Star.
Famous for his street murals in Penang and elsewhere such as Children on a Bicycle and Boy on a Bike, the Lithuanian artist received worldwide acclaim in 2012 after creating a series of street art murals for the George Town Festival in Penang.
The 31-year-old mural artist posted via his Instagram Story that he was not allowed to enter Malaysia. He wrote,
“I’m in Singapore now…I know everyone is worried so just letting y’all know that I’m safe and sound, breathing fresh air of freedom in Singapore.”
“I’ll be here ’till I figure out where I’m heading next. But for now, I think I’m gonna stay away from Malaysia for a while…”
Malaysian art enthusiast and good friend of Zacharevic, Tan Chor Whye, said the matter was “no big issue”. He reportedly told the daily,
“Normal immigration procedure for visitors. No worries. Everything’s good.”
Meanwhile, Zacharevic revealed that the stamp on his passport did not allow him to enter Malaysia.
“The stamp in my passport does not allow me to enter Malaysia. No one specified why and for how long,” he said in the post, which did not specify when the incident took place.
Immigration authorities on the other hand, were unable to be contacted to comment on this issue, according to the daily.
Zacharevic, 31 is engaged to Sheena Liam, 26, the Malaysian winner of Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 2. They made headlines last year when he proposed to her last July using a huge signboard in Lithuania.
Liam posted on her Instagram on February 1 saying that they would be in Singapore for the next two weeks.
Seputeh Member of Parliament (MP) Teresa Kok has since urged Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to explain to the public the rationale behind the ban on Zacharevic in a statement on February 1, Malaysiakini reported. The DAP lawmaker said,
“The beautiful and impressive wall paintings drawn by Zacharevic in the heritage enclave of George Town have helped draw scores of domestic and foreign tourists to Penang and Malaysia.”
“The Malaysian government, particularly the Tourism and Culture Ministry should instead extend appreciation to Zacharevic for his murals that have enhanced Georgetown as a major tourist attraction.”
Hopefully all will be solved soon!
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