Saturday, December 27, 2014

Ipoh coffee uncle found, and he's not Chin Peng

7:50PM Dec 27, 2014


Ipoh coffee uncle found, and he's not Chin Peng

The mural of an elderly man in Ipoh which generated controversy after a local resident claimed it was the image of communist leader Chin Peng turned out to be a dud after all.

Lim Chai, the son of the man featured in the mural, said his family broke into laughter when they first heard about the claim.
"My father looks nothing like Chin Peng, my whole family laughed when we heard about it," he said in an interview with Kwong Wah Daily published today.

On Tuesday, Sinar Harian reported Ipoh resident Mior Azman Mior Aris's claim that the mural by famed Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic resembled Chin Peng and that it was a bid to "subtly" introduce communism.

Lim said his 80-year-old father resides in Penang and older Penangites would know him as he was active in ghost festival activities in the 1980s.

He added that his father in his younger days had also operated a coffee shop.

Lim said Zacharevic met his father at his cousin's coffee shop on Carnarvon Street, Penang, and had taken an interest in the old man.

Mistaken identity

Zacharevic, who had done plenty of street artwork in Penang, later took a photo of the man which was later used to draw the portrait on a building in Jalan Tun Sambanthan in Ipoh.

Lim, who produced the photograph of his father used for the mural, said he hoped the matter would no longer be politicised.

He added that some people have also mistaken his father for another elderly man who worked as a forklift operator who was featured in a video on the making of the mural.

The artwork featured Lim's father holding up an old coffee cup.

The huge mural is part of several street artwork by Zacharevic (left) in collaboration with coffee shop chain Old Town White Coffee to beautify Ipoh town.

The Ipoh City Council insisted the mural was not of Chin Peng and the artwork will remain.

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