The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, has bought a painting that depicts the Parliament House of Malaysia with rows of monkeys, apes and frogs sitting in the seats of MPs.
The Selangor Royal Office publicised the matter on social media today, saying that the ruler wanted to buy the painting as soon as he saw it, and currently intends to hang it up in his private study room.
“One day, His Majesty intends to auction this painting and the proceeds of the auction will be donated to charity,” read the post.
At print time, the post has garnered over 2,800 Facebook reactions, 1,500 shares and 360 comments.
The painting depicted MPs from both sides of the Parliament as different species of primates and frogs, but not Speaker Datuk Seri Azhar Azizan Harun and his deputies.
“Frog” is a Malaysian euphemism for elected lawmakers who switch parties and sides.
The artwork bears a resemblance with a famed oil-on-canvas painting by pseudonymous England-based street artist and political activist Banksy titled Devolved Parliament back in 2009 .
Banksy’s painting had depicted British politicians debating in the House of Commons as chimpanzees and orangutans, selling for £9.9 million (RM54.5 million) at Sotheby’s in London ten years later.
The post by the Selangor palace came as de facto law minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar yesterday released a motion to approve the selection of several MPs into a bipartisan parliamentary select committee (PSC), which would deliberate on the proposed amendments to Article 10(3A) of the Federal Constitution, as well as the long-overdue anti-party hopping law.
The voting on the matter was also postponed to a later sitting, to allow the committee members to refine and iron out issues relating to the Bills.