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Autistic teen paints spirit of Merdeka on Putrajaya signage

New Straits Times logo New Straits Times 27/8/2019 Noor Atiqah Sulaiman
a man standing on a sidewalk: Perbadanan Putrajaya (PPj) president Datuk Dr Aminuddin Hassim with Wan Jamila Wan Shaiful Bahri show the master piece.- NSTP/Mohd Fadli Hamzah © Provided by Media Prima Perbadanan Putrajaya (PPj) president Datuk Dr Aminuddin Hassim with Wan Jamila Wan Shaiful Bahri show the master piece.- NSTP/Mohd Fadli Hamzah

PUTRAJAYA: Who would have thought the painting on the Putrajaya signage placed at Dataran Putra for the National Day 2019 celebration this Saturday, was done by a 17-year-old autistic teenager?

What’s even more amazing was the painting by Wan Jamila Wan Shaiful Bahri was picked by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for the auspicious occasion.

If one were to look closer, the 1.5m wide and 2.4m tall painting, which depicts the concept of Malaysia’s famous buildings and bridges, also includes a doodle of women of various races such as Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan and Iban, and the Jalur Gemilang.

The teen’s mother, Noorhashimah Mohamed Noordin, 58, said she was proud of her talent.

“Every time August comes, I will ask her to draw anything along the Merdeka theme. She will choose everything herself, from the colours to the patterns, without anyone’s help.

“She managed to complete the drawing on the signage in a month-and-a-half. She spent a lot of time in her gallery, from morning till night to paint this, ” she told reporters during her meeting with PPj President Datuk Dr Aminuddin Hassim.

Noorhashimah said Wan Jamila started to draw when she was 4.

“She loved expressing her feelings through painting.

“She could draw a detailed picture of an incident, even if she had only seen it at a glance.

“Every time she came home from school, I would know what went on because she would draw exactly what happened. What her teacher taught, what her classmates did, everything is explained through her drawings,” she added.

Aminuddin said PPj had handed nine paintings to the prime minister on July 27, and he had picked Wan Jamila’s work.

“The painting highlights peace that exists in this country, as every person in the painting represents a part of the Malaysian community.

“For this reason, PPj was happy with Wan Jamila’s painting. We met her family to get their permission to use it on the signage,” he said, adding that the painting on the sculptures would be changed every six months, based on the theme of the current event.

The Putrajaya signage launched by the prime minister on Dec 31 has become one of the new landmarks and attractions for photo enthusiasts.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

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