Dari Pusat Tasek 20

The Dari Pusat Tasek exhibition will run at Percha Artspace till 19 JAN 2020, ‘Dari Pusat Tasek” is the title of the 12th series in the Koboi Project, which includes a photograph titled  Naan Anaiyttal  taken in Kampung Indian Settlement, Batu Caves. It presents the Koboi standing before a 12 meter cutout of formerly jailed Deputy Prime Minister and Parti Keadilan leader Anwar Ibrahim. The Koboi stands gesturing forwards and upwards with a green skinned mango in his right hand. The cutout was initially erected around the 2008 election but taken down in the midst of a political/religious controversy about wastage/idolatry and fears that the structure would be a danger to the public in unfavourable weather conditions. It was put up again for the the 14th general election which took place in May 2018. 

The Koboi photograph was taken in 2018. Naan Anaiyttal is title of a song from M G Rmachandran’s hit film Enga Veettu Pillai (1965). MGR was of course to become the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the song has populist and egalitarian theme. Anwar Ibrahim, in turn, is in line, however tenuously, to become the next Prime Minister of Malaysia next Prime Minister. Here are the lyrics of the song in Tamil, English, Malay and finally in Anwar Ibrahim’s own elegant translation –

Naan Anaiyttal
Athu Nadanthuvittal
Ingu Ezhaigal vedanai padamatta
Uyirullavari oru thunbamillai
Avar kanneer kadalile vizhamattar

If I were to rule
If that comes to pass
The poor will not suffer
As Long as they live they will feel no pain
They will not fall into the sea of tears

Kalau saya diperintah
Kalau ia menjadi kebenaran
Kaum miskin tidak akan menderita
Sepanjang hidupnya tanpa kecewa
dan tidak terjatuh ke lautan air mata

Kalau aku diberi kuasa
Tidak ada lagi yang derita
Tidak ada lagi yang miskin mengalir air mata

Naan Anaiyttal
Lyrics by Vaali