This buffalo statue went viral online for its stunned expression, Latest World News - The New Paper

This buffalo statue went viral online for its stunned expression

The bronze bull of Birmingham, it is not, and the Charging Bull in New York’s Wall Street? Not even close.

But a statue of a water buffalo in east Malaysia’s Sarawak is having its day in the sun as a tourist attraction, thanks to its animated expression.

The buffalo in Serian, a town about 60km south of Sarawak capital Kuching, has attracted local visitors since its picture was shared online earlier in March, drawing comments attempting to explain why it looks flabbergasted.

Netizen Andria Wahyudi said: “It’s your face when you are playing with friends as (a) child and suddenly your mom is calling you from far away.”

“That kerbau (buffalo in Malay) has seen things,” speculated Bernadinus Gita Kusuma on Facebook. “Stuff no human can comprehend.”

At least one enterprising local company has used it in an advertising campaign that shows a group of people in their car workshop uniforms, dancing alongside the stunned-looking buffalo.

Confounded, but to a lesser degree than the buffalo, are local officials who are pleasantly taken aback by the newfound attention Serian has received thanks to the statue.

“Yes, of course I am surprised why it is suddenly making headlines (in social media),” Mr John Ilus, a Sarawak state assemblyman for Bukit Semuja under the Serian federal constituency, told The Borneo Post.

He added that it was an old statue that was recently repainted.

The statue has been in Taman Komuniti Serian, a public park in the centre of the town, for many years, Serian Chinese Chamber of Commerce president Lai Chau Liong said, but had largely gone under the radar until its recent appearance on social media.

“I am amazed, but thanks to social media, the water buffalo statue is in the limelight and attracted onlookers. We never thought of the statue until now,” he told Sarawakian news website Dayak Daily.

“It is some sort of icon now, and Serian welcomes this as it could be a new landmark or tourist attraction and be good for the town.”

Mr Lai added that the water buffalo, noted in folklore and fables for its industrious and persevering qualities, also symbolises the hard-working residents of Serian.

He credited the buffalo’s unique expression to the unknown artist’s “inspiration”.

For now, the sleepy town of Serian, previously known for its durians and larger-than-life statues of the king of fruits, has been put on the map by the dazed but indefatigable buffalo.