Wee Meng Chee or Namewee's latest video should rightly offend all Malaysians who profess to be against racism. As I told the press yesterday, I believe this time, Namewee's insult was too blatant for anyone to ignore. He cannot continually be given a pass, and this latest stunt suggests he did not mean his apology to all Malaysians over the infamous "Negarakuku" video in 2007.
In that apology, Namewee also said, "As a Malaysian, I understand the sensitivities of each ethnic group and religion in the country" and that he learnt a “valuable lesson” on national unity and ethnic relations. Personally, I accepted the apology and wanted to draw a line under the whole incident. I met and acted with him in the short film “Meter”; I wanted to believe he was merely a naïve young man who meant no harm and that he had learnt from an honest mistake. After viewing his latest video, I no longer believe either of this to be true.
In that video aimed at the school principal Siti Inshah's alleged speech which contained insulting remarks about ethnic Chinese and Indians, Namewee bombarded viewers with vulgar, sexually suggestive lyrics and imagery unbecoming of any decent and respectful person. But that is the least of my concerns.
In the 'song', which begins with him colourfully expressing his disdain for racists, Namewee exposes himself as the racist when he says "You tak baca? Siapa buat Malaysia kaya?", the implication being that the Chinese are the reason for Malaysia’s prosperity and as such Malays like Siti Inshah have no business asking the Chinese to 'return' to China. The same message could have easily been conveyed by stating that no one should be telling anyone else to 'return' because Malaysia belongs to all its citizens without suggesting that a particular ethnic group has contributed more or less.
Now, my position on the Siti Inshah matter is crystal clear. If she did utter the words as claimed, she should be severely punished. But let there be no doubt, Namewee's insinuation that the Chinese are solely responsible for this country’s growth is just as blatantly offensive. Neither is it a question of Malays being too sensitive. Hurt and anger are to be expected when one community is essentially told they play a minimal role in this country's progress.
While this controversy is obviously racial in nature, the reaction to it does not have to be. Just as Namewee's video was the wrong response to the Siti Inshah issue, somewhere out there someone is saying that all Chinese should be eternally grateful to the Malays for granting them citizenship. He or she would be mistaken of course, but the point is we cannot allow disempathy to feed on itself. We cannot let this vicious cycle go on in perpetuity. We cannot play the game of the extremists and the racists on both sides of the spectrum if we are to forge a better path than what they offer.
As such, let this episode be not merely about Namewee, but also symptomatic of the challenge for moderate Malaysians, many of whom I have come to befriend in social media circles. The challenge I speak of is nothing more elaborate than that of consistency transcending racial or political affiliations. I am utterly against extremism, disempathy, insensitivity and racism of any kind - I have spoken out against the likes of Perkasa, Al-Islam magazine and Siti Inshah, often at great political risk. And today I am speaking out against Namewee, not because of his race, religion or even the probability that he will not vote Barisan Nasional. But because he was explicitly insulting. With consistency comes credibility, I have learnt that. And if you, too, call yourself a moderate Malaysian, this is your acid test.
While the Menteri Besar of Kedah has this to say:
ALOR SETAR, Sept 1 — The government must take stern action against Wee Meng Chee or “Namewee” whose video clip smacked of racism, said Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak.
Azizan said he was disappointed with the government, which was seen as being too lenient as this was the second controversy involving the rapper.
“If he has committed an offence, the government must act. Don’t just talk but not doing anything. Otherwise, people will lose faith in the country’s legal system.
“If there’s no law (to deal with such an offence), then draw up one. The kind action to be taken depends of the government,” he told reporters after chairing the state executive council meeting, here, today.
Azizan was commenting on Wee’s profanity-laced video clip, which was purportedly seditious in its condemnation of a headmistress in Kulai who had allegedly made racist remarks and of the Education Ministry.
Wee, 27, from Muar, Johor had also caused controversy in 2007 with his video clip titled “Negarakuku” posted on YouTube in which he insulted the national anthem, while studying at a university in Taiwan. — Bernama
A blogger Benny Lee has this to say about Namewee latest video:
NameWee Youtube video : DEPLORABLE and DISGUSTING
Posted on September 1, 2010 by leemn 0
NameWee latest Youtube video about the ” racialist” principal Siti Inshah is deplorable and disgusting. It does not reflect the view of the Chinese. NameWee is notoriously known for his vulgarity, crudeness and at times nonsensical ramblings and curses against the establishment. His latest act is a shame to all of us. He should be severely punished for resorting to such means of expression. It is not necessary to be crude and vulgar to express one opinion. During an interview , he’d the cheek to even say he purposely do it to have his voice heard. This young man just had to learn the ways of Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Teresa.
I agree that if the evidence is clear and is without doubt that Namewee has committed an offence under Malaysian Law, than he should be charged, brought to trial and punished as allowed for under our Laws if found guilty.
No more warnings by the PDRM or the Menteri Dalam Negeri, it will be taken as a weakness not wisdom and Namewee will be more encouraged to spread his brand of racism cloaked in rap music for others to emulate.