‘Namewee is a uniting factor’

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysian Mirror
Friday, 03 September 2010

If Namewee (Wee Meng Chee) is prosecuted for his music-video, then two mixed messages are being sent out by the government: The first is that the authorities practise double-standards. The second is that it was only because of Namewee’s ‘intervention’ that the government sat up and took racism seriously.

On Wednesday, it was reported that the rapper was being investigated by the police for sedition. Various ministers and a menteri besar also want Namewee punished for his controversial video.

In the first place, Namewee made this clip because of the government’s slow response to tackle effectively the latest racist incident. It appears that we are now united, against racism.

Far from being seditious or racist, Namewee has done the job of the government in exposing all that is ‘ugly’ about us.

Just over two weeks ago, the Johore school headmistress featured in Namewee’s clip made serious, humiliating and crude remarks to non-Malay students in her school.

The prime minister, who coined the term 1Malaysia, took two weeks to make any comment regarding this issue. In the meantime, the damage became magnified.
Finally, Najib said that when it came to racism, he wanted ‘zero-tolerance’ and a ‘swift response’ to people who made racial slurs.

It appears that the prime minister has fallen at the first hurdle. There was not a quick, speedy response, as promised. It took him a very slow two weeks before issuing a statement.

For another, why has the police investigation been allowed to drag?

But let us imagine that for one moment, it was a non-Malay school head who had uttered derogatory remarks about her Malay pupils and told them to ‘pergi balik bawah tempurung’ (return to your place beneath your coconut shell) or that the tudung worn by the girls was only to cover-up their ‘bad hair-do’.
Wisdom and tolerance

I need not mention how the Malay community, egged on by the Ketuanan Melayu clowns, would react by picketing, protesting and practically foaming at the mouth.

If anything, the Johore school incident proved that the non-Malay community has shown extreme restraint and should be commended for their wisdom and tolerance.

The shame is that few Malays voiced their objections to the disgusting remarks of the Malay school-heads (both in Johore and Kedah). Where are the voices of condemnation for these racist rants? Are they afraid of pilloried by members of their own community? Or have they no principles? And lack a conscience?

Namewee is reacting to the slow response of the government to tackle racism. Hence, it is the government who has failed the Malaysian public. It is Namewee who conveyed the important message to Malaysians, in an entertaining way via his Youtube clip, that ‘racism sucks’.

To date, what is the progress into the school-head investigation? How long does it take to get eye-witness statements?

People forget that Namewee is a rapper. He produces videos and music videos. Rap music may glorify violence, misogyny, drug abuse and homophobia. Profanity and vulgar language are common.

Like it or not, rap or hip hop, is the language of the young these days. With rap, he has managed to engage with the young, to ‘say ‘no’ to racism’. Any parent of a teenager will know what I am talking about. The songs teenagers listen to these days, often colour the air-waves blue.

One can only imagine Namewee’s rage at the slow official response to tackle racism.

It is the same fury that overcomes us when we are lectured by our political masters to do, think and talk ‘1Malaysia’ but then discover to our shock, that some ministers do not practise it.

Admittedly, Namewee is simply expressing his anger and frustration in creativity and music, just like Eminem or Jay-Z.

It is highly unlikely that our aging ministers will understand nor appreciate rap music.

Namewee is the perfect entertainer and has sound business acumen. Sometimes, to shock may even sell more records. He has gained increased publicity for himself being enterprising.

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin adopted a different spin on Namewee’s questions: “You tak baca? Siapa buat Malaysia kaya?” (Don’t you know? Who made Malaysia prosperous?). Khairy assumed that Namewee suggested the ‘Malays played a minor role in Malaysia’s economic growth’.

Khairy is possibly wrong and as far as can be ascertained, Namewee wasn’t alluding to anything.

Namewee posed an open-ended question. However, political personalities are already scoring brownie points by insinuating various things.

Namewee was wrong to be abusive – even I would balk short at such behaviour. But Namewee speaks for all those who suffered that day in school and for the people in Malaysia who care.

Maybe if the authorities had been swift in their response, Namewee would not have had the reason to come up with this clip.

The more potent danger

Actually, Namewee has done the job of the government much better that the government itself. It has given prominence to racism issues in a creative way and made us take a stand against racism. If not for his Youtube, clip, would we have taken as much attention? The problem is that the authorities have ‘lost it’.

When Dr Chua Soi Lek criticised Namewee and said, “Freedom of expression should come with responsibility to consider sensitivities towards other races and religions”, he forgot that it was the two school principals who ignored sensitivities and caused a furore.

And instead of the school principals being censured, it is Namewee who is allegedly being charged with sedition. Namewee’s clip was crude and coarse, but not racist.

This young disgruntled Malaysia’s response to racism has been blown into something of a racial firestorm. That is the more potent danger.

It seems that when you scratch beneath the surface, 1Malaysia is unraveling faster than a knitted jumper. One person condemns an irresponsible racist head, and the so called defenders of the race, react like beasts unleashed, and all for the wrong reasons.

Namewee has talent. He engages with the young via his rap music and lyrics. He should be nominated for a role in the Ministry for Information, Communications, Cul¬ture and Arts, to promote racial unity and other Malaysian issues.

Far from creating disharmony, Namewee has united us against racism. He at least has the courage to tackle racism in his own entertaining way.

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Friday, 3 September 2010 - 10:09 pm

    After Chua Soi Lek told Namewee to face the music, I wonder whether Namewee’s fans still want to vote MCA come 13th GE.

  2. #2 by negarawan on Friday, 3 September 2010 - 10:15 pm

    Wee Meng Chee, we are all behind you!

  3. #3 by dcasey on Friday, 3 September 2010 - 11:48 pm

    Going by Mariam Mokhtar’s article here, it takes just one youth called Namewee to out perform all those useless aging ministers all combined. Shame on the govt, snail-pace is no place, it sucks. Mariam suggest that Namewee should be nominated for a role in the Ministry for Information, Communications, Cul¬ture and Arts. I have a better idea, Rais should move over and let Namewee assume his job. At least a rapper in the govt is by far better than any of those who rapes the country.

  4. #4 by drngsc on Friday, 3 September 2010 - 11:49 pm

    It is so obvious now that there are two sets of laws, one for them and one for us. Namewee had the guts to say what we were all saying in coffee shops. Namewee, we are with you. We are all against racist and racism.

  5. #5 by bennylohstocks on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 2:02 am

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 7:09 am

    All these years there is a sizable group that has got comfortable and rich based on racist political ideology. Their vested interests are more important to them, for which they will fight tooth and nail to defend, than the nation’s interest. They feel very threatened by Najib and his platform of 1 Malaysia, NEM and GTP that outwardly appear to initiate the first tentative steps to deconstruct the racist architecture upon which the nation’s political and economic order has so far been constructed.

    Precisely because “Namewee has done the job of the government (if ‘job’ is a reference to selling 1 Malaysia, NEM and GTP) better that the government itself (if ‘government’ is assumed to be represented by Najib), that is why those with vested interest in the present racist system, opposing change, vigorously seek to bring down Namewee as a obligue and indirect signal to Najib that they will defend the racist status quo and oppose his proposed reforms.

    Reactionaries opposed to reform and change find Namewee a convenient target to make their point.

    Namewee is not the country’s PM to whom they need to keep appearances of showing some deference. He is not in the position to dispense patronage or largesse. He has no power. He is a member of minority group on whom it is expedient and convenient to throw accusation of sedition and to galvanize others of same racist ideology to persecute him.

    Namewee represents a particular clear and present threat to vested interests because (1) he is young and brazen, evincing a particular defiance and determination, demonstrated, now the second time around, to challenge the very existing racist order, the sanctity and continuance of which, these people have vested interest in defending; (2) his challenge, carried out in a creative way via video and tube rap music, is by its humorous content, both creative and therefore effective to canvass a wider reach to the masses than the normal run of opinions expressed by others against racism through the Internet medium.

    Our racist political ideology assumes the existence of two groups – the dominant one with privileges and power, and the other the subservient, without. Namewee by his actions is seen as a particular young man having the gumption, gall, impertinence, impudence of championing the second group’s interest against the dominance and hegemony of the first, and thus he is a symbol of rebellion to be put down!

    That is why they are prepared to go to lengths in furtherance of their objective to even paint what is white as black and what is anti racist as racist, and therefore seditious to put him, a symbol of rebellion by the disenfranchised, down!

    That’s what the brouhaha is all about. It is pointless to argue merits nd rationale. there is none except that Namewee is but a convenient object for those with vested interest in defending the present racist order, in opposition to the changes and reforms proposed by Najib, could galvanise themselves through persecuting him in order to further their objectives of resisting the implementation of 1 Malaysia, NEM and GTP.

    CSL’s forsaking Namewee is an attempt to appease these groups in mitigation of the offence that these groups earlier took to his earlier statement on Muslim countries’ poor performance…

  7. #7 by undertaker888 on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 8:14 am

    MTV award for namewee. and also Malaysian of the year award.

  8. #8 by pulau_sibu on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 8:26 am

    What would happen now if Teo Nie Ching considers to convert to Islam? Would UMNO say NO? simply because it is umNO.

  9. #9 by a g on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 8:35 am

    I don’t see anything seditous in Namewee’s creation this time. No, no calls for any Malaysian to go back to anywhere he/she doesn’t belong: Indonesia, Tunisia or, even, Africa, the land from where modern day anthropologists believe ALL our, including your and my, ancestors actually first originated.
    And I don’t see anything racist either. Ok, it’s clear that he hated Siti (for what she did), and no doubt he is Chinese and she is Malay. So you want to say this is ‘Chinese hating Malay’ staff? But we must not forget that he also loved Siti (the other Siti, the singer of course). So this time it’s Chinese loved Malay, can’t you see? Then how can we say he was being racist?
    Chill out, guys! ‘Nah’ is by far the most brilliant piece of artistic creation to promote the 1Malaysia ideals. It’s sensational and emotional, the emotion of anti-racism that is. But apart from the over-arching theme of anti-racism, can’t you notice the signature 1Malaysia symbol, the 1Malaysia finger..?
    Ok, ok, I know this time it’s the bird..I mean middle, finger, and not the really trite, over-exposed index finger. But this is really more creative this way, isn’t it? Besides, the middle finger is definitely much more forceful than the feeble little index finger if you want to make a strong, unequivocal 1Malaysia statement. Think! How much have we achieved so far in our noble course of 1Malaysia? A zero sum, right? Why? Precisely because the index finger is too weak for the job!
    And what about the banana, you ask? C’mon! Don’t you know how much they sell it at their supermarkets in Canada, the UK and America? Don’t you want to promote our local fruits?
    The banana is the 1Malaysia fruit, not durian, not rambutan! Tell me, which of the three most resembles the 1Malaysia symbol? Clear?
    See, all the anti-racism and 1Malaysia elements are there in his creation. So, if this is not one brilliant, creative piece of art for 1Malaysia, I don’t know what is.

  10. #10 by negarawan on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 8:43 am

    Let’s not forget to give a big “NAH!” award to the Minister for National Unity, KTK. He was sleeping when he was in Penang, and now apparently still sleeping in PM dept.

  11. #11 by wanderer on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 8:44 am

    Forgive our UMNO PM la…..he was too busy trying to patch the “leaks” in Taib kingdom of shame! Little did he know that a “Small Fry” in this country was contributing to the nation how to fight racism! Chua Sex Leg, are you still suffering from the hang over from your sexual episode?

  12. #12 by DAP man on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 9:52 am

    UMNO leaders have devalued themselves by their defense of Malay racism. If only they realize how lowly people speak of them in low tones (and expletives) in the privacy of their homes – which Namewee magnified into video clip.

    If the Malay principle racism need a task force to investigate why not also set up a task force on the video clip.
    Oh, one in Malay and one is Chinese!

    How long can UMNO continue to bully the non-Malays?

  13. #13 by dagen on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 10:52 am

    Why is umno so angry? Namewee, did you eat any of their rambutans lately? Hah, have to get past this first question, first. Just in case.

    I was wondering if there is any online survey on the matter, in particular whether people see namewee’s rap (esp that line which the hairy monkey found objectionable) contains any seditious element.

    One big one up for malaysia namewee. Never fear bro GE13 results will tell you why. When dr mamak and perkasa passed blatant racist remarks muhideen and umno said its ok. And jibby the jib kept his silence. How wonderful.

    Really, it is not difficult at all for chinese to go back to china. The economic potentials and attractions are already in place there. And in time and for the same reasons, for indians to return to india. I think I said this before somewhere, losing them is not like losing the car driver such that another umnoputra can just take over the wheel and continue the journey. Losing them will be like losing the car engine – something which is much much harder to replace compared to the missing car driver. But of course malaysia still has petroleum. So I suppose that will not be too problematic. Just buy the missing engines from elsewhere. Easy eh? Yeah. Jib Jib Boleh.

  14. #14 by dagen on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 10:58 am

    “NAH” seems like a good election campaign punchline for pakatan.

    Of course it could be expanded to mean “Now And Here” or some other better expression.

  15. #15 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 11:18 am

    UMNO keeps shooting itself in its feet with their actions and onslaught against Teo Nie Ching and Namewee.

    The public can see through UMNO’s dirty tricks and are standing firmly behind these two martyrs who have now become role model leaders.

    UMNO will surely suffer at the ballot box.

    So say a big “NAH!!!!!!” (with gestures if you like) to UMNO and their cronies.

  16. #16 by boh-liao on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 12:01 pm

    Here’s more
    Nah, na na na nah, na na na nah, na na nah, na na nah, na na na nah
    A hit song

  17. #17 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 12:01 pm

    It is Siti Inshah who is targeted by Namewee but she is not complaining: it is others who are braying for his blood. The fact is that Namewee has parodied against prevailing political ideology based on racism. It is an ideology that many depend on for their perceived well being, livelihood and benefit. It is so powerful an ideology in protection of vested interests that even the PM for all his 1 Malaysia NEM GTP, has to backtrack on implementation in the face of their opposition.

    What makes Namewee so vexing to reactionaries defending the present racist order with which their vested interests are identified is that he mocks and pokes fun by way of parody this political ideology! To be mocked and made fun of is, of course, even more painful than to be criticized. For his parody uses colour of imagery – like imagery of bananas- which is more vivid than words, and infuriating to the one mocked because one can’t pin him down as being vulgar when he interprets it the other way to say he meant banana as “1Malaysia fruit”, exactly as what poster a g of #9 interprets!

    The fact that this is second time around Namewee throws his challenge (after the first on the national flag) convinces detractors that he is not repentant and hence his attack based on effective tool of parody represents a clear and present danger to the very political order based on racism that they wish to defend. They don’t appreciate parody as an expression of democratic right to poke fun at those who huff and puff in the public arena. They see him as upsetting their applecart and therefore a threat to their and their heirs’ future well being identified with the existing racist order!

    He must therefore be put down. But how? First round, the threat of sedition is used. As a threat, this is a little difficult to carry out beyond harrassment by police questioning. For Namewee has consistently maintained that he was attacking the Kulai principal for her racist remarks. (And there is no doubt that the principal has made racist remarks). So how could someone angered by and opposed to racist remarks himself be accused guilty of making racial inflammatory statements to satisfy the requirement of sedition? That’s a hard one, a contradiction in terms, but here KJ, displaying a bit of creativity of his own, tried to link it to an insinuation –“the implication of Nasmewee’s “You tak baca? Siapa buat Malaysia kaya?” is 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”, he added.

    KJ’s argument based on insinuation is also difficult to push though because others like, for eg, TDM also made the same insinuation (eg most taxes were paid and buildings in the country owned by Chinese Malaysians) without being accused of sedition!
    But if sedition cannot work, the imperative still remains that Namewee representing a symbol of rebellion against a political and economic order structured around racist ideology will still have to be silenced and put down.

    So now another track (other than sedition) is used, this time around, involving Section 233 (1)(a) of Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for improper use of network facilities or network service by making, creating, soliciting and initiating transmission of any content that is obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with malicious intent. At least some of Namewee’s gestures and words -that even his supporters could agree are vulgar or distasteful- could help nail him under this legislation! Thats where they are going for against the rapper.

  18. #18 by k1980 on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 12:09 pm

  19. #19 by Jamal Malik on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 12:16 pm

    Mariam Moktar’s article hit the nail right on the head. The failure of the Malay Muslim community and leaders, as a whole, to come up fast with a strong and collective statement against those who stoke and ferment racism during Ramadan is disappointing.

    Instead, those who opposes racism has been on the receiving end of the stick.

    Islam teaches us humility and respect for others. In the most holy month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims are constantly reminded, besides their prayers and reading of the Quran, to be on their best behaviors, do the right things, help and give to the poor and disadvantaged. In essence, the Holy Month is intended to bring out the best in a person.

    Instead, what we have witnessed is a one sided approached to racist taunts from school principals which confirm muted racism has been practiced by the governing body.

    Regrettably, to those in authority that failed to act or chastised the wrongdoers, you will have to answer to the Almighty, eventually.

  20. #20 by boh-liao on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 12:17 pm

    He was questioned 4 >7 hours at d Malaysian Communications n Multimedia Commission (MCMC) HQs on Fri, 3.9.10
    Lucky him, came out alive not kena Ta Pao out, no black eyes either
    Always good 2 announce 2 d world I “M A Certified Coward” (MACC), takut ooh self-strangulation, self-mutilation n jumping off tall bulidings
    Also, no suffer fr the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR)
    U know, in M’sia, truly semua boleh

  21. #21 by k1980 on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 1:26 pm

    Lucky him, came out alive through the door, and not the 14th floor window. Else have to scrap his brains from the pavement.
    Did they ask him to volunteer to clean the upstairs windows?

  22. #22 by Peter on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 1:38 pm

    I will not condone racism. That Namewee tends to be one and his use of expletives makes me distance myself from him. But I must ask the authorities to look at what created Namewee. It is the behaviour of people like our deputy prime minister, that racialistic dickhead Ib Ali just to menrion a few, that created the likes of Namewee.

    Our DPM and that include our so called 1Malaysia PeeeM has done nothing about the two alleged racist teachers though BOTH have echoed the statement that there will be zero tolerance for racism. Yet nothing has been done about the two teachers. 1Malaysia is just all talk.
    However, in the case of this young boy, action is swift. It goes to show that our PM, his deputy and our police force are all racists.
    Coing to my point, has the schoolmistress been questioned like Namewee???????. I suppose the answer is ‘no’! This is the usual practice of the Umno government and their PDRM cronies. Though I can see signs of changes from PeeeeM but the core of Umno shows no sign of change. Practically NOTHING, if not worst. To play safe, we hope the general rakyat will change the present corrupted, racialistic etc…government come GE13. By then all the unwanted ones will be lambasted by PKR from Umno IN ORDER for the rakyat and country to move forward.

  23. #23 by dagen on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 2:11 pm

    Nah umno.

    Now that is kinda cooool man.

  24. #24 by boh-liao on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 2:12 pm

    #21, Do not forget or leave out d greatest maha racist of all, MMK
    He too helped 2 drive Namewee 2 b creative

  25. #25 by habis on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 4:20 pm

    Namewee is the product of the racist UNMO and and he is just plain frustrated with all the current happenings in our beloved country.I believe there are hundreds of thousands Namewees all over Malaysia just waiting for the moment to pass their judgment come 13GE

  26. #26 by k1980 on Saturday, 4 September 2010 - 4:24 pm

    When Old Viagra Chua said “Nah” to A. Yam in the hotel room, it is OK

    But when Namewee said “Nah” in his video, it is not OK.

    Is it because the former had his clothes off but the latter has his clothes on?

  27. #27 by rexis on Sunday, 5 September 2010 - 7:24 am

    Let not discuss whether Namewee’s fans will or not make MCA to have 300 less votes in every seats.

    I am pretty sure that there are at least 50% MCA members do not agree with their leader. CSL will be more then willing to be hero if he could, but he has to say it, why? Received order?

  28. #28 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 5 September 2010 - 8:21 am

    Name Wee talks about sucking bananas. Doesn’t he know that we do not suck bananas? We eat them. Now you can expect to see Malaysians sucking bananas walking our streets instead of biting into them.

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