Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Anak muda dari Muar ini, khabarnya sedang belajar di Taiwan, mencipta sebuah lagu rap yang menarik, dengan judul 'Negarakuku'.

Kalau tidak faham, sebab lagunya berbahasa Cina, boleh lihat terjemahan lebih kurang di sini. Blognya di sini.

Tetapi kerajaan Malaysia berasa tersinggung dan mungkin mengambil tindakan kepadanya selepas siasatan. Baca kenyataan setiausaha parlimen kementerian di sini.

>>> Untuk baca reaksi-reaksi penulis-penulis blog tentang penyanyi rap Negarakuku, klik di sini.

The Star pernah melaporkan anak muda ini Wee Meng Chee, 24, dalam artikel "Muar boy's sleeper hit" (24 Julai 2007). Antaranya:

He produced the satirical but frank music video, which took digs at people who were ashamed of speaking their own dialect, KL-ites, as well as Chinese and foreign workers, when he went back to Muar for his holiday in February.

"It is just my feelings towards my hometown and it came straight from my heart," he said in a phone interview from Taipei recently.

The video, which was initially circulated among his friends on MSN for fun, was posted on YouTube after he received complaints from his friends that they could not easily download the file because of its large size.

"So I uploaded it on YouTube before I went to sleep so that it could be easily accessed by my friends," he said.

What he did not expect was that during the seven or eight hours he was sleeping, the video was viewed almost 5,000 times.

"My MSN account was also full of messages from my friends who told me that they liked the video very much," he said.

After three days, the hits on the video reached 80,000.

His parents and siblings, who knew nothing about the video before it shot to fame, were told of their son's and brother's instant popularity by their friends.

"I had done several other videos before so I found no reason to tell them about this particular one.

Moreover, I do not use vulgar words at home like I do in the video," he said.

With much hesitation, he said, he then called up his family to ask if he had shamed them with the video.

There has been criticism from Internet surfers that Wee sounds offensive in some parts of his rap songs, saying that there was no need for him to emulate certain US rappers.

Many also posted comments criticising his views in his song.

But instead of being scolded by his family, Wong's mother told him that it is a nice video and that it has brought to light some realities that were previously unnoticed by even those who had lived in Muar for decades.

However, he has received negative criticism from viewers who said they despised the video; they accused him of using questionable methods to further his own objectives.

"I did not mean to offend anyone and I did not upload it to make myself famous," said Wee.

>>> Jadi, apa pandangan anda?


mf said...

setakat ni kami belum dapat dengar lagu 'negarakuku' ni. sebab masalah teknikal. tapi nanti dah dgr bole la buat appresiasi.atleast bole tengok sejauh mana efektif muziknya.

bibliobibuli said...

whether you like it or not, approve of it or not, you should be able to applaud the fact that this young malaysian carved out for himself the freedom to express his thoughts. too many other artists are too busy pussy-footing around sensitivities to create meaningful art or literature. as English PEN president and novelist hari kunzru said recently on bbc's hard talk "no-one has the right to be offended".

Anonymous said...

Joint Statement by:
Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI),
Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ),
Institut Kajian Dasar (IKD)

10 August 2007

Constitution guarantees Malaysians' freedom to celebrate Merdeka

Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI), Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) and Institut Kajian Dasar (IKD) stress that the Federal Constitution guarantees Malaysians' freedom to celebrate Merdeka in any peaceful way they prefer. In fact, freedom as enshrined in the Constitution is central to the celebration of Merdeka. If we are not free, what independence is there to celebrate?

We express our gravest concern on the latest assault on artistic and cultural expression launched by some McCarthy wannabes in politics and media. Wee Meng Chee, a Malaysian student in Taiwan has attracted demonization in media and threat of legal action by politicians for writing a rap-song "I love my country, Negarakuku" with the national anthem Negaraku as its chorus, and sharing it on youtube.

We hold that Malaysians are mature enough to discuss and judge for themselves the content and form of arts. Political intervention into the world of arts hurts both arts and democracy. Unfortunately, before Wee, musicians performing genres like heavy metal and rock, movie directors like Mohamad Amir, Yasmin Ahmad and Tsai Ming-Liang, actress in Vagina Monologue, have all suffered harassment, vilification, censorship or ban for "offending" or "challenging" national culture, sensitivity, history, etc. in one way or another.

Malaysia, whose initial celebration 50 years ago and formation 44 years ago we are now supposed to celebrate, has become the greatest measure of political correctness upon which every artistic and cultural expression needs to be examined. Albeit without explicitly evoking Senator McCarthy's language, some Malaysians have set out to eliminate the crime of "unMalaysianness", a fact other Malaysians must now stand up and speak up.

We stress these three positions of principle:

1. The Federal Constitution of Malaysia explicitly guarantees every citizen "the right to freedom of speech and expression" (Article 10.1.a). While it also allows the Parliament to impose restrictions "by law", parodying the national anthem is not one of the eight permissible grounds. (Article 10.1.b) We remind all quarters that the suggestion of evoking a charge against Wee under the National Anthem Act has therefore risked defying the Federal Constitution itself, a more serious offence than any parodying of the National Anthem.

2. No one should be prosecuted or persecuted for their artistic expressions so long they are not propagating violence. Those who disagree with certain artistic expressions should reply with artistic critiques or counter-expressions, rather than banning or them or persecuting the artists with the state's power. The same principle applies on academic, social, political, religious, cultural views, where an opponent to a particular view should strive to defeat and debunk the view s/he opposes in free debates, rather than silencing whomever s/he considers heretic with the state's power. If we cannot hold on to this principle, we are making a mockery of the Article 10 of our Federal Constitution.

3. Inter-ethnic and inter-religious harmony cannot be promoted by suppressing freedom of expression. Suppression will only drive misunderstanding and animosity into frustrations and anger which will sweep everyone when suppression is no longer possible. Bigotry and hostility can only be addressed and eliminated under open and rational debates, where everyone respect each other's freedom of expression insofar no violence is used or advocated. If some are intolerant to views they consider insulting or offensive, the society must promote tolerance and respect, rather than conceding to emotional responses of the intolerant lot. Otherwise, if everyone protests against everything s/he considers offensive, perhaps no issue can be discussed publicly. This will only kill democracy as the state can dictate on matters of importance without public scrutiny and participation.

Thomas Paine said it aptly, "Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one." The white-terror Senator McCarthy brought to the US in 1950s – investigating and persecuting left-leaning artists under the charges of un-American activities - testified the danger when the government's power goes beyond the necessary.

The monopoly of Merdeka outdoor celebration by the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry has signaled earlier a dangerous trend that our nation's Independence or its celebration is now seen as the Government's prerogative or private property. The zest to persecute Wee is but the second manifestation of such mentality. Malaysians, regardless whether they agree with Wee's views, must stand up to defend the right to celebrate Merdeka in any peaceful way they like, against the assaults of the Little McCarthys in politics and the media.

This statement is initiated by WAMI,

Jointly issued by:
Wong Chin Huat, Chairperson, WAMI
Gayathry V., Executive Director, CIJ
Khalid Jaafar, Executive Director, IKD

Anonymous said...

A case of politicians & Metro newspaper having a field day basking in the publicity.

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