Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Patriot Games

In case some of you are all not that connected to the local hip hop scene, a Taiwan-based student known as Namewee has thrust himself into the spotlight with a little ditty which samples a funky Negaraku into the mix and highlights the inequality and corruption of the Malaysian way of life. It has caused a whole lot of chest-beating amongst the self-righteous and indignant leaders of our beloved nation and has led to yet another witch hunt among the Malay media (if anyone is inflammatory, tis them). Unpatriotic, Kurang ajar etc . . . This is almost akin to the impact caused Stateside by NWA in the early 90s or better still, Jimi Hendrix mangling The Star Spangled Banner into a twisted vignette reflecting the Viet Nam war and Civil Rights Movement at Woodstock.

Why the huge fuss? Fer starters, its making a lot of people uneasy simply because they cannot just remove the offending tune off youtube. Unlike the old days when The Star (when it was a real paper) and various Chinese press were shut down willy nilly at a simple flick of a wrist signing the Home Ministry order. TV, radio, media, everything was under Big Abang's watchful eye. But now "trouble-makers" such as Raja Petra and other like minded souls can roam cyberspace with impunity, free from the giant axe of censorship. The powers-that-be are reeling from every small knock simply because they have been living in an out-dated cocoon fer too long. Scenario almost akin to the overthrow of brutal Romanian dictator Nikolas Causcescu - coup started with just a few brave souls booing (previously unheard of) at a public rally. He was so shocked to hear it he was completely unprepared and days later was toppled and executed.(Note - I am not suggesting anybody be executed, no matter how fooking tempting that may sound).

Secondly, here is a young man FREELY speaking his mind over a catchy (albeit dated) back beat. Let's face it, the sentiments he is expressing is nothing new and most non-Bumi citizens will agree with Namewee. The inequality in every facet of life from public education to govt contracts are biased towards a certain group of people. Nothing new. Underpaid and overworked police officers resorting to bribery to make ends meet, again, old fookin story. But for him to actually SAY it in a PUBLIC forum is a serious shock to the system.

Of course, some overly-sensitive soul clutching at straws has to use the tired old "insulting Islam" line. What does he actually say? It is that the call to prayers heard five times a day is just part of Malaysian life. He is implicitly implying if non-Muslims can accept this, why can't Muslims accept the practices of other religions?

For nigh on twenty-odd years, the venerated Tun has built a culture of intimidation and fear with his three-lettered Acts. Now in this wonderful digital age of ours, obscure rappers can become household names even in a country with less than 5% Internet penetration. This is largely thanks to the paranoid ramblings of the aforementioned Malay media and govt leaders. Keep it up, wankers, you are helping the cause no end.

In me humble opinion, Namewee is a so-so only rapper lah but he is a TRUE patriot fer having the balls to speak his mind. Would he had done so if he didn't give a toss about the land of his birth? Would he have struck such a strong chord among so many people if his sentiments were indeed kurang ajar or off the mark?

Please do not think any lesser of Namewee for having to issue a public apology as he has already made his point. And good on him fer not jumping on the DAP bandwagon when it is clearly not his intention to run fer office. Look forward to hearing his next little gem. Aren't you?

PS: Namewee, if you are reading this, was that a real turd in yer video?


SLACKER said...

hey... i think the song couldnt be any less patriotic!

weiyin69 said...

eh, send me the video ... i'm dying to know. cyberspace is so cool, aint it?

anfield devotee said...

why slacker? the govt paid fer yer studies ah? Yer parents were hard working civil servants. Ask yer mum how she feels!

fact of the matter,the flag & national anthem don't mean **** anymore ......

redmac said...

heard it and i thot it was kind of cute and catchy. Good to know we have talented Malaysians out there willing to take risks with freedom of expression. However, i did not believe his statement that he did not mean to raise any controversies when he did the video. I think he abolutely had this current furore in mind!

Kopite78 said...

I loved it. Infact made me feel more patriotic than the original or the fast tempo one they came up with a few years back and made a big deal about it.

Our so called "leaders" do not like too drastic a change.