Namwee Forced to Look the Other Way

Posted: August 14, 2007 in Assault on Malaysian Bloggers, Blogging and Democracy, Freedom of Speech, human rights, Malaysian Blogosphere

As a young person myself, I feel very sad that people like Namwee are forced to say sorry for something that doesn’t warrant a sorry. Something that should have been looked at as a call out to the government, to the “rakyat”, to the world on how the situation of Malaysia is, how we are so divided, how it has left us feeling so left out of the equation of being what you call a Malaysian. The act of intimidation has worked not because he was scared for himself I’m sure but I understand his concerns his away from the country leaving behind his family to deal with the threats, sure no person in the right state of mind would want anything to happen to their family so much so that he has took that that path that leads him to apologize.

It aches to know that there is no room for expression, there is no room for creativity, there is no room for discussion in the land we call home. As I write this post in the background Namewee song is playing, I for one do not understand Mandarin to such a massive extent (very minimal understanding) but as they say music cut through all boundaries and knows no restrictions despite the language or genre its presented in. As I hear him singing the Negarakuku song, I beam with pride knowing that a young person out there tried his best to express himself, express his love for the country, express the truth he felt despite it all..

It saddens me to know that people of Malaysia resorted to threatening namwee by threats to kill him, threats to burn his house down, is this who we are Malaysia? What happen to the whole imagery of being people who were friendly, kind, well-natured, peaceful etc? It makes tear roll down my eyes to know that after 50 years of living in a country that you can threaten a young man, a Malaysian just like you, yes he might be Chinese but he is MALAYSIAN! He might not belief in the same god, he might not practice the same religion so what he is MALAYSIAN! I’m embarrassed to know that some Malaysians have had the nerve to threaten this young man for his creation of the Negarakuku. After 50 years, Malaysia you have achieved nothing and you have proved it by behaving like a thug, like an animal(no no..I can’t even put you on the same ground as animals, as my dogs are more loving and caring!) so what if you have the tallest buildings, so what!!!!

You can read more of Namewee saying sorry on<“malaysiakini”> today, I’m signing off, Merdeka is losing its meaning to me as days pass by.

  1. Antares says:

    Good on you Cheryl for expressing how you feel about the brainless repression that has become the only weapon left to those who have nothing to defend except their own mediocrity and ego insecurity. This kind of violent reaction is characteristic of all patriarchal societies wherein the Father Figure of External Authority (issuing from an unquestioining belief in a masculine deity) is extended to represent the State itself (the non-logical equation being God = King = Government). As a male and as a father myself, I remember vividly how this tendency is so deeply embedded that it requires real effort to become aware of it – and then we must make a conscious decision to disable this sort of knee-jerk reflex. Give you an example: when my daughters reached puberty and began “talking back” – to the extent of ridiculing their father’s musical taste – I found myself wanting to slap them for being so rude. Then I realized this was simply a sign that they were beginning to think independently and have their own opinions, andd that it was a positive phenomenon! I had to laugh in embarrassment for very nearly succumbing to patriarchal programming myself and hitting them for “insubordination” and “disrespect.” Thank heaven for youngsters who compel us to be less rigid in our thinking and to learn democracy the hard way – by allowing others to criticize and even mock us publicly. Those who cannot abide by negative feedback end up becoming despots or suupporting dictatorships.

  2. lucia says:

    yeah i’m with you. agree totally with what you wrote. i also feel sad that namewee had to apologise, when we should have others people apologising instead (like one famous son-in-law). i will blog about this later and link you.

  3. 2legit says:

    Well said Cheryl.

    I remember when I was in school (ages ago) during art class, I wanted to do something out of the ordinary and produced a painting in graphical form so bizarre as a form of my artistic expression. I was actually very proud of my artwork. Anyway the art teacher failed me and I was penalised badly. As expected I was absolutely demoralised by the whole episode. Likewise Namewee wanted to express himself in rap form and like all raps (just look at ENINMEM) it does contain some form of profanity which to me is perfectly alright. It is sad that this country is penalising and demoralising its young generation by this act of suppression.

    On a lighter note, I finally started a blog again (still with all the technical blunders). Probably I need your help with this wordpress thingy particuloarly with the widgets and page creation. This time I would really like to take up Haris’s challenge and promote the Bangsa Malaysia concept, big time. My blog: Would it be alright if I include you in my blogroll. You are one young Bangsa Malaysian that I am totally proud of. Hope to see you at the ‘do’. Cheers.

  4. Ezra says:

    is he a malaysian if he were to do such things by means of expressing himself ? I am sure that theres other ways for him to express himself and not to make fun of his own country anthem which also means that he is making fun of his own country.

    It saddens me more that he himself does not understand the meaning of Merdeka to make fun of his own country. What if other people were to make fun of you the way he makes fun of his own country ? and were talking about Malaysia. Is that what we called malaysian ?

    he should say sorry to the country because such things should not be taken lightly.

  5. cherwith says:

    Ezra I strongly belief nothing is wrong with expressing how you feel about your country. I’m not a Chinese but I can relate to what he said and it is nothing but the truth. How is he making fun of his country? You mean telling the truth part which so happens is not such a great picture of multi-racial Malaysia?
    Do you know the meaning of Merdeka?What does it mean to you?Waving a flag once a year is not MERDEKA. Being Malaysian is not sucking up to the leaders or powers that be and saying things just to please them or make Malaysia look good, what’s the point? Leaders should say sorry for making the country as racially biased as it is. A lot of racial bias exist in the country, if you were part of it you would know but are you? Are you treated differently from the rest of the races in Malaysia. Think about it, if you were in our shoes you would be have very different views my friend. Those who feel this racial bias are very tolerant people ….VERY TOLERANT

  6. cherwith says:

    By the way ezra you said what if someone would make fun of me the way he did about the country. I would of course not just accept what has been say but I would defend myself to every accusation the person made against me. Belief me I have been made fun of a lot. I wouldn’t threaten to kill them or intimidate them..What shouldn’t be taken lightly is the decay of the young minds in Malaysia who are ignorant as hell and so naive.

  7. Ezra says:

    Hi. I dont really agree with some of the things the govn had/will do because I think its stupid myself, but at least have some respect to the country by respecting its anthem and the flag. What has it done wrong to you ? (ref to the flag and the anthem) if you are not happy with how things are going on, there are other ways for you to express it.


  8. Ezra says:

    at least, our country are not as bad as our neighborhood country. Look around you and tell me you’re thankful you’re a malaysian. Are we as bad as Indonesia ? Or Thailand ? so bad that he couldnt even respect OUR country’s anthem. If Namwee were a citizen of other country, lets say China, more crucial action will be taken on him. its sad that one only focused on, well..i take a quote from the movie Ratatouille “negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read”

    Thanks again.

  9. Antares says:

    This is especially for Ezra. You may have heard people say: “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never harm you.” Well, artistic expression IS the only valid way to articulate one’s feelings about anything – apart from voting (some wise soul once declared: “If voting changed anything, they’d ban it.”) Wee is a musician and rapper and doing a musical parody of “Negaraku” was how he chose to express his feelings (why do you think he’s studying mass communications in Taiwan and not in his own country?) – just as Jimi Hendrix closed his historic performance at Woodstock 1969 with his own interpretation of “Star Spangled Banner” played with maximum distortion and feedback on his guitar – it was a perfect expression of a true patriot’s distress over America’s hypocritical involvement in Vietnam, and the resultant grief, destruction, and senseless loss of millions of lives. Today Hendrix’s version of “Star Spangled banner” is viewed as high art and he’s justifiably celebrated as a great artist.
    Let’s give Wee Meng Chee a chance to develop as a topnotch musician and videomaker. I could chuckle at his in-your-face approach and his forthrightness – though I felt he was lacking in subtlety and wit – and that’s why he succeeded in stepping on so many toes. The only hope for intellectual and spiritual maturity in any society is through freedom of expression via the arts – writing, theatre, film, dance, music, street performance, and so on. That’s why those who cherish our dignity and freedom (and not just the superficial and artificial symbols of national pride like the Jalur Gemilang and Negaruku) will always stand up for freedom of expression.

  10. cherwith says:

    I do respect my country. What I don’t respect is the way Malaysia is developing, what is the point of surface development? I will never understand. What has it done to me? Hmm…I can write more than one post about that but its not about me, it not about you, its about all Malaysians, leaders, citizens ..everyone. What other ways are there to express yourself? You can’t write(blog, send opinions/comments to mainstream media) you can’t remix songs, you can’t comment on anything done by the government unless it is in favor of them…tell me please what avenues exist for expression? I can’t bake a cake with the flag of my country on it because it is CONSIDERED DISRESPECTFUL. ( i Think its absurd )There are ways to go about things, expressing your criticism or unhappiness doesn’t mean you hate or disrespect your country but love it enough to want to make a difference, to hope for a change to be apart of that change you long for. What’s wrong about that? You say we are not as bad as this country and that country. That is the biggest problem with Malaysians…why compare ourselves to countries that do not fare as well, is it to make us feel better about ourselves? The yardstick shouldn’t be based on what others are doing or have done but what serves as justice, what is good for us as a country, not for a certain race or for certain elites. Yes, we have it better than Indonesia or Thailand. Perhaps so but we could do even better, why must be settle for second best, or best among the worst when we can strive for so much more.Malaysia is one of the most culturally diversified countries beautiful and rich in so many ways despite the shortcomings but we have so much more to achieve in order to get more well-balanced development.
    Thanks Ezra for commenting I do appreciate your input. You know I agree and if I had an inch of his creativity I perhaps would have wrote or composed a song(sadly I’m not that creative :hehehe) saying pretty much the same things, for I feel it too. I feel like a second class citizen in my own country, is it wrong to feel like that? Should I just keep quite and accept my fate? Or should I move away because I don’t like it or should stay in Malaysia and fight for what I believe in, fight for equality, fight for the right to be recognized as a citizen of this land. It would be easier for me to just leave the country or ignore what is happening because it doesn’t affect me personally to such a large extent, I could be considered middle class and my life is alright,nothing great but I do not suffer. But I’m not fighting just for the sake of it but for those who are marginalized,those who do not have a voice, those who do not have the same avenues to express themselves.

  11. sandrar says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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