Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A new take on Negarakuku

Here is an interesting article on www.malaysiakini.com on NameWee's song. I cannot replicate the entire article due to copyright issues but here are a few relevant parts:

by Helen Ang

"......Wee Meng Chee complained that the Malay media instigated the hostility against him. Indeed Malay newspapers arrogate themselves auxiliary moral police when they cover Azhar Mansor, M Revathi (Siti Fatimah to them) and others inimical to their mental straitjacket.

Wee also complained of harassment by the Malay reporter who interviewed him. He said he was berated by the reporter for explaining he had no religion, which to the reporter clearly explained why Wee was of the sort of character that could (allegedly) insult Islam.

Free minds that roam The Malay mind in Malaysia, due to its strict conditioning by received ideas, finds it inconceivable that anyone should fail to believe. Frankly, it’s not the reporter’s job to sit in moral judgment. As a Chinese, Wee committed no crime in not belonging to any faith unlike his Malay fellow citizen who could be packed off to prison.

The prevalent prejudice against freethinking is grossly unfair. Being irreligious hardly connotes immorality as is supposed by Malays and other Malaysians of faith. There are many moral, famous figures who confess to be not religious men at all.

Among atheists and agnostics are Bertrand Russell, John Stuart Mill, George Santayana, Albert Camus, Immanuel Kant, Spinoza, Rene Descartes, David Hume, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Carl Sagan, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, George Orwell, George Bernard Shaw, Jonathan Swift, Jean-Paul Sartre, Alexis de Tocqueville, Maxim Gorky and it is popularly said Charles Darwin.

............. Namewee has been turned into a cautionary tale for the Chinese on the unacceptable risks of offending the status quo. But it is unacceptable that there is no democratic space for second ways to find expression. Civil society has to see to it that the laws are not wielded as Umno’s totalitarian tools.

Now is the time for Malaysians to remove the blinkers, the gag, the handcuffs and all the cords that bind us. Show some spine. Let’s have just as much respect for Truth and Candour as we do flag and national anthem."


KahJoon said...

i cannot agree with you on this dr carmen. u see, a country cannot have citizens that speak absolutely what they want. This countermeasures like seditious act and others are necessary but albeit less strict.

take for example US, they do have the First Amendment that guarantess free speech but do u know that they too have counter measures that are similiar to seditious act and others too?

they have intelligency agencies than can make a person disappear without any explanation and no one can point fingers. they also charge ppl that possess information about military and govt heavily.

these counter-measures are necessary evils to keep a country peaceful.

in my opinion, if we totally remove all gags, the stability of our country will just deteriorate and slowly Malaysia will become a third world country. we dont want to be like Indonesia, where the muslims slaugther Christians and like Thailand where the Muslims are oppressed.

when these gags are removed, ppl will start to question the sultans and agong's position, the malay rights and i guarantee you the malays wont sit down quietly and do ntg. there will be another May 13. i dont want to see Malaysia bathed in enthic cleansing blood !

ViViEnNe said...

i dun want another May13 too...well,wt kj said is right in some ways,but i wud b questioning the 'manner' they deal with it...i mean as in the reporter,a reporter should be professional shouldnt (s)he? wts with the freethinking?we should respect each other...shouldnt we?oh talk about morality...

jeannie said...

But the thing is to what extent can the citizens express what they think. The citizens couldn't just keep quiet and said nothing if they are not happy with the country. It's a democratic country after all and what does that mean? It means that the citizens can choose how their country runs. If one country want to have loyal citizens then the target should be on the citizens. Of course we couldnt please everyone but if they didn't voice out their dissatisfaction, who's going to know what's wrong with the country? Did the sedition act explain to what extent the citizens are able to voice out their opinions? Of course we couldnt remove the sedition act but it should not be that strict until it restricts the citizens from voicing out their views.
I dont think having no religions means immorality. Maybe I'm a free-thinker and i know many others who dont have a religion but are good ppl. NO one's perfect. Humans made mistakes but we need to have our own principle on what's right and wrong. We need to have our conscience clear. Even if an individual has a religion, it doesn't mean s(he) has morality unless s(he) follows what's taught in the religion.
And i have to agree with vivien that reporters should be not be biased. They should write the news in both sides and not just one-sided. No personal opinions should be in the news. It's up to the readers to judge the situation not the reporter. Otherwise it would look more like some kind of persuasion...like an advertisement perhaps!haha!

suesin23 said...

well..as for me, im different..you can say that im anti-government but wat the Meng Chee sang in his "negarakuku" is absolutely correct.. it make sense.. everything he said really happened in our society and among the government department.. he is expressing his dissatisfaction and anger for us anyway.. well, all i can is that although its wrong for him to do so, but he shouldnt be harassed that way.. he is still a human after all.. he stand for our rights..he spoken for many of us.. im impressed with him because he got the courage to do this.. Obviously, im on his side..haha

jeannie said...

Well, I'm not sure about what he did is right or wrong BECAUSE how else can he express his dissatisfaction effectively if not through this method? But then, to some people, it might sound offensive.

amy2kyo said...

Is there anything wrong to be an irreligious person? Not practicing any religion doesn't mean that one is immoral or faithless. Aren't these people(the journalists whom interviewed Namewee) mature enough to do critical thinking?!

But, I do agree on Kah Joon's point. The Malays, for sure, will stand for themselves and fight against whoever obstructs their way. It's typical way of fighting back.

But, what about the repercussions of it? May13's incident again? Race vs Race? This just doesn't show unity in our country. I bet citizens from other country are laughing their brains out on this matter.

Why? Why is this happening? sigh. Merdeka is around the corner? Will it be as glory as before, as merry as before?

KahJoon said...

i do believe in the notion that journalist should have the freedom to write news..but if we give them complete freedom, then who is going to be the countercheck to them? what IF they spread false news? obviously the RAKYAT are too lazy to go find out the truth..they will buta buta follow..then how IF this happens? so i believe that countermeasures have to be there but it should not be too strict that it is against human rights.

amy, thanks for reminding us that merdeka is around the corner. come on lah..dont stoke racial disharmony already..put aside ur biasness towards other races and live in harmony..live peacefully alongside each other. this is my wish this year for merdeka and ntg else. we are one big happy family.

I LOVE MALAYSIA and I will always love malaysia..Happy 50th Independence Day Malaysia! Hopefully 13 yrs from now we are a developed nation and nomore a developing one.

Carmen N said...

KJ, you are funny... are you appealing to emotion by saying you love Malaysia? Hahahahha...

A few thoughts while I am on the run (this forum stokes my CT fire too much for me not to write something!)....

1. There are Malaysian MALAYS who think malay special rights should be abolished and that the monarch serves no function. There are Malays who want what any other patriotic and critical thinking citizen of any race wants: equality, justice, true democracy, transparency, etc. etc. There are Malays who OPENLY criticize the current ruling government and politicians but why don't we hear them? Why do we think that ALL Malays will want to defend ketuanan Melayu?

Because the press in our country is NOT free, it is owned in large parts by the government or govt-linked organizations and editors are appointed by political figures.

2. Who to check the press? Well, if we have a free press and a FAIR and JUST and INDEPENDENT judiciary, then our laws can check the press. And let's not forget: the people can check the press. The problem is circular: public is ignorant or misinformed because press is not free, press is not free because government controls the media, government controls the media because people are ignorant, people are ignorant because... and so on and so on...

3. Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines... let's not forget that these nations have a different history than our own but their press is a LOT freer than ours. This DOES NOT mean that free press = responsible citizens and SMART public. These things take time.. the press in those countries have not been free for very long and of course, when you give people something they have not had for a long time, they have a tough time assimilating the "good" qualities and discarding the bad.

But I think we spend too TOO MUCH TIME comparing ourselves with other countries who are also part of the Third World. Why not compare ourselves with better nations? More progressive democracies? Why not take the good and not the bad from the countries we can learn from?

4. And by the way, USA is by NO MEANS as free or liberated as we think. I just happen to think they have some excellent laws but their government of the day can really screw things up too. So, we really MUST BE WARY about using the US as the yardstick for liberty.

Ok.. gotto run...

Carmen N said...

By the way, I love that you DISAGREE with me. That's what CT is all about... healthy debate!

And if any of you came for the talk about Negarakuku last Wed, you would have really heard the "truth" about the Sedition Act and how it only serves the powers that be.

Can someone who attended that talk please post what you learnt so others can benefit??

Don't be shy larr.... or lazy... hah!!

Anita said...

Yes, to some people, it may be offensive and wrong to voice out the frustrations that way. But, to some, they might just ask: WHAT'S WRONG?
To him, the best way to voice out was through his song... Maybe he really is UNHAPPY about certain things or laws in our country.

**Its an opinion. Feel free to comment lah.. I may not be right**

KahJoon said...

no la..the part where i said i love malaysia wasnt to appeal to emotion..i'm just expressing my love for the country..hehe

wei, other ppl comment la..i am beginning to see the same thing as in class happening here. come on guys and gals, speak up..dont feel slighthed if anyone disagree with you..syoh..dont la so small gas..

amy2kyo said...

Who small gash? Hmm, if only this blog contributes to our participation marks, surely everyone's gonna comment! Haha!

I thought some people said this before "Finally, I can speak my mind out in this blog, rather than being a silencer in class. Bla bla bla." (I paraphrased it though.)

So, why made that remarks and be gone? No offense ok? Blog blog blog! Nobody can catch you, don't worry. :D

Shannie said...

I think most of them time Malaysians are repressed. That's why you can see that not a lot of people talk publicly about a lot of things. You can't really be angry about NameWee's action, he's just trying to break free from what holds him down. And this is what happen when we don't have the freedom of speech. A lot more of this is bound to happen cause people change and more and more people will wish that others can hear what they think. Most of the time, we assume a lot of things and assumptions doesn't mean it's true. We assume that this and that is gonna happen if we do that, but it's just an ascumptiion.

PS:I was planning to countdown for Merdeka but I fell asleep while waiting for the clock to strike 12. ;P

suesin23 said...

who are too shy to speak? im sure they are nt too shy to voice out their opinions in this blog..hehe

jeannie said...

OK! Actually I've recorded the forum but...I did not manage to record the WHOLE forum due to some problems...so I couldn't post it here. However, don't be disappointed... I found these videos of the forums in youtube! sO u guys enjoy the forum ya..
Haris Ibrahim:

Yasmin Ahmad:

Khalid Jaafar:

Dzulkifli Ahmad:

More forums on Negarakuku:
Khalid Jaafar:

Amiruddin Shari(Anak Muda PKR):

Amin Idris (bekas aktivis mahasiswa):



Hishamuddin Rais:

And interestingly, I found another youtube video thanks to my friend on our national anthem copying an old song. Check it out here: