Aug 16, 2007

Information Minister says YES but Cabinet says NO to apology

Yesterday's news is different from today's news.

Updates :

  • BERNAMA : Rais Wants Probe Into Mocking Of Negaraku To Continue

  • TheStar : Cabinet rejects apology from Negaraku rapper

As reported by Malaysiakini :
The cabinet has not accepted 24-year-old Wee Men Chee’s apology over his Negarakuku rap song, which was described as an insult to the nation.

In announcing this, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz said the cabinet was in no “position to forgive him” and that the Attorney-General’s Chambers will decide whether to prosecute Wee.

“To not prosecute him is not ‘on’ at all because he has committed an offence against the nation and no one, not the cabinet or political parties, are in the position to forgive him,” he was quoted by the Star today.

“If he had committed an offence, which I think was an offence, then we must allow the attorney-general to investigate and decide whether to take him to court,” he added.

Nearly half a million people have viewed a six-minute rap music video by Wee, a 24-year-old Malaysian student at Taiwan's Ming Chuan University.

Wee, who also goes by Namewee, posted a music video where he raps on national issues. The rap was done in Mandarin and Hokkien

The video post, on, received thousands of comments, many of which described Wee’s video as insulting Islam or inciting racial hatred.

On whether Wee would be called home to answer charges against him, Nazri said the AG would have to investigate and if he comes to the decision to prosecute him, then when Wee returns, he would have to face the charges.

Cannot create precedent

Wee could be charged under the Sedition Act because he had insulted the symbol of the nation, he said.

“We cannot be like the West where you can have the underwear with the design of the Union Jack. In Britain, you can insult the Queen or the flag, I don’t care, but in this country we have laws and we cannot create a precedent where you commit an offence, apologise and get away with it,” Nazri was quoted as saying by the Star.

He added that Wee was not a boy but a 24-year-old man and he should be held responsible for the act.

“It is not an issue of ethnicity or being racial but against national interest,” he said.

“Malaysia Negaraku ku. 'Ku ku' can also mean ‘cuckoo’ so it was insulting. I don’t think this was done out of ignorance. He was a university student and he meant to insult the national song,” he added.

In the Hokkien dialect, ‘ku ku’ could also translate to penis, longevity or cheap.

Meanwhile, Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage Dr Rais Yatim agreed that Wee’s case should be handed to the AG’s office to determine if the song was seditious.

“As an ordinary person, if even as a cabinet member, we cannot decide whether the matter was wrong under the law. We have the public prosecutors to decide whether legal action would be taken based on their investigations,” Rais was quoted as saying by Bernama today.

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