Aug 8, 2007

Malaysian student in trouble for Negaraku YouTube rap

So he is guilty as charged?.

Updates :

  • NST - Namewee: I did not mean to insult Malays

  • Malaysiakini : Hina lagu Negaraku: K'jaan digesa ambil tindakan tegas

  • TheStar - Ministry to check if rapper Wee in Taiwan on govt loan

  • (AFP) KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian authorities are investigating the YouTube video of a student rapping to the national anthem using allegedly seditious lyrics, the Straits Times reported on Wednesday citing officials.

    Nearly half a million people have already watched the six-minute video by Namewee, a 24-year-old Malaysian student at Taiwan's Ming Chuan University, a log on the popular video sharing site showed.

    In the intro to the video, which shows a Malaysian flag in the background, Namewee dedicates the song to "all Malaysians, specially the government".

    According to the paper, the song – in a mixture of Mandarin and Bahasa – contained lyrics which "touched on racially-sensitive issues by sarcastically singing the morning call to prayer for Muslims".

    A partial translation of the lyrics circulating in the Internet says they also portray Malaysian police as corrupt extortionists.

    Deputy Internal Security Minister Johari Baharum said police would look at the video clip to determine whether the student violated the country's strict sedition laws.

    "If he has, we will act against him under the Sedition Act," Johari said.

    Originally enacted by British colonial authorities, sedition is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of 5,000 ringgit (1,400 dollars).

    Rights groups and press freedom activists have previously accused Malaysian authorities of applying the law to stifle political critics.

    Liow Tiong, the deputy youth and sports minister, said that while Namewee may have only tried to express his nationalism, he had inadvertently insulted the national anthem.

    "He seems patriotic but needs guidance to show his patriotism in the proper way," he said, adding he should not have disparaged national symbols.

    At the end of the video clip, Namewee says in Bahasa "Don't sue me. I don't have money."

    CD versions of the song are reportedly being sold secretly in Kuala Lumpur bazaars or night markets.

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