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The extreme over-reaction and concentrated attacks by UMNO Ministers and leaders against Wee Meng Chee for “Negarakuku” rap video-clip should immediately end before further dampening and damaging the national mood for 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations

Media Statement (2)  
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Monday): The extreme over-reaction and concentrated attacks by UMNO Ministers and leaders against Wee Meng Chee for the “Negarakuku” rap video-clip should immediately end before further dampening and damaging the national mood for 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations. 

There were many among Chinese-speaking Malaysians, including youths, who did not agree with some of his rough language and irreverent expressions when they saw Meng Chee’s rap for the first time, although his articulation of the ordinary rakyat’s dissatisfactions and frustrations at police corruption, civil service bureaucracy, discrimination against Chinese education and insensitivity of the authorities struck a deep chord and found great resonance. 

However, when Meng Chee became the target of a systematic attack of Umno and media demonisation, with one UMNO Minister after another including the Education Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister  jumping  on the bandwagon to paint as an ogre and  “traitor” as if he  single-handedly threatens the very fabric, stability and integrity of plural Malaysia, there is full rally of support for Meng Chee for nobody buys the canard that Meng Chee was unpatriotic, disloyal, anti-national, anti-Islam, anti-Malay or was attempting to be seditious to incite hatred and ill-will between the races or religions. 

I just did a search on Youtube where the Negarakuku rap had been put up by dozens of various people although Meng Chee had removed it on his website. There had been over 1.2 million access on the Youtube, with the top two sites registering 768,231 and 164,849 visits respectively. 

Is anybody suggesting that the overwhelming majority of the Malaysian visitors of Youtube for the Negarakuku rap are unpatriotic and seditious in wanting to incite inter-racial and inter-religious ill-will and hatred in our country?   

If so, then there is nothing to celebrate the 50th Merdeka anniversary as the nation would have failed dismally in the five decades of nation-building. 

In fact, Meng Chee’s rap was his expression of his patriotism and love for the country, to make it a better country for all Malaysians. 

Meng Chee may be faulted for his rough language or irreverent expressions but these cannot be equated with being unpatriotic, disloyal or seditious.

If Meng Chee is alleged to have shown disrespect to the National Anthem, why are UMNO Ministers and leaders talking about prosecution under the Sedition Act, the Internal Security Act or even stripping Meng Chee of his citizenship when the National Anthem Act provides for a RM100 fine or one month’s jail sentence for the offence of disrespect to the national anthem?   

But was there disrespect to the national anthem and the national flag? Was Meng Chee disrespectful of the national flag when he wrapped himself with it? If so, why was the late Malaysian star Sudirman honoured for wearing the Jalur Gemilang as a stage costume in a concert as a mark of his patriotism? 

Why should there be double-standards in the expression of patriotism through the use of the national flag? 

The extreme over-reaction and demonisation of Meng Chee is most deplorable, including demands for the stripping of Meng Chee’s citizenship and the cancellation of his passport. 

Extremist demands for the stripping of a person’s Malaysian citizenship had not been heard for the past four decades because it was one of the four sensitive issues entrenched in the constitutional amendment in 1970 and which could not be questioned – viz, Malay Rulers, Article 152 on National Language and other languages, Article 153 on special provision for Malays and citizenship rights. 

Will the Police arrest and the Attorney-General prosecute all those who have called for the stripping of citizenship of Meng Chee under the Sedition Act, whether they are Umno leaders in government or otherwise? 

Meng Chee is in good and patriotic company when he gave voice to the people’s frustrations on corruption and bureaucracy. The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah was reported in the Star today as calling for immediate action to check corruption, bureaucratic red tape, race problems, religious intolerance, the brain drain and crime. 

Yesterday, the former Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar wrote about corruption and the rot in the police, the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers in his Sunday Star column entitled “The Fence That Eats The Rice”. 

These were also the subjects of the Raja Mud of Perak, Raja Nazrain, in his recent speeches. 

Meng Chee should be commended for speaking out against such social injustices and national ills at such a young age instead of being pilloried, demonized and threatened.  

Meng Chee should rub off the rough language and irreverent expressions and develop greater sensitivity but clearly he is no traitor and the cause of Malaysian nation-building is not served with the continuation of the orchestrated demonisation and persecution of Meng Chee by Umno Ministers and leaders.


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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