Monday, August 13, 2007


Wee Meng Chee, a Malaysian student studying Mass Communication at Ming Chuan University, Taiwan has gained instant notoriety for mocking the national anthem and making statements which many have found it offensive. His self made six minute video rapping Negaraku or rather in his case “Negarakuku” posted on the video sharing site Youtube has come under fire.

He now refuses to apologise and instead demands that the government “through proper laws prove to him” what wrong he had done by parodying the national anthem. He claims that his lyrics do not criticise anyone but merely narrates how he saw his country. He blames the Malay papers for maligning him and causing stress to his family.

What a load of codswallop ! Instead of apologizing and quickly bringing the issue to a close he is now belligerent.

Having viewed the video, I find it most offensive when Meng Chee does a rap of the national anthem. For a start he raps negaraku as “negarakuku” implying that Malaysia is insane. He even equates the call of the azan to the crowing of the cockerel. There is no doubt that he has insulted the national anthem and even belittling religion.

The national anthem, Negaraku is not the anthem of the government in power but is the anthem of Malaysia and Malaysians. As such it calls for respect and reverence by all Malaysian irrespective of race, creed and political divide.

Some have defended him by saying that it was his reflection of present day Malaysia. If Meng Chee (or any other like minded)has an issue with the country or believes that he has been hard done by, there are many other ways and avenues for him to express his views. Definitely not by deriding the Jalur Gemilang or the Negaraku.

Even more disappointing is to hear some politicians coming to his defence for his bravado and giving perverse reasons. Parti Keadilan Nasional Youth has openly defended his action as reflection of Malaysia, while the PKR Batu Gajah, Perak division has offered him legal help. Worst, DAP Youth Chief Nga Kor Ming is reported in the STAR, August 12, 2007 to have found Meng Chee’s rapping of the national anthem not offensive and instead very creative.

I, for one cannot accept such reasoning. I believe that, whatever shortcoming Malaysia has, as citizens of Malaysia and so long as we are Malaysians we owe ourselves to be loyal to Malaysia and that includes respecting the flag and the national anthem.

Some politicians have already demanded that Meng Chee be charged and punished under the Sedition Act or the ISA or that his passport be revoked. There is not a need to go that extreme when there are already provisions under the National Anthem Act.

In the interim, Meng Chee must know that his action is unacceptable and his justifications untenable. He has insulted the national anthem for which he owes an open and unconditional apology - to all Malaysians.

Norman Fernandez
Norman Fernandez is a lawyer in private practice in Johor. He maintains his blog at