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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Umno goes after Namewee for his anti-racism message


This is what Umno fears - his anti-racism message
Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

Given the BN government’s famed fondness for double standards, few Malaysians were surprised by news that controversial rapper Namewee was now a step closer to arrest with the Investigation Papers against him having been submitted to the Attorney-General for a final decision.

Indeed the speed of the investigation process against Namewee has been remarkable. Just a month ago on August 31, he was grilled for three hours at the Taman Tun Dr Ismail police station. A few days later, he was hauled in for questioning by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission for 7 hours.

And on Wednesday, Information Minister Rais Yatim says the Investigation Papers had already been submitted to the Attorney General last week itself. This means that all in – it has only taken the Malaysian authorities a total of three weeks to conclude their probe.

Yet for the two school principals whom Namewee got into trouble over, no decision has been reached although nearly two months have passed since police complaints were lodged against them. The two teachers had hurled racial slurs at their non-Malay pupils.

“It is sad that inter-racial relations in Malaysia have deteriorated to such an extreme stage thanks to the deliberate manipulation of Umno and the refusal of their cohorts like MCA, MIC and Gerakan to challenge them. The injustice is pretty sickening but that is Umno’s tactic – to wear everyone down until nobody bothers to fight back,” PKR vice president Lee Boon Chye told Malaysia Chronicle.

The antithesis of what Umno stands for

All eyes are now on Prime Minister Najib Razak, who earlier this week had exhorted the United Nations to choose moderation over extremism.

Kit Siang
“Najib should know that the question all Malaysians are asking is when he is going to walk the talk and provide leadership in the country to galvanise the moderates, NGOs and social movements in Malaysia to take a stand against the rise of extremism – both racial bigotry and religious extremism – in the past 18 months of his premiership,” DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said in a statement.

“What is most ironical is that the rise of extremism in Malaysia, both racial bigotry and religious intolerance, is under the patronage of his No. 2 in government, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. This is why for 47 days, as DPM and Education Minister, there is not only government inaction against the two school principals who made incendiary, insensitive and racist statements against students in school, there is not a word of condemnation from Muhyiddin against such open challenge and contempt for Najib’s 1Malaysia concept.”

Khairy
Nonetheless, Najib is likely close an eye. In fact, most Malaysians expect him to twist the matter around and pin-point Namewee as the extremist and the racist, rather than Perkasa or the two teachers. Already Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin has urged the authorities to take tough action against Namewee.

According to pundits, what Umno fears most is that Namewee, who has a huge youth fan-base, might become too influential with his "Say No to Racism" message. This would put their party in a bad light as anti-racism would be the antithesis of what Umno stands for.

"The Namewee issue should be taken seriously by the authories. Concerned that more might follow Namewee," Khairy wrote on his Facebook page.

Don't give up Namewee


Namewee got into trouble after he released a three-minute video clip entitled ‘Nah’ to lash out at one of the school principals, Siti Inshah Mansor, after it became apparent that the Education ministry had no intention to punish her. Siti Inshah not only told her Chinese pupils to go back to China, she also likened Indian students to dogs.

At a Youth function in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday night, ultra-Malay rights group Perkasa staged a rowdy demonstration calling Namewee babi (pig) and pengkhianat (traitor). They also burned enlarged posters of Namewee. But the police refused to arrest any of the Perkasa protesters, insisting that the organizers of the Youth function ended their event early instead.

Not content, Perkasa members continued their attacks the following day. Calling themselvespanglima perang dan hulubalang Melayu (Malay warriors), they vowed to stalk Namewee and disrupt his concerts when he goes on his scheduled tour around the nation soon.

“I found it really amusing that to Perkasa, 'panglima perang" and "hulubalang Melayu" today is about burning posters and stalking rappers,” DAP information chief Tony Pua said on Twitter.

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