Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How Racist is Racist? The Namewee, Siti Inshah Aftermath

by Trinity Chua   
Malaysia’s infamous rapper and controversial songwriter, Wee Meng Chee or better known as Namewee, has strike again. His latest song, “F*** Racism Malaysia Nah!” aims at the controversial remarks made by Hajah Siti Inshah Mansor, a headmaster in Johor.

A number of parents complained that Siti Inshah's racist remarks has caused racial disharmony at SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra.A number of parents complained that Siti Inshah's racist remarks has caused racial disharmony at SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra.In August, Siti Inshah, a principal of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra in Kulai openly asked her Chinese and Indian pupils to return to their respective countries of origin in her spech during a Merdeka celebration at the school. She also allegedly told Chinese students there were not needed in the country and that non-Malays are penumpang (passengers). On top of that, she said that prayer strings Indian students tied around their necks and wrists were similar to dog leashes. Her controversial remarks, needless to say, caused outrage among the public. Criticisms against the school principal’s racial slurs are rampant in Facebook comments though there are also comments that supported her remarks.

Education Director-General Alimuddin Mohd Don called Siti Inshah’s remarks “a misunderstanding“. Meanwhile, Umno Youth leader, Khairy Jamaluddin, said the matter should not be taken lightly.

According to Perkasa, Siti Inshah still has a job and there are no signs that the she would get in trouble for infringing the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Thus far, there had been no official comments on her controversial remarks from our Prime Minister or any other prominent BN leaders.

In contrast, Namewee whose latest song clearly aims at Siti Inshah’s racist sentiments (although all lyrics are subjective) explains his lyrics more antiracist than racist. As he said in his lyrics, “wa pun ada kawan baik orang Melayu.”

Although admittedly, like all his previous songs, namely, ‘Negarakuku’ and ‘Kawanku’, he was anything but discreet towards his resentment towards the Malays and this has gained him more attentionNamewee whose latest rap video sparked controversy across the nation claims he is antiracist.Namewee whose latest rap video sparked controversy across the nation claims he is antiracist. than he deserved from a number of politicians.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said stern action has to be taken for anything that provokes racial sentiments and he specifically said such action will be takern by the authorities against Namewee.

Khairy said what Namewee did is “unacceptable” and the “issue has to be dealt with swiftly.” This is quite a contrast to what he said about Siti Inshah, I dare say. He also said that the Malays are not oversensitive and have tolerated a lot of things. One must wonder what is the “thing” he was referring to. And, to be fair, haven’t the other races in Malaysia tolerated a lot of “things”? To go to the extreme is to say the “Malay rights” in Malaysia is already something other races have to live by.

Perkasa, which supports Siti Inshah for her discriminatory remarks, suggested that Namewee’s citizenship should be revoked. The Malay pressure group also claimed that the “special positions of the Malays could not be questioned or even debated on” and refused any invitation for an open dialogue unless everyone agreed or come to terms to this stance of theirs.

In stark contrast, I have to point out, as many citizens and bloggers already pointed out, the aftermath of Namewee and Siti Inshah’s actions are completely different. Unlike Siti Inshah, Namewee received considerable responses from the government condemning his songs as racists and “extremists” and provokes racial sentiments. Meanwhile, Siti Inshah was simply dismissed and did not even receive a single comment from our Prime Minister.

So this is the confusing part. What is racist to our leaders? To what standard is racism considered as “provoking racial sentiments” as to receive “stern action against”?

Siti Inshah’s case has been hushed up while Namewee becomes a national punching bag for all politicians who claim to be against racism. In other words, is there a need to determine exactly how racist is racist? Is it fair for authorities to dismiss Siti Inshah’s clear-cut derogatory remarks? Also, is Namewee’s remark on Chinese bringing wealth to this country overtly provocative in raising racial sentiments? Lastly, exactly what would be considered as raising racial sensitivities?

Whatever it is, Siti Inshah and Namewee’s actions, while arguable to certain parties, both touched on racial sensitivities yet each were given unequal treatments by the authorities. Our leaders need to clearly tell the public where the line is drawn. Apparently, as it is, Namewee is below the line while Siti Inshah remains above it.

Reactions on Facebook

Here are some comments from Malaysian Digest readers on Facebook to the question on whether they consider Namewee's latest rap video as racist or seditious in any way compared to the remarks made by Siti Inshah:
Adrian Khan: “Ibrahim Ali and PERKOSA (that is what he is doing to Malaysia) are any day more racist than anyone else you can line up. He has a very high factor of TCO (Talk Cock Only)."

Christine Chang Kumar: ("The) school principal was "straight" to the point...! Why not even one police car there to pick her up...?"

Saravana Kumar: "If wanna punish him (Namewee) it’s only fair if punish all the (other) racists. He didn’t meant to be racist, he meant to be anti racist anyway..."

Ahmad Naza: "Namewee dah buat banyak kali (has done it many times)... ISA him."

Shukree Osman: "Kita benarkan polis membuat siasatan dulu, jika ada kes kena la. Kalau tiada kes bebaskan dia." (We should let the police carry out their investigation. If there’s a case he’ll (Namewee) get it. If not, then let him go free.

Wanmalini Ahmad: "(I) think he only did it for revenge."

Fiesol Ardi: "He (Namewee) done it in a bad way... not mention about his previous videos."

Jennie Ho: "If not for all the fuss that he kicked up, I wouldn't have tuned in to his videos... however I went to it just now and had a good laugh... a bit provocative and crude but nothing racist... so am wondering what all the threats of sedition and ISA against him is all about???"

Dewata Raya:  "Actually 2-2 side salah... sepatutnya kita 1Malaysia perlu protect negara kita dari ancaman luar...not fight each other... now indonesia attacking malaysia but we had done nothing... so saya harap semua wargamalaysia must (remain) UNITED for our lovely country..."
(Actually both are in the wrong... Our 1Malaysia should be protecting our country from outside threats... not fight each other... Now Indonesia is attacking Malaysia though we had done nothing... So I hope every Malaysian citizen stay united for (the sake) of our lovely country...

Ganyang Kay Jay: "I feel that Dr M was right... What we are seeing today is not a campaign against racism but a campaign by racists against racists. The meritocrats are as much racists as the Malay NGOs and Perkasa.

So you Chinese m******** are as racist the moment you arrived in your tongkang 100 years ago. You want your own school, you want this and that. You think you'd be better off in China? I don’t think so. You'd probably be working in some toy-factory in one of those JinJin region.

So, think about it and be grateful. If you don’t like it here, you can always go home (obviously China)! F*** NAMEWEE...F*** NAMEWEE's generation for life. F*** him."

Adrian Khan @Ganyang: "I don't think you can ask anyone who was born in Malaysia to "go back to China". Where do you think Malays came from? Do we tell Malays to go back to Indonesia or Sulawesi or Java etc? What if the native of Sabah/Sawarak ask you to go back to your own country?

While I agree Malay/Chinese/Indians are all somewhat racists, do you want to make yourself one or you want to be better than that? Do you honestly believe in your naive mind that Malays can alone survive in Malaysia?

Look at most of you UMNO buggers, can't even lift your d*** up without government help. You think all the banking and finance sector will work with just Malays alone. Remember Bank Bumi?

Come on brader. You want to talk cock, talk properly. Don't just spew the crap BTN put in your head. Clearly shows you're not capable of thinking on your own.

Chinese schools churn out some of the top students in the country. Jealous is it? With all the government help, Malay students can barely make it. Even if it’s from all the taxes paid by non-Malays.

Tu lah. Takde kerja mau kerja. Ada kerja tak tau buat kerja!! (That’s why. When there’s no job you want a job. When you have the job you don’t know how to do it!!)"

Fakharuzi Ibrahim: "The best thing is for everyone to not bring up such sensitive racial issues. Stop this kind of f***ing stupid thing. We’ve got more important things to address and focus on. If someone did wrong by creating frictions or have intentions to create something that may cause uneasiness among different races the authorities have to put a stop to it.

Come on Malaysians, let us use our brain to think something better and do something that benefits us all by using our creativity and get the best out of it. We don’t want a civil war or ethnic cleansing of that kind. Everyone has a role to play and contribute to the progress of every Malaysian regardless of majority colour, race, country of origin, status, political, beliefs or religion. Don’t just say we are 1Malaysia but deep inside it’s f**** up." 

Komen Aku:

*Moral of the story sebenarnya isu racist yg semakin besar diperkatakan telah di "Treat" differently among the races....Aku pun pelik gak nape Pengetua tu xjadi isu bg media sdgkn video Namewee tu diperbesar2kan [walopun aku xtgk lg vid tu n xberminat nk tgk].....

Sepatutnya sbg rakyat Malaysia yg dah lama hidup berbilang kaum sdh pasti kita sudah lali dengan budaya masing2, so kenapa perlu kita menghentam antara satu sama lain....

aku pun pelik gak la nape Malaysia skang ni mcm2 benda xelok jadi..dulu elok je....dunia nak kiamat gamaknya T_T

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