Wednesday August 15, 2007
Student rapper apologises
PETALING JAYA: Student Wee Meng Chee, 24, who caused a furore here with his Negaraku rap video clip on YouTube, has apologised for the parody and will remove the video clip from his blog.
“It has taught me a lesson about the spirit of nationalism and race relations. As a Malaysian, I did not intend to shame the country or ridicule any religion.
Meng Chee said he also did not have any intention of creating anti-government sentiments or fan racism by writing the song as he was loyal to the King and the country where he was raised, gained knowledge and given the freedom to develop his talent.
He said he wanted to return and contribute to the country.
“I am proud to be a Malaysian and my loyalty to my country has not wavered even though I’m now studying in Taiwan,” he said.
Meng Chee, from Muar, posted a six-minute video of a Mandarin rap number using the Negaraku as background and promptly came under fire for mocking the national anthem and making statements many found offensive.
MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek spoke to him yesterday on the phone for about 30 minutes in the presence of the boy’s father Wee Ann Hee.
“Meng Chee thought that using Negaraku (as background) was apt as it was the 50th anniversary of our independence,” he told reporters in Putrajaya, adding that Meng Chee was naive and did not realise it was a mistake at that time.
He added that Meng Chee had already taken out his video from the Internet but other people had downloaded it and sent it out again.
“If we come down hard on every young man, there is no room for any creativity and innovativeness in this country.
“There should be room for dissent but this dissent must be within the confines of the country’s Constitution.
“He is a creative and naive young man who has not even finished his tertiary education; we cannot pass harsh judgements; he asked for forgiveness and we should be open-hearted,” he said.
The senior Wee, 47, who is a former singer and a judge in singing competitions, expressed his gratitude to MCA for addressing the issue.
Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin urged Malaysians to accept Meng Chee’s apology.
“He is still young. We should not be too hard on him but he should learn from this, particularly in handling sensitive issues,” he said, commending MCA on the way the party handled the issue.
Zainuddin hoped the people would not continue to harp on the matter as Meng Chee had already apologised.
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