09 August, 2007

Ethnic economics bite deeper in Malaysia

The controversial video clip has some support from the youth movement which claimed that the lyrics represent the voices of disenfranchised Malaysian youths.

Meanwhile, according to Malaysiakini, PKR Youth has urged the authorities not to over react to a controversial rendition of the national anthem produced by a Johor-born university student in Taiwan.

Wee, who studies at the Ming Chuan University in Taiwan, insisted he was patriotic and didn't mean to be seditious or to attack the government, The Star newspaper said.

"I'm simply reflecting the truth about our society through my music and I did not mean to offend anyone by producing such a video clip. I still love my country," the 24-year-old was quoted as saying.

Wee said in the report that he wrote the song in conjunction with Malaysia's 50th independence celebration on Aug. 31, describing it as his "gift" to the country. He said he removed the video from the Web site after receiving negative responses but it was uploaded again by some other supporters, the newspaper said.

" Negaraku "- the Video by Namewee :

Video clip removed !!

Malaysia's ethnic Chinese minority is highly dissatisfied with the country's economic policies that favor the majority Malays, according to a new opinion poll.

While only 32 percent of Chinese were satisfied with the government's handling of the economy, an overwhelming 75 percent of Malays thought Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's administration was doing a good job, according to the poll.

Malays "tend to have a much more positive outlook, while the Chinese, who are working in the commercial sector, are more negative," said Ibrahim Suffian, director of the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research that conducted the survey.

He said Chinese were increasingly critical of the New Economic Policy, which gives Malays preference in jobs, education and business.

In the survey, 54 percent of Chinese said they believed the policy benefits only the rich and politically connected.

Ibrahim said crime and price rises also emerged as major issues.

The Merdeka Center questioned 1,022 people in June to gauge public sentiment ahead of elections expected this year or in early 2008.

The United Malays National Organization draws its strength from Malays, who form 60 percent of the 26 million population. And the UMNO dominates the ruling Nation Front, which includes ethnic Chinese and Indian parties.

In another sign of racial strain, a Malaysian Chinese student is under investigation for alleged sedition for posting a racially provocative rap video of the national anthem on YouTube that has enraged many ethnic Malays.

"By distorting the national anthem and using [vulgar] words, he has shown disrespect for the country," said Deputy Internal Security Minister Fu Ah Kiow.

The Mandarin rap video was posted last month by the 24-year-old man who goes by the moniker "Namewee." It triggered a flood of abusive responses from Malays, and also expressions of support from ethnic Chinese.

A security official told the New Straits Times that police would study the six-minute clip to see if Namewee - studying in Taiwan - violated Malaysia's Sedition Act, which carries a maximum prison term of three years.

In the clip, Namewee blends the national anthem with a rap song that bemoans discrimination Chinese face.

He also pokes fun at Muslim morning prayers broadcast from mosques, corrupt policemen and laid-back civil servants, who are mostly Malays. The lyrics imply that Malays are arrogant and Chinese are hardworking.
(The Standard)



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