LETTER

Negarakuku: Understand where composer is coming from

TMF

Published
Modified 29 Jan 2008, 10:21 am

I refer to the song 'Negarakuku' written by a Malaysian student in Taiwan. I find the song creative, informative and educational. I believe the composer was expressing his true feelings with no malicious agenda.

Do not go after the composer, go but explain yourself if anyone disagrees with any part of the song. This is the basic approach if we believe in civility. To do that, of course one must first possess the capability to comprehend what was presented.

When you ask any Malaysian politician on any burning issue, the most standard reply would be either:

  • 'No comment yet'; or

  • 'I have no knowledge about it'; or
  • 'I have not read about it'; or
  • 'I will seek clarification'; or
  • 'Let us wait for the investigation'; or so on and so forth.
  • In this case, so many of our politicians, including senior cabinet ministers have directly spoken against the Negarakuku composer when it is reasonable to assume that they have yet to know or understand the issue first-hand. This, I consider outright bullying.

    Do not hide behind loud screams of 'being offended' or 'sensitivity' whenever one is unwilling or more likely, unable to explain valid points raised. I think it is very shameful that the police even called up the composer's father. Whatever for? To apply pressure or to threaten?

    Is this how we solve issues or disputes? Think! People, please think! Be consistently kind and honest to each other in the process of building, understanding and developing our Malaysia. By the way, the national anthem of the US was presented in various styles at the opening ceremony of the Olympic games, or before the finals of their Super Bowl baseball matches.

    The national anthem of Taiwan was sung by their superstar, Ah Mei, also with variation in style on the occasion of the inauguration of their president in 2000. Our national anthem was also presented in several different styles by our beloved late Sudirman and I believe, even the present superstar, Siti Norhaliza, on various occasions.

    Please note that in this case, the composer did not change the lyrics of our national anthem; he merely uses our national anthem as the background for his rap.

    On our national flag, remember that guy who used our national flag to drape round his head and all over his body, while jumping up and down hysterically with all sorts of facial expressions during the Thomas Cup finals and later, only semi-final matches in support of our national team? Did he 'menghinakan' our national flag? Obviously not!

    The issue here is neither about our national flag nor our national anthem; it is about the following issues:

    • Discipline of our police force

  • The way religion is being practiced in Malaysia.
  • Inefficiency and indifference of our civil service.
  • Imbalances created by NEP.
  • Unfair and unwise treatment on vernacular education in Malaysia leading to a brain drain.
  • Address those issues coherently and convincingly. Do not go after the composer of Negarakuku, who has actually gained my deep respect. In moments of patriotism, I often sing our Negaraku in various styles and even change the lyrics into something I feel more patriotic, either in my car or even in the shower. If this is a crime, tell me which jail must I report to.