Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: BN gov’t has turned Namewee into a local hero

Published on  |  Modified on

YOURSAY | ‘It only knows about using its might to rein in people they do not understand.’

The dog gone politics of Namewee

Vgeorgemy: Malaysiakini columnist S Thayaparan, the issue here is the refusal to accept diversity in the society by the various state apparatuses.

The state-sponsored apparatuses have invoked security laws to suppress diversity in the official religion and labelling non-conforming segments of the official religion as divisive and a security threat.

As such, we are not surprised by the actions and statements against local rapper Namewee, who is only exercising his artistic freedom of expression enshrined in the Constitution. The regime and its minions want everything to be homogeneous as per the brand of religion and cultural expression promoted to continue the regime’s longevity.

But the rakyat accept that the manifestation of #UndiRosak, the depiction of cartoons by civil rights activists, support for sexual minorities and Namewee’s artistic works are the expressions of the younger generation that transcend the concept of religion, race and nation, challenging the regime’s attempt to homogenise the society.

Drngsc: The establishment does not understand Namewee. He is unique and has his own message. By what they are doing to him, he has become a local hero.

To be fair, perhaps only Umno and PAS hate him and his guts. The rest of us thank him for his message. It is truly a breath of fresh air.

NNFC: Namewee is a hero because he speaks his mind. Why should anyone conform to anybody else's values or thinking?

Just speak freely and if someone doesn't like it, they can just go away. Otherwise we would have a situation of everyone thinking the same exact way. That's not harmony, it's stupidity.

Ace: Thayaparan, there are already "Namewees" in the Malay community - graphic designer Fahmi Reza who was recently sentenced to a month’s jail for his clown drawing of PM Najib Razak and cartoonist Zunar who is constantly under attack by the government.

In their own way, they are also thumbing their noses at the shenanigans in Putrajaya.

Hamzah Paiman: Agreed, Thayaparan. We need to mature as a society. When we are matured, we would be able to laugh at our follies and thereby improve ourselves further. Sensitive issues would then be treated as senseless issues.

6th Generation Immigrant: The administration only knows about using its might to rein in people they do not understand - filmmakers, cartoonists, bloggers, painters, expressive youths, dancers, balloon droppers, NGOs, etc.

Cogito Ergo Sum: Is this what BN means when it says that race and religion are under threat? That a video making fun of the way different dogs bark from various countries is a national threat that warrants precious police investigations?

People are being kidnapped and going missing in broad daylight - that is a threat to national security. Not comedians, cartoonists, graphic artists or national laureates.

El Dee Cee: I don't find any difference between Namewee’s video and a stand-up comedian who takes the mickey out of anyone or a particular race just for the heck of it.

Only insecure clowns would take offence.

Should Indians have ‘nambikai’ in BN?

David Dass: The position of the indentured Tamil labourer cannot be compared to the Malayalee, the Punjabi or the Ceylon Tamil. The Tamil labourer was uneducated, unskilled and brought in specifically to work in the plantations.

Although their labour was back-breaking and they died in the tens of thousands, they were not paid much. In fact, they were paid daily and the plantation owners conspired to keep the Tamil labourers and their children on the estate. Poorly resourced schools, the toddy shop and child labour took care of that.

The Punjabi came as soldiers, policemen, watchman and cowherds. The Ceylon Tamil and the Malayalee came into the country with some level of English education. In the estates, the Malayalee was conductor, clerk or dresser. And elsewhere, like the Ceylon Tamil, he worked as clerks in the civil service and as teachers.

Some were professionally trained and worked as lawyers, doctors, etc. So for their children who were proficient in English, moving up the educational ladder was a fairly easy thing to do. But the so-called Indian middle-class did not lend a helping hand to the poor Tamil labourer. They saw themselves as distinct communities and looked after members of their own communities.

Of course, there were exceptions and the younger generation do get involved with NGOs, but there was little sense of being “Indian” as a group. This is especially sad given the fact that all have benefited from opportunities made available to “Indians” as a group.

Most of these opportunities were taken advantage of by the Punjabis, Ceylon Tamils and the Malayalees as relatively few from the Tamil community moved up the education path. Some Tamils have done well but these are largely the Tamils who came to Malaya educated.

Both the government and the opposition have to acknowledge the truth about the systematic marginalisation of the Indians. Sympathetic sounds and cash handouts made on the eve of elections may produce the votes for BN but without a real commitment to help the Indians and other marginalised groups, the problem will remain.

Anticonmen: Politicians deliberately keep a section of the people marginalised, backward, controlled and poor in order to tap their votes using money during elections so as to grip on to power.

Vijay47: Why do we even bother to wonder whether Najib and those before him had any concern for a community savagely marginalised for 50 years?

Uncertainty may have been relevant if there were sincerity in the first place and objectives unfortunately went astray later, but from the very start, the Indian faced only discrimination, abuse, and disregard.

And there never was a dearth of traitors to stab him in the back, from ex-premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, former MIC president S Samy Vellu and current president S Subramaniam as well as Najib, and the most recent Brutus, Hindraf’s P Waythamoorthy. MIC has been consistent by being dead silent on Indian issues; their entire vocal skills are devoted to attacking the opposition.

The Indian should trust no one; yes, it is a huge mountain before him but he has to sweat and slog to overcome rather than being betrayed again and again.

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