Tuesday, July 31, 2007

There are Cyber-Intelligentsia as well as Cyber-fools

The recent hoo-hah about the BN Government's threats to reprimand those bloggers who are alleged to have "disrupted peace in Malaysia" and "disrespected the King and Islam" has certainly sparked the latest round of bout between the powers that be and the cyber peasants. If you ask me, I would certainly side the bloggers, for I am in fact a blogger as well, albeit the fact that my blog is so ill-maintained... All in all, it is a battle of a certain significance, for the outcome of it will decide whether we are heading towards a more liberal, open society which assumes "freedom of speech", or we will be heading backward to the society described by George Orwell in his epic novel "Nineteen Eighty Four (1984 for short)", where people's thoughts and comments were subject to the scrutinity and supervision of the authority. "Big Brother is watching you," as he famously described it, and everyone was living in fear, just like how they did in real life in the U.S. during the 50s era, and in Taiwan during the 60-70s, all thanks to the Government's anti-Communist antics.

Freedom of speech, huh. Here, I gotta qualify myself first. When I mean "freedom of speech", I mean, one can freely exercise his rights to voice out his opinions and comments, preferably with good reasoning and rationale, and most importantly, having taken into consideration racial and religious sensitivity, for we are living in a multi-ethnic society. In other words, I'm in support of our PM's statement that "there is no absolute freedom in this country", but I would definitely support him more should he make sure that his bunch of party monkeys will abide by this simple rule and stop waving a crooked Kris and taunting to soak it in a certain race's blood. In this sense, this aforesaid "freedom of speech" should apply to every Malaysian, be he a politician, a citizen, a Muslim, a Chinese, a Malay, An Indian, A Christian, etc....

As for the troubled bloggers, the reason why I support them is, they had not put down any sorts of racial or religious discriminating remarks in their blogs, let alone seditious ones. Nathaniel Tan was remanded under Official Secret Act (OSA) because he was alleged to be accusing a certain Minister of taking bribes, whereas Raja Petra was "invited" to the police station because of some sensitive comments left by some anonymous on his infamous blog, Malaysia Today, the action of which, he suspects, was actually done by the dominating political Party. I especially regard Nat's case a serious violation of freedom fo speech for what wrong does he have for revealing the wrongdoings of an authority high above the hierarchy of power? The powers that be can use all kinds of accusations or engage in all sorts of machineries to take action against him, "for the stability of the country", but it always seems to me that these bloggers are screwed not so much for the stability of the country but rather for the stability of a certain group of people's political position.

Now allow me to back to the topic of "freedom of speech". If you are observant enough on current issues, or you happen to be a youtube addict, you would probably have come across this rap song called "Negarakuku" which was created by a Malaysian who now resides in Taiwan. As the song title may have already suggested, the song was made by modifying our National Anthem "Negaraku". Apparently, the creator who called himself "namewee" is a graduate in multimedia studies, hence I must admit that his piece of work is of quite high quality, at least there is creativity and it is well presented, minus the vulgaritiy, of course. But as much as I acknowledge his creativity, I am really troubled by the music video. Here, he had cleverly used the Visit Malaysia Year 2007's advertisement as the base of his MV, with also excerpts that he collected elsewhere. But what really annoys me is the song's lyrics. In his song, he addressed all the problems which have been faced by Malaysia all this while, particularly from a Malaysian Chinese perspective. Police bribery, limited entry to public universities for the Non-bumis, the nonchalance attitude of the Government servants, racial politics were all being touched in his song. I certainly have no qualms against him addressing all these but the one thing which I cannot tolerate is how he touched on religious issue: he actually made fun of Muslim's morning worship and their loud prayers. There had been an issue with regards to loud prayers early in the morning before and it is fine if you want to bring out this matter in a reasonable way. But you should not mock or insult other people's religion and their rituals. I presume this is quite basic. Ask yourself, do you like it when people of different religion insult your religion or your race? Apart from that, all his remarks about denial of entry to public uni for Chinese independent school students only suggest that he sees only his own kind's benefit in his eyes, and he has surely forgotten that in Malaysia, besides Malays and his Chinese counterparts there are also other ethnicities: Indians, Ibans, Kadazans, Seranis, and even Caucasians. I bet this certain namewee grew up in an all-Chinese environment and had minimal exposure to other races, be they Malay, Indians or Mat Sallehs, and hence his ethno-centrism in all his views.

So, while you accuse the Government to be racist (something which I cannot deny, sadly), are you yourself a racist as well? Making fun of other people's religion, stereotyping a certain communal as lazy, bragging about Chinese capability, emphasizing only Chinese welfare, etc., are you in anyway better than the powers that be? There's a Chinese proverb that reads: "If you don't like something to be done on you, don't do it on others." I guess you are certainly more aware of this proverb than I am, since you are fully Chinese educated, from primary to tertiary, whereas I only had 6 years of Chinese education at primary level. My friend said that you really have got balls to have created such a song, but I would call you a bloody coward who has got no balls. If you have the courage to create such song, don't hide yourself in Taiwan and come back to Malaysia. Since you have so much discontent towards the Government or the dominant race, comeback and protest against them. Be an activist like Nat Tan, be a politician like the likes of Ong Ka Ting, Lim Kit Seang or Tian Chua to turn things around, or be a movie director to voice out your discontent in your movies, though I really doubt that you can reach the level of another Taiwan-based Malaysian director, Tsai Ming Liang, after seeing your vulgarities and mediocre antics in your song.

When you think that you are doing your own kind a favour, Namewee, or whatever your real name is, the fact is, no, you are not helping us in anyway. You are instigating hatred among races. The Chinese youngsters who saw your seditious MV will generate hate against the Malay, and the Malays who get to know about your rubbish will be angered by it. Good job, Namewee, for producing a junk which defeats its own purpose.

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