Malaysia: YouTube rapper under investigation

Wee Meng Chee, aka Namewee, was quizzed by the police on the matter of his rap song, which featured the Malaysian national anthem “Negaraku”, in the chorus. The song, entitled ‘Negarakuku’, had caused controversy last year, with Chinese lyrics purportedly touching on police abuses, corruption and racial discrimination, among others. Wee's video for ‘Negarakuku‘ was posted on Youtube last year, and has had more than a million views.

According to Wee, the police had questioned him on the song, and his purpose of making the video. Although he told reporters that the police had told him that they wanted to close the file on the matter, the police was reported to have said that Wee is being investigated under the Sedition Act, and the matter would be referred to the Deputy Public Prosecutor. Wee publicly apologized last year for the video when the initial furor arose.


The Sedition Act has been used on two other Internet activists this year, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, who is today beginning to serve a two-year detention without trial sentence, and also blogger Syed Azidi Syed Aziz. Another blogger, Abdul Rashi Abu Bakar, was also investigated under the Sedition Act, although no new developments appear to have taken place since this was reported.

These steps by the authorities to curb freedom of expression online is taking place amidst political and economic instability in the country, as the newly formed opposition coalition seeks to gain power over the ruling coalition of more than 50 years.



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