Friday August 17, 2007
Student must face the law, Cabinet, however, accepts his apology
DEVID RAJAH and V.P. SUJATA
PUTRAJAYA: The Cabinet has accepted the apology by student Wee Meng
Chee, who caused a furore with his Negaraku rap video clip on video-sharing web
portal YouTube, said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
However, the Prime Minister said the law would still have to take its
Wee, 24, could be charged under the National Anthem Act 1968 with
disrespecting and lowering the prestige of the Negaraku, he said.
Abdullah said a Minister had brought up the matter during the Cabinet
meeting on Wednesday. “He (Wee) said he wants to apologise, we can accept.
But if it is an offence, how to let him go without him being punished? The law
has to take its course,” he said during a press conference on the Special Task
Force to Facilitate Business here yesterday.
Wee’s six-minute video of a Mandarin rap number using the Negaraku as
background created an uproar, with several quarters condemning him for mocking
the national anthem and making offensive statements.
The 24-year-old mass communications student at Ming Chuan University in
Taiwan had on Tuesday apologised for the parody In Kuala Lumpur, Minister in the
Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the Cabinet
was not in the position to forgive Wee, LOH FOON FONG reports.
Nazri said “the offence was not against the Prime Minister or Ministers
concerned but against the nation.”
”If he had committed an offence,
and I think it was an offence, then we must allow the Attorney-General to
investigate and decide whether to take him to court,” said Nazri.
not prosecute him is not ‘on’ at all because he has committed an offence against
the nation and no one, not the Cabinet or political parties, are in a position
to forgive him.”
Wee could be charged under the Sedition Act because
he had insulted the symbol of the nation, he said.
“We cannot be like
the West where you can have the underwear with the design of the Union Jack. In
Britain, you can insult the Queen or the flag, I don’t care, but in this country
we have laws and we cannot set a precedent whereby you commit an offence,
apologise and get away with it,” Nazri said, adding that Wee was not a boy but a
24-year-old man and he should be held responsible for the act.
not about ethnicity or being racial but it is against national interest,” he
When asked how Wee had insulted the national anthem, Nazri said
the song was supposed to be sung in a proper way, otherwise it would mean
insulting the song, especially when the lyrics were changed.
Negaraku ku. Ku ku can also mean ‘cuckoo’, so it was insulting. I don’t think
this was done out of ignorance. He was a university student and he meant to
insult the national anthem,” he said.
On whether Wee would be called
home to answer charges against him, Nazri said the A-G would have to investigate
and if he decides to prosecute him, then when Wee returns, he would have to face
The Minister also said that he wanted action to be taken
against YouTube and other bloggers who allowed sensitive material which went
against the laws of Malaysia to be published.
Culture, Arts and
Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim concurred with Nazri, saying that the
country was governed by the rule of law and Wee had to abide by
Friday, 17 August 2007
Thank You Cabinet For Making A Stand
Thank you to the Malaysian Cabinet for making a stand and deciding to let the law take its course on the deragotary case. Thank you for not cheapening our National Symbols at a time many has forgotten their significance! Thank you for remembering that many has given up their life and livelihood to defend their values. Thank you for remembering that it is Malaysia that counts!.