Part II and continuation of ‘Namewee from a Chinese perspective’
Malays and Chinese appear to have reacted differently to Nasi Lemak 2.0.
Popular comedian Afdlin Shauki who stars in the movie received a lot of flak for appearing with Namewee, so much so that he has had to make a public statement (click here) explaining his decision to fans.
As recently as yesterday, Utusan carried a write-up headlined ‘Bukan Nasi Lemak 2.0, soalnya Namewee…’ with the writer Fauziah Arof declaring she still has issues with Namewee and would refuse to watch his film even if given a free ticket. Or in other words, the problem is not the product (the film) but the producer (Namewee who scripted and directed it).
I’d said earlier in Part I how it struck me that Namewee expresses himself in a Chinese way. I’m going to say the same of the movie (click Annex for review): It’s got a Chinese flavour and point of view.
To understand the ants crawling in Umno’s pants, examine Exhibit One – the Home Minister’s reaction. Hishammuddin Hussein was quoted saying in a Bernama report, “If there was anything inappropriate in [Nasi Lemak 2.0], they can refer to us.” Here’s Hisham practically issuing an open invitation for the public to send complaints his way.
Next twist in plot cues the tinkly Twilight Zone theme song: There is the news in the Chinese press of Namewee seeking a meeting with the prime minister who’s presently keen on building a cool image and appealing to the youth.
The premier had turned up at Astro’s 15th anniversary celebration concert last weekend and even made a guest appearance on Hitz FM, the hip radio station for the under-30s set whose programmes notch an average of 1.575 million listeners a week.
Biggest voter pool
If they register as voters and take themselves to the polling booths on D-Day, the young will decide surely the next election.
Demography: Bar chart on age distribution bands (source 2010 national census)
Young people tend to be anti-establishment by nature. Not only the Chinese but disaffected Malay youths are rebellious as well.
Here is where Namewee steps into the picture. The younger generation can connect with him.
He’s popular and has a huge fan base; his Facebook is ‘Liked’ by 623,869 users and counting. Which politician can summon a fraction of the interest or adulation that Namewee inspires?
His other competitive edge is his savvy with catchy visuals, soundbites, gimmicks and new media. Remember that young people today have very short attention spans and they don’t read. He’s on their wavelength and speaks their lingo.
Hence if Namewee is willing to promote the 1Malaysia idea, then Barisan should by all means bring him on the bandwagon.
Crunching the numbers
Why were the Malays angry (and some still are enraged) with Namewee?
Truth hurts and Namewee – being neither a DAP politician nor wily old fox – went on and blurted out the Chinese groupthink. Thus the Malays, in 2007 when Namewee was still an undergrad in Taiwan, got an unvarnished earful of what the Chinese really, really thought.
If you’re a Malay, don’t expect the DAP to clue you in on what the Chinese think as butter won’t melt in their mouth — anything for the Malay votes.
Heck even Nasi Lemak’s kung fu flying is more realistic than the DAP Malaysian First special effects. How can the counterfeit personas of DAP’s spray-painted, sugar-coated Lalaland ever be an honest broker between two estranged communities?
According to the Statistics Department, Chinese are 24.6 percent of the Malaysian population.
The latest data from the 2010 census (conducted every 10 years) indicate a 22.2 percent segment of the population belonging to Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and other folk beliefs, or non-believers.
Chinese Christians are only a small percentage of the Christian population with the majority being native Sabahans and Sarawakians, and the Roman Catholic denomination comprising Eurasions and Indians.
Yet through the DAP the Chinese Christians are holding the reins of the non-Malay opposition and wielding power disproportionate to their numbers.
Teresa Kok, Betty Chew, James Ngeh Koo Ham, David Nga Kor Ming, Chow Kon Yeow, Liew Chin Tong, Teo Nie Ching, Tony Pua, Hannah Yeoh, Edward Lee, Anthony Loke, Wong Ho Leng, Lim Lip Eng and Lim Jack Wong are among the better known DAP Parliamentarians and state representatives.
Although Lim Guan Eng is included by OHMSI’s Prayer Resource listing politicians who are Christians, the Umno bloggers have been waiting for him to convert to Islam ever since the sembahyang hajat done by his PAS admirers in Penang mosques, and especially if he harbours hopes of becoming the country’s first deputy prime minister should Pakatan take over Putrajaya.
Buddhist voices, those who believe in the Tao, followers of Confucianism, adherents of other traditional Chinese faith practices and the non-practising fringe are being drowned out by the aggressive DAP evangelicals who have hijacked the public domain.
The tyranny almost hearkens back to the British Raj example where the Colonial Office with its small handful of white officers managed to dominate the majority Hindus, Muslims, pagans and animists. The Mat Salleh colonialists exerted control at the barrel of the gun and aided by coercion, indoctrination, manipulation and deceit.
DAP is only missing the firearms.
Buddhists in Malaysia are not quarreling with the Muslims. The next flashpoints lie along the Christian-Muslim axis with our communal tensions presently at a boil.
(Read, the Penang chief minister’s religious instigation urging everyone bar Malays to join in his DAP-Christian crusade against the Umno proxies.)
Extrapolating Perak nationwide
“It is time to restore order, calm and harmony in local politics” – words spoken by Penang Umno chief Zainal Abidin Osman but sounding more philosophically Chinese than the DAP Hasnah Yeops. The man is also suing Lim Guan Eng.
You may ask what brought about the last straw that broke the camel’s back?
“It is time to stop Lim’s hostile politics against Umno, Barisan Nasional and the federal government. His behaviour and slanders against us are unbecoming of a chief minister,” said Zainal Abidin. He is not the only one to note Guan Eng’s incessant hate mongering.
Penang Gerakan chief Dr Teng Hock Nan is another old hand who’s got the current chief minister sussed out:
“To those overcome by emotions, it is like Barisan did everything wrong for the last four decades. They get blinded because Lim [Guan Eng] feeds them with daily doses of hatred and at times, outright slander.”
(Read ‘Lim’s daily doses of hatred dangerous’).
Yet such is DAP’s butter-won’t-melt-in-mouth duplicity that the party is yet simultaneously trying to convince the Malays that its love for them is greater than the Arabian Sea.
There are two possible outcomes to which way the Malay votes may swing.
One scenario features a political landscape like Perak where the state government is comprised entirely of Umno, with only one MCA representative elected by the people.
Mat Sabu recently sparked a national debate on which is the more accurate historical narrative concerning Merdeka. Similarly, who today is painting the real picture of the Chinese?
It might appear lopsided to be juxtaposing a political party with a sensational but single individual, Namewee – so unbalanced seems the scale.
Yet anyone who’s spent a little bit of time online or tried talking to a Penangite or a Chinese living in the Klang Valley would already have realised how entrenched the “anything but Umno (ABU) and bugger MCA” sentiments are. It’s become near impossible to communicate with the lot of them.
Namewee is a bright hope to make the breakthrough unless the Perak scenario is what Umno ultimately prefers.
If Malays do not want the racial polarization reflected in the Perak government to be repeated, then cut Namewee some slack. He is one of the few with potential to breach the DAP Great Wall of China and reach Chinese minds and hearts which are closed seemingly beyond rationality.