Cabinet rejects apology from Negaraku rapper
By LOH FOON FONG
KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet has not accepted student Wee Meng Chees apology for the furore caused by his Negaraku rap videoclip on video-sharing web portal YouTube.
Minister in the Prime Ministers Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the Cabinet had decided yesterday that they were not in the position to forgive him and that the law would have to take its course.
The offence was not against the Prime Minister or ministers concerned but against the nation, Nazri told reporters after the launch of the International Conference on Media and Information Warfare: A Global Challenge of the 21st Century here.
If he had committed an offence, which I think was an offence, then we must allow the Attorney General to investigate and decide whether to take him to court, he said.
Wee had on Tuesday apologised for the parody and agreed to remove the videoclip from his blog.
Nazri said Wees apology could be used as mitigation in sentencing but not as a reason to not prosecute him.
To 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 the position to forgive him, he said.
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 dont care, but in this country we have laws and we cannot create a precedent where you commit an offence, apologise and get away with it, he said adding that Wee was not a boy but a 24-year-old man and he should be held responsible for the act.
It is not an issue of ethnicity or being racial but against national interest, he said.
When asked how Wee had insulted the national anthem, Nazri said the song was supposed to be sung based on how it should be sung, otherwise, it would mean insulting the song, especially when the lyrics were changed.
Malaysia Negaraku ku. ‘Ku ku’ can also mean cuckoo so it was insulting. I dont think this was done out of ignorance. He was a university student and he meant to insult the national song, he said.
On whether Wee would be called home to answer charges against him, Nazri said the AG would have to investigate and if he comes to the decision to prosecute him, then when Wee returns, he would have to face the charges.
He also said that he wanted action to be taken against video-sharing portal YouTube and other bloggers who have allowed sensitive material to be published that went against the law of our country.