Malaysia: Artist released on bail; investigation pending
Malaysian artist Namewee was released on bail in Penang on 25 August 2016 after four days in detention over charges that a recent video he starred in, directed and produced allegedly insulted Islam, reported Reuters on 25 August 2016.
Penang district police chief Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said they have referred the case to the Penang prosecution director and Putrajaya attorney-general to see if they should press charges.
The police’s investigation follows after 20 non-governmental organisations filed police reports that Namewee’s video for song ‘Oh My God’, which he performed with Taiwanese trio Jiu Yi Yi (Nine One One), “insults Islam”. Namewee was out of the country when the video appeared online and was arrested upon his return to Malaysia on 21 August 2016.
Search for Taiwanese trio
Penang police are also looking for Taiwanese trio Jiu Yi Yi (Nine One One) featured in the video and have said they will ask for Interpol’s help to “find the three men to record their statements” for the investigation, reported new site Malaysia Kini on 23 August 2016.
However, according to Interpol’s article on neutrality: “It is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.”
Jiu Yi Yi’s manager said the group was “shocked” over Namewee’s arrest, but that they “went to those places for music video shooting under the director’s instructions”.
Choon Fong, a member of the group, admitted there were “mistakes” in the video, but that it was “too late to correct it after it was released to the public”, and apologised to Malaysian citizens, reported Asia One on 31 August 2016.
Namewee contends that the version released in late July 2016 was an unedited version leaked by a hacker, and released the official version on 20 August 2016 before his return to Malaysia. The more recent video no longer includes the controversial scenes of religious characters goofing around together or those filmed inside or near mosques.
Photo: Screen grab from official video posted on Namewee’s official YouTube page
» Asia One – 31 August 2016:
Taiwan trio admits there were mistakes in Namewee video
» Reuters – 25 August 2016:
Malaysian rapper accused of insulting Islam released on bail
» Malaysia Kini – 24 August 2016:
Taiwan hip-hop group Jiu Yi Yi shocked at Namewee’s arrest
» Malaysia Kini – 23 August 2016:
Interpol’s help sought to locate singers in Namewee’s video clip
Article 3 of the Constitution: Neutrality
More from Freemuse
» 10 August 2016: Malaysia: Rapper threatened with censorship and arrest
» 26 October 2015: China: Malaysian rapper told to make no controversial statements