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Wee Meng Chee[1] (simplified Chinese: 黄明志traditional Chinese: 黃明志pinyin: Huáng Míng Zhì; Hainanese Pinyin: Wee Meng Chee) (born 1983 in Muar, Johor[1][2]) is a Malaysian Chinese and formerly an undergraduate student majoring in Mass Communication at Ming Chuan University, in Taipei, Taiwan ROC. He is also commonly known under the alias Namewee (a bilingual pun, because his name in Mandarin sounds like the word for "name").

Wee gained popularity after releasing a controversial song fused with the national anthem of Malaysia, Negaraku, which describes the state of the country and its government. In the following weeks, the song increasingly drew both praise and criticism from various quarters of Malaysian society, and prompted the government of Malaysia to voice the possibility of action against Wee.



Born and raised in the town of Muar, Johor, Malaysia, Wee was educated in SRJK Chung Hwa 1B and Chung Hwa High School. It was during his secondary school days that he composed the first of 500 songs in his life. Around the same time, a few good friends and he formed a band named "大娘乐队" and won several competitions. These few friends stuck very close to him and accompanied him through the ups and downs of his life.

In addition to studying abroad, Wee composes and performs hip hop music by using what public classified as kind of downstream approach and dirty words in various languages, releasing several songs with complementing music videos on YouTube. Among the songs released by Namewee include Muar's Mandarin (麻坡的华语) and Kawanku, a critical song directed at Malaysian Chinese and Malay people.

Despite the controversy surrounding Negarakuku, Wee released his first, self-titled album, 明志 Namewee, in Malaysia on September 3, 2007,[3] The album was completed in May,[4] and does not contain Negarakuku.[5]


Wee's sudden rise to stardom is the result of his highly publicized piece - Negarakuku. Its Chinese title reads 我愛我的國家 Negarakuku (2007大馬觀光年主題曲) translated as "I Love My Country Negarakuku (Visit Malaysia 2007 Theme Song)".[6 ]

The structure of the song consists of two major components: the rapping, which is exclusively composed and performed by Wee, and Malaysia's anthem, Negaraku, which is split into three segments between the rapping and sung out in groups of two or three verses. While the national anthem is fragmented and sung in an "R&B" tone, Wee had no intention of altering the melody and lyrics of the anthem,[7] retaining the anthem's original theme and meaning. The arrangement used by Wee follows one of the iterations of the national anthem as the Malaysian government has altered the anthem three times previously. This form follows the original arrangement of the anthem prior to the first change by the Government of Malaysia. The rap lyrics are uttered in Mandarin with occasional Hokkien passages and words, while verses of the national anthem are sung in their original, Malay form.[8]

Negarakuku covers elements of daily lives in Malaysia from Wee's perspectives, [7] including police corruption, inefficient public services and biased government policies. Two other portions of his song reference to Muslims' call for prayer and laid-back lifestyle of Malay people which mostly as the Muslims; one segment mentions the azaan to Fajr, the earliest of the five daily prayers by Muslims, described without culture and religious respect as a "morning call" that would wake the sleppy Wee up at 5 a.m. ("早上五点, 还有 morning call 会叫我起床"), as different mosques in the vicinity occasionally conduct the same azaan to the point they seemingly sing a "love song" in unison with voices that ululates in an R&B song ("有时几间一起唱, 听起来好像情歌对唱, 声音拗来拗去像唱 R&B 一样"). Two other verses describe people who "cover their heads" and walk slowly ("他们把头包起来, 慢慢走慢慢过马路"). In the beginning of the song, Wee dedicates the song to "all Malaysians, especially the Government." Nevertheless, the rap lyrics were only intended to describe without bias, leaving listeners to determine on their own the right or wrong of any observation Wee raised in the song.

A lower audio and video quality of the music video for the song was uploaded to YouTube by Wee on July 15, 2007, featuring a montage of photographs of Malaysia, a Visit Malaysia 2007 video and a video of Wee rapping against the backdrop of a Malaysian flag. The video ends depicting both a Chinese caption thanking unnamed parties for videos and images provided for the montage, and an English/Malay caption asking not to be sued as he has no money ("please don't sue me, saya takde duit"). The video was removed by Wee amid pressure on July 23, 2007,[9] but copies of the video, including one with English and Malay subtitles of the song's Chinese lyrics, are still available on the site. The videos received an average of over 100,000 hits; a duplicate version of Wee's original video, uploaded in the middle of July 2007, received a total of 1.4 million hits as of early September 2007.



Public reaction towards the song is virtually split. Immediate reactions in the form of YouTube comments range from mostly critic; fair agreement with Wee or support to him, few to attacks and threats towards Wee, to racist remarks directed towards both Chinese people and Malay people in general.

Official criticism of the song was primarily centered around the song's anti-government undertones, which resulted in comments by members of the Malaysian parliament to take action on him. However, as Wee was in a foreign country, he was out of Malaysia's jurisdiction.[10]

Accusation of disrespect towards Islam and Malay people were brought up by Malay tabloid Harian Metro, claiming that Wee's song had mocked Islam and the mindset of Malay people.[11] Wee disputes this claim by stating that the paper, as well as several Malaysian news channels, fail to objectively report facts, resulting in misunderstandings of his song.[7] His comments were further directed at Metro, claiming that the paper did not understand the implicit meaning of his song's lyrics before concluding its nature.[7] He added the paper had not provided any translations of the song, Mandarin and Hokkien not being widely used among the Malay-speaking community, resulting in their dependence on local media channels for interpretations of the song.[7]

In an August 9, 2007 telephone interview from Taiwan, Wee clarified that the song was merely reflecting satirical social commentary of life in Malaysia as himself as a local Chinese, and added humorous remarks solely for the pleasure of the Chinese community.[12] Wee posted a blog entry typed in both Malay and Traditional Chinese on August 12, in an attempt to clarify the nature of his song and its lyrics.[7]

On August 14, 2007 (and later, on August 16 on his blog), Wee issued a public apology to the government and Malaysians who found it offensive.[13][14][15] While the Malaysian Chinese Association accepted Wee's apology[14] with Zainuddin Maidin, Malaysia's Minister of Information, urging Malaysians to do the same,[16] the cabinet rejected Wee's apology; Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz added that "the law will take its course." [17] Other actions voiced by the government include bringing Wee to court, probably under the Sedition Act, as he had insulted the symbol of the nation,[18][19] and further action against YouTube.[18]

On August 21, 2007 the Internal Security Ministry issued a gag order on all mainstream media to cease reporting on Wee.[20][21] No major presses or television channels in Malaysia has covered Wee or Negarakuku since thereof.

Following his return to Malaysia in 2008 to celebrate National Day on August 31, Wee was summoned by the Royal Malaysian Police to attend a questioning on September 23.[22] After the interview, Wee claimed that the police wanted to close the file on the matter and that he did not think that there would be any action taken against him. However, the police later stated Wee was being investigated under the Sedition Act and the matter would be referred to the Deputy Public Prosecutor.[23]

Other Notable Works

A small controversy erupted when a three-parted video called "·邱老師 ABC 時間", directed by Wee was released. In the video, a close friend friend of Wee, known as "邱老師" introduces the English alphabet from an adult-oriented perspective. It soon became notorious from its heavy use of profanity as well as orgasm sounds. Netizens turned against him, calling the video "pornographic" and "unrefined". However,the biggest backleash came when the board of directors of Chung Hwa High School decided to sue Wee, as the video was filmed in the school compound.

In July 2009, Namewee made theme song and ending song for the latest Singaporean film 'Where Got Ghost?' that would be released on 13 August 2009.

Namewee also made video at late October 2009, titled 'Namewee fuck TNB 停電了!黃明志大鬧國家能源局'. In the video, Namewee's house and places of Muar has been blackened out at night, but TNB (Tenaga Nasional Berhad) remains lighting, and his brother would taking examination tomorrow, so Wee will going to TNB for talking with someone, but quarrel until security let Wee out. After, Wee scolded TNB and tell them 'go back to sleep'. The ending song also made some words to attacking TNB, including 'TNB' meaning 'tiu nia bu' instead of 'Tenaga Nasional Berhad'.


  1. ^ a b "University student comes under fire for video clip". The Star. 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2007-08-10.  
  2. ^ "Just a wee issue, say Liow and Khairy". The Star. 2007-08-19. Retrieved 2008-09-23.  
  3. ^ Namewee (2007-08-26). "9月3號 敬請期待 (Chinese)". YouTube. Retrieved 2007-08-29.  
  4. ^ Ooi, Jeff (2007-08-27). "NameWee Album... Sep 03 release". Retrieved 2007-08-29.  
  5. ^ "明志 Namewee - 明志 Namewee track list". Eastern Records. Retrieved 2007-09-07.  
  6. ^ Namewee (2007-07-15). "我愛我的國家 Negarakuku (2007大馬觀光年主題曲) (Chinese)". Blogger. Retrieved 2007-08-10.  
  7. ^ a b c d e f Druggy (2008-04-12). "黄明志:粗口/色情 (Chinese)(Malay)". Blogger. Retrieved 2007-08-13.  
  8. ^ Colourful World (2007-07-16). "我愛我的國家 Negarakuku (2007大馬觀光年主題曲)". Blogger. Retrieved 2007-08-10.  
  9. ^ Namewee (2007-07-23). "remove 掉了!! (Chinese)". Blogger. Retrieved 2007-08-10.  
  10. ^ "'Negaraku' is outside police jurisdiction". Daily Express. 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2007-08-10.  
  11. ^ "Dalam lagu itu, pelajar berkenaan juga menyentuh sensitiviti masyarakat Islam dengan memperlekeh ibadat umat Islam dan sikap orang Melayu" Ahmad Fitri Che Musa (2007-08-07). "Pelajar cerca negara, polis (Malay)". myMetro/Harian Metro Online. Retrieved 2007-08-10.  
  12. ^ Yeow, David (2007-08-10). "Namewee: I did not mean to insult Malays". The New Straits Times Online. Retrieved 2007-08-10.  
  13. ^ Wee Meng Chee aka Namewee (2007-07-16). "KENYATAAN MEMINTA MAAF OLEH WONG MENG CHEE ATAU NAMEWEE (Malay)". Blogger. Retrieved 2007-08-17.  
  14. ^ a b Manirajan, R. (2007-08-14). "Negarakuku rapper apologises". Sun2Surf. Retrieved 2007-08-17.   See also The Sun, August 15, 2007, page 4.
  15. ^ "Student rapper apologises". The Star Online. 2007-08-15. Retrieved 2007-08-17.  
  16. ^ "Malaysians Must Accept Wee's Apology - Zam". Bernama. 2007-08-14. Retrieved 2007-08-17.  
  17. ^ "(The) govt will not accept student Wee Meng Chee's apology for his Negaraku rap video clip on You Tube, the law will take its course, says Nazri Aziz." - The Star SMS news. Retrieved from Rocky's Bru: Govt rejects Negaraku-ku student's apology (2007-08-16) on 2007-08-17.
  18. ^ a b Manirajan, R. and Dass, Maria J. (2007-08-16). "Who’s sorry now? - Cabinet cannot accept apology, rapper who mocked Negaraku must face the music". Sun2Surf. Retrieved 2007-08-17.  
  19. ^ 杨凯斌 and 黄凌风 (2007-08-16). "内阁拒绝接受黄明志道歉纳兹里:检察署援煽动法调查 (Chinese)". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  20. ^ Soon Li Tsin & Ng Ling Fong (2007-08-21). "'Negarakuku': Enough! ministry tells media". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 2007-09-05.  
  21. ^ Ooi, Jeff (2007-08-21). "Negaraku-ku: Damage control mode... GAG ORDER on Press". Retrieved 2007-08-29.  
  22. ^ "Cops to quiz Negarakuku rapper noon tomorrow". Malaysiakini. 2008-09-22. Retrieved 2008-09-22.  
  23. ^ "Cops grill Negarakuku rapper". Malaysiakini. 2008-09-23. Retrieved 2008-09-23.  

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