Tuesday October 16, 2018
Home World Malaysian Rap...

Malaysian Rapper NameWee In Police Custody for Allegedly Insulting Islam

Police could question him under Section 295 of the Malaysian Penal Code, that permits punishment of two years in prison, a fine, or both

0
//
896
NameWee is taken under police custody. Image source: BenarNews
Republish
Reprint

August 29, 2016: A Malaysian court has sent controversial hip-hop artist and filmmaker Namewee to jail for four days while police investigate claims that his latest music video insults Islam.

Johor native Namewee, 33, whose real name is Wee Meng Chee, was detained Monday after landing at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 3:30 a.m. from Taipei and taken to Penang island, where the music video was filmed.

At midmorning, a court in George Town remanded him to custody for four days so that police could question him under Section 295 of the Malaysian Penal Code, which bars defiling houses of worship and insulting religion. Section 295 permits punishment of two years in prison, a fine, or both.

George Town police chief Mior Faridalathrash Wahid confirmed that the arrest and remand would enable police to investigate a controversial music video that Namewee released in July.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter

The four-minute video “Oh My God!” was written, produced and directed by Namewee, and features the Malaysian singer alongside the three-member Taiwanese band Nine-One-One.

The mash-up of religious traditions appears to poke fun at invoking the powers that be to overcome problems from a receding hairline to a straying girlfriend. The singers invoke Allah, Jesus and the Virgin Mary, and the Buddhist chant “Namo Amitabha,” among other terms.

Scenes from what looks like Chinese comedy movies are interspersed with footage of the four men singing and dancing in front of places of worship.

The original version released in July featured Buddhist and Taoist temples, a mosque and a church, but that version is no longer available online, according to reports. A second version uploaded on Aug. 20 omits the mosque footage.

Following the release of the original video, multiple parties filed police reports accusing the filmmaker of insulting Islam, including the chairman of the Tanjung Bungah Floating Mosque, one of Penang’s top attractions, according to reports.

In a post to his Facebook page on Monday, Namewee said that the video was meant to promote inter-religious harmony.

He said he did not believe he had done anything wrong and made the decision to return to Malaysia from overseas to face any charges against him.

“If I didn’t do anything wrong, why do I need to run and hide? Malaysia is my home, my country,” he said in a Mandarin-language statement.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook

In an earlier Facebook post, Namewee said he had shown his respect for Islam by becoming the first ethnic Chinese singer in history to sing nasyid – poetry with Islamic themes.

His 2015 song “Uncle Lim” is a duet with nasyid singer Yasin Suleimen.

“This is a nasyid song sung in Mandarin in the hip-hop style. Stop your slander and accusations that I insulted Islam,” he wrote on Facebook.

Namewee made waves in 2007 during his student days in Taiwan, when he posted a rap arrangement of the Malaysian national anthem “Negaraku” – and was accused of having insulted the country, the police, ethnic Malays and the Muslim call to prayer.

He was investigated by police for sedition when he returned home in 2008 and later apologized for the video, Channel News Asia reported. (BenarNews)

ALSO READ:

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 NewsGram

Next Story

Why Robots That Are Made To Look Like Human Make Them Feel Uneasy

People who design machines to work with humans do keep the uncanny valley in mind as they think about the look of a robot.

0
Robots
Why Robots That Look Too Human Make Some People Uneasy Pixabay

An increasing number of robots are being created and designed to work side by side with humans, in a human environment. That means robots have to be structured like a person, because some of them have to walk and sit like a person. Some robots are even being designed to look human.

But seeing an android, a robot that looks human, can make some people uneasy. That growing unsettling feeling or phenomenon as robots begin to look more like human beings is called the “uncanny valley.”

Even researchers who work on robots are not immune to it.

“I know how they work. I know they’re just machines, but something about something that looks like a person but doesn’t quite move like a person is disturbing,” said Jonathan Gratch, director for virtual human research at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Institute for Creative Technologies.

Gratch, who is a research professor of computer science and psychology, studies human-computer interaction.

He said there are many thoughts behind why the uncanny valley exists. One explanation is that it’s biological. People are hardwired to recognize when something seems wrong.

“In my research, I study emotion and how we use emotional cues to read each other’s minds, and I think a lot of the issue for me is if you try to make something very realistic, then you start trying to read all this information into what it’s portraying, and it is not the right information. So, it just communicates something is off. Something is wrong with this interaction,” Gratch said.

Another theory is that a robot that looks too human threatens what it means to be human.

robots
A robot head is covered by Hanson Robotics’ skin, in Hong Kong. VOA

“Initially, humans were seen as the only intelligent entity. And now, we know more and more that animals can do many of the things that we do, build tools. We know machines are starting to become intelligent. We hold on to the fact that we’re emotional, but now these machines are starting to be emotional as well, which is perhaps a threat. So, where does that lead people?” Gratch explained.

A person’s religious beliefs and culture may also play into how an android is perceived, he suggested.

“In the Western tradition, coming from Christianity, humans are unique, perhaps uniquely possessing a soul. Whereas in Japanese Shinto culture, souls live everywhere, in rocks and machines,” Gratch said.

John Rebula is a postdoctoral fellow at USC and is working on making a humanoid robot walk like a person by being more coordinated and balanced. Applications include the ability to walk up a flight of stairs and sit in a chair made for a person. He said the robot’s face is not necessary and is clearly cosmetic.

Technology, robot
The mock killer robot was displayed in London in April 2013 during the launching of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, which calls for the ban of lethal robot weapons that would be able to select and attack targets without any human intervention. (VOA)

“We really do think of these as research machines that we’re ripping apart and putting back together, ripping apart and putting back together. And so, it’s very easy for us to leave off the cosmetic bits,” Rebula said.

His robot does have cartoon-like eyes, ears and a nose. It could be considered cute. However, if it looked more human, Rebula said he would not necessarily want to be in the lab with it all the time.

“We have lots of late nights in labs. You start yelling at the robot a little bit as it is — ‘Oh, why aren’t you working?’ I don’t necessarily, myself, need that extra layer of weird,” Rebula said.

Also Read: Video- India Scraps Law Criminalizing Homosexuality

People who design machines to work with humans do keep the uncanny valley in mind as they think about the look of a robot, and how widely it will be accepted by humans. (VOA)