Rapper Namewee under probe for CNY video

Namewee
Namewee

KUALA LUMPUR • Controversial Malaysian rapper Namewee is under police investigation for allegedly insulting Islam with a Chinese New Year video that features dancers wearing dog masks and performing suggestive moves, reports said yesterday.

The video features the rapper, whose name is Wee Meng Chee, sitting on a chair in front of a domed building and mimicking barks of canines from around the world.

Several black-clad dancers wearing masks of dogs - an animal considered unclean in Islam - gyrate around him.

The video, which marks the start of the Chinese Year of the Dog, generated accusations that it was filmed in front of a mosque in the Malaysian administrative capital of Putrajaya.

National police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun reportedly said a probe had been launched into the artist for hurting religious feelings and "transmitting offensive communications".

Namewee, who is reported to be abroad, faces up to a year in jail if found guilty.

In a YouTube video, he denied having insulted Islam and said the domed building visible in the background was the prime minister's office, not a mosque.

The probe was launched after complaints from Muslim groups and public criticism from the deputy prime minister over the video, which has more than 700,000 views on YouTube since its release on Feb 10.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2018, with the headline 'Rapper under probe for CNY video'. Print Edition | Subscribe