NameWee vs Rais

Alright, we all know that Namewee loves to court controversy. I have this feeling that he is an attention whore and he needs to be in the limelight for the purposes of furthering his career. Honestly, if he did not face the kinds of trouble that he has, it is unlikely that many of us would know the artiste known as Namewee. Fortunately for him, our government is run by a bunch of fools who continue to feed him his daily dose of notoriety.

The latest incident comes from Namewee complaining about the services provided by our utilities company, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (or more affectionately known as Total National Blackout). Regardless of what Namewee has done or is doing to TNB, this is merely a simple matter of a customer being unhappy with the services provided and venting out, which is a perfectly normal thing to do. I don’t think that there is anyone among us who has not cursed TNB at one time or another (or TMNET for that matter).

What I am amazed at is the stupidity of our politicians. Quoting from TheStar, our Information, Communications, Cul­ture and Arts Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said that:

…investigations would be conducted on the lyrics, content and composition of the song before any action was taken against Wee. He said the Penal Code and the Communications and Multimedia Act could be used against offenders. We cannot allow acts that insult which could lead to disharmony…


Honestly, I think that our minister is confused by what is happening (or otherwise misquoted as our politicians usually are). This is a simple matter of a customer being unhappy with a service provided by a company and venting it publicly. This could not possibly lead to any sort of disharmony especially at the national level. It sets a very dangerous precedent if the government decides to step in and stop customers from complaining about services provided by private companies. It is extremely detrimental to consumer rights and the whole economy in general.

Let us not confuse ourselves. TNB is a private company that is providing power utility services. It is by no means the only power provider in Malaysia even if it is the biggest one. If its services levels are not good enough, customers have the right to complain as much as they want. If TNB feels that what the customer is saying is slanderous, by all means, take the customer to court and see how that pans out with the rest of its customer base.

While Namewee may be a total bastard in many ways, it is well within his right to rant and rave if there is cause for it. In a proper market, we would have multiple vendors, instead of multiple monopolies, competing for customers. If TNB sucked, we could always walk off and buy power from another company, if only our markets worked properly. Unfortunately, things do not work that way in Malaysia.

PS: I wish that TMNet did not suck and provide us with 10Mbps broadband speeds at a low-cost in Malaysia.

Published by

Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered/Professional Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

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