Panel to probe N-Day song’s originality, says Rais
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 ― A Putrajaya panel will determine the originality of the National Day theme song “Janji Ditepati” following claims that it was similar to an Indonesian gospel song, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said today.
This is the second time the information, communication and culture minister has been forced to review issues linked to the National Day, with the first being a logo that many said was badly designed.
The tagline “Janji Ditepati” (Promises Fulfilled) has also been castigated as it is similar to ruling Barisan Nasional’s (BN) pre-election campaign.
“A special panel has been set up to determine if the Merdeka song Janji Ditepati is copied,” Rais said in his Twitter microblogging account earlier today.
“The opposition shouldn’t be clever to just accuse,” he said in the tweet from his @DrRaisYatim account.
Rais had earlier denied a foreign blogger’s claims that the 2012 National Day theme song was similar to “Serukan NamaNya” (Call out His name) by Jakarta-based Christian band True Worshippers.
“We unconditionally refute the blogger’s allegation and will seek legal redress if he fails to substantiate what he alleged,” Rais told the New Straits Times in a text message yesterday.
The Indonesian blogger had said on Monday that the composers of the National Day theme song had plagiarised from the Christian spiritual song, sparking online controversy.
Rais penned the lyrics for “Janji Ditepati”, which was composed by Jasnie Mohd Yaakub with two other composers, Arman E Six and Aye.
Jasnie has denied the copying the melody of the Indonesian gospel song
“This song is not finalised yet. We work on the song stage by stage until the final stage. If we are approved for the final stage, then we will finalise it. The inspiration of the song came all of a sudden, (we) did not follow any songs,” Jasnie told a media conference that was also attended by Arman and Aye at the Erama records headquarters here yesterday.
Rais took to Twitter three days ago to ask the public what they thought of the song.
“What are your views on the Janji Ditepati song? On YouTube, there are more than 140,000 views. But there are those who have also given it the thumbs-down,” he tweeted.
The controversy is the latest in a series of disputes between Indonesia and Malaysia on the ownership of cultural assets.