Malaysia

What insult? ‘Undilah’ producer asks

Teo said he did not see any malice in the juxtaposition. — File picTeo said he did not see any malice in the juxtaposition. — File picKUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 — Musician Pete Teo denied today that his “Undilah” video mocked the prime minister and called for critics to explain how “Star Wars is an insult” to Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

A Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmaker said yesterday a scene where a man dressed as Star Wars’ character “Jabba the Hutt” and standing next to a poster of Najib at a bus stop, mocked the prime minister.

But Teo, who produced the public service announcement (PSA), insisted that “there is nothing wrong with a Star Wars character standing next to Najib.”

“It’s just a zany thing I do in all my videos. Does this mean that other people sitting at the bus stop are also mocking the PM? I’d like them to explain to me how it insults him,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

He pointed out that he had pears randomly appearing in previous videos he produced.

When quizzed over Jabba the Hutt’s role as a villain in the Star Wars films, Teo merely replied, “I don’t see the connection. It’s just a Star Wars character in a bus stop.”

He said this despite insisting that “it was crucial that the video is not political. We were neurotic about this.”

Teo also dismissed accusations that other scenes contained anti-BN messages, saying that even “the prime minister has admitted the country has problems.”

“What is the premise of Najib’s Economic and Government Transformation Programmes? It is an admission that there are problems and it is part of the PM’s agenda to solve them,” Teo said.

The PSA opens with Umno’s Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah describing Malaysia as a country with “many problems.”

His colleague Datuk Abdul Abdul Rahman said that the Kelantan prince — who is known to be openly critical of his party — appeared to encourage Malaysians to fight the establishment.

The Kota Belud MP also pointed out other instances where the 4.38-minute clip appeared to ridicule BN such as a man browsing through a copy of Harakah, a PAS organ, with headlines that read, “BN tiru Buku Jingga” (BN copied Buku Jingga).

Abdul Rahman added that there is a snapshot of the Tung Shin Hospital in Kuala Lumpur, which was the centre of much controversy during the uproar over claims of police brutality at the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9.

The Malaysian Insider reported last week that the clip was taken off the air by local broadcasters despite a push for greater democracy because it contains opposition figures and Tengku Razaleigh’s speech.

But the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) later claimed that its decision to temporarily pull the “Undilah” video was because it has not yet been approved by the Film Censorship Board.

Najib had pledged to repeal several security laws including the Internal Security Act (ISA) and do away with annual publishing licences in his Malaysia Day address.

He said this was because Malaysians had matured and deserved greater freedom as the “days of government knows best” had ended.

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