OPINION Who could forget Namewee? Aka Wee Meng Chee, of Negarakuku fame. The rapper from Muar has condensed in his short music video, a tirade directed at TNB. It is his reaction to the numerous breakdowns and shutdowns experienced in his hometown – and he has put the videoclip on Youtube where it has been viewed several thousand times and elicited an equal number of responses.
He has shown the world, in his two minute experience at the TNB office, how NOT to complain and thus get the backs up, of the people whom you wish to help you.
Of equal importance, he has shown the corporate world, especially one that provides a service to the general public, how NOT to treat your customers and give them the run-around. To a lesser extent, it also reveals to the higher echelons of management, how your staff behave when not in your presence.
Expressing frustration in creativity and music
Admittedly, Namewee is simply expressing his anger and frustration in creativity and music. There is nothing unusual about this. Many artistes do the same in their songs and music videos. Think Madonna or Enimen.
Sometimes, to shock may even sell more records. There is also a commercial element as well as an entertainment value. He has gained increased publicity for himself. He is enterprising, too.
Why so difficult to apologise
Sometimes, corporations forget that just mentioning the word ‘apology’ might make the sufferer so pleased his complaint is being dealt with, that his initial problem is almost forgotten.
Maybe frontline TNB staff could be given a crash course in public relations? Treat the customer like royalty and he will forget his woes. Could this be why royalty and those high up in the pecking order of our society have few things to complain about?
Maybe this is why the service providers are rewarded with ‘pingats’. What a pity these service providers forget that a job should be done without fear or favour.
Namewee was wrong to be abusive – even I would balk short at such behaviour. But there is little point showing an irate customer the planned schedule of shutdowns. What he wants to know is when his problem is going to be resolved. Namewee speaks for all those who suffered that night. His methods of expressing and registering his complaint may be wrong. Sadly, neither compassion nor empathy was shown by the TNB staff that night.
But what is even more disturbing were the comments left by the viewers. That is the eye-opener.
The reaction to what many normal people would have seen as a disgruntled customer’s tirade against a service provider has been blown into something of a racial firestorm. That is the more potent danger.
Rais should get off his high horse
It seems that when you scratch beneath the surface, 1Malaysia is unraveling faster than my knitted jumper. One person condemns a quasi government organization, and the so called defenders of the different faiths, react like beasts unleashed, and all for the wrong reasons.
He confirmed that investigations were going to be conducted on the lyrics, content and composition of the song before any action was taken against Namewee. He mentioned the possible use of the Penal Code and the Communications and Multimedia Act, in the name of protecting “….acts that insult which could lead to disharmony.”
This is a waste of taxpayers’ money. It is better to find out why there are so many breakdowns and whilst he is at it, he could also investigate the other claims why other states like Sabah, have more frequent breakdowns, than most.
When I first viewed Namewee’s videoclip a fortnight ago, I wondered how long it would take the authorities to haul him up.
I also wondered if they would acknowledge the content of his complaint or would prosecute him for the content of his video.
True to expectation, the minister has confirmed my suspicions. What is of lesser importance is the breakdown. But I am surprised a minister in charge of the portfolio of communications took this long to be aware of this video.
I would suggest that he gets off his high horse and find ways and means to make 1Malaysia truly at one with each other, examine ways to gel Malaysians together, and with his cabinet counterpart, try and improve facilities and infrastructure in the country.
He should be glad that not there are not more of us who are like Namewee when making a stand. This young man may have been more foolish, than courageous, possibly even mildly entertaining when making his complaint, but if we were all to react to poor service like he has, would we all be prosecuted? More holding cells would then have to be built.
Sometimes it is best to remember that age-old adage, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.’
And it certainly does not help by shooting the messenger.
"Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban"