What is like to be in a lock-up in Malaysia? Controversial Malaysian rapper Namewee has released a new song and music video to share his own experience.
Namewee, whose real name is Wee Meng Chee, was arrested and remanded in August over his music video entitled 'Oh My God' that allegedly insulted Islam because it features Penang's floating mosque in Tanjung Bungah as a backdrop, among others.
On Saturday, 26 November, he released a five-minute video for his song 'Lokap' on YouTube, describing his experience of being locked up for five nights in a jail.
He had written the song while he was in jail.
Rapping in both Bahasa Malaysia and Mandarin, Namewee recounted his experience inside the lock-up which is said to be "crowded" and filled with "stench which cannot be eliminated"
"Cold floor and iron pillars, I can't move at all."
The 33-year-old rapped about how the prison was occupied by drug addicts, thieves and gangsters. He said that there were also illegal workers due to unscrupulous employers.
"Some were lifeless. Some were staring at the wall. Some were humming and yearning for freedom."
The Johor-born described in vivid details what he went through as a detainee at the Bayan Baru Police Station Centralised Lockup in Penang
He spent those few days without any clue on what's going on outside his cell.
"Sunlight from the window is used to guess time. Azan chanting from the next door meant (that) it’s nearly daylight."
He also related his experience when he was "forced to be naked and asked to squat".
"Like a dog, there is no dignity here, right here time became longer (sic), it is impossible to sleep well."
"This is the terrible condition I went through like a nightmare in all five nights."
"Masuk lokap, kena tangkap, bukanlah salah tapi salah faham." (Got jailed, I was caught, not wrong but just a misunderstanding.)
For the chorus of the song, Namewee sang about how he was remanded just because of a "misunderstanding".
“I masuk lokap, kena tahan, I kena reman sampai lima malam, masuk lokap, kena tangkap, bukanlah salah tapi salah faham, I masuk lokap, hubungan hilang, tolonglah tuhan."
(“I got into prison, I was arrested, I was remanded for five nights, got jailed, I was caught, not wrong just a misunderstanding, I was detained, lost contact, help me, God."
Previously, before he released the song and video, Namewee had made claims about the deplorable jail conditions
Shortly after his release from jail, he wrote on social media about how he was shocked to find out that the lock-up was so small and kept in poor condition. He also alleged that foreign detainees were in poor health. However, the postings which were made on 27 August were removed.
Responding to Namewee's allegations, Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) chairman Yaacob Md Sam conducted a surprise check-up and found the prison cells to be in good and clean condition, thus rebutting Namewee's claims.
"(CCTV footage) found that the foreign detainees were normal and there was nothing unusual going on," Yaacob was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today.
It was also reported that the police have also rubbished Namewee's other allegations.