Malaysian rapper skewers racial ties in new film
But Wee Meng Chee — better known by the alias Namewee — characteristically pulls few punches in “Nasi Lemak 2.0,” an unusually daring exploration of a tide of racial distrust that has stoked concern in multi-ethnic Malaysia.
The comedy, named after the national rice dish and which opened last week, takes an unflinching but ultimately fond look at many of the racial stereotypes that Muslim-majority Malaysia’s various ethnic groups aim at each other.
The main character, an arrogant chef played by Wee, expresses revulsion at Islamic practices such as circumcision.
In another scene, an ethnic Chinese student complains of difficulty getting into college, a reference to quota policies and other privileges favoring the dominant Malay ethnic group.
“My message is that the system in Malaysia is unequal… But when we live together, we eat together, there is no racism,” said Wee, sitting for an interview with AFP wearing his trademark beanie pulled down to his eyes.
More than half of Malaysia’s near 28 million population are Malay Muslims, who live alongside sizeable Chinese, Indian and indigenous minorities.