An Anthonian Baby Boomer was inspired to write a review of Nasi Lemak 2, in Chinese. It took another SPS, and a Banana to translate his work into English, see below for definition. In case we had interpreted inaccurately, will the author please forgive us.
I came home after spending a week in Kuala Lumpur. I had intended to write about my nephew’s wedding dinner in Kuala Lumpur but was distracted by the bad weather, raining heavily all day. So I ended up washing my car, doing my laundry and cleaning the floor. Being alone, it seemed more time was needed to complete the chore; though there was nobody to distract me, I found the work was monotonous and boring. Yesterday, I managed to devote 3 hours writing up on the wedding.
“Nasi Lemak 2.0” is in the cinemas nationwide starting from the 8th of September. I was very keen to attend premiere but had to abort my plan.
It was early in the morning of 10th September, while walking light heartedly to the nearby morning market that I realized that most of the whole housing estate was flooded by the swollen river. Strangely, the road along my house was not affected at all. I believed tthe huge water pump installed at the river bank towards the end of the road had saved us. Luckily, the rain had turned into a drizzle and the sun started to shine. So I decided to accompany a Malay colleague to his pineapple farm and came home later with some of the fruit. After dinner, I went out with another friend to catch the Namewee or Wee Meng Chee's maiden film which he created and directed and even acted in it.
I am not a film commentator and I have never published any film commentary. I only wish here to recall what I believe is a film that explores the concept of 1Malaysia which has thus far been allowed to remain a fuzzy slogan. Namewee is a daring and outspoken patriotic Malaysian of Chinese origin. He has written many songs and created numerous videos. We can see his masterpieces in Youtube. His song “Negara Ku Ku: (country of birds) had awakened the public, shakened UMNO, and even angered the “polite and pure” Rais Yatim, the Minister of Information, Communication and Culture. Namewee’s father was pressured to plead with the authorities after several police reports were lodged against him by shallow minded political and non-governmental groups on the supposedly anti-government undertones of this song. A few Chinese politicians and community leaders were compelled to defend him. Eventually, after a meeting with Nazri, the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, the government stopped pursuing the case further and Namewee became famous overnight!
The energetic Taiwan graduate was not deterred by this stormy encounter. For the sake of justice and, of course, for his livelihood, he produced his first film “Nasi Lemak 2.0” …….Nasi Lemak (translated literally as "hot till your mother die") is coconut flavoured rice. It is cooked with coconut milk (and is best with slices of ginger thrown in), and then garnished with other cooked spicy ingredients such as ikan bilis (crispy anchovies), salted fish, fresh fish, prawns, chicken and other meats. Nasi lemak is a spicy and fragrant food enjoyed by all races in Malaysia. I feel that,Namewee hopes, via Nasi Lemak 2.0, to tease the various races in Malaysia into appreciating the “fragrance” of living in harmony and to feeling “hot” about our unhealthy society and bad government.
At the beginning of the show, a group of idle non-Chinese youths were seen openly robbing an ethnic Chinese lady hawker. Passersby did not give her a helping hand, acting as if that was none of their business. But then, a school boy happened on the scene. Hesitating for a while, he spied an empty can on the road and decided to kick it towards the rogues. It hit them. Annoyed, the rogues charged at the boy. They pursued him to a back lane where many people opened their back doors to gawk. When the boy screamed for help, the doors were closed on him. Won't anyone get not “hot” with this callous behaviour? This small hero grew up to be none other than Namewee.
There were many comical scenes in this film, the dialogues and songs had special hidden messages. This was a good film with a number of beautiful songs. To me, “Curry Neh” was the best song. I am Hokkien, I could feel that Namewee was not only selling “Nasi Lemak”, but he also sang and danced while 'bombarding' others. (aiming at the government, I presume!)….. Together let's eat Curry Neh! Kan Lin Neh! Kan Lin Neh!........
I will stop here. It is better for readers to catch the show in the cinema. This show is worth watching. There were people who watched the show more than once. What are you waiting for? Hurry up, go and watch “Nasi Lemak 2.0” NOW!
Chew Wah Yeong, Chee Sai Gnow and Khoo Joo Lee completed their secondary education at the St Anthony’s School in Telok Anson (since renamed asTeluk Intan) in 1967. While Wah Yeong and Sai Gnow had the benefit of primary education in Chinese, Joo Lee spent all his 11 school years in the same building that housed St. Anthony’s
SPS (是或否, yes or no). This is what 'bananas' frequently hear those folks from the remove class utter after each sentence; thus they came to be identified as 'SPS'. Remove class is where students with vernacular primary education had to spend a year orientating themselves to the national medium of instruction (Bahasa Melayu and a sprinkling of English); this practice was stopped many years ago when it was found to be redundant.