Chinese rapper Namewee was arrested in Malaysia on Sunday for allegedly insulting Islam in his latest video, New York Post reported.
Namewee, whose real name is Wee Meng Chee, was detained at Kuala Lumpur’s airport after returning from a trip abroad. He was still in custody Monday because of a court order filed by Malaysian officials allowing authorities four days to investigate the rapper on suspicion of “defiling a place of worship with intention to insult religion” in his latest video, “Oh My God.”
In the video, released in July, the 33-year-old rapper and three other singers are seen singing and dancing in front of various places of worship including Buddhist and Taoist temples, inside a church and outside a mosque. Namewee uses the term “Allah,” which refers to God in the Malay language, causing representatives from 20 local NGOs to file complaints against Namewee, citing the song and video’s rude and disrespectful inclinations towards Islam, BBC reported.
According to Namewee, who posted a statement on his Facebook regarding the video, “Oh My God” was not intended to be offensive but was supposed to promote religious harmony.
He also responded to fans asking why he returned to Malaysia instead of evading arrest by staying abroad, to which he replied, “If I’ve not done any wrong, why should I run and hide? [Malaysia] is my home, my land.”
If convicted, Namewee could face up to two years in jail for the charge.
Namewee, whose known for his slanderous and profanity filled lyrics, has been a source of controversy in Malaysia over the years. He produced a movie that the government banned in 2014 after he portrayed national agencies in a negative way. He also almost found himself in jail over another highly criticized video made earlier in his career in which he mocked the national anthem.
Since the release of “Oh My God” and Namewee’s arrest, the video has received nearly 450,000 views on YouTube and Namewee’s received an outpour of support on social media.