At the premiere of Hantu Gangster, Namewee turned up on crutches and with bandaged arms and legs, writes Loong Wai Ting
NAMEWEE’S latest YouTube video posting was to congratulate Datuk Lee Chong Wei for winning a silver at the recent London Olympics. While some people were quick to dismiss it as a “last minute, cheap publicity promo for his new movie”, the filmmaker said it had nothing to do with the release of Hantu Gangster, now playing in cinemas.
In the video, Namewee (real name Wee Meng Chee) sings to pictures and video clips of Lee with encouraging words and messages, urging him to not give up. But he struck the wrong chord when he also criticised China’s Lin Dan, which prompted backlash from Lin’s fans in China. Namewee also said it was not his intention to belittle the world’s No. 1 badminton player.
“The messages at the end of the video are from a fan’s point-of-view. It’s nothing personal. It’s similar to the situation I was in before — some people disliked me when I started five years ago and five years later, I still get the same (unfavourable) treatment,” he said at the Hantu Gangster gala premiere at Berjaya Times Square recently.
That aside, Namewee also put himself in the spotlight with a three-minute footage of him “being beaten up” by a group of unknown individuals during an interview. It went viral on various blogs and social-networking sites including Facebook. The video was discovered to be a hoax and was removed a few days ago.
It prompted Hantu Gangster producer Fred Chong to issue an official statement apologising to the fans for the “insensitive” publicity stunt video.
“(The) video where Namewee was hurt by gangsters was only a depiction of his own character in the movie. Please accept our sincere apologies, we have no intention to mislead anyone,” said Chong in an official letter to the Press.
Namewee continued to play it up at the event recently, turning up with “bruises” on his face, bandaged arms and legs and using crutches. He appeared to be in high spirits and he performed the movie’s theme song, Hantu Gangster, with the rest of the cast and local bands Ashtaka and Hujan.
He said: “I want people to watch the movie. Then they will know why I am here in crutches today.”