Malaysians are currently in Phase 4 of the Movement Control Order (MCO), which Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced would end next Tuesday, 12 May.
To commemorate the two months that (most) Malaysians have obediently stayed put at home to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country, Namewee has released a truly Malaysian song entitled “OK Lah!”.
“Malaysia 6 races, 17 Musicians, 14 Instruments. This is the first time we record our music separately at home but we put our effort as one,” Namewee stated in the song’s music video description on YouTube.
“We just want to share our love to all heroes who fight for Malaysian as front liners. Our doctors, nurse, polis, tentera and many more. Thank you so so so much! Finally we can get out from our home! But still be careful lah don’t play play!”
The final parts of the message refer to the fact that the Conditional MCO was enforced last Monday, allowing certain economic sectors to resume their operations, though still in compliance with certain MCO rules.
Following the music video’s reception, the rapper later took to his Instagram to talk more about its multicultural background.
As seen in this screenshot, “OK Lah!” promotes the rich diversity of Malaysian cultures.
“These geniuses involved in this ［Ok lah］song are the TOP musicians from Malaysia, who came from different states and cities. The most difficult part of this project is the way we collect each other’s music files recorded by each artist, and to mix them together. We also require them to shoot the best possible video for us; you have to know that they are “musicians”, not photographers, which resulted in them having to remake again and again for a good shoot, then we need to collect all these videos, and edit all the videos into one MV. This is a very hard work lu tahu?!
“Let me answer your questions since I saw many people asking questions here. The musical instrument that looks very much like a skateboard is called “SAPE” from the Aborigines of Sarawak. There is also a violin with wings, you are right, it is a VIOLIN. The flute is not Chinese flute, it’s a Malay traditional flute called “Seruling”.
“The cute Sabahan girl is an Aborigine; she has a Chinese surname “TAN” because she is mixed. There is a percussion player from New York, USA. He is a very famous percussion player and living in Malaysia for a long time oredi. Whenever each musician appears in the music video, their names are shown below, together with the names of the instruments they play, and their hometown and state. How CLEAR izit!”
Nevertheless, the song has also received positive comments, applauding its rich diversity while simultaneously being an entertaining piece that perfectly describes most Malaysians’ current day-to-day lives.