Malaysian singer who was arrested for insulting Islam gets bail

Still faces a possible two years jail for video filmed in a mosque

August 26, 2016
A Malaysian rapper arrested for insulting Islam was freed on bail Aug. 25 but still faces a possible two years in jail over the allegation.

Ethnic Chinese musician Wee Meng Chee (stage name Namewee) was arrested Aug. 21 for his song Oh my God which was partly filmed inside a mosque in Penang state.

Police say his making of the video defiles a place of worship and was done with the intention of insulting religion. If found guilty Namewee could serve two years in prison and be forced to pay a fine.

Penang police chief, Mior Faridalathrash Wahid, said the court had declined to prolong Namewee's arrest because the 33-year-old rapper had health problems.

"Namewee is suffering from stomach ulcers," he told AFP. "Namewee has been freed on police bail and we are still continuing with the investigations."

"They had entered a mosque to do the video," Wahid said.

Namewee's video shows the singer with three other artists in front of a mosque plus Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist temples.

His song has been sung in Mandarin and has lyrics that include "Allah" and "Hallelujah," plus the Islamic call to prayer, reported AFP.

In Malaysia it is prohibited for non-Muslims to use the expression Allah when referring to God, even if they are using the term in reference to their own religious beliefs.

Namewee has said the song was created to "promote harmony."

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