SINGAPORE- Some view him as Malaysia's perennial troublemaker, while others laud his outspoken ways, hailing him as a guerilla hero.
Love or loathe him, there is no denying that Johor native Namewee (real name Wee Meng Chee) is one of a kind.
Ever since the 30-year-old singer-rapper-actor-director burst into the public consciousness with his contentious remake of Malaysia's national anthem in 2007, he has chalked up a string of shenanigans and cemented himself as Malaysia's most controversial entertainer. (See timeline on right) Well, take it from the horse's mouth that we have not seen the end of his headline-making days.
Namewee - who will be in town on New Year's Eve for Celebrate With The World, a free seven-hour countdown party featuring Filipino rock band Rivermaya and local singers Sylvester Sim and Chriz Tong - told M in an e-mail interview that being vocal is deeply ingrained in his personality.
"I won't change who I am for my work, so political and societal issues will always be a topic of interest in my music and movies," said the stocky, moustached star, who is almost never seen without his trademark pullover cap.
"I'm always inspired by social issues. My work's not about politics, it's about a system that affects everyone," Namewee said.
The talented star - last seen on local big screens in the 2011 gongfu comedy Petaling Street Warriors, a Singapore-Malaysia co-production starring Mark Lee and Yeo Yann Yann - denied that he has mellowed with age.
"With age comes wisdom, so now that I'm older, I've become wiser in trying not to get caught by authorities who disapprove of my work," he said.