Saturday, April 2, 2011

This is it!

We're here at Fort Cornwallis gearing up for the concert. After a few rounds, the bands are sounding gooooooood. It's a lovely day too! Nice breeze, not too hot, overcast (it rained this morning, so probably won't rain again)....are you coming? If you're not, you need to haul ass over here because look at all the stuff you're missing!!

Great merchandise. Special promo for album today!!

Live bands

Great bargains. Clothes, face painting, food, novelties... etc.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Loud and clear

by Haris Abdul Halim

Published on 1 April 2011 © The Star

Music can inspire change in people’s lives and attitudes, as reflected by the Radio Demokratika compilation and the upcoming Rock 4 Rights concert.

THE first thought that came to my mind, and probably many others’, when mentioning this genre of music, that is, protest songs or civil rights music, was youthful rebellion towards certain aspects of society. For the new generation, they had somehow hoped that their anger would be heard, but then again, no one listens to an angry person, especially if they are nobody.

MC Stiff’s contribution Moral Bankruptcy is an unsung gem in Radio Demokratika.

Bearing that last sentence in mind,Radio Demokratika produced by the Malaysian Bar Council’s public service MyConstitution Campaign (MyConsti in hip speak), is a compilation album which speaks to the current generation, not through anger and rebellion, but through a positive tone throughout the album.

MyConsti has been up and running in Malaysia since 2009. The initial idea was a two-year campaign organised by the Bar Council designed to inform and educate the public about constitutional awareness, their rights as citizens of Malaysia as well as the way the country is run. Forums and workshops have been held across Malaysia to raise awareness.

The Radio Demokratika compilation, featuring diverse local acts, sees MyConsti finding a louder voice through music.

This Saturday the compilation will also receive a profile boost with the Rock 4 Rights concert and carnival taking place at Fort Cornwallis in Penang. The 12–hour music marathon organised by the Bar Council, in partnership with Frinjan and Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM), will feature a host of acts from the Radio Demokratika compilation as well as like-minded artistes on stage throughout the day.

Apart from movie screenings and information booths, the free admission event has slotted names like Bittersweet, Azmyl Yunor, Couple, Amirah Ali, An Honest Mistake, Maharajah Commission, Keladak, MC Stiff, Barcode, Car Crash Hearts and others for the Rock 4 Rights gig.

Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah will also be part of the live line-up with a special performance on the main stage.

Nurul Izzah will be giving a special performance at Rock 4 Rights.

“It is a great blessing when singer-songwriters like us are given opportunities to perform and share our music with others, especially songs about social and humanitarian issues. Ultimately, music is about honesty and writing what is true in your heart ... that is what is most important,” said Amirah Ali, who will be on stage in Penang this Saturday.

“Judging by the number of participating acts (including notable and popular ones) in events such as these, there is a form of paradigm shift when it comes to the role of local music in civil society as a whole,” said Azmyl Yunor, renowned for his back-to-basics folk rock music. “An act might not write political or social songs per se (you don’t have to, really), but by showing support for a cause or by participating in related events, does show that bands or musicians who have a conscience, regardless of political leanings, are now showing their support and empathy. It’s a norm overseas, why not here?”

But it was Radio Demokratika that sparked this recent and concerted flurry of pro-activity from the music community. This compilation, released last month, encompasses many styles of music, from hip hop to rock, to metal and even country.

“As you know, everyone is different, therefore, everyone’s tastes are different. This album has been very accessible in a sense that it appeals to a broad range of people. In a way, the music becomes the tool for unity, and if we’re not united, nothing can be accomplished,” said Michael Loo, one of the co-ordinators for the Radio Demokratikacompilation project.

Indie jazz singer Amirah Ali is in the concert line-up, too.

“We wanted to end this campaign with a bang, and that was how Radio Demokratika came to be. Music, after all, is the one thing which is ever present in our lives, and this is a great opportunity to reach out to the general public of Malaysia,” he added.

The album, which comes with an information booklet, also plays around with the lyrics and the way the lyrics are written – some are obscure, some are abstract and some are really just like staring at you right in the face, and again, this creates an appealing variety. Cilia Chong, also directly involved in the making of the album, added that they tried to make the album as accessible as possible, so they could avoid seeming elitist in any way. Comprising 12 tracks, which were contributed (free) by local artistes and bands alike, along with a few members from the Bar Council, it is an album which might pique the public’s curiosity through it’s diverse sound and clear message.

Radio Demokratika encompasses many genres and styles of music, everyone will have at least one track to relate to,” she said.

Sonically, being a compilation album which is not confined to one genre, it would tend to have a diverse palette. Although all of the artistes are local, the sound that they managed to produce is quite impressive. Hints of U2 can be heard in Lord Bobo’s Minions’ track, Better Than This. A familiar riff, which is heard on Thin Izzy’s track, Shine A Light, would be noticed by Led Zeppelin fans.

The whole album contains many good tracks, including contributions from underground scene favourites like Carburetor Dung, Azmyl Yunor and Maharajah Commission, but one which stands out is newcomer MC Stiff’s dark and ominous Moral Bankruptcy, which has so much meaning to the words, and the way it is crafted is just beautiful. The track gives a sense of empowerment to the people.

Rebel with a cause: Post punk outfit The Panda Head Curry? delivers a direct message for consitutional awareness on Joget Melayu Liberal, one of the highlights of the Radio Demokratika compilation.

“There are a lot of good acts on the album, but it’s cool that local hip hop as a genre is represented and not forgotten. I wrote Moral Bankruptcyespecially for this compilation. I thought about the issues and put down verses that reflected the cause (awareness for the constitution). Everybody involved in this project hopes that it reaches out to the public,” said MC Stiff.

The last song on the album is Joget Melayu Liberal by The Panda Head Curry? and it sends out a clear message through direct lyrics. It summarises all that is happening in the compilation with seemingly pointless lines, but it does show the role that a constitution plays in the development of the country, saying that, without it, we would be mere animals.

The Rock 4 Rights concert and carnival takes place at Fort Cornwallis in Penang this Saturday. The 12–hour non-stop event starts at noon. The Radio Demokratika compilation is available at selected recordstores nationwide. More details at

Thursday, March 31, 2011


OMG! Rock4Rights is happening THIS SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!

And you're not going to be able to PARTY HARD if you can't last the duration of the carnival so COME PREPARED.


*Adapted from Big Day Out Safety Guidelines


1. Remember to bring your IC, important phone numbers, sun block, a watch, any medication you may need, a hat, charged mobile phone, pen, vitamins & still camera if you want plus enough cash for the day. If you have any chronic conditions or illness (ie epilepsy, diabetes, asthma) be sure to carry information regarding your condition & emergency contact number on your person at all times. Making a list isn't a bad idea.

2. Dress for the day & weather. Wear sensible shoes & clothes and bring a rain coat if need. Avoid wearing jewelry that could potentially harm yourself or others.

3. Bringing a bag or pack is handy but keep it light.You should bring water (no glass bottles) & reasonable amounts of food. Fruit is highly recommended but don't throw it at the bands. There will be plenty of food on sale at the carnival too.

4. Don't presume that the laws of the real world don't apply at Rock4Rights. Anyone caught holding or dealing illegal substances will be treated the same way as anywhere else. It is highly likely that Police will be at the carnival (like you, they won't want to miss it).

5. Don't turn up drunk or out of it as you may be refused entry or will probably pass out before you see any of the bands you paid to see.

6. Try to have a good breakfast & keep patient & calm. It will be a long, hopefully fantastic day.


1. If you are with friends & intend to travel home together arrange a place & time to meet up at the end of the night. Make sure you're not too tired to drive.

2. Large crowds, a long day & hot weather in combination will tire you out. Make sure you pace yourself, drink plenty of water, eat some food that will give you some energy & minimize sun exposure.

3. Excessive use of mind altering substances of any kind including alcohol can result in the day changing from fantastic to a nightmare in a very short amount of time.

4. Don't forget you need to get home after the show & an ambulance isn't the best or cheapest way to do so.


• Know your limits and to stick to them. This will stop you from drinking more than you can handle.

• It's gonna be a long day so try to avoid drinking games where the idea is to get drunk quickly. This includes downing drinks.

• Know what you are drinking. Not all drinks are a standard drink size. Some pre-mixed spirits contain the equivalent to two standard drinks so check the label to see how much you’re drinking

• For every alcoholic drink, plan to alternate with a non-alcoholic drink.

• An empty stomach can increase the effects of alcohol. Before you leave for the event, make sure you have a big breakfast, and take time out between sets to have something to eat throughout the day.

• Avoid rounds or shouts. You are likely to drink more to keep up with your friends.

• With so many cool bands and things to do at Rock4Rights, there is no excuse for staying in one spot drinking all day. Get up, move around and dance to avoid continuous drinking.

• Avoid top-ups and finish your drink before you go for a refill. This will allow you to keep track of how much you’ve had.

• Arrange a designated driver or get a taxi or bus home with friends.

• Ensure you can call a friend or family member if you need help.

• To avoid drink spiking, watch your drink at all times, and never leave it unattended.

• Keep an eye out for your friends. Keep a general watch over their drinks and actions and help them out if they need it.


Whether it's entering, leaving or in the carnival you will be required to abide by any reasonable request or command from the Rock4Rights security. Remember that they are primarily there to keep the entire carnival safe. If you need help or see someone needing help please notify them straight away. In some cases we may need to clear a path or area & security may need to react quickly. Please follow there directions if required as someone's safety may depend on it, including your own.


Between acts there may be various announcements covering crowd safety issues. Please take note of & respect these announcements.


Under extreme & unlikely circumstances a building, area or the entire site may be required to be evacuated or cleared. It will be imperative for you to follow all instructions & directions from emergency services, police, fire brigade & / or our security that would be requested of you in such a situation.


Litter bugs are not cool! Be a responsible party goer, throw all waste in the bins provided.

PENANG: 219,058 UNREGISTERED voters!

Come register as a voter this Saturday, 2 April, 12pm-12am at Fort Cornwallis!

  • Bring your family and friends to register as a voter this Saturday!
  • Bring your IC!
  • Change of address is always available from 1-6pm

*SPR booths will be there!

Countdown: 2 more days!


Come fight the enemies of democracy with good MUSIC, foods and carnival!
Bring your friends to register as a VOTER too!

Seeeeeee yah!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rock 4 Rights, joms!

Event: Rock 4 Rights

Date: 2 April 2011 (Saturday)

Time: 12:00pm - 12:00am

Venue: Fort Cornwallis, Penang

Admission: Free and open to public

Since the inaugural launch of the MyConstitution Campaign on 13 November 2009, the Bar Council Constitutional Law Committee (BCCLC) has launched 8 out of the 9 phases of the campaign over the last 1.5 years. Each phase was on a specific theme of the Federal Constitution, and saw the launch of its own Rakyat Guides booklet and Rakyat Service Advertisement.

On 2 April 2011, the final (9th) phase of the MyConstitution Campaign will be launched at the "Rock 4 Rights" event at Fort Cornwallis, Penang. In addition to producing its 9th Rakyat Guides booklet and Rakyat Service Advertisement on "Elections and Democracy", the Committee has also produced a music album entitled Radio Demokratika.

Radio Demokratika contains 12 original songs written and performed by 12 local independent bands. Each song is a message on human rights, democracy and constitutionalism. Radio Demokratika is sold at all Rock Corner and Victoria Music Centre outlets in the Klang Valley for RM29.90 per CD.

"Rock 4 Rights" is a 12-hour non-stop concert and carnival organised by the BCCLC in partnership with Frinjan and Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM) and supported by Yes. Malaysiakini is the online media sponsor for this event. The event is also endorsed by the Penang State Government. This one-of-a-kind initiative will start from 12pm until12am.

A total of 18 bands will perform; a combination of bands from the Radio Demokratika album, the Bangkit album (produced by SABM), Frinjan and others. There will be performance arts and film screening as well as a variety of food and beverage stalls, arts and crafts stalls, a counter for festival memorabilia, CDs by the performing artists and voter registration booths. Unregistered eligible voters are strongly encouraged to register at the voter registration booths.

"Rock 4 Rights" will be officiated by YB Prof. Dr. P. Ramasamy, Deputy Chief Minister of Penang at 8:00pm on 2 April 2011.

This is what we hope to achieve through this event:

  • Better outreach to youths from the ages of 18 to 35 on the concept of elections and democracy;
  • Better awareness amongst local artists and youths on the concept of elections and democracy;
  • Increased participation of youths in the Malaysian political process through the conduct of voter registration drives during the concert and related events; and
  • Greater media coverage and publicity on issues pertaining to the Federal Constitution.

The Bar Council wishes to thank all its partners and sponsors for making this event possible.

To know more, please visit the website.

Catch COUPLE at Rock 4 Rights Carnival

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Penang to host 'Rock 4 Rights' concert on April 2

Published on 29 March 2011 at malaysiakini

The Bar Council Constitutional Law Committee (BCCLC) is organising a 12-hour non-stop concert and carnival in Penang this Saturday, April 2.

Dubbed 'Rock 4 Rights', the event is organised in partnership with local indie arts community Frinjan and Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM), a people's movement.

Supported by Yes, the world's first nationwide converged 4G service company, and popular online daily Malaysiakini, the carnival will be officially opened by Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy at 8pm at Fort Cornwallis.

BCCLC chairperson Syahredzan Johan said through this unique initiative, the committee hopes to raise awareness on the concept of elections and democracy to local artists and youths aged between 18 to 35.

“It also hopes to increase participation of youths in the Malaysian political process through voter registration drives during the concert and related events,” added Syahredzan.

“(We also hope to gain) greater media coverage and publicity on issues pertaining to the federal constitution,” he said in a statement.

A total of 18 bands including those who performed for the Radio Demokratika and Bangkit albums produced by SABM and Frinjan, will belt out several songs.

The albums are written and performed by local independent bands, featuring songs with messages on human rights, democracy and constitutionalism.

nurul izzah at fund-raising dinner for lembah pantai pkr playing the guitar 2

'Special appearances' by local bands - Bittersweet and Couple - and PKR vice president and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar (right in picture), are expected to be the highlight of the day.

Other events include performance arts, film screening, sales of art and crafts by local artisans, counters for festival memorabilia, CDs by the performing artists and voter registration booths.

“Unregistered eligible voters are strongly encouraged to register at the voter registration booths,” urged Syahredzan.

Since the inaugural launch of the MyConstitution Campaign on Nov 13, 2009, the committee has launched eight out of nine phases of the campaign over the last 18 months.

It will launch its final phase at the Saturday event, where each phase has featured a specific theme from the federal constitution.

In the NewS(traits Times)

We're in the New Straits Times! Read it here :
The Bar Council’s two-year campaign to raise awareness on our rights has culminated in the release of an indie rock compilation album, writes SUBHADRA DEVAN

AN independent compilation of songs performed by 12 bands, Radio Demokratika, has one goal — to get Malaysians to know their rights.

The album is the last stop in a two-year campaign by the Bar Council Constitutional Law Committee to raise awareness on Malaysians’ rights as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

Talking about the album, indie band The Maharajah Commission bassist Farez Jinnah, a lawyer, says: “The project came out of a casual discussion about a year ago, on what else we could do to get the message to youths. And someone said, ‘Hey let’s do an album’.

“We put the call out for indie bands to take part, through word-of-mouth and the Internet. About 16 bands responded. No mainstream artiste would do a song for free or make a commitment. In July, the album production got moving.”

Farez, 35, of Indian-Chinese descent, also performed on the album with Barcode, comprising law students and other practising lawyers.

The Maharajah Commission offered Where Got?!, which is about how one should never lose one’s identity, while Barcode recorded MyConstitution Is Mine.

Other bands include Lord Bobo’s Minions which gave thoughtful sentiments in Better Than This. The song is about leaving a place because of a lack of honesty in such a life. The lyrics and music, as stated in the sleeve notes, credit Fahri Azzat, 35, a lawyer.

The music on Radio Demokratika is mostly rock, with shades of grunge, punk and rap. Bands include Temporary which, says Farez with a smile, “had not been in a recording studio till this album”.

Farez, who has been with The Maharajah Commission since 2003, says the music on the album “is a stick of dynamite,” and calls today’s popular tunes “suited for people with nervous tics”.

All the songs but one, are in English. “We prefer to sing in English. Never thought of doing otherwise,” muses Farez of his own band. “To sing in Bahasa would be to go commercial.”

The album is available at Rock Corner music shops at RM29.90 each and will be sold at a discounted rate of RM20 during the launch concert at Fort Cornwallis, Penang, on April 2.

The concert, part of the committee’s event called Rock 4 Rights, will feature the bands in Radio Demokratika as well as a few others. There will be poetry readings, street theatre acts, a video and film screening, a flea market, lucky draw and a voter registration booth. The 12-hour free concert starts at noon.


hadir ke Pulau Pinang!

Monday, March 28, 2011

BFM Podcast: The Sounders and MC Stiff

Last Radio Demokratika feature on BFM - this time its Nur Hidayah from the Sounders and MC Stiff, yo!

Check it out here.

Another review of Radio Demokratika

Another review on our Radio Demokratika album! This time, it's on a blog.

We don't agree with some parts of it, but it's great to know that people are listening to the album and have opinions about it!

Have you got your RadioDemokratika album yet? Tweet us at @MyConsti and tell us what's your favourite track!

Oh and don't forget, Rock4Rights coming on 02 April 2011 to Penang!

Rocking for the Constitution

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bangkit on the news

Youth speak out in song album
Saturday September 18, 2010

PETALING JAYA: An album containing songs written by talented young musicians from all walks of life has been launched by youth project Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM) in the spirit of Malaysia Day.

Eleven songs about being Malaysian were compiled for the album titled Bangkit (Rise), the product of an online contest organised by SABM.

“The songs are from different genres and languages and reflect what the youth feel about Malaysia. This is a platform for them to speak out,” said contest coordinator S.V. Singam at the Malaysia Day celebrations held at Rumah SABM here on Thursday.

About 200 people attended the modest celebrations which also coincided with SABM’s first anniversary.

Hear us out: (From left) Adriana Thani, Kwee Jooi Theng and Chuah Ee Chia showing off the Bangkit album at the Malaysia Day celebration at Rumah SABM on Thursday.

The contest, which ended on June 15, was open to citizens aged below 30 years.

Singer songwriter Amirah Ali, 28, who performed at the event, contributed Katakanlah, an eclectic fusion of Indian and Malay traditional musical influences with modern drums and keyboard.

Rock bands Car Crash Hearts and Project Ei8ht’s songs also made it onto the album.

Aliff, 23, lead guitarist for Car Crash Hearts, said their song Bangkit! (In/Out) was a message aimed at youth to get them to vote.

“This is our ‘angriest’ sounding song and we want to draw people’s attention to our message to vote instead of complaining,” said Aliff.

The album is sold at SABM events and will also be available online at a later date.

For more information, visit

Come catch Amirah Ali live @ Rock 4 Rights :)

Katankanlah’ was written in response to certain events in Malaysia regarding racial intolerance. Questioning this, Amirah asked herself if this was what God would want us to be doing to each other. Intensely compelled to express her feelings, she wrote this song. The subsequent arson attacks moved her to post a video of ‘Katakanlah’ on YouTube to encourage people to question and reflect on their thoughts and actions regarding the situation. Her YouTube video received over 2,000 hits in its first two days and was featured on many blogs, as well as on the English and Malay news of Bernama TV Malaysia. The success of her video made her realize that many other Malaysians also wanted a true Malaysia.

This song is part of the Bangkit CD Compilation by Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia. The Bangkit CD will be on sales during Rock 4 Right, at RM10 (at cost price).


Bangkit is a Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM) initiative aimed at giving the youth of Malaysia a musical platform to express their feelings, hopes and dreams for their country.

Youths were encouraged to explore their musical prowess and participate by sending in original musical arrangements and lyrics; 20 of which were shortlisted through online popularity polls then sent to a panel of the country’s top music industry professionals to whittle down to the final 11.

Once these 11 were decided, the mix of first-timers, up-and-coming, and established artists begin recording the Bangkit album, some with the guidance of acclaimed music producer Yuri Wong.

The result of which, is an eclectic mix of genres and styles, from pop to r &b and rock, each giving a unique voice to a showcase of not just their talent but also of what is at the heart of Malaysia’s youth, today.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

BFM Podcasts

Over the past few weeks, the Radio Demokratika album has been featured by BFM 89.9 - The Business Station. Featuring great interviews with the organisers and artists, these podcasts are a must listen for anybody who's been following the campaign. Check them out here!

The Incident Room, Saturday 5 March 2011 - featuring Paul Linus Andrews (barcode) and Joe Kidd (Carburettor Dung, record producer)

That Music Show, Sunday 6 March 2011 - featuring Azmyl Yunor (solo artist, the Maharajah Commission), Farez Jinnah (the Maharajah Commission, barcode) and Thean See Xien (barcode)

That Music Show, Sunday 13 March 2011 - featuring Dx (Rule of Rock) and Leonard (An Honest Mistake)

That Music Show, Sunday 20 March 2011 - featuring Fahri Azzat (Lord Bobo's Minions) and Temporary

Listen and share!

Event poster out now, spread the word!

Share it and spread it the way you like it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Join in the fun by opening a booth!

SATURDAY, 2nd APRIL (12pm – 12am)

The outdoor market, with over 30 vendors, will take place at the Fort Cornwallis, at Padang Kota Lama, Jalan T. S. S. Barakbah off Lebuh Light.

For vendors desiring to participate as sellers, please read the guidelines below and register for your space by 29th March 2011. Please download the registration form here.

  • Space rental is opened to public, preferably art and crafts, DIY goods and F & B vendors.
  • Sales is Saturday, 2nd April 2011, from 12pm – 10pm.
  • Rental – RM40 for F & B vendors. No rental charge for normal vendors.
  • Spaces are allocated on a first-come, first served basis.
  • We provide a 10ft x 20ft canopy (to be shared by four (4) vendors) along with ceiling fan, light, two (2) power points per canopy, two (2) tables (3ft x 3ft) and two (2) chairs.
  • Extra power points, chairs and tables are available for rental on a first-come, first served basis. Additional tables and chairs may be available at vendor check-in on a first-come, first-served basis, at RM10 (Table) and RM5 (Chair) each. Extra power point is at RM50.
  • You will receive a copy of the event site map with your numbered space indicated. An appropriate numbered sign will mark your space. Vendors may setup from 9am to 12pmSaturday, 2nd April 2011.
  • No vehicles will be allowed in the venue. This will be strictly enforced.
  • Rain could be a problem. Come prepared with waterproof material to cover merchandise.
  • Wash rooms are available at the venue.
  • Participants are responsible for cleaning up their own rubbish and disposing of materials in the allocated dumpsters. NO trash is to be left at your space.
  • There will be no firearms, ammunition, alcohol, drugs, animals, offensive or inappropriate items available for sale.
For more information, please contact Lim Ka Ea at 03-2031 7103 or email at

  • Flea market committee will not be held liable or responsible for any personal injury that may come to the participants of this event, nor will it be held liable or responsible for loss or damage (as in case of fire, theft, or vandalism) to the participants or their property at this event.
  • Please fill in the registration form and fax to 03-2026 1313 (Attention: Lim Ka Ea) by 29th March 2011.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Soft launch and gigs where everyone goes bananas!!

Prior to the "real thang" on 2 April, some bands from Radio Demokratika promoted the album and concert by performing at the inaugural soft launch @ Pekan Frinjan 18, Dataran Shah Alam on 5 March and subsequently at the launch of Pusat Rakyat Loyar Burok @ Bangsar Utama on 19 March 2011 where everyone went absolutely bananas! (You've got to see this to believe it. And here are proofs for it.)

Pharee, lead vocal for Lord Bobo's Minions, giving a soulful rendition of "Better thank this" to start off the gig. The song was obviously very moving from the look of his face.

The Sounders performing their soft rock ballad "Lip Service"
. They did a pretty mean version of "Come Together" by The Beatles after.
The crowd obviously didn't mind getting "lip service" from Hidayah, lead vocal for The Sounders. This "loyar" can definitely sing and move!

Temporary captivated the audience with their catchy tune "Shrugs all around".

like Barcode was the only band that had groupies following them around. Unable to resist the suave move and alluring voice of lead singer See Xien, both girls fell to their knees in sheer adoration. We know that Barcode likes to do things differently. They ended the gig by singing "NegaraKu".

They peformed their patriotic duties that day.

Told you so!

ON THE NEWS: Court-ing Musicians

From The Malay Mail, 3 March 2011.

KUALA LUMPUR: It's hard to imagine straight-laced law practitioners as rocking musicians but that's exactly what some talented members of the Bar Council Constitutional Law Committee have proven themselves to be and have even recorded a song!

MyConstitution is Mine, with lyrics focused on the freedom of speech as provided by the Federal constitution, was recorded by the impromptu band Barcode, made up of talented practising lawyers and law students.

This song is featured in the compilation album Radio Demokratika produced by the Bar Council, in conjunction with its MyConstitution campaign to raise awareness on Malaysian's rights as enshrined in the Federal constitution.

This album also features another 11 songs by established local bands, who had both written and recorded these tunes especially for this album.

When The Malay Mail met Barcode band members at Akarkarya Studio in Damansara, lead vocalist Thean See Xien said: "We were all committee members and since the album was a product of the MyConstitution campaign, we felt we should also contribute because we had a song ready."

Backup vocalist Joanne Leong s a i d : "We've already produced booklets, Facebook and Twitter pages about the campaign. So we decided to also reach out to the public via another channel, music."

Guitarist Paul Linus Andrews added: "We would like more young people to join the cause to increase public awareness and music is definitely one way to attract the young ones."

Darren Teh, who fronts An Honest Mistake, said the band was excited to be invited to contribute to Radio Demokratika which they did with Let's Battle It Out With Vesuvius The Great.

"We hope the song's message reaches out to everyone who listens to it, that is to never lose hope, even in the grimmest of moments," the band's drummer Kevin 'Cottie' Tan said.

The Maharajah Commission bassist Farez Jinnah, who also performed with Barcode, said: "Our music is simple, light and with a solid groove. Our song Where Got? is about how one should never lose his or her identity."

He added jokingly: "It's also something of a Malaysian vampire love story."

Radio Demokratika is available at Rock Corner music shops at RM29.90 each and will be sold at a discounted rate of RM20 at the pre-launch concert at Dataran Shah Alam on March 18.

The official launch concert will be held on April 2 in Penang at a venue yet to be confirmed.

The Malaysian Bar Council, realising the urgent need to educate the rakyat about the constitution, launched the MyConstitution campaign on Nov 13, 2009. The campaign will continue till September this year. The campaign aims to promote awareness using workshops, seminars and distributing pocket-sized booklets explaining the constitution in simple language.

ON THE NEWS: Turn up democracy

From The Star, 2 March 2011.

The Radio Demokratika compilation, featuring 12 diverse local acts, sees the MyConstitution Campaign cranking up the volume.

THE late Clash frontman Joe Strummer used to rally the masses with the unforgettable call-to-arms anthem: "This is a public service announcement! With guitar! Know your rights!"

The community-based series Frinjan has taken heed of Strummer's declaration of people power as it gets a big music lift this weekend. The 18th edition of Frinjan at Laman Menara Jam, Dataran Shah Alam in Selangor this Saturday will see the soft launch of the compilation album Radio Demokratika which is a spin-off music project of the MyConstitution Campaign.

Initiated in November 2009, the MyConstitution Campaign has worked to educate Malaysians on the Federal Constitution, to teach them about their rights and the system of government. Forums and workshops have been held across Malaysia to raise awareness.

The Radio Demokratika compilation, featuring 12 diverse local acts, sees the MyConstitution Campaign cranking up the volume. Each artiste recorded an exclusive track for this project.

While scene veterans like punk outfit Carburetor Dung and folk singer Azmyl Yunor topline the Radio Demokratika compilation, take nothing away from notable contributions from The Panda Head Curry?, Thin Izzy, Temporary, Maharajah Commission, MC Stiff and An Honest Mistake. A broad range of genres are represented on this compilation - every act sharing a common voice to raise political awareness among the masses.

For the Radio Demokratika soft launch at Frinjan 18 this Saturday, the live acts to feature on stage include Barcode, An Honest Mistake, The Maharajah Commission, Thin Izzy, Lord Bobo’s Minions, Amirah Ali, The Casual Passengers, Moi Last Von, Fuchsia, Nusafara, Perewa Muda, Andenn Hassan, Ronasina and HOCY.

Frinjan stalls open at 5pm. Showtime is 8.30pm at Laman Menara Jam, Dataran Shah Alam in Selangor this Saturday. The Radio Demokratika compilation will be available at RM20 at the venue. More details at (

ON THE NEWS: The message is in the song

By Lim Ka Ea from The Malaysian Insider, 13 March 2011.

Bob Marley once sang these famous words:

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds
Have no fear for atomic energy
Cause none of them can stop the time

I wondered whether he was high on weed when he was writing those words. Whether he was or wasn’t, this song went on to become one of the most iconic songs for those who value freedom, particularly of the mind.

This article is about political expression in music. But before anyone jumps to the conclusion that this is going to be anti-government propaganda, here’s an interesting fact. Politics and music are not just about anti-establishment, anti-war or peaceful expressions of protest against any form of government or political ideology. It can also be pro-establishment such as seen in the national anthem or patriotic songs.

So, if anyone starts criticising that music with a political theme is evil, let’s be reminded that the Negaraku, which contains the lyrics “Raja kita selamat bertakhta,” is a song that all primary and secondary school students are compelled to sing first thing in the morning in schools.

I’ve always thought that political expression in music is a fairly recent phenomenon. When I think about music and politics, I usually picture half a million demonstrators gathered at Washington DC singing “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon in peaceful protest of the Vietnam War in 1969.

I was, of course, proven wrong when I Googled and discovered that classical composers such as Beethoven, Verdi, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, just to name a few, have been known to compose music that had either abhorred foreign domination or venerated a particular regime.

We, who live in this modern era, tend to identify more with singers and bands such as Bob Dylan, John Lennon, The Clash, U2, Rage Against the Machine, Bob Marley, Sex Pistols and many others when it comes to expressing political messages through music.

When it comes to spreading and sharing messages, nothing has been quite as effective as music, which explains why Christians still sing praises to God and the Taliban banned it in Afghanistan.

Music can either reinforce a message or destroy it, depending on which side you’re looking from. After all, music is a manifestation of freedom and for some, this is something to be feared.

In 1990, a non-profit and non-partisan organisation called Rock the Vote emerged in the United States of America to attract the seriously declining youth population to register as voters and to vote in the election.

Its modus operandi is none other than music, popular culture and new technologies. The campaign was so successful that the percentage of registered young voters increased by 20 per cent within two years since its inception.

In 2004, more than 1.2 million youths registered as voters on its website. I believe wide participation by celebrity spokesmen such as Christina Aguilera, Robert Downey Jr, Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Timberlake played a part in making this campaign a major hit.

In 2004, rapper Sean “P Diddy” Combs led a not-for-profit organisation called Citizen Change responsible for the campaign “Vote or Die.” In the 2004 US elections, the campaign attracted 20.9 million young voters from the age of 18 to 29; a staggering change from the 16.2 million young voters in 2000. This inevitably helped to raise the overall percentage of voters in America in 2004.

I have learned that there are 27 million Malaysians, 11 million registered voters, and four million more eligible Malaysians who haven’t registered to vote. I also learned that we have a Federal Constitution that guarantees all of us rights, freedoms and a democratic system of government that answers to us. But the question is: how many Malaysians know this?

The information above can be found on the CD inlay of Radio Demokratika, a music album produced by the Bar Council’s MyConstitution Campaign in conjunction with its elections and democracy theme.

Some of you may have seen the eye-catching pocket-sized booklets that contain a wealth of information pertaining to the Federal Constitution produced by the Campaign, but this music album only just made its debut.

Last Saturday, amidst a decent crowd of more than 200 people, the album was released at Pekan Frinjan 18, a regular event organised by Frinjan at Dataran Shah Alam. More than 50 copies of the album were sold within a couple of hours, especially after electrifying “live” performances by some of the bands.

Radio Demokratika features 12 original songs written and performed by 12 local independent bands. I was told that names such as Azmyl Yunor, Carburettor Dung, amongst others, are infamous in the underground music scene and no strangers to many urban youths the last 20 years.

Apart from the obvious fact that the songs are mainly about the Federal Constitution and socio-political issues that concern Malaysian youths such as inter-racial relationships, freedom of expression and political responsibilities, it has huge potential to unite youths from all racial divide and in so doing, encourage them to play a role in making Malaysia a better place to live.

As I listen to the lyrics of one of the songs that goes like this:

We’ll be the change that our nation needs to see
We’ll turn the dream into reality to be
A land that’s peaceful and strong
Which fights for right against wrong
And all of its people united and free!

I’ve begun to realise that this is precisely what this Campaign has hoped for.

There is no doubt that this Campaign can never achieve the same kind of magnitude that “Rock the Vote” or “Vote or Die” have achieved but make no mistake that it has great potential, with your support.

There is nothing more refreshing than this Campaign as you flip through the morning headlines that write about nothing but what Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat have or have not done. The Campaign does not speak about political parties but only political issues.

Mahatma Gandhi once said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

I’ll say that the greatness of a truly democratic nation can be judged by how far we have emancipated ourselves from mental slavery. Music is just a start and it’s here to stay.

Radio Demokratika will be officially launched at the Rock 4 Rights concert on April 2, 2011, from 12pm to 12am, at Fort Cornwallis, Penang.

Rock 4 Rights is co-organised by the Bar Council Constitutional Law Committee, Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia and Frinjan, with support from the Penang State Government. The event is open to the public.

To find out where to purchase the CD, log on to

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.

ON THE NEWS: Music to drive campaign on

From The Selangor Times, 16 March 2011. Click on the article to enlarge.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

THE 4Cs: Constitution, CD album, Concert & Carnival

Since the inaugural launch of the MyConstitution Campaign on 13 November 2009, the Bar Council Constitutional Law Committee (BCCLC) has launched 8 out of the 9 phases of the campaign over the last 1.5 years. Each phase was on a specific theme of the Federal Constitution, and saw the launch of its own Rakyat Guides booklet and Rakyat Service Advertisement.

On 2 April 2011, the final (9th) phase of the MyConstitution Campaign will be launched at the “Rock 4 Rights” event at Fort Cornwallis, Penang. In addition to producing its 9th Rakyat Guides booklet and Rakyat Service Advertisement on “Elections and Democracy”, the Committee has also produced a music album entitled Radio Demokratika.

Radio Demokratika contains 12 original songs written and performed by 12 local independent bands. Each song is a message on human rights, democracy and constitutionalism. Radio Demokratika is sold at all Rock Corner and Victoria Music Centre outlets in the Klang Valley for RM29.90 per CD.

Radio Demokratika
Song track:
1: Barcode - MyConstitution is Mine
2: Thin Izzy - Shine A Light
3: Azmyl Yunor - Low Of The Land
4: Temporary - Shrugs All Around
5: Lord Bobo’s Minions - Better Than This
6: The Sounders - Lip Service
7: An Honest Mistake - Let’s Battle It Out With Vesuvius The Great
8: MC Stiff - Moral Bankruptcy
9: Carburetor Dung - Ugly, Ugly, Ugly (So Ugly, We Had To Say It Three Times)
10: The Maharajah Commission - Where Got?!
11: The Rule of Rock - MyConstitution
12. The Panda Head Curry? - Joget Melayu Liberal