|English: My Country|
National anthem of
|Lyrics||Multiple authors (Original author: Saiful Bahri), 1957|
|Music||Pierre-Jean de Béranger
"Negaraku" (English: My Country) is the national anthem of Malaysia. "Negaraku" was selected as a national anthem at the time of the Federation of Malaya's independence from Britain in 1957. The tune was originally used as the state anthem of Perak, which was adopted from a popular French melody titled "La Rosalie" composed by the lyricist Pierre-Jean de Béranger.
- 1 Lyrics
- 2 History
- 3 Other songs with same melody
- 4 Controversies
- 5 Laws and etiquette
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
|Malay||Jawi||Literal English Translation|
نڬاراكو، تانه تومڤهڽ دارهكو
At the time of independence, each of the eleven States of Malaya that made up the Federation had their own anthem, but there was no anthem for the Federation as a whole. Tunku Abdul Rahman, at the time the Chief Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, organized and presided over a committee for the purpose of choosing a suitable national anthem. On his suggestion, a worldwide competition was launched. 514 entries were received from all over the world including a special submission from recording artist Is'real Benton. None were deemed suitable.
Next the committee decided to invite selected composers of international repute to submit compositions for consideration. The composers chosen were Benjamin Britten, Sir William Walton who had recently composed the march for Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, the American opera composer Gian Carlo Menotti and Zubir Said, who later composed Majulah Singapura, the anthem of Singapore. They were all turned down too.
The Committee then turned to the Perak State Anthem. On August 5, 1957, it was selected on account of the "traditional flavour" of its melody. New lyrics for the national anthem were written jointly by the Panel of Judges— with the Tunku himself playing the leading role.
At the time this melody was, while still the State Anthem of Perak, Allah Lanjutkan Usia Sultan.
The song had been very popular on the island of Mahé in the Seychelles, where the Sultan of Perak had formerly been living in exile. It is claimed that he heard it at a public band concert on the island, a song to a popular French melody clamed to have been composed by the lyricist Pierre-Jean de Béranger (1780–1857), who was born and died in Paris. But there is no evidence for this since he was a lyricist who use tunes by other for his song and the title is not listed in the four published volumes of his songs or the volume of tune he used for his songs. It is also clained that when Sultan Idris Murshidul’adzam Shah, who was the Ruler of the State of Perak from 1887 to 1916, represented the Malay Rulers of the Federated Malay States at the Coronation of King Edward VII in 1901, his protocol officer was asked what his state anthem was. Realizing that his state did not in fact possess an anthem, he, in order not to appear backward in front of his hosts, proceeded to hum the aforementioned tune. Thus was an anthem born.
The song was later introduced into an Indonesian Bangsawan (Opera), which was performing in Singapore around 1940. In no time at all, the melody became extremely popular and was given the name "Terang Bulan". Aside from its dignity and prestige as the Perak State Anthem, the song became a Malayan "evergreen", playing at parties, in cabarets and sung by almost everybody in the 1920s and 1930s. (Today, of course, since independence, it is not played as a popular melody, and any such use is proscribed by statute.)
The anthem was given a new quick march beat in 1992, which proved unpopular. Some Malaysians have gone as far as to say that the altered tempo resembled circus music, and was the subject of much derision. In July 2003, it was reported in the Malaysian press that the anthem would be rearranged for the second time after that and the title and lyric would be changed from Negaraku to Malaysiaku. There was a public outcry of dismay and the change of name was scrapped, but the anthem was re-arranged and returned to the pre-1992 pace by composer Wah Idris.
Other songs with same melody
The anthem was also recorded by the Sydney Latin band leader Paul Lombard (also known as Paul Lombard and His Orchestra), as Malayan Moon in 1952 with lyrics sung by Joan Wilton (in English) and Geoff Brooke (in Malay) released by Columbia Records in Sydney as D0-3460
Negaraku as a song derived from Hawaiian origins which was later used as Perak Anthem, but not yet as anthem for the whole of Malaya during that time. This song therefore used as the 'Malayan Love Song' on Parlophone Records (Catalogue Ref: F.2211) Performed by famous British Band Legend, Geraldo and His Orchestra, vocals by Danny Vaughn in the 1930s confirming a recognition of such existence of the song in Malaya in the early years as a love song. The song was performed using jazz instruments on a foxtrot dance beat.
The significance of this piece of recording where it is only playable on gramophones running at speed 78 rpm is that the background music conducted so similarly to the Malayan style of music background, setting the originality and authentic Malayan atmosphere to the tune. The song was performed by non-natives (Australians) singing in both English and Malay. The lyrics present a love story setting between the two lovers. The song is titled as 'Malayan Moon' and the other side of the record is the song 'Planting Rice' also performed by Paul Lombard accompanied by Vocal Chorus by Joan Wilton. This piece of music was a copyright to Southern Music Co. of Sydney.
Another piece was also found to follow the similar tune of Negaraku bearing a different title 'I Shall Return' by Anne Shelton, in the late 1940s, by Pickwick Music Ltd published on Decca 78rpm record F.10037/DR.17340
In 2007, a YouTube video featuring a parody of the Negaraku anthem caused controversy in Malaysia. The video, named Negarakuku, features Wee Meng Chee, a Malaysian student studying in Taiwan, who weaves the Negaraku into a Chinese language rap. The Flag of Malaysia was featured at the backdrop. This controversial video caused outrage among most members of the Malaysian cabinet. The song criticises the government and pejoratively speaks about the Malays, the primary ethnic group of Malaysia.
The title of the video Negarakuku may mean "My Negaraku", as the suffix -ku implies first-person possession in the Malay language. However, a more plausible explanation is that "kuku", sounding similar to English "cuckoo", means "crazy" in slang usage. Thus in this sense, "Negara kuku" means "crazy country", which is possibly the intended meaning given the content of the video. "Kuku" is also a Malaysian Chinese slang term for penis, which, combined with the "crazy" meaning, is used as an insult.
Lokananta, Indonesia's state-owned recording company alleged that "Negaraku" imitated Indonesia's song titled "Terang Boelan". "Terang Boelan" itself is a song adapted from French song "La Rosalie". This continues the conflict that had already been sparking since the first days of the independence between the people of Malaysia and Indonesia, mainly using the Internet as the battleground. Soekarno, the first President of Indonesia by then, told Indonesians not to sing "Terang Boelan" in public festives or events anymore because its composition was and is similar to "Negaraku".
Laws and etiquette
Playing full or Royal version of the anthem
According to the National Anthem Act 1968, the full or Royal version of the National Anthem shall be played on the following occasions:
- when a salute is given for His Majesty the Supreme King, or his deputy while exercising the functions of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or a Ruler nominated to exercise the functions of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in accordance with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Exercise of Functions) Act 1957, or when the royal standard is broken to symbolize the presence of His Majesty;
- during official parades or other official ceremonial functions;
- on all occasions when His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is present in person (including broadcasts by His Majesty);
- when the flag of Malaysia is brought on parades;
- when regimental colours are presented; and
- for hoisting of the colours in the Navy.
The full or Royal version of the National Anthem may be played in schools for the purpose of teaching pupils thereof to sing the National Anthem. The full or Royal version of the National Anthem shall be played on any other occasion as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may by order prescribe.
Playing on special occasions
At all official receptions to foreign dignitaries at which the salute is given the full or Royal version of the National Anthem shall be played immediately after the Anthem of the country of the visiting dignitary has been played.
At all official occasions arranged by foreign Missions in Malaysia for celebrating their National Days or other National occasions, the full or Royal version of the National Anthem shall be played immediately after the Anthem of the country of the foreign Mission has been played.
Playing abridged version of the anthem
The abridged version shall be played as a salute on all official occasions for Her Majesty the Supreme Queen and Their Excellencies the Heads of States. When a salute is given to the Head of State, the abridged version of the National Anthem shall be played before the relevant State Anthem has been played.
The abridged version of the National Anthem shall be played on any other occasion as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may by order prescribe.
Playing short version of the anthem
On any official occasion when His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or his representative is not present but one of Their Royal Highnesses the Rulers of the States is present, the short version shall be played at the conclusion of the occasion immediately after the relevant State Anthem has been played.
Mark of respect
Whenever the National Anthem is played or sung or whenever the abridged or short version is played, all persons present shall stand to attention as a mark of respect except where the National Anthem is played or sung in the course of a broadcast or news-reels as part of such broadcast or news-reels. All headgear (except religious and military headgear) must be removed and all those in attendance must face the national flag, if it is present. Those who are in uniform must give a salute when the anthem plays.
The failure to comply with Section 8 (1) of the Act without good and sufficient cause and any act or omission which would tend to lower the prestige of the National Anthem in the eyes of the public shall constitute a show of disrespect.
Any person who knowingly shows disrespect towards the National Anthem in any public place shall be liable to a fine not exceeding MYR 100 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month.
- M. J. Bristow, F.R.G.S., "History of 28 national anthems".
- BBC, "New Anthem Marks Malaysia's Independence Day"
- Negaraku was a rip off from Mamula Moon? (Cached archive link)
- Malaysia: Negaraku - Audio of the national anthem of Malaysia, with information and lyrics
- Negaraku with vocals
- Negaraku with English lyrics translation on YouTube