Azmyl Yunor launched the music video to his 10-year old evergreen protest song ‘Kinchang Penindas’ (‘Tricks of the Oppressor’) to usher in the New Year. Directed and shot by up-and-coming young filmmakers Fahmi Sani and Aaron Chieng of independent film outfit Ninth Floor Productions, it’s the second music video released to commemorate the 10th anniversary of folk singer-songwriter Azmyl Yunor’s 2010 breakthrough bilingual folk album ‘Warga’.
“It’s really a prayer or wish – the chorus refrain – so here’s to a year free of oppression worldwide, let’s make it happen or at least resist it and keep up the good fight…and a bittersweet farewell to 2020,” he explained. The video also features English subtitles like most of his recent music videos.
Shot in the director’s hometown of Kajang in the state of Selangor (famous for its barbequed skewered meat dish called ‘sate’) right after the first COVID-19 lockdown in mid-2020, the video features a montage of rustic and contemplative scenes in and around the town which is also a commentary on modernity and beauty found in the mundane amidst political and economic uncertainties.
“I learned beauty can be found anywhere if you view them from the right angle,” Fahmi the director noted.
‘Kinchang’ is an old Malay word meaning ‘tricks’ and ‘Penindas’ means ‘oppressor’ in Malay = ‘Tricks of the Oppressor’. The song features award-winning singer-songwriter Shanon Shah on piano and cellist The Alia from The Sigarettes and Furniture.
2020 was also the year the people of Malaysia were betrayed by their own elected leaders and politicized the COVID-19 pandemic. This still persists 10 years on after the song’s release (which was written in 2007) making it an evergreen protest song (the song was heard blaring over speakers during the Bersih street protest demonstrations in the early 2010s).
Considered a modern classic (Juice magazine declaring it “…a slice of Malaysiana that might give the disillusioned some direction home.”), the album has since sold out (with no plans of reprinting) and can now only be streamed on YouTube and Spotify.