Hokkien Songs – the Malaysian Style

Among Chinese Malaysian artists, I would say I remember the works of Freddie Wong (黃一飛) the most. Remembering his music in the sense that when I fall in love with his songs, I will always remember them – the melody, the style of his lyrics. Other than his interesting Hokkien-style of songwriting, his Hokkien songs allowed him to stand out from the crowd – particularly when every other Malaysian singer who knows Chinese language is usually singing Mandarin songs.

Freddie and his group Catz are always performing in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. His Hokkien-Malaysian style is so outstanding in the sense that he writes and sings some amazingly Malaysian lyrics:

Happy happy goyang kaki
Relax your legs and enjoy a cup of kopi
Looking in front we’re afraid of nobody
Turning back we’re afraid of no ghost
One is beautiful when he is kindhearted
One is beautiful when she is kindhearted
Happy go lucky

Just as what Malaysian stand-up comedian Harith Iskander always says, we Malaysians combine several languages in one sentence. In Freddie’s case, his mother tongue Hokkien is often mixed with Malay and English terms. This is indeed a uniquely Malaysian style; whatever languages we speak, we naturally mix and blend in some Malay terms to ‘Malaysianize’ it. Just as how our Malay language is enriched by colloquial terms of all Malaysians.

If any foreign friend asks if we have something uniquely Malaysian, this is it. The yellow-coloured cover CD copies of Freddie and Friends are available at music stores nationwide in Malaysia.

As Long As We Are Happy (歡喜歡喜就好)

If I Have One Million (一百萬)

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