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Legendary singer Kamahl has backflipped on his opposition to the Voice advisory body, encouraging Australians to learn more about the proposal and not fall for weak arguments.
Just last week, the 88-year-old re-worded the lyrics of John Farnham’s You’re the Voice to advocate a No vote, writing on social media: “What’s the Voice, I just don’t understand it. It’s just noise and it’s not clear. Vote no-o-oh-oh, o-o-o. We’re not going to vote Apartheid. We don’t want one race privilege. Vote no-o-oh-oh.”
Kamahl – pictured in 2018 – has changed his position on the Voice to parliament.Credit: Wolter Peeters
But he spent the past week reading about Indigenous history and on Wednesday had his questions answered on a podcast with Indigenous Yes campaigner and lawyer Eddie Synot and comedian Dane Simpson.
“I spent nearly three hours with them and I got a better understanding of what’s going on in the referendum,” he said in an interview explaining his startling U-turn.
“My earlier position was flippant. It was uninformed and came after I saw an ad on the computer.”
“The whole idea of voting No is abhorrent to me. We believe 90 per cent of bullshit. Just learn the facts.”
“We are indoctrinated with so much bullshit.”
The singer and TV personality said in 2021 that he was hurt by the racist jokes he was subjected to as a guest on the now-defunct Hey Hey It’s Saturday.
The Malaysian-born man of Indian descent only learnt this week that a referendum on Indigenous rights was held in 1967.
In the same year, he said he was cast in an Australian film as an Aboriginal man. He recalled being given a plate of sandwiches to eat outside with a young Indigenous actress, as white film crew and actors were invited to eat in the homestead.
“I didn’t object. I didn’t say I wasn’t an Indigenous person, so the girl and I sat and ate our sandwiches.”
“When I came here 70 years ago, I hadn’t heard of Indigenous people. I was cast as an Indigenous person. People wiped their hand after I shook hands with them, thinking I was dirty,” he said.
Kamahl said he purchased a book on Indigenous history in recent days and was stunned by settlers’ actions towards Aborigines.
“It is gut-wrenching how a whole group of people were to be wiped out like it was vermin.”
“How in all conscience can you not try and do something for them? To make up for the butchery.”
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