by MONICA O’SHEA – SINGING legend Kamahl has changed his mind again on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament and will now be voting No.
The 88-year-old broke the news to shocked The Project hosts Hamish Macdonald and Rachel Corbett on a live television broadcast Sunday night.
“What I am saying is No,” Kamahl said on live television.
“If you do the Voice this way, it becomes a racist issue. You are putting a whole race of people separate from the rest of the country.
“I apologise, call me a hypocrite or uninformed but I am informed now. Whatever I said before now, wipe it out, but start all over again and forgive me.”
Kamahl said there were 1200 dialects spoken among indigenous communities and added “I am not sure if they have a common voice amongst the people”.
The singer then quoted a widely reported $40b figure that he believed had been spent on the indigenous community each year.
This prompted Mr Macdonald to “fact check” Kamahl on his statistics.
“I feel like we should just probably fact check the $40b figure because you’ve used it a few times and I know a lot of people are listening to you,” Mr Macdonald said.
“That’s been fact checked as false. The government agency says it’s never administered funding of $30b a year on Indigenous programs, its total budget for 2022-23 was $4.5b.”
Kamahl then said he had “made a mistake” in response to Macdonald’s fact check.
The 88-year-old Malaysian-Australian, originally said he would be voting No at the referendum.
“I’m voting No because I don’t understand it!” Kamahl wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on September 13.
However, he then declared on X that he had changed his mind and would be voting Yes.
“Once again, my sincere thanks to everyone kind and caring enough to join me in support of the Yes vote,” he said on X on September 22.
Kamahl’s first change of heart even prompted Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to declare “Kamahl-mentum” during a press conference in West Ryde last week.
“So, we have now a new term that we’ve coined today, Kamahl-mentum, in the last couple of weeks,” the prime minister said.
“I would just encourage people to not be focused on what this isn’t about, but be focused on what it is about
“It is about just recognition, and is about giving people a Voice, over, a say, over their affairs, because then you’ll get better outcomes.”
The 2023 referendum will be held on Saturday, October 14.
Australians will be asked if they agree to establish an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, a permanent advisory body comprised of 24 Indigenous individuals who will make representations to the parliament.
According to recent polls, the Yes vote has been losing support.
The AFR/Freshwater poll result showed support for the referendum was at 33 per cent while The Guardian/Essential poll had support at 42 per cent.PC