M'sian rapper Namewee banned on Weibo again after poking fun at 'fragile hearts' in new song

Not a word of China was mentioned in the lyrics.

Jean Chien Tay | October 26, 2021, 12:04 PM

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Malaysian rapper Wee Meng Chee, better known as Namewee, has once again been banned on Chinese social media site Weibo after he released a new song that appeared to take a dig at the Chinese government and ultra-nationalistic Chinese.

Song was a hit

The song in question -- "Fragile" -- is a collaboration between him and Australian singer Kimberley Chen, both of whom are active in the Taiwanese entertainment scene.

Taking to Facebook, the 38-year-old rapper announced that "Fragile" topped YouTube's trending music list in Taiwan and Hong Kong on Oct. 19, while it ranked third and fourth in Malaysia and Australia respectively.

The song topped Singapore's trending music list as well on Oct. 26.

In a pinned comment, Wee celebrated the song hitting 10 million views after just six days of its release. The music video has since racked up over 16 million views on the video platform, with over 656,000 "likes" that dwarfed the 17,000 "dislikes".

In the music video's description, Wee described the song as a romantic and sentimental song filled with "pink" elements -- in a reference to a particular group of jingoistic people in China called "little pinks", who often react aggressively online towards people or comments deemed to be unpatriotic to the country.

He also left a link that was supposed to lead to his "new Weibo account", and encouraged netizens to "follow" his account, though it appears to be inaccessible at the time of writing.

Searches of his new song also yielded no results, supposedly removed by the Chinese social media site's censorship apparatus.

Bashing China without mentioning China

Although there was no mention of China, the song was perceived by many to be filled with innuendos that appeared to poke fun at nationalistic "little pinks".

In the header of the music video, the rapper wrote, "It might Break Your Pinky Heart", which is believed to be a sly dig at "little pinks".

Perhaps hitting three sensitive terms in one sentence, Wee highlighted "cotton", "honey", and "common prosperity", in the subtitles.

"Cotton" could potentially be referring to Xinjiang cotton and forced labour allegations, while "honey" supposedly pokes fun at Chinese President Xi Jinping for his resemblance to the honey-loving cartoon character "Winnie the Pooh".

Meanwhile, "common prosperity" is a policy idea pushed by the Chinese Communist Party as a way to reduce drastic rich poor gaps in the country.

As for "leek", or "chives", it is an internet slang used to describe ordinary Chinese citizens who are at the mercy of the government, and is used to insinuate their insignificance against the all-powerful government who exploits them by "harvesting the chives".

The song even featured a panda -- China's "national treasure" -- throughout the music video, and it can be seen waving stalks of chives during the second chorus.

Panda waving stalks of vegetable that look like leek. (Image via Namewee/Youtube)

"Rude" and "thoughtless"

Many commenters hailed Wee's creativity and "courage" for releasing a song that appeared to poke fun at the Chinese government and nationalistic "little pinks", and over a dozen people commented that they would listen to the song every day.

However, some netizens bashed the song, opining that it was "rude" and "thoughtless".

"Whatever song you sing doesn't affect China's growing prosperity, but look at you guys... Contribute more to your country if you have the time, don't keep dissing this and that, it's meaningless", another viewer commented.

Another netizen commented that he shared the video to TikTok's twin app in China -- Douyin -- and got himself banned from the app.

Not his first brush with Chinese censorship

This is not the Malaysian rapper's first brush with China's censorship apparatus, he was previously banned on Weibo for sharing "eight recommendations" for the Taliban to strengthen their rule, all of which mirrored China's policies.

The post also made no mention of China, but Weibo users were furious with Wee as they interpreted his "recommendations" to be insinuating the situation in China.

One of his recommendations was that the Taliban should "set up their own official news sites, messaging apps, and social media to broadcast official news, and tell the citizens that those criticising them are fake news fabricated by evil foreign powers".

At the time, netizens in a Facebook group called "Motherland China will become the number one superpower" celebrated his ban and called him a "traitor to the Han people".

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Top image via Namewee/Youtube