'Fragile'? Pop song banned in China after music video mocks nationalists

Controversial Malaysian singer-songwriter Namewee, who has been accused of offending China and the Chinese people and advocating for Hong Kong and Taiwan independence with his latest hit viral ballad “Fragile,” says that was not his intent. But on Tuesday he said he had no regrets releasing a song that banned him from the Middle Kingdom.

The latest furore follows the release of his “Fragile,” a Mandarin language song with Australian Chinese singer Kimberley Chen.

A catchy romantic song that is full of symbols, idioms and metaphors that can also be seen as derision and criticism of the “little pinks” with lyrics about breaking a fragile heart, China’s volunteer army of angry digital warriors who have formed a core Element in China’s cyber nationalism and which are very sensitive to any criticism of China’s leader Xi Jinping.

Controversial Malaysian singer “Namewee” sings “It may break your pinky heart” with Australian Kimberly Chen. Namewee via Youtube

“I am [ethnically] Chinese. Am I insulting myself? “Namewee (real name Wee Meng Chee) said in a statement posted on his Instagram account.

Namewee said he was a lover of Chinese culture and had backpacked the country over the years. He said he has nothing against the Chinese and that he has respect for many friends in China.

“I don’t want to go to China because there is too much censorship and restrictions and I fear it will affect my creativity and my work. I don’t want to lose the original intent of my creations. That’s all, “said the 38-year-old.

Born in 1983 in Muar, Johor, Malaysia, Namewee has a long track record as a controversial figure in his Muslim-majority homeland. The rapper has been arrested and jailed several times for his songs and music videos being viewed as an insult to other religions and races.

The latest music video is saturated with pink objects, decorations and costumes. It is a dancing panda and stuffed animals in the shape of bats that optimize Chinese sensitivity to the origin of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

After debuting on YouTube on October 15, the video has received millions of views and is trending in Chinese-speaking regions such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore. As of Tuesday, the music video had garnered more than 17.6 million views.

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The song was praised by fans for its sense of humor and honesty, but Namewee and Chen were quickly banned in China. Just days after the song was released, their Weibo accounts – China’s counterpart to Twitter – were banned by Chinese censors. Namewee was then accused of insulting China and the Chinese people and promoting Hong Kong and Taiwan independence.

“I’ve never said anything before [about Hong Kong and Taiwan independence]. If you don’t believe me, you can do a search, ”Namewee said. “On this question, you should ask the people of Hong Kong and Taiwan for their opinion. My nationality is Malaysian. I cannot speak on their behalf. “

“But I will definitely stand for freedom and democracy. The human rights we were born with are universal values, and they are exactly that [I am] then as a Malaysian. That’s why people keep taking to the streets to protest. “

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