Malaysian rapper takes aim at China's 'little pinks' for New Year

With emperor figure in Winnie-the-Pooh mask, Namewee’s video racks up millions of views in song blasting Xi supporters living outside China.
By Ray Chung for RFA Cantonese, Jenny Tang for RFA Mandarin
2024.01.30
Malaysian rapper takes aim at China's 'little pinks' for New Year Namewee from a screenshot from his Jan. 28 YouTube post launching his satirical track "Descendants of the Dragon" ahead of Lunar New Year.
Descendants of the Dragon / NSP Entertainment

As many in East Asia gear up to celebrate the Year of the Dragon, Malaysian rapper Namewee has once more taken satirical aim at the Chinese Communist Party and its "little pink" supporters – this time at those who are stridently patriotic but who live anywhere but the motherland.

According to the singer's Facebook page, the song is satirically "dedicated to every Chinese at home and abroad from all over the world (including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan), to defend the dignity of the Chinese people!"

"As a 'descendant of the dragon,' we must always remember: Love the party, love the country, love the chairman!” 

Namewee, who has previously criticized the fragility of Beijing's "little pink" supporters, and who  has been banned from performing in Hong Kong, opens the video accompanied by a Chinese emperor figure on a pony wearing a pixelated Winnie-the-Pooh mask against a backdrop of the Great Wall of China.

Images and references to the fictional bear are banned by Chinese internet censors due to a supposed resemblance to President Xi Jinping.

The song, which has garnered more than 3.5 million views on YouTube, fires out multiple puns on the Chinese word for dragon, "龙 lóng," while nodding to an 1983 hit by Taiwanese singer Hou Dejian, which he later repurposed as an anthem of the 1989 pro-democracy movement on Tiananmen Square.

While Hou's anthem describes the "descendants of the dragon" as "surrounded by dictators' swords," Namewee's takes aim at those who further the aims of the authoritarian Chinese government, despite not wanting to live under its rule.

"There's a group of people from the East," Namewee raps, "who love their motherland but live in London, Cambodia, Northern Myanmar and Thailand."

ENG_CHN_DragonSong_01302024.2.JPG
Malaysian singer Namewee arrives for the 33rd Golden Melody Awards in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, July 2, 2022. (Billy Dai/AP)

"[People of Chinese descent] everywhere, from NYC to LA, chain-smoking, talking on the phone all day, to their cousins and their nephews, calling all their fellow villagers to come and join them," the song continues.

"Hating on Japan and dissing the U.S. is our duty ... flooding YouTube, criticizing and spreading fake news -- FALSE!" it says.

"His Majesty dons the Dragon Robe," Namewee raps, while dancing alongside Emperor Poo. "Together, we learn to roar like a dragon."

Emperor Pooh

The song opens with an official logo of Beijing's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, which then morphs into "Little Bear News For You," a pun on Winnie-the-Pooh in Chinese.

At the end of the video, released ahead of the Lunar New Year, which ushers in the Year of the Dragon on Feb. 9, Emperor Pooh addresses the performers on set.

"Our 2024 song, "Descendants of the Dragon" is officially a wrap," declares the emperor figure in the style of a Chinese Communist Party official closing a meeting. "Any objections, please raise your hand."

British pianist Brendan Kavanagh, whose recent face-off with a group of Chinese flag-waving "little pinks" at London's St Pancras Station went viral on YouTube, commented underneath the video: "I love this song. Namewee, you need to come to the UK and we'll do a video."

Namewee replied, "Let me know if you're coming to Taiwan or Malaysia too! But don't touch me!😄," in a reference to one of the little pinks' loudly repeated claims that Kavanagh had touched a woman in the group.

ENG_CHN_DragonSong_01302024.3.JPEG
YouTuber Brendan Kavanagh plays the public piano with a Winnie the Pooh doll, which is banned in China, in London's St. Pancras railway station on Jan. 26, 2024 after a public altercation with some “little pinks.” (RFA)

China has taken its government-backed nationalism global in recent years, said Lai Jung Wei, a professor at Taiwan's Lunghwa University of Science and Technology.

"They have created a form of aggressive nationalism through a program of patriotic education running from elementary school through to universities," Lai told RFA in a recent interview. "This is also reflected in the international community, where we also see these little pinks."

"Little pink behavior is all about socialism with Chinese characteristics, which is basically fundamentally different from international [democratic] values," he said.

Translated by Luisetta Mudie. Edited by Malcolm Foster.

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