Wee Meng Chee, also known as Namewee, is a Malaysian singer-songwriter based in Taiwan. In the last few years, he has become famous worldwide for his songs, such as Fragile, The Wall, Stranger In The North, Tokyo Bon, and many more. But it isn’t just the songs that made him famous; it is his creativity and his courage to create songs that support freedom of speech, highlight human rights issues, and express criticism of governments.
In 2020, he released a music video named Beyond the Edge, which was a tribute to the Hong Kong protests. He made a statement on Facebook saying: “People will always remember this day, June 9, 2019. Stand with Hong Kong”.
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But his biggest hit, which made him known all over the world, appeared in 2021 when he released the song Fragile. For this song, he collaborated with the Australian singer Kimberly Chen. It got over 20 million views within 15 days after its release on YouTube. The song Fragile uses metaphors and symbols to criticize the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Both of the singers were banned on Chinese social media and other streaming platforms within 24 hours after the release of Fragile.
The meaning behind Namewee’s ‘The Wall’
But let’s talk about his other song, The Wall, which is used as a tourism theme song for Taiwan’s Kinmen Islands, but has also moved many people to tears. In an interview, Namewee said that this song is just a love story between a young boy and a girl. However, most of the viewers don’t believe that and have their own interpretations of this song. Let’s have a look and find out what could have made so many people cry.
The music video begins with beautiful scenes from Kinmen. Then we are introduced to a young boy dressed in a blue school uniform representing Taiwan, a free democratic country. Instead of solving math problems in class, he draws sketches in his schoolbook, showing that he is free to do what he wants.
Later, the boy accidentally meets a girl while he is trying to get back his schoolbag. The family of the girl is dressed in red and drives a red car — the red color represents China, a country ruled by the CCP. At home, the girl looks at the boy’s drawings, which she found inside his bag, but hides them from her mother.
It is shown in the video that the family lives in a fancy house surrounded by a wall — and even the windows have bars on them — completely separating them from the outside world.
The lyrics: “My mom is very strict. She shut me in a greenhouse, just like the fragile flowers. I want freedom, but I can do nothing” show that the girl wants the freedom to know the world, but she is locked up by her mother.
This could be a metaphor for China’s Internet censorship system, also called the Great Firewall. People in China are not allowed to see contents that are not approved by the communist regime.
In another shot, the boy stands outside of the classroom while the teacher is doing a calculation on the blackboard. The calculation says 240–15 = 125, but it should be 225. However, none of the students point out the mistake. This shows that people in China have to do as the authorities say, even if they are obviously wrong.
Throughout the music video, the boy and the girl exchange drawings by throwing them over the wall. The boy goes to many different places in order to draw. He makes drawings based on movies, attractions, and people, showing the little girl the world outside of the wall. The girl can only draw the flowers hidden behind the wall. It is also seen that the girl starts to wear white clothes instead of red ones.
When the girl gets sick, the boy brings medicine for her, but it is the girl’s mother who finds it. After looking at the wall, the family decides to move away.
The girl breaks the news to the boy by using a paper airplane. The writing is in simplified Chinese, so it becomes clear that she is indeed from China.
The next scene shows Namewee standing in front of the Beishan Broadcasting Wall. The Broadcasting Wall was built in 1967 and is only 2 km (1.2 miles) away from Xiamen City, China. Taiwanese people used it to inform the people in China about freedom and democracy, thereby exposing the CCP and their lies.
Continuing with the story, the boy, upset by the news, goes to a temple to pray for the girl’s protection. He buys an ornamental stone tablet (石敢当, Shigandang), which is used in Asia to exorcise evil spirits. This might mean that he knows only God can protect her now.
At the end of the video, the family, once again dressed in red, boards a ship and leaves for China. The boy is left waiting in Kinmen, just as written in the lyrics:
I’ll always wait for you outside the wall
How I hope a miracle would appear
Believe that we will meet once again.
Let’s hope that they will meet again and the boy can finally show the world to the girl!