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Lawmaker condemns comedian Jocelyn Chia’s MH370 joke in Dewan Rakyat

Publish date: Thu, 08 Jun 2023, 03:28 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Stand-up comedian Jocelyn Chia, who received strong backlash for a joke she made about the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, has been condemned in the Dewan Rakyat.

RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) said that he is taking this chance to strongly condemn her act to insult the country and make a joke about the missing MH370.

"As a government backbencher, I am taking this opportunity to criticise her act although I am aware that Singapore's High Commissioner to Malaysia Vanu Gopala Menon had apologised over the incident.

"I hope this kind of incident will not be repeated," he said in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (June 8).

Rayer also urged the government to take measures to ensure that such incidents would not occur.

"I hope that the MPs on the other side will also condemn Chia so she would not make such remarks again," he said amidst cheers and thumps from the government bloc.

Chia - who was performing at a comedy club in the United States - first joked about Malaysia being a developing country that was far behind Singapore, 40 years after the island nation was "dumped" by Malaysia in 1965.

"My country, Singapore, after we gained independence from the British, we were a struggling little nation.

"In order to survive, we formed a union with a larger, more powerful country, Malaysia.

"When my prime minister went on TV to announce that you guys had dumped us, he cried because he thought we were not going to survive without you.

"But then, 40 years later, we became a first-world country."

"And you guys? Malaysia, what are you now? Still a developing country," she says sarcastically in a video shared on her Instagram account.

Chia then crudely references the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 tragedy in a joke about Malaysia seeking to re-establish ties with Singapore.

"Why haven't you (Malaysia) paid me a visit in 40 years?," she says in a monologue.

Earlier, Menon said that Chia is no longer a Singaporean and that he is appalled by the "gratuitously offensive comments" made by Chia in her performance.

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