Comedian's MH370 joke 'horrendous'

Comedian Jocelyn Chia's (right) references to the missing Malaysia Airlines plane in her recent show have been slammed by Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and the Republic's High Commissioner to Malaysia.

Dr Balakrishnan tweeted on Thursday: "I am appalled by her horrendous statements. She certainly does not speak for Singaporeans. We treasure our ties with family and friends in Malaysia and are sorry for the offence and hurt caused to all Malaysians."

His comments were in response to a tweet by Malaysian politician Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who said that Chia turning a tragedy into a source of entertainment is "just in bad taste".

Chia, who is no longer Singaporean, made references to the MH370 tragedy in poking fun at Singapore-Malaysia rivalry at a recent stand-up comedy show in the United States.

MH370 left Kuala Lumpur for Beijing in March 2014 but never arrived and has not been located.

In a video clip of her set posted on Instagram, Chia said: "Now, Malaysia, you all are trying to come around, like, 'Hey Singapore, you're looking good lah'. And we're like, 'I know, but why haven't you visited me in 40 years?'"

"And (Malaysia's) like, 'Yeah I tried, but you know, my airplanes cannot fly," Chia said to laughter and audible gasps from the crowd.

Singapore's High Commissioner to Malaysia, Mr Vanu Gopala Menon, was sorry for Chia's "hurtful remarks" and "gratuitously offensive comments".

In a statement on Thursday, he said: "The Singapore Government does not condone words or actions that cause harm or hurt to others and Chia does not in any way reflect our views.

"As our closest neighbour, Singapore and Malaysia enjoy a strong and multifaceted relationship, with deep and cross-cutting ties... Comments such as those made by Chia are unhelpful and undermine the close trust and friendship that both our countries and peoples enjoy."

The Straits Times


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