Jocelyn Chia controversy: Malaysian and Singaporean ministers condemn ‘horrendous’ stand-up jokes

Screengrab from Jocelyn Chia Instagram
Screengrab from Jocelyn Chia Instagram

Looks like the joke isn’t funny anymore. 

Following the comic antics of Jocelyn Chia, a stand-up comedian from Singapore, who recently joked on stage about the MH370 tragedy, a slew of apologies have been put out – just not from her. 

Singapore’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Vanu Gopala Menon has condemned her stand-up act and apologised to Malaysians in a statement released last night. 

“I am appalled by the gratuitously offensive comments made by stand-up performer Jocelyn Chia,” he said. 

He also revealed that Chia no longer holds Singapore citizenship.

“The Singapore Government does not condone words or actions that cause harm or hurt to others and Chia, who is no longer Singaporean, does not in any way reflect our views,” he said. 

“I sincerely apologise to all Malaysians for her hurtful remarks,” he said. 

Menon added that as its closest neighbour, the two countries enjoy a strong and multi-faceted relationship, with deep and cross-cutting ties. We also have unique historical and close people-to-people ties. 

“Comments such as those made by Chia are unhelpful and undermine the close trust and friendship that both our countries and peoples enjoy,” he said. 

“In bad taste”

Malaysia’s Syed Saddiq also spoke up about the issue on Twitter, saying that “turning a tragedy into a source of entertainment is just in bad taste.”

He also emphasized that while he is “sure all of us deeply cherish our close relations as countries”, no one should ever take lightly another’s misfortunes. 

Responding to his tweet is also Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Vivian Balakrishnan who stated that he was appalled by Chia’s “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,” he added.

Meanwhile, checks by Coconuts showed that Chia has deactivated her Instagram and Facebook. However, her Twitter has been suspended.

Stand-up gone wrong

Jocelyn Chia recently found herself in hot soup with Malaysians due to a video she shared on social media, showcasing her performance at New York’s Comedy Cellar.

In the subsequent parts of her act, Chia jokes about Malaysia being the clingy ex attempting to rekindle ties with Singapore.

Chia mockingly says, “Why haven’t you (Malaysia) paid me a visit in forty years?” and then impersonates Malaysia, replying, “I tried but you know our airplanes can’t fly,” making a sly reference to the MH370 incident that occurred nine years ago.

Her remarks earned her disapproving glances from the audience, to which she cheekily responded, “What? Malaysian airlines going missing is not funny huh? Some jokes don’t land. This joke kills in Singapore.” 



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