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Singapore High Commissioner Condemns Jocelyn Chia’s Offensive Remarks, Says She Is No Longer Singaporean

Singapore High Commissioner Condemns Jocelyn Chia’s Offensive Remarks, Says She Is No Longer Singaporean

In a Facebook post, Vanu Gopala Menon made it clear that Chia is no longer a Singaporean.

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Vanu Gopala Menon, the Singapore High Commissioner to Malaysia, has condemned Jocelyn Chia’s remarks, expressing his disappointment at her “gratuitously offensive comments” and offering a sincere apology to all Malaysians for the hurtful statements.

Vanu made it clear that the Singaporean government does not support words or actions that cause harm or hurt to others.

He emphasized that Chia, who is no longer a Singaporean, does not represent the views of Singapore in any way.

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.

Singapore High Commissioner to Malaysia Vanu Gopala Menon

Highlighting the strong and multifaceted relationship between Singapore and Malaysia as close neighbors, Vanu emphasized the deep historical and people-to-people ties between the two countries.

He stated that comments like those made by Chia are unhelpful and undermine the trust and friendship that both nations and their people share.

Also responding to Chia’s untasteful joke was the wife of an MH370 crew member, Mohd Hazrin Mohamed Hasnan.

In a one and a half minute video uploaded to Facebook, Intan Maizura Othaman commented on the situation, noting that Chia’s desire for quick popularity through distasteful and controversial remarks is evident. 

She reminded people that feelings of inferiority and insecurity can sometimes lead individuals to adopt an ugly, self-loathing persona, resulting in awkward and heartless comedy.

Additionally, she also pointed out that regardless of one’s intentions, mentioning or making fun of MH370 is unacceptable. 

Intan shared the ongoing emotional pain experienced by her son, Mohammad, who still cries over the loss of his father, and questioned Chia about the countless mothers who continue to suffer and cry to this day.

No matter how evil you are, but you don’t mention MH370 or making fun of it, you know? My son, Mohammad, is still crying until today over his lost Papa, and here you are having the audacity to make fun of MH370. And do you know how many mothers are still crying until today?

Intan Maizura Othaman

Meanwhile, Malaysian stand-up comedian Harith Iskander emphasized the importance for comedians to be aware of sensitive sentiments and demonstrate empathy when performing their acts.

In response to the joke made by Chia about the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, Harith addressed the issue in a two-minute Facebook video.

He acknowledged the need for comedians to have freedom of expression in their work but stressed the significance of exercising sensitivity and empathy, particularly when dealing with deeply personal or tragic subjects. 

He also recognized comedy as a potent tool for social commentary but emphasized the responsibility that comes with its use.

As a comedian, I respect the freedom of expression we comedians require to do our job. But it is equally important to exercise some level of sensitivity and empathy when doing certain material, especially deeply personal or tragic topics.

Harith Iskander

As an artist, Harith highlighted the potential impact of comedians’ words and emphasized the subjective nature of comedy, where what may be amusing to one person may not be funny to another. 

He also believed that Chia should have been more considerate in her jokes, especially when targeting Malaysian audiences and bringing up the MH370 incident.

What Did Jocelyn Chia Do?

The Singaporean comedian’s 89-second video clip, in which she joked about various topics including the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Beijing, China, had gained attention on social media.

Chia, who is a former lawyer turned comedian from Singapore, faced backlash from both Malaysians and fellow Singaporeans after sharing a video clip of her performance at New York’s renowned Comedy Cellar on her social media platforms on Tuesday, June 6.

The criticism arose because Chia had made an inappropriate joke about the MH370 tragedy, acknowledging that some jokes fail to resonate with the audience. 

Possibly from the overwhelming criticism, Chia removed the video from her official social media account just a day later. 

Additionally, Chia’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts are no longer accessible.

However, her TikTok account remains active, and the video in question is still accessible on her page.

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