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M’sian Immigration DG Offended By Comedian’s Joke Of Inefficiencies At KLIA

M’sian Immigration DG Offended By Comedian’s Joke Of Inefficiencies At KLIA

Harith Iskandar told Khairul Dzaimee Daud that his jokes were simply comedy and not to be taken too seriously.

Akmal Hakim

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There’s an old saying which goes, “many a truth is oft-told in jest.”

So it’s really no surprise that some people choose to side with local comedian Harith Iskander when he made jokes that took the Malaysian Immigration Department to task.

Harith recently shared a snippet from his 2018 Netflix stand-up comedy special — I Told You So — where he quipped about the alleged difference between how efficient our neighbour Singapore’s airport services and immigration authorities were compared to ours.

When I go to Singapore, I’m amazed. Singaporeans, they do not want you to enjoy their country. They don’t. It’s all about business. Get in the country, get out as fast as possible. Which is why when you get to the Singapore immigration, you fly into Changi Airport, the Singapore immigration, they have 20 immigration counters, 20 immigration counters, all of them open with 20 officers manning the immigration counters. You have no time to enjoy the airport because all the counters are open. Ladies and gentlemen, KLIA, Kuala Lumpur International Airport we also got 20 counters. Two open.

Harith Iskander via Twitter

Harith’s humour, however, didn’t sit too well with Immigration Department Director-General Datuk Seri Khairul Dzaimee Daud who accused the comedian of spreading misleading information.

In response to the critique, Harith commented by saying that the clip was simply meant for comedy and not a parliamentary debate.

But Khairul still insisted that the comedian must be fair when presenting information to the public.

Their Twitter conversation invited netizens from both sides of the argument to chip in their thoughts.

Some shared the Immigration DGs opinion that it was wrong for Harith to portray the country in such a bad light.

“I concur. Selective perception. In fact, I experienced worse in other countries,” noted one commenter.

“Just to make people laugh, you insult your own country,” wrote another.

“Are you proud of embarrassing your own country?” another user asked.

Some also move to point out that KLIA actually has some of the best services in the world.

“Put joke aside. Over the years, KLIA immigration clearance is one of the fastest and consecutively won Skytrax awards. It is indeed a Passengers Choice of Award for the best service rendered by agencies.” one user said.

Read More: KLIA Beats Changi, Is World’s 4th Best Airport Immigration Service

Meanwhile, others feel that the joke had hit its mark in revealing both the Immigration Department’s and KLIA’s weaknesses.

“Agreed. If all of the counters were opened, we’d be shocked and confused,” wrote one user joking along.

“KLIA is far behind other international airports like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Istanbul and others. Yet in the local news always praise KLIA as one of the best airports in the world. Syok sendiri?” asked another commenter.

One commenter countered the Immigration DG by saying “I am sorry but it’s not misleading. Have you travelled without your privileges?”

Some even noted that even KLIA’s automated immigration counters often fail to work as intended.

“It’s true. The auto gate is always out of order. The queues are too long. Even before Covid.”

Others were also of the opinion that the DG shouldn’t be too triggered by remarks made by a comedian.

“Have you never seen a standup comedy show?” noted one user.

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