SINGAPORE — Comedian Jocelyn Chia has faced criticism from Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and the city-state's High Commissioner to Malaysia for her stand-up routine that made fun of the MH370 Malaysia Airlines plane tragedy.
On Thursday (8 June), Balakrishnan expressed his disapproval in a tweet, stating,"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."
Balakrishnan's response was prompted by a tweet from Malaysian politician Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who condemned Chia for treating a tragedy as a form of entertainment, deeming it "just in bad taste."
High Commissioner stresses importance of Singapore-Malaysia relationship
Singapore's High Commissioner to Malaysia, Vanu Gopala Menon, has also condemned the comedian for her "gratuitously offensive comments" during her stand-up performance in New York.
In a Facebook post on Thursday (8 June), Menon expressed disapproval of Chia's act, and emphasised that the Singapore-born comedian's views did not reflect those of the Singapore government or its people.
He said in his post, "I am appalled by the gratuitously offensive comments made by stand-up performer Jocelyn Chia.
"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.
"I sincerely apologise to all Malaysians for her hurtful remarks."
Menon added that Singapore and Malaysia enjoy a strong and multi-faceted relationship, have deep and cross-cutting ties, as well as unique historical and close people-to-people connections between the two countries.
"Comments such as those made by Chia are unhelpful, and undermine the close trust and friendship that both our countries and peoples enjoy," he wrote in his Facebook post.
Chia's controversial performance at the Comedy Cellar Club went viral on social media, and included jokes about Singapore's relationship with Malaysia, as she made references to Singapore's progress after separation from Malaysia in 1965.
Additionally, she commented on Malaysian airplanes and made an apparent reference to the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in 2014.
Her jokes about MH370 faced backlash from Malaysians, who deemed her remarks distasteful as the families of the victims are still grieving over the tragedy.
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