Comedian Jocelyn Chia has come under fire after her stand-up set at New York’s comedy club Comedy Cellar went viral on social media.
As part of her set, Jocelyn joked about Singapore’s relationship with Malaysia and made punchlines referencing the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
The flight disappeared on Mar. 8, 2014 and carried 227 passengers and 12 crew members onboard.
Likening Singapore’s separation from Malaysia in 1965 to a relationship, she joked:
“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?'”
She continued: “And [Malaysia’s] like, ‘Yeah I tried, but you know, my airplanes cannot fly.”
Jocelyn added: “Why, Malaysia Airlines going missing not funny huh? Some jokes don’t land.”
She received backlash from both Singaporeans and Malaysians, prompting a slew of social media responses condemning her jokes.
Wife of MH370 steward responds
One of the many responses came from Intan Maizura Othaman, the wife of a steward who was on flight MH370.
@intanmaizuraothaman #stitch with @ComedyCellarUSA Jocelyn Chia. Leave MH370 out of your humourless depressing gig. You such a disgraceful heinous individual! Not to forget your voice is sooo annoying! I don’t understand how the audiences can stay listening to your bad pitched voice.. #sistanyajer ♬ original sound – Intan Maizura Othaman ✈️
In a TikTok video that has since garnered over a million views, Intan thought that the comedian’s set was “tasteless” and “truly not funny”.
“My son, Muhammad, is still crying today over his lost papa,” she said.
Intan gave birth to her son almost three months after the flight disappeared.
She expressed her anger as a relative of the missing crew and said: “Having a heart, living in [a] developing country is so much better than compared to you [being in a] first world country and being a heinous human being.”
Asks to blacklist her from entering Malaysia
Another Malaysian TikTok user, Fakhrin Tokai, shared similar sentiments.
@fakhrintokai #stitch with @ComedyCellarUSA Pelawak dari singapura biadap dan guna MH 370 sebagai jenaka. #mh370 #fakhrintokai ♬ original sound – Fakhrin Tokai
“There are a lot of comedians who also do similar tricks, poking fun of other Asian countries like Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. But she used the MH370 incident, and incident that involves a lot of many people whom their families are still in mourning.”
Fakhrin also implored the government to blacklist Jocelyn from entering Malaysia.
This incident has even prompted responses from Singapore’s minister for foreign affairs Vivian Balakrishnan and Malaysia’s former youth minister Syed Saddiq.
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.
— Vivian Balakrishnan (@VivianBala) June 7, 2023
Singapore’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Vanu Gopala Menon, also issued a statement distancing Singapore from Jocelyn’s jokes, calling them “gratuitously offensive”.
Video removed from comedy club’s pages
The video of Jocelyn’s set has since been removed from Comedy Cellar’s page.
Mothership reached out to Comedy Cellar who confirmed that the video was taken down.
The representative added: “That video went up as part of a pretty automatic process where our social media person collaborates with the comedians to post clips.”
According to Jocelyn’s website, she is a New York-based comedian who was previously a lawyer.
The Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also clarified that she is no longer a Singaporean.
Top image from @intanmaizuraothaman on TikTok.
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