Mediacorp Channel 5 apologises to M’sian PM Najib for making fun of him

Bilateral tension.

By Belmont Lay | April 5, 2017

After making fun of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Mediacorp Channel 5 and the production team behind OK Chope! have issued an apology on Wednesday, April 5.

OK Chope! is a weekly live comedy show made in Singapore.

An episode that aired last Wednesday, March 29, included a segment about the Malaysian prime minister. According to a Today report, viewers said it was offensive in their feedback.

However, it was not specified if the viewers were Singaporeans or Malaysians.

The segment of the show which poked fun at the Malaysian PM had participants on the OK Chope! programme complete a sentence which read: “(PM) Najib slams ___ for threatening Malaysia’s progress”.

The participants, one of whom was comedian Najip Ali, gave answers which were deemed to have demeaned the Malaysian prime minister.

On Tuesday, The New Straits Times, a Malaysian publication, reported that an Umno Youth member had demanded that the comedian issue a public apology to Najib over the offensive remarks.

Mediacorp said the episode will be pulled from future telecast.

The full apology appears on the Mediacorp website:

Mediacorp Channel 5 apologises for offensive segment on OK Chope!

On Wednesday 29 March, Mediacorp Channel 5 aired an episode of its comedy show OK Chope! which included a segment about Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. Viewers have fed back that the segment was offensive.

In response to media queries, Mediacorp’s Chief Customer Officer, Ms Debra Soon and freelance artiste Mr Najip Ali, who appears on the show, said the following:

Ms Debra Soon, Chief Customer Officer, Mediacorp said, “Channel 5 and the production team behind OK Chope! wish to sincerely apologise to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak for a segment on last week’s episode. OK Chope!, a weekly live show, features comedians providing humorous takes on news and current affairs. Last week’s episode included references to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak which were in poor taste and offensive. We have thus pulled it from repeat telecast with immediate effect. We apologise unreservedly for this mistake.”

Mr Najip Ali said, “Over the last few days I have reflected on the comments I made during a segment on a Channel 5 comedy show which referenced Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. I realise how insensitive and callous I was. I would like to apologise unreservedly to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. I beg his forgiveness and that of my viewers and friends.”

OK Chope! is a weekly live comedy panel show that sees the funny side of current affairs. Host Vernetta Lopez and her panelists Najip Ali, Mike Kasem, Rishi Budhrani and Sam See, attempt to “chope” over each other, to give their take on the latest happenings in social media, news and pop culture.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority logo appears at the end of every OK Chope! episode.

 

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About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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