Singapore

Mediacorp apologises for 'offensive' segment about Najib

Comedy show gets feedback after referencing Malaysian Prime Minister

Television and radio broadcaster Mediacorp has apologised for airing an "offensive" TV comedy segment containing remarks about Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The apology concerned a segment in Channel 5's weekly live comedy show, OK Chope!, in which a panel of comedians - including Mike Kasem, Sam See, Najip Ali and Rishi Budhrani - give impromptu humorous takes on current affairs.

In a statement posted on Mediacorp's website yesterday, the broadcaster said viewers had given feedback that they found the segment, aired last Wednesday, which contained references to Mr Najib, offensive.

Ms Debra Soon, chief customer officer at Mediacorp, said in the statement: "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.

"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."

Comedian Najip Ali, who appeared in the show, said in the same statement: "Over the last few days, I have reflected on the comments I made during a segment on a Channel 5 comedy show that 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."

I realise how insensitive and callous I was. I would like to apologise unreservedly to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. Comedian Najip Ali

After the episode was aired, Malaysian media reported that viewers were offended by the segment.

On Tuesday, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak told online news portal Free Malaysia Today: "It is extremely regrettable that something like this has happened. It shows a lack of sensitivity to the feelings of others."

Hosted by Vernetta Lopez, OK Chope! debuted last October and has made jokes about a wide range of topics, from Singapore's Michelin-starred restaurants to the national football team.

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