Singapore Apologizes for Comedian Jocelyn Chia’s Offensive Remarks Towards Malaysians


Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, expressed apologies to Malaysians for the offensive comments made by comedian Jocelyn Chia during her stand-up performance.

Chia’s remarks, which included jokes about Singapore’s relationship with Malaysia and a reference to the MH370 tragedy, drew criticism for their insensitivity. Singapore’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Vanu Gopala Menon, also extended an apology to Malaysians, emphasizing that Chia’s views do not represent those of Singapore or its people.

Offensive Remarks by Comedian Jocelyn Chia:

During a stand-up performance at the Comedy Cellar club in New York, Jocelyn Chia made jokes about Singapore’s separation from Malaysia in 1965 and Malaysia’s development status. She further commented on Malaysian airplanes in an apparent reference to the MH370 incident. These remarks sparked outrage and drew condemnation for their hurtful nature and lack of sensitivity.

Apologies from Singaporean Officials:

“She certainly does not speak for Singaporeans”, Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan tweeted on Thursday (Jun 8). .

Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan expressed his dismay at Chia’s comments, emphasizing that she does not speak for Singaporeans. He apologized to Malaysians for the offense caused and stressed that Singapore values its strong ties with Malaysia, considering them as family and friends.

High Commissioner Vanu Gopala Menon echoed the apology, condemning Chia’s offensive comments and reiterating that they do not reflect Singapore’s views. He emphasized that the Singapore government does not endorse words or actions that cause harm or hurt to others.

Singapore’s High Commissioner Vanu Gopala Menon has spoken out against the comments made by stand-up performer Jocelyn Chia.

The full statement :

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.

As our closest neighbour, Singapore and Malaysia enjoy a strong and multi-faceted relationship, with deep and cross-cutting ties. We also have unique historical and close people-to-people ties. Comments such as those made by Chia are unhelpful and undermine the close trust and friendship that both our countries and peoples enjoy.

Unhelpful Remarks Undermining Bilateral Relations:

Singapore’s foreign affairs ministry, in a statement, highlighted that comments like Chia’s are unhelpful and can undermine the close trust and friendship between the two countries. Such remarks go against the values of Asian countries known for their manners and morals. The Singaporean government expressed its commitment to maintaining strong and positive relations with Malaysia and its people.

Malaysian Response:

Malaysia’s Foreign Minister, Zambry Abdul Kadir, condemned Chia’s lack of sensitivity and empathy towards Malaysians and the families of MH370 victims. He stated that her behavior and comments do not align with the values of Asian countries and are not accepted by any government. The Malaysian government disassociated itself from Chia’s remarks, emphasizing that they do not reflect the official stance of any government.

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