Mediacorp apologises for ‘offensive’ comedy segment mocking Malaysia PM Najib Razak

Ok Chope! logo. Source:
Ok Chope! logo. Source:

Singapore broadcaster Mediacorp has posted an apology for airing an “offensive” comedy segment about Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

During the live comedy show Ok Chope! aired on Channel 5 on 29 March, a panel of comedians and media personalities gave their impromptu responses on Najib. Hosted by Vernetta Lopez, the panel features Najip Ali, Rishi Budhrani, Mike Kasem and Sam See.

The broadcaster said it received feedback that viewers found the responses on Najib offensive.

Selangor Umno Youth chief Zainuri Zainal demanded an apology from comedian Najip Ali on Tuesday and called for him to be banned from the show.

Mediacorp’s chief customer officer Debra Soon said in a statement on the broadcaster’s website, “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.”

Najip Ali also issued an apology. He 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.”