8 June 2023
Press statement by MCA Spokesperson Chan Quin Er
Exploiting MH370’s disappearance as a joke, Jocelyn Chia can redeem herself with genuine contrition to tragedy’s victims & next-of-kin
Wannabe standup comedian Jocelyn Chia warrants chastisement for having belittled the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370 as a joke during her performance. No words can describe the utter dismay and frustration of family members of victims against her uncouth and crass act.
Although stand up comedies are a form of entertainment performance, there is a thin red line which should not be crossed, that is, where tragedy has struck. In particular, not exploiting lives that have perished as comedy material, but instead, exuding compassion would earn the performing artiste a wider audience.
A joke is only a joke when both the performer and the audience deem it humourous. However, Jocelyn Chia trivialised the MH370 tragedy. This is tantamount to inflicting secondary harm to the next-of-kin of the passengers and crew whose lives were lost in this incident. Her sputter was not comical at all. In contrast, they were downright hurtful akin to adding salt to the wound.
Perhaps if Jocelyn Chia had placed herself in the shoes of the family members and relatives, she would be able to self-reflect and thus realise that jesting about the MH370 tragedy still touches a raw nerve and is simply a no-no.
Nevertheless, there is still time to redeem herself by offering a sincere apology and prayers for the departed passengers and crew of the missing commercial aircraft, and their families.
Meanwhile, the timely apology to Malaysia and rebuke of Jocelyn Chia by the Singapore government is worthy of acknowledgement. The Singapore High Commissioner has clarified that Jocelyn Chia is no longer a citizen of Singapore. We believe that the everyday Singaporean is reasonable, empathetic and disown such grievous remarks. The wannabe comedian’s comments do not represent Singapore and will not affect the consistent friendly relations between Malaysia and Singapore.