Malaysia seeks Interpol help to find comedian over MH370 joke

Malaysia is seeking assistance from Interpol in locating a New York-based comedian who made a joke about the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Jocelyn Chia, a US national who was raised in Singapore, is being investigated under laws related to incitement and offensive online content, according to the police. The joke she posted online last week sparked an official protest from Malaysia and an apology from Singapore. The main body of MH370, which disappeared after departing Kuala Lumpur in March 2014, was never found despite a four-year search in the Indian Ocean. All 239 passengers on board are presumed dead.

Malaysian national police chief Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani announced on Tuesday that an application would be filed with Interpol to obtain Chia’s “full identity” and “latest location”. The controversy began when Chia posted a video of her recent stand-up performance at Manhattan’s Comedy Cellar, which included a routine about the historical rivalry between Singapore and Malaysia. Chia noted that Singapore had become a “first-world country” while Malaysia was still “developing” and joked that Malaysian airplanes “cannot fly”. She added: “Malaysian Airlines going missing not funny huh? Some jokes don’t land.”

The video, which caused outrage in Malaysia, was removed by TikTok for violating its hate-speech guidelines. Singapore’s ambassador to Malaysia stated that Chia did not represent Singaporeans, and Singapore’s foreign minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, denounced her “horrendous statements”. Chia told CNN on Sunday that she had performed the routine “more than 100 times” without any issues and that she stood by the joke, claiming the clip had been taken out of context.

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Lilly Larkin

Lilly is a writer with a diverse international background, having lived in various countries including Thailand. Her unique experiences provide valuable insights and culturally sensitive perspectives in her news reporting. When not writing, Lilly enjoys exploring local art scenes, volunteering for community projects, and connecting with people from different cultures.

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