By Annabelle Lee

Singaporean comedian Najib Ali has been dropped from the judging panel of Malaysian live comedy programme ‘Maharaja Lawak Mega 2017’.

(To read this article on Malaysiakini click here.)

Meanwhile, police reports have also been lodged against Najip and his fellow comedians featured in Singaporean comedy show ‘Ok Chope!’ for allegedly tarnishing the image of Prime Minister Najib Razak and Malaysia.

This comes after ‘Ok Chope!’ featured a segment about the prime minister last week, prompting strong reactions from local artiste groups.

“As a sign of respect to all parties and to further endear ‘Maharaja Lawak Mega’ to fans, the production team has made the decision to replace Najip Ali with Aznil Nawawi as a permanent judge on the programme,” said Astro, which produces and airs the live comedy show, in a statement.

Astro added that Aznil will begin his role as a judge with effect from tonight’s show but did not elaborate on reasons behind the replacement.

Meanwhile, representatives of the Persatuan Seniman Malaysia and the Welfare Association for Veteran Artistes (PKAVM) filed a police report against the ‘Ok Chope!’ comedians at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters this morning.

“The police report was made because they (broke) the rules of our organisation, by hentam (ridiculing) the PM, they ridiculed the people of Malaysia also.

“Artistes like these are not needed in Malaysia because they disrupt the periuk nasi(livelihoods) of local artistes but also the country’s image,” warned the Seniman president Rozaidi Jamil, who also goes by the name Zed Zaidi.

Last week, an episode of the weekly live show ‘OK Chope!’ aired on Singapore Mediacorp’s Channel 5 and featured a panel of four Singaporean comedians who were asked by host Vernetta Lopez to complete the headline of a news story involving Najib.

The panel, comprising Najip, Sam See, Rishi Budhrani and Mike Kassim offered various tongue-in-cheek answers.

Mediacorp and Najip have since offered public apologies that Zed and his association refuse to accept.

“The other panellists like Mike Kassim, Rishi Budrani and Sam See have not apologised, thus we can’t accept their apology, the apology was insincere,” he said.

Zed explained this was not the first time a Singaporean artiste had made fun of Malaysian politicians.

“Before this we had the case of Fakkah Fuzz from Singapore, thus we need to take stern action or else in the future more artistes from other countries will do the same.

“This is a lesson for foreign artistes, if you want to come and work in Malaysia, follow our rules and don’t make trouble,” he warned.

The associations are planning to submit a memorandum to urge the Home Ministry to screen foreign artistes coming to Malaysia to work, Zed added.