3:50pm 19/06/2023
How to handle the Jocelyn Chia issue with wisdom and pity
By:Prof Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi

When I heard about the terrible and cruel joke by Jocelyn Chia about Malaysia, Malaysians and the MH370, I had decided not to say anything or write anything.

My religion says that if you find a group of people talking about wasteful things or even cruel things, just leave them alone to themselves.

Anyway, my time now was then and now preoccupied with trying to save Selangor and Malaysia from being ruled by bigots and racists who will destroy everything we hold dear as Malaysians, including our respect and dignity for one another.

I don’t have time to devote on a comedy routine that is not only cruel and distasteful but also has absolutely “zero class.”

Now, what do I know of comedy acts and routine? Well, I am a great fan of stand-up comedy. I love our own Harith Iskandar, Allen Perera and Douglas Lim a great deal!

I thought of starting to watch Jason Leong but after he tweeted in supporting Jocelyn, I decided to close the book on him…sampai bila-bila.

I am also a fan of minorities and immigrant comedians like Wanda Sykes, Sebastian Manisculco, Gabriel Iglesias and Trevor Noah. All of them had made jokes about their own families and cultures as well as other countries, but they were always phrased in a classy act of philosophical introspection.

So, why am I writing about this senseless joke and no-class act of Jocelyn? Because simply, we are going about it in the wrong fashion, I think.

The first and huge mistake was to say bad things about her in social media.

For me, why should we spend our precious time in this precious life on a useless person like this lady? Tak payahlah! Do it the Islamic way, just leave her to her unfunny routines.

The second mistake I think is to send a group of Umno Youth to the American Embassy and meet in the hot sun of Malaysia’s extreme climate nowadays!

Just drop the Ambassador a heartfelt concern, cukuplah! Leave the theatrics about honoring Malaysia and respecting people by apologizing for all the wrongs of Umno to the Malaysian people.

The third mistake was to send the police and Interpol request. Aiyaaa…apa ini?

We have a politician wearing a turban who has made so many seditious statements that would destroy this country by inciting other Malays to consider Malaysians as enemies. Itu yang patut kita jaga!

We are also waiting for Jho Low to grace the prison in Kajang next to his good friend. Not Jocelyn Chia!

Now, that person is famous with CNN, BBC and maybe she will get a Netflix Special.

No, the way to deal with this insignificant person is to firstly write a heartfelt statement to the American people. I would phrase it like this:

“We, the people of Malaysia, of all faiths and cultures, are deeply distressed and extremely sad that one of your citizens has made a comedy routine desecrating our honored dead and our blessed nation.

“Making fun of the dead from MH370 cuts us deeply as a nation as well as disparaging remarks about our historical relationship with Singapore, our most respected neighbor.

“We Malaysians honor those Americans who gave their lives to protect democracy in World War Two and the Vietnam War. Our comedy Artists have never desecrated the memories of these fallen heroes.

“Although we respect the freedom of expression and the freedom of speech in the American constitution, I am sure the forefathers of your country did not include desecration of the dead and disparaging a country as part of good morality and values of freedom.

“We hope the American people can have a mutual respect with us when it comes to honoring history of a nation and the memory of those who have passed us along the journey of life.”

I would make sure such statement would be on every news media in America.

Secondly, we should just ignore any product or advertisement that has the name of Jocelyn Chia.

I remember an incident where a Lego artists made Legos of the Nazi concentration camp as its selling picture on the boxes.

The company had to recall all the boxes and apologize to the Jewish people.

Another incident involved a Nike pair of shoes that “accidentally” had some design that resembles closely the word “Allah.”

When the Muslim community protested, even though it was an honest mistake, all the shoes had to be recalled.

These two companies know the important value of an “apology.”

Jocelyn Chia does not even know, perhaps, how to spell the word “apology” or understand spiritually what it means.

So, let us boycott anything with her name silently and surely. Do not disparage her name or that of her family.

God forbid, if she had any children, we should not let the sins of the mother be our judgment to her innocent child or children.

Now, I would like to ask Malaysians to “pity” Jocelyn Chia.

You might, incredulously go “what..pity that ###?”

Well, let us look at three things that we could find pity for her.

Firstly, there’s her parents, neighbors and siblings. I am sure she has some of these in Singapore and relatives perhaps in Malaysia. Her actions will reverberate onto her family members and reflect their collective values.

Secondly, what happens when she falls seriously ill, can’t make a living and has to come home to Singapore to be with her parents?

Or, conversely if her parents are dying and she is the only one to care for them, will the Singapore government allow her entry in light of the fragile political relationship between Malaysia and Singapore?

The Singapore High Commissioner was the first to come out with a strong statement condemning the tasteless and derogatory jokes about Malaysia and MH370.

I applaud the High Commissioner. So, I wonder and pity on how Jocelyn will be treated. Like they say, karma may find you in the long run.

Thirdly, we should pity Jocelyn for having such a hardened soul and a hollow spiritual content. People like this who make jokes and revel in them afterwards without remorse are worse than the Malaysian corrupt politicians or criminals.

It would even be pitiful still if Jocelyn can’t even understand what it is to be kind-hearted and emphatic. Who would want such person as a wife, much less as a mother. Kesian! We should all pray for her.

So, that is how I would treat the Jocelyn issue.

We Malaysians should grow up and be more matured dealing with such no-class jokes as those of Miss Jocelyn Chia.

After all, we have a lot of experiences dealing with such MPs in Parliament as Tajuddin (Teresa ‘Kok’), Bung (f#@k you), Khairy (beruk-beruk and Taliban) and of course Tun M (‘pendatang statements).

In conclusion, we must respect all the living and honor our dead.

Failing to understand these simple values will fail us as humans, anywhere and at all times.

(Prof Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi is Professor of Architecture at a local university and his writing reflects his own personal opinion entirely.)


Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi
Jocelyn Chia
stand-up comedy


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