Astro has replaced comedian Najip Ali (pictured left) with Malaysian TV host Aznil Nawawi as a judge on its show Maharaja Lawak Mega 2017. The judging change to Maharaja Lawak Mega 2017 was announced on Astro Gempak’s Facebook page.
The news has garnered mixed reviews from the audience which largely spans across Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Many have stood up in support of the Singaporean comedian stating that his criticism of the talents on the show are constructive.
Since then, there has also been a hashtag, #WeLoveNajip trending for the star.
The change follows a segment on Mediacorp Channel 5 television show OK Chope! which copped flak from Malaysian associations and audiences. It saw Ali, who appeared on the show, mocking Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The episode was deemed offensive by viewers and saw a formal apology being issued by both Mediacorp and Ali, who agreed that the episode was done “in poor taste and offensive”.
“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,” Ali said in the formal apology with Mediacorp.
The show which is a weekly one which features comedians providing humorous takes on news and current affairs.
Other responses from guests included the reference to the RM2.6 billion deposited into Najib’s personal account and Umno’s 2013 general election campaign. The episode has since been pulled from repeat telecast with immediate effect.