Harith Iskander delivers stinging rebuke on ‘strip act’

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Award winning stand-up comedian and actor Harith Iskander Musa was not laughing as he delivered his take on an open mic night participant’s so called comedic act where she “stripped” on stage.

In a stinging rebuke, the owner of a comedy club himself, in condemning the female participant’s act said what she did was not stand up comedy, stressing that the woman was not a a stand-up comedian.

“On behalf of myself and the rest of the standup comedians, I would like to comment on the incident.

“She apparently was trying to make fun of her identity as a Malay-Muslim woman but what she did on stage was not a joke although it took place at a comedy club,” he said.

The incident which happened at a comedy club in Taman Tun Dr Ismail saw a woman in hijab and baju kurung stripping off her clothes to reveal a mini dress underneath as part of her set.

A 54-second video clip of the act also saw the woman claiming she had memorised 15 juz of the Quran prior to taking off her hijab and baju kurung.

“Comedians take a common situation, look at it from a different point of view, relate and make a joke of it to make the audience laugh, however seeing her on stage was painful to watch.

“Nothing funny about what she said or did. There was no joke,” he said.

“Her intention was to shock and offend the audience.

“Some people online also questioned as to why she was allowed to be on stage but it’s an open mic night, all comedians start there.

“Please do not lump her with the rest of the comedians. She’s not a standup comedian,” he said in a Tik Tok video.

He said most comedians were smart people who were professional and made people laugh.

“She truly needs help,” he said.

The comedian with 32 years experience said standup comedy was designed to make people laugh and that scientifically, laughing was proven to release endorphins.

Yesterday, both the Police and the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) said they were looking into the incident.

Today, the premises where the incident took place was slapped with a temporary closure order by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

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