Suspension is excessive, say comedy club founders

PETALING JAYA: The suspension of the Crackhouse Comedy Club, although temporary, is heavy-handed, said its founders and a group of comedians.

“We urge the authorities to take stern action against the individual for any breach of the law, without penalising the club that had no part to play in this person’s actions,” said owners Rizal Van Geyzel and Shankar R. Santhiram in a joint statement with the local comedy acts yesterday.

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“In our eight years of existence, this type of incident has never once occurred at the club.”

The group of comedians also said it was unfair of the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to suspend the operating licence of the club and to seal it without prior written notice.

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Among those who signed the statement in support of the club were Harith Iskander, Douglas Lim, Andrew Netto, Shamaine Othman, Kavin Jayaram, Phoon Chi Ho, Kuah Jenhan and Joanne Kam.

The comedy club situated in Kuala Lumpur was temporarily suspended on Sunday after a video clip emerged of a supposed stand-up comedy routine which was deemed insulting to Islam.

ALSO READ: Cops arrest woman seen in controversial stand-up comedy video

It showed a woman, who claimed to have memorised 15 chapters of the Quran, removing her tudung and baju kurung, revealing a mini-skirt and spaghetti-strap blouse.

She also used an expletive.

She was subsequently arrested on Saturday. Her boyfriend was nabbed two days later.

Both of them are expected to be charged in separate courts today.

Police secretary Deputy Comm Datuk Noorsiah Mohd Saaduddin said the 28-year-old woman will be charged under Section 298A of the Penal Code for causing disunity and disharmony, while her 38-year-old boyfriend will be accused of misusing network facilities under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.

Local comedians believed that the woman’s actions were premeditated, saying that it was the standard operating procedure at all comedy venues to inform performers at open mic nights not to touch on two topics: royalty and religion.

(Open mic events allow anyone to perform music or stand-up comedy.)

They also said that the performance was recorded and released by the individual on her own social media account without the knowledge of Crackhouse.

The club management maintained that it does not allow its shows to be recorded, saying that its management immediately lodged a police report and gave its full cooperation once they realised that the woman had uploaded the video on social media.

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