Najip Ali dropped as judge from Malaysian TV show

Cable channel Astro, which airs Maharaja Lawak Mega 2017, announced through its Astro Gempak Facebook page yesterday that Singapore comedian Najip Ali (left) would be replaced as a judge on the show by Malaysian TV host Aznil Haji Nawawi.
Cable channel Astro, which airs Maharaja Lawak Mega 2017, announced through its Astro Gempak Facebook page yesterday that Singapore comedian Najip Ali (left) would be replaced as a judge on the show by Malaysian TV host Aznil Haji Nawawi.PHOTO: ASTRO GEMPAK/ FACEBOOK

Singaporean comedian Najip Ali, 50, has been dropped as a judge on popular Malaysian TV show, Maharaja Lawak Mega 2017, and has been replaced by Malaysian TV host Aznil Haji Nawawi, also known as Pak Nil, 54.

The cable channel, Astro, which airs Maharaja Lawak Mega (King Of Comedy), a reality competition for comedians, announced the change via its Astro Gempak Facebook page yesterday.

Najip landed in hot water after Malaysian viewers were offended by comments he made about Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak while on Mediacorp Channel 5's live comedy show OK Chope! on March 29, in which a panel of comedians joke about current affairs.

According to Malaysian newspaper The Star, Najip was asked to complete the sentence "Najib slams… for threatening Malaysia's progress". His response caused an uproar in Malaysia and prompted calls for his dismissal from the Malaysian comedy show.

Najip has since apologised and expressed remorse for his comments.

A separate statement issued by Mediacorp on Thursday stated: "Our production team continues to reflect on the incident and learn from it. We also hope that Najip will be given the space he needs to manage through this difficult period."

Starting last night, Pak Nil replaces Najip on Maharaja Lawak Mega, which airs live on Astro Warna (StarHub TV Channel 118) at 10pm on Fridays.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 08, 2017, with the headline 'Najip Ali dropped as judge from Malaysian TV show'. Print Edition | Subscribe