‘It is very disappointing’: Singaporean stand-up comic Sharul Channa slams Malaysian authorities after show gets cancelled for 6-year-old content

Sharul Channa, one of Singapore’s top stand-up comedians, took to Instagram to tell the fans that her show, which was supposed to happen in Malaysia on May 18, was cancelled at the last minute by the country’s authorities. Sharul was set to perform in “Just Joking”, a one-woman stand-up comedy show, at the PJ Live Arts Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Sharul Channa. Photo courtesy: Sharul Channa/Instagram
Sharul Channa. Photo courtesy: Sharul Channa/Instagram

Sharul alleged that the authorities took the decision after multiple police reports were made against one of her old videos, which dates back to 2018. The video featured themes such as religion, royalty, and race.

Sharul said that the Malaysian Ministry of Communication cancelled her work visa on May 17, 2024. This happened despite having the show’s license approved a month ago.

“Two days before the show was supposed to happen, the show got cancelled because they took away the license for the show. Or rather they took away the license for me to perform. There were some police reports made, because of a video that was on TV and at that time it was approved by the Malaysian authorities. It was part of Comedy Central Asia and it was on Unify TV. So, as that video went on TV, of course it’s gonna make rounds on the Internet, and that was in 2017-2018. Because of that video being circulated again some people made police reports and Puspal, together with the police, cancelled my license. This is despite us getting the license of my show approved one month before the show, and despite giving assurance that my set does not touch on religion, race or royalty,” Sharul said on Instagram.

“It is a very disappointing matter for me, as it must be for you, who bought tickets. And also, as a Singaporean, you know, we have so many Malaysian artists coming to Singapore and performing seamlessly and we always welcome them and we feel that as Singapore artists when we come into Malaysia, we would also be welcomed with open arms. All I can say is, you can take away the stage from an artist, but you can’t take away the voice of the artist. So, thank you for always supporting me Malaysian audiences. I really, really appreciate all your support over these years,” she added.

“I stand with all of you and I really apologise from the bottom of my heart that the show had to be cancelled,” Sharul said.

As per reports, the complaints lodged against the stand up comic featured a clip from “Comedy Central: Stand Up Asia! 2”, which was recorded in Malaysia in 2018.