Astro insults Indians in comedy show
Date: Wednesday, January 25 @ 07:46:59 CST
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FMT, Zefry Dahalan | January 25, 2012

Channel 105 lets pass the word “keling” used in a pantun.
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As demonstrated in the protracted controversy over the novel Interlok and many other spats and rows that have been widely reported in recent years, Indians seem to be fair game for racist slurs in Malaysia.

Incredibly, one of the most recent culprits is the pay TV network Astro, which is owned by Ananda Krishnan, reputed to be the wealthiest Malaysian Indian.

In the wee hours of last Thursday, a guest on the comedy programme Fikirlah Sendiri Nabil uttered the word “keling” as a derogatory reference to Indians.

The programme was aired on Astro Prima (Channel 105) between 12.30am and 1am. It was hosted by “Comedy King” Nabil and the guest was Aziz Kota, another comedian.

The offensive word was part of a pantun that Aziz recited at 12.53am. He pronounced it as “koling”, the way someone who speaks with a Negeri Sembilan accent would.

The programme was actually a repeat of a show first aired last year at prime time. This meant that the producers had ample time to edit it, but either chose not to or were not sensitive enough to bother.

Astro is known to have a sophisticated in-house editing system. Even its so-called live programmes are delayed by up to a minute to ensure that bloopers do not slip through.

So what happened last Thursday? How did the K word get through the producer, the director and the editor? Or was the pantun so funny that it could not be sacrificed?

Perhaps they thought only Malays watch the programme and it was safe to keep the word because it would be funny to Malays.

Another episode of the programme will air tonight.





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