Recently, a “joke” delivered by a woman named Siti Nuramira Abdullah, or Amy, shook netizens and the entertainment industry. She insulted Islam after she stripped on stage as part of her performance at Crackhouse Comedy Club in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI). This matter led her and her partner, Alexander Navin to be banned from the club after the incident went viral on social media.
Subsequently, the venue’s operations were suspended temporarily, and Amy and Alexander were arrested. The authorities began an investigation on the operating licence of the Crackhouse Comedy Club and the viral incident. The club also released a statement condemning the act after they submitted a police report on the matter.
Deputy Minister of Federal Territories Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias said the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) will not compromise on such issues, as it has drawn criticism from nearby residents and netizens who saw the video as clearly shown to be insulting and sullying the image of Islam. He went on to say that the government would not tolerate any activities considered offensive to religious, racial, or national sovereignty sensibilities.
However, it was discovered during the investigation that The Crackhouse Comedy Club was only operating under a restaurant licence, violating the terms due to the absence of an entertainment licence. In addition, the co-founder of the club, Rizal van Geyzel was also nabbed on 14th July (Thursday) because of videos of his own stand-up routine that circulated on social media platforms, which allegedly also insulted Islam although it bears no connection to the first case.
It is learned that Rizal was investigated under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and Section 4 of the Sedition Act 1948. He was released from the police headquarters at Dang Wangi a day after his arrest.
Amy was charged under Section 298A of the Penal Code for causing disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will, or prejudicing the maintenance of harmony or unity, on the grounds of religion, while Alexander was charged under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. Both pleaded not guilty to the charges and faced an RM20k bail each.
Anis Sharina contributed to this article.