On Thursday (14 July), comedian and co-founder of Crackhouse Comedy Rizal van Geyzel was arrested to facilitate a probe into 3 videos that were said to cross religious and racial sensitivities.
According to FMT, Rizal will spend a night at the Dang Wangi lockup. The arrest came after he gave his statement at the Dang Wangi police station on the same day.
The father of four is being investigated by Bukit Aman’s D5 classified criminal investigation unit.
It is understood that Rizal was arrested following reports were lodged against the comedian from some groups that were angered by the videos that starred Rizal.
According to NST, the Penang Federation of Islamic Non-Governmental Organisations (GNIPP) has on 13 July lodged a police report against Rizal and asked the authorities to investigate whether there was an element of spreading liberalism in the comedy club.
In addition, a police report was also lodged by Persatuan Pengguna Semboyan Malaysia (PPSM), along with more than 50 non-governmental organisations against Rizal and Crackhouse Comedy for allegedly insulting Islam and Malays in his performance.
Meanwhile, Astro Awani reported that the Johor Baru branch of Pertubuhan Kebajikan Islam dan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Pekida) lodged a similar report.
Johor Baru Pekida chairman Tazul Arifin Nasri said that Rizal’s actions in the video seemingly insult Islam and the Malays.
Nonetheless, netizens were angered by Rizal’s arrest and claimed that he was never a racist, nor he would incite religious and racial issues.
“He is a comedian but not a threat to society in any way. The real insult to Islam are Muslim leaders and ulama of this country that ignores corruption, injustice and pretend their version of Islam is true yet it’s not,” a netizen commented.
Rizal is one of the funniest around in MY. The Msian comedy scene makes fun of racism, religious hypocrisy, kayangan class & politicians. No race/religion is spared. And its funny.— BayanganTuhan™ 🏴🇺🇦 (@esKahn) July 11, 2022
If ur too sensitive,stick to Maharaja Lawak where they occasionally punch down but never ever up. https://t.co/M80p3hEQk4
“I’m sorry but I would defend any comedian, Rizal or anyone from Maharaja Lawak even if I find a joke tasteless or unfunny. I believe in freedom of expression and artistic freedom. Art is meant to be uncomfortable. It’s not meant to appease you,” another netizen said.
At the time of writing, Rizal has been released as the authorities only obtained a one-day remand order against him.
Rizal is getting arrested after old videos of his comedic performance resurfaced and irked certain quarters. This has no direct relation to the recent fiasco where a Malay woman named Siti Amira Natasha Abdullah took off her tudung and modest clothes to reveal a skimpier outfit underneath during her turn at ‘standup comedy’ at Crackhouse Comedy.
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