20 April 2023

Siti Nuramira Abdullah


Malaysian comedian Siti Nuramira Abdullah has been fined 8,000 ringgit (equivalent to $1,800) for offending religious sentiments. On 4th June last year, as the opener to her set at the Crackhouse comedy club in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, she announced that she was a Muslim and then removed her Islamic tudung headscarf and traditional Malaysian baju kurung dress, to reveal a short skirt and low-cut blouse.

Siti Nuramira was held in custody for ten days following her arrest last year. If she had not paid the fine, she would have been sentenced to four months’ imprisonment. The Crackhouse audience cheered and applauded her routine, though she pleaded guilty to avoid the more serious charge of disrupting social harmony (the offence for which she was originally arrested).

The Malaysian government has banned dozens of books over the past decade, most famously Faisal Tehrani’s novel Perempuan Nan Bercinta (‘the beloved lady’) and cartoon books by Zunar including Sapuman. An exhibition of Zunar’s cartoons was also closed by the authorities.

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