PETALING JAYA: Merely hours after issuing an apology for his offensive comments against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Singaporean comedian Najip Ali is now reportedly taken off the Maharaja Lawak Mega (MLM) series.

Najip was to have been on the judges’ table for the show, which will be aired this Friday over Astro Warna.

Earlier, Wisma Putra said the Malaysian Go­­vernment viewed the offensive comments and insinuations against Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak seriously and hoped that they would not be repeated.

And, Mediacorp’s chief customer officer Debra Soon, in a joint statement with Najip, admitted that the episode, which aired last Wednesday, did make references to Najib that were in “poor taste and offensive”.

“Channel 5 and the production team behind OK Chope! wish to sincerely apologise to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak for a segment on last week’s episode.

Read also: Channel 5’s Najip Ali apologises for poking fun at PM Najib in comedy

“We have thus pulled it from repeat telecast with immediate effect,” said Soon.

In the offending episode, Najip hosted a segment where participants were asked to fill in the blank to complete the sentence “Najib slams __ for threatening Malaysia’s progress”.

The responses he received later brought in complaints from viewers.

In the joint statement, the comedian said he had spent the last few days reflecting on the comments referencing Najib that he made during the segment.

“I realise how insensitive and callous I was,” said Najip, adding that he apologised unreservedly for the mistake.

Harith says he can’t fill empty seat

According to the winner of the Funniest Person in the World competition, he received an offer from Astro to fill the spot formerly held by Singaporean comedian Najip Ali.

“But I cannot accept the offer because my schedule from this Friday onwards is full,” he told mStar Online via WhatsApp on Thursday.

The replacement for Najip as a permanent jury member for MLM2017 next to Datuk Rosyam Nor and Luna Maya remains in question as Astro executives are keeping mum on the matter.

MLM2017, hosted by Datuk AC Mizal, is broadcast live from the Royal Theatre Shah Alam at 10pm on Fridays.