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Uncle Roger jokes about China and the censors don’t see the funny side | CNN

Hong Kong

A Malaysian comedian has been banned from China Twitter-like social media platform, days after he posted snippets of a live show in which he predicted his skits on heavily censored Beijing politics and Chinese leader Xi Jinping would get him in trouble.

Nigel Ng, who performs under the name “Uncle Roger,” posted a trailer for his new show on Twitter last week, in which he jokes about China’s surveillance state and pleads with the Chinese Communist Party not to “do it.” disappear”.

“Uncle Roger about to be cancelled,” Ng wrote on Twitter last Tuesday along with a clip from his show.

By Saturday, her account on China’s highly censored Weibo platform was banned from creating new posts. A message on the page said that Ng was blocked “due to violation of relevant laws and regulations,” but did not elaborate.

CNN has reached out to Ng and Weibo for comment.

Ng’s full stand-up show is scheduled for video release on June 4, the anniversary of the bloody 1989 crackdown on democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, a sensitive date for Chinese authorities.

His suspension comes at a time of renewed focus on how Beijing’s authoritarian leadership views comedy and cracks down on those seen as having crossed political red lines.

last week a joke Chinese comedian Li Haoshi that he made a vague reference to the military sparked a huge backlash from authorities, who fined the entertainment company he worked for more than $2 million and banned him from performing in major cities.

Police have also launched an investigation into Li, who now faces jail time. Li, who has canceled all of his work, has also had his publishing rights taken away by Weibo.

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Ng, 32, rose to fame three years ago with a video of uncle roger – an outspoken middle-aged man who speaks with a thick Malay accent – mocking BBC Food presenter Hersha Patel’s way of cooking Chinese-style egg fried rice.

The video has already been viewed 34 million times.

The sketch Ng posted on Twitter last week was filmed on his recent stand-up tour, which touched on more political themes.

In one clip, after learning that an audience member is from the southern Chinese province of Guangzhou, Uncle Roger says that China is a “good country.”

“We have to say that now, correct? All your phones listening,” she says, drawing laughter from the crowd.

He then says “long live President Xi,” before joking about his “social credit score going up,” a reference to China’s social engineering-style project that uses big data and a combination of rewards and punishments to encourage good behavior.

To gasps from the audience, he also addresses the subject of taiwansaying that it is “not a real country” and that it would “rejoin the motherland one day”, echoing the position of the Communist Party of China, which regards the democratic island as its own territory.

He then asks the Guangzhou audience member to put a good word to him with the authorities.

“Uncle Roger, good comrades,” he joked. “Don’t make it disappear, please.”

It is not the first time that Ng, who was born in Kuala Lumpur and now resides in Britain, has had a brush with China’s often thorny politics, though on the previous occasion he was criticized for toing Beijing’s line.

In 2021, Ng removed a video featuring YouTuber Mike Chen after the Strictly Dumpling host’s previous comments about the human rights situation in China surfaced.

Ng apologized at the time, saying the video “had had a negative social impact” and that he was unaware of Chen’s “incorrect political thoughts and comments about China in the past.”

His approach later drew the ire of activists who accused him of bowing to Beijing.

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