Malaysia will seek Interpol’s assistance in tracking down and investigating a US-based stand-up comedian who mocked the country and made jokes about missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

Jocelyn Chia stirred controversy in Malaysia and Singapore this month after she posted on social media a clip of her live comedy set in which she joked about the plane that went missing nine years ago with 239 people onboard. Debris linked to the plane has been found over the years, but the fate and location of the aircraft remain a mystery.

National police chief Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said Malaysia would this week ask Interpol for her location and full identity to facilitate further investigations, state news agency Bernama reported.

He said Malaysia would investigate Chia’s comments under its own laws related to provocation, incitement, and publication of offensive online content. A Malaysian police spokesperson confirmed the comments.

In a set at a comedy club in New York, Chia joked about Singapore’s secession from Malaysia, saying Singapore was doing better than Malaysia after being “dumped” by the country. Chia called Singapore’s improved fortunes the “best break-up revenge”.

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She then said Malaysians could no longer visit Singapore because their “aeroplanes cannot fly”, in an apparent reference to the MH370 disaster.

The set was widely criticised in Malaysia, with the home minister describing her comments as insensitive and offensive.

It was unclear if or how Chia could be penalised for her act.

Chia, a lawyer-turned-comedian who says she is originally from Singapore, could not be reached immediately for comment.

In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Chia said she stood by her jokes despite the controversy, but that the short clips on social media took them out of context.

“Upon reflection I do see that having this as a clip that gets viewed out of a comedy club context was risky,” Chia was reported as saying.

Her comedy also sparked outrage in Singapore. Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore’s foreign minister, apologised to Malaysians for her comments and said the comedian did not speak for Singaporeans.

Malaysia’s pursuit of Chia come amid what activists say is a crackdown on free speech. Last year, a comedy club was shut down following allegations that it hosted comics who touched on sensitive racial and religious issues.

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