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PETALING JAYA, Dec 11 — Harith Iskander’s stellar performance at the Funniest Person in the World contest in Finland will most likely draw more comedy fans to the country, said Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.
Nazri said the nation was proud to hail the world’s funniest man and his accomplishment should be glorified by Malaysians.
“Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board (Tourism Malaysia) and I are proud to be associated with Harith. He is the world champion and it is a huge achievement for us,” he said yesterday.
“I am sure many tourists will visit Malaysia just to watch his shows.”
Tourism Malaysia chairman Datuk Siew Ka Wei said Harith’s win further strengthened Malaysia’s name on the world stage and was testament the nation was capable of producing world-class stars in various fields.
“We have the world’s top comedian, top squash player, top badminton player and even a top rally driver. Their stellar achievements have made Malaysians happy and proud,” he said.
Siew said Harith’s victory would inspire people, especially the younger generation, to pursue comedy as a career.
“Comedy is an art, it’s a skill. Harith should open up his own comedy school.
“He makes a lot of people happy and I believe happy people can do more for the country,” he said.
Celebrities and entertainers also extended their warm wishes to Harith. Here is what they said in their own witty ways:
“I am so proud of Harith being crowned the world’s funniest man. He used to say he wanted to represent Malaysia in squash, but he could not because he was too fat! But look at him today, finally through comedy, he aced it. Harith is a dedicated comedian and he deserved to win. Truly proud Malaysia won the title and beat all the other countries.”
“When I was retweeting and asking people to vote for Harith, someone asked me, is Harith going to win the competition because he is really funny or because many people voted for him? And my response was, well if you think he is funny, you vote ‘lah’. I believe the votes that he received from people were from those who believed in his art. His win has set a new benchmark for our stand-up comedy act and therefore our local stand-up comedians will have to step up their game.”
“I think it is great for Malaysia that Harith won the Funniest Person in the World title. It is a nice feeling to have the world laugh with us for a change.With the world title in his grasp, I hope Harith does not rest on his laurels and instead starts preparing to win funniest person in the universe, multiverse and alternate realities! I am glad Harith won funniest person in the world because he received the most votes.”
“It is awesome news. I really hope this will unleash more talents to put Malaysia on the world map. And to Harith Iskander, do not convert the prize money into ringgit yet. Wait until it reaches RM5 per dollar, then change!”