[UPDATE 18 Jan, 655pm: Added details of radio prank call]
Popular radio deejays The Married Men have been dropped from HOTFM913 for "inappropriate content" during a morning radio segment on Thursday.
In a statement to the press on Friday, SPH Unionworks -- who own and manage the station -- said that they had terminated their contract with "The Married Men" with immediate effect.
"The action was taken in connection with a 'Kena Pluck' segment aired on Thursday, during the Morning Drive Time show on Hot FM 91.3. The segment contained material that was wholly inappropriate on air and breached the terms of the contract," it explained.
"As much as it pains us to take this action after having worked with them for so many years, the segment that was aired was deemed indefensible and we had to take the matter seriously. We apologise to listeners who were offended by it," said senior program director Jamie Meldrum.
When contacted, Monteiro confirmed that their services had been terminated, and declined comment on what exactly had prompted SPH Unionworks' decision.
"We received the letter around 11 this morning. We respect their decision and we will not be attempting to try to work things out," said Monteiro, who sounded calm and resigned.
The Married Men team is made up of three on-air personalities, Monteiro, Andre Hoeden and Jillian Lim, along with two producers.
They had been producing for SPH Unionworks since 2007 for two very popular radio slots: first the Evening Drive Time show and later, The Morning Drive Time show.
Known for their unapologetic in-your-face humour and irreverent jokes, the five soon gained a sizeable fan following.
The termination came as a result of a prank played by on Thursday morning during their "sabo(tage)"-style section "Kena Pluck".
The Straits Times reports that deejay Monteiro called a woman who was planning to sign up for an early childhood course, posing as an embassy officer doing a background check.
He asked her if she hit children and advised her to only hit children from poor families as they would not have the money to sue her, unlike "expat children" from "very rich families".
During the segment, he also told her that hugging children was considered molest in some countries.
Fans react with shock
Fans of The Married Men show reacted with shock when told that the show had been axed.
"Are you serious? Is this another Kena Pluck?" said freelance photographer Desmond Tay, 32, who tuned in to their show every morning. "I personally did not find anything offensive about the segment - I'll miss them, they were really funny."
Housewife Linda Teo, 45, felt that SPH Unionworks had been too drastic.
"TMM dare to be politically incorrect -- that's why they are so funny. People need to stop taking things so seriously. I think it's too drastic of SPH Unionworks to just cut them off. Why not a warning first?" she said.
Some fans on the station's Facebook page also said they would stop listening to the station in protest.
"TMM is the only reason I listened to this station. I think you guys can close shop," wrote Shahril Azizi.
Facebook user Alicia Tay questioned why the entire show had to be terminated instead of just the offending segment, in a sentiment echoed by several other commentors.
"Why can't they just terminate the 'Kena Pluck' segment and not the entire morning show? It's one of the best morning shows among all the other radio stations," she posted.
"I think we should petition SPH to reinstate the show."
Watch some of the Married Men's radio segments on their YouTube Channel here