A bogus story alleging that Malaysia has declared a holiday to celebrate Michelle Yeoh’s win at the Oscars on Sunday night has forced the government to issue a statement urging people to go to work.
An image purportedly from Malaysia’s popular English-language newspaper The Star showed the publication with the headline, ‘PM Anwar declares a holiday on Wednesday: “This is the pride of a nation!”‘ on Monday.
But Star Media Group Bhd, which owns the outlet, quickly debunked it, saying the image was a ‘misrepresentation of the actual coverage of The Star’ – sinking the hopes of the country’s workers.
This was soon followed by a release from the Prime Minister’s office declaring that ‘the news is FAKE’, putting all Malaysians’ dreams of an extra day off – courtesy of their homegrown Hollywood star – into bed were stopped.
“People are requested not to spread or share any uncertain or false information,” the Prime Minister’s Office pleaded on Facebook.
An image purportedly from Malaysia’s popular English-language newspaper The Star showed the publication with the headline, ‘PM Anwar declares a holiday on Wednesday: “This is the pride of a nation!”‘ on Monday. It was quickly debunked as ‘PALSU’ (fake)
The quote used in the fake image appeared to refer to a previous statement by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, in which he congratulated Yeoh on her victory.
Star Media Group said: “It has come to the attention of the company that a photo has been circulating on social media, showing a manipulated image misusing The Star’s identity.”
“Star Media Group would like to reiterate that it has not published any news regarding the announcement of a public holiday on March 15, 2023.”
In its rebuttal, the publication shared the fake image, this time with a large red “PALSU” label (fake) stamped onto the photo.
The company urged readers to “check out the Lifestyle section of The Star’s portal, which houses the Entertainment category.” By doing so, it said, it “confirms that no such article has been placed amid the buzz of news about Yeoh’s historic win for Best Actress.”
“The public is urged to double-check the authenticity of such distributed images by visiting (the website) and reading our verified news straight from the source.”
Born in the town of Ipoh in Peninsular Malaysia, Yeoh was praised at home for her victory.
Michelle Yeoh’s mother wept with joy for her “little princess” as the Malaysian artist became the first Asian to win the Oscar for best actress.
Yeoh’s family and two cabinet ministers were among the supporters who roared with joy over Yeoh’s victory at a special viewing party for the Academy Awards in Malaysia on Monday morning. Her trophy for her performance as a laundromat owner was one of seven Oscars for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” including Best Picture.
Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh accepts the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” on stage at the 95th Annual Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California on March 12, 2023
Janet Yeoh, right, mother of Michelle Yeoh, celebrates after her daughter won the Best Actress category at the 95th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, as seen in a liveview event at a cinema in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, 13 March
Janet Yeoh, 84, praised the actor as intelligent and hardworking and a childlike daughter.
“I love my daughter so much and she has made Malaysia proud,” Yeoh told a press conference after the screening at a cinema in Kuala Lumpur.
‘Malaysia Boleh (Malaysia kan)!’
Janet Yeoh said she was extremely proud of “my little princess,” who wanted to be a ballerina before entering the world of cinema.
Yeoh said she pushed her daughter out of her cocoon despite protests from her late husband, a lawyer she described as “old-fashioned.”
In her acceptance speech, Yeoh dedicated her award to her mother, saying that “all the mothers in the world” were the real superheroes.
Shortly afterwards, Yeoh video chatted with her mother, triumphantly holding up her trophy.
“It was such an overwhelming moment. I was speechless, I cried,” said Vicki Yeoh, the niece of Michelle Yeoh, who attended the special viewing.
‘The nominees are very strong, but we had no doubts. We keep telling her you’re going to win – you’ll be on the podium with the golden man.”
In his statement, Prime Minister Anwar said the government of Malaysia joined the nation in congratulating Yeoh for creating history.
“Combined with this achievement, Michelle’s illustrious and exemplary career in this field will surely continue to be a source of great inspiration and motivation for our homegrown actors and actresses and provide an even greater impetus to the growth of our local industry,” said Anwar in a thesis. “Well done, Michelle!”
Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh, who was also at the viewing, immediately posted on social media: “Most inspirational quote for all of us aunts – “Ladies, don’t ever let anyone tell you you’ve had your best time” – Michelle Yeoh. ‘
Lawmakers Sim Tze Sin and Wee Ka Siong thanked Michelle Yeoh for “breaking glass ceilings” for Asian and Malaysian women.
They praised her as an icon of resilience and perseverance.
Yeoh’s trophy for her performance as a laundromat owner was one of seven Oscars for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (pictured), including Best Picture
Michelle Yeoh, 60, learned ballet before acting. Her first major Hollywood role was playing a Chinese spy in the 1997 Bond film ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ alongside Pierce Brosnan.
She rose to fame for her role in the 2000 martial arts masterpiece ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’, a Best Picture nominee that won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Picture.
Yeoh had more recent success in the 2018 film ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and Marvel’s ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ in 2021.
“We are incredibly proud. We hope she will break more records and win more awards,” said her cousin Kelvin Yeoh.