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Public holiday in Malaysia after Michelle Yeoh's Oscar win? Fake news, say government officials

Public holiday in Malaysia after Michelle Yeoh's Oscar win? Fake news, say government officials

Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress (Photo: AFP/Angela Weiss)

No public holiday was announced for Wednesday (Mar 15) in Malaysia following Michelle Yeoh's Oscar win.

This clarification from government officials came after a manipulated image of a news article was widely shared online. 

The image, misusing the identity of Malaysian news outlet The Star, showed Yeoh giving her acceptance speech after she was named the Academy Award winner for Best Actress.

The spoofed news article was also headlined: "PM Anwar declares public holiday on Wednesday: 'This is the pride of a nation!'"

"The information shared through screenshots of news that went viral on social media is false," the Prime Minister's Department said on Monday evening. It also urged members of the public to not spread or share false or unconfirmed information. 

Star Media Group, which owns The Star's online portal, also alerted the public to the fake image on Monday evening. 

"It has come to the company's attention that a picture, depicting a manipulated image which misuses The Star's identity, is making the rounds on social media," it said.

The company added that the image was a misrepresentation of The Star's actual news coverage.

"A check on the Lifestyle section of The Star’s portal, which houses the Entertainment category, confirms that no such article was carried amid the slew of news on Yeoh’s historic Best Actress win at the 2023 Oscars," said the company. 

Yeoh was on Monday named Best Actress at the Oscars for playing Evelyn Wang in the sci-fi comedy film Everything Everywhere All At Once. 

The 60-year-old is the first Malaysian and Asian actress to win the accolade in the 95 years that the Academy Awards has been in existence.

The Ipoh-born actress edged out fellow nominees Cate Blanchett (Tar), Ana de Armas (Blonde), Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie) and Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans).

Among the politicians in Malaysia who lauded Yeoh for her historic win was Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. 

In a Facebook post, Anwar congratulated the actress and paid tribute to her illustrious career. 

“In creating history by being not just the first Malaysian but the very first Asian actress to win in this category, we take enormous pride in her achievement, adding to a long list of successes and capping a critically acclaimed acting career spanning decades.

“Coupled with this latest accomplishment, Michelle’s illustrious and exemplary career in this field will certainly continue to be a source of great inspiration and motivation to our homegrown actors and actresses and provide even greater impetus to the growth of our local industry,” he wrote. 

Many Malaysians also took to the Internet to congratulate Yeoh, with the popular local phrase conveying encouragement, “Malaysia boleh (can)”, flooding social media platforms.

Source: Agencies/CNA/fh(zl)


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