Michelle Yeoh’s historic Oscar win sparked jubilation this week in her native Malaysia, but also sparked false rumors of a national holiday being declared – something the country’s government quickly dispelled.
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s office, in a statement posted on its Facebook page on Monday, revealed a fake image that was circulating on chat apps.
The photo, dated March 13 and seen by CNN, showed a fake news article from Malaysia’s The Star newspaper with the headline: “Prime Minister Anwar declares public holiday on Wednesday: ‘This is the pride of the nation!'” ”
It seems to indicate previous statement Anwar from Anwar congratulates Yoh on her victory.
The statement from Anwar’s office said there was “no truth” to the allegations regarding the official Oscars hiatus. “The news is fake,” she said. “The public is requested not to post or share any unconfirmed or false information.”
Star Media Group, which runs an English-language online news portal and publishes a daily newspaper, also said the photo was a “misrepresentation of its actual news coverage”.
“It has come to the company’s attention that the image, which depicts a manipulated image that misuses the star’s identity, is circulating on social media,” the group said in a statement.
“Star Media Group would like to reiterate that it has not published any news regarding the announcement of March 15, 2023 as a public holiday.
“We urge the public to verify the authenticity of any such images circulating by visiting (our website) and reading our verified news, directly from the source.”
Yeoh, 60, became the first Asian woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in Everything Everywhere at Once.
Born in Ipoh City in Peninsular Malaysia, Yeoh got her start in a series of action films in Hong Kong.
She rose to international fame after starring in the James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies” in 1997 and the Oscar-winning Ang Lee film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” in 2000.
Her victory speech was shown live at an event in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, on Monday, in the presence of her 84-year-old mother, Janet.
Footage of the room bursting into cheers went viral, as Yoh dedicated her moment at the Oscars to her mother.
“I’m taking this home with her,” Yoh said in her acceptance speech. “She’s now watching in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, with my family and friends. I love you guys. I’m bringing you this home,” she said.
Her mother cried “Malaysia Poleh! (Malaysia Can Do It)” in a later video chat with her triumphant daughter.
“I am so happy… I am proud of my daughter. She works so hard,” her mother told local reporters. “I will be calling her to come home (to Malaysia) and celebrate very soon. Next month is my birthday.”
Also in attendance was Yoh’s niece Vicki, who called it an “amazing moment”.
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