The Malaysian government has confirmed on social media that the country will not get to enjoy a public holiday following actress Michelle Yeoh‘s historic Best Actress win at the Academy Awards.
The official account for the Jabatan Perdana Menteri (which translates to the Prime Minister’s Department) announced the news on Monday night (March 13) following a falsified article that had been circulating on social media.
The falsified article, an edited screenshot of a report from The Star, claimed that Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim had declared Wednesday (March 15) as a public holiday in celebration of Michelle Yeoh’s achievement. The falsified headline of the spoofed article reads “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 night. It then urged members of the public to not spread or share false or unconfirmed information.
Maklumat melalui tangkap layar berita yang tular di media sosial tersebut adalah 𝐏𝐀𝐋𝐒𝐔.
Orang ramai diminta agar tidak menyebarkan atau berkongsi sebarang maklumat yang tidak pasti atau palsu.
TIDAK PASTI, JANGAN KONGSI! pic.twitter.com/OcRPw8OkMJ
— Jabatan Perdana Menteri (@jpmgov_) March 13, 2023
Star Media Group, which owns The Star, has since acknowledged the falsified article going around and issued its own statement, writing: “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.”
The company added: “This is 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.”
Michelle Yeoh won the award for Best Actress at yesterday’s Academy Awards, making her the first Malaysian and Asian to do so. She was award the prize for her role as Evelyn Wang in the hit A24 absurdist film Everything Everywhere All At Once.
Since her win, Malaysians have been celebrating her accomplishment, with Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim saying the nation “take[s] enormous pride in her achievement”. Other figures that have congratulated the actress include actors Henry Golding, Simu Liu and more. See more reactions to Yeoh’s historic win here.