(CNN) — Michael Yeow’s historic Oscar win caused jubilation in his native Malaysia this week, but sparked false rumors that a national holiday had been declared, which the country’s government immediately denied.
In a statement on its Facebook page on Monday, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s office denied a doctored picture that was circulating on chat apps.
An image dated March 13, 2023 and seen by CNN showed a doctored news article from Malaysian newspaper The Star: “Prime Minister Anwar declares public holiday this Wednesday: ‘It’s a nation’s pride!'”.
It appeared to refer to Anwar’s earlier statement congratulating Yeo on his victory.
A statement from Anwar’s office said claims of a public Oscar holiday were not true. He said the news was false. “The public is requested not to spread or share any false or misleading information.”
Star Media Group, which runs an online English-language news portal and publishes a daily newspaper, said the film “misrepresents (its) actual news coverage”.
“It has come to the notice of the company that an image depicting a doctorate misusing the identity of The Star is circulating on social media,” the group said in a statement.
“Star Media Group would like to reiterate that it has not released any news regarding the March 15, 2023 holiday notification.
“The public is urged to double-check the authenticity of images being circulated by visiting our website and reading our verified news stories directly from the source.”
Michael Yeo’s win at the Oscars
Yeow, 60, this week became the first Asian woman to win an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her role in “Everything Everywhere All At Once.”
Born in Ipoh, Peninsular Malaysia, Yeow began his career in Hong Kong action films.
He rose to international fame after starring in the 1997 James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies” and the 2000 Oscar-winning “The Tiger and the Dragon” directed by Ang Lee.
His victory speech, attended by his 84-year-old mother Janet, was screened live at an event in the capital Kuala Lumpur on Monday.
Pictures of the room in applause went viral, and Yow also dedicated her Oscar moment to her mother.
“I take this home with you,” Yeoh said in his acceptance speech. “She is now in Malaysia watching with my family and friends. I love you guys. I bring this home to them,” he said.
His mother said, “Like Malaysia! (Malaysia can do it)” in a subsequent video chat with his successful daughter.
“I am very happy… I am proud of my daughter. She is very hardworking,” her mother told local reporters. “I will ask her to come home (to Malaysia) and celebrate very soon. It is my birthday next month.”
Yeo’s daughter-in-law Vicky was also present, and she called it “an amazing moment”.