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    A historic achievement

    Lyna Mohammad

    Malaysian Michelle Yeoh made showbiz history at the Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, after she was named the winner of the best actress award.

    Malaysia’s news agency The Star reported that the Ipoh-born star beat Australian actress and two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, who was said to be her closest contender, for the coveted acting prize for her performance in Everything Everywhere All at Once.

    The Star also reported Yeoh became the first actress of Asian descent to win in the best actress category in the academy’s 95-year history and is also the first Malaysian to be nominated and win in the Academy Awards.

    Yeoh had her social media platforms full of congratulatory messages from her fans, most of whom were Malaysians including Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim who in a Twitter post yesterday said that Yeoh’s victory has made the country and Malaysians proud.

    Meanwhile, Malaysians and Bruneians here were no less excited and proud of her historical achievement in the silver screen industry and the Bulletin spoke to some Malaysians as well as local artistes who see her as an inspiration in their acting careers.

    Malaysian Grace Tan commented that this shows that Malaysian women can shine in the global arena and that this good news could not have come any better time as International Women’s Day was just celebrated.

    Best supporting actor Ke Huy Quan, best actress Michelle Yeoh, best actor Brendan Fraser and best supporting actress Jamie Lee Curtis pose with their Oscar trophies. PHOTO: AFP
    ABOVE & BELOW: Grace Tan; Ellin Chong Nee Chin; Deputy Malaysian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Nur Ezira Mahadi; and Conrad Boyd Mohsin. PHOTOS: LYNA MOHAMAD

    ABOVE & BELOW: Kee Taufek Kee Harrith; Kannan Govindasamy; and Imelda Farrah Zohre Abdullah

    “Thanks Michelle Yeoh for putting Malaysia on the world map and all of us Malaysians are super proud of you!” she said.

    IAM Food Enterprise Farm Director and Persatuan Warganegara Malaysia (PWM) Deputy President Ellin Chong Nee Chin said, as a model and motivation for Asian women, especially older women, Yeoh has shown that age is just a number and that with determination and perseverance, anything is possible.

    Her inspiring performances on screen have touched the hearts of millions around the world, and they are proud to call her one of their own. Her incredible talent and hard work have been recognised by the academy, and they as Malaysians residing and doing business in Brunei are thrilled to see her receive this prestigious award.

    “Warmest congratulations on your well-deserved winning of the Academy Award for best actress, Golden Globe Award and the Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role. Thank you for being a shining example of strength, grace, and resilience. Your accomplishments are an inspiration to us all, and we are honoured to celebrate this momentous occasion with you,” said Chong.

    Meanwhile, Deputy Malaysian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Nur Ezira Mahadi also shared her words of congratulations with the Bulletin, saying, “Heartiest congratulations to Michelle Yeoh for shattering the glass ceiling! Your perseverance and resilience are truly inspiring. We Malaysians are so proud of your outstanding achievement.”

    Her colleague, First Secretary Mohd Rizal bin Saliken, shared the same sentiment of pride. “I feel proud to see a fellow Malaysian stepping to an international level and this is evidence of how the performing arts industry in Malaysia has developed over the years.”

    Abdul Razak Hotel Apartments Duty Manager Conrad Boyd Mohsin, a Sabahan who has been working in the Sultanate for more than 20 years was quite excited when he first saw the news through the social media platform.

    “I feel proud as a fellow Malaysian. After her involvement for many years and acting in box office films, it is one in a million to be given this award for the best actress on a foreign soil. This achievement is based on her latest movie, where she portrays her strong character, capability and passion, especially for an Asian actress.”

    Yeoh was a female warrior in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, was fantastic as a Bond Girl and a serious mother in Crazy Rich Asians, to name a few her roles, but this particular movie, Everything Everywhere All at Once, is the real evidence as it turned out to be a massive hit all over the world, said another Sabahan, Mulia Hotel Sales Manager Kee Taufek Kee Harrith.

    In addition to her Oscar win, Kee Taufek also noted that, after so many years, Yeoh finally earned her first Golden Globe award, becoming the first Malaysian to win best performance by an actress in a motion picture – musical or comedy at the Golden Globe. “As the saying goes, she proves to the whole world that age is just a number. I do hope that she will inspire many Malaysian actors to be the best, just like Michelle Yeoh.”

    Meanwhile, fellow Malaysian national Kannan Govindasamy commented, “One can reach the pinnacle of success and yet remain so humble. Truly inspirational and proud of you.”

    Aside from Malaysians, local Brunei artistes were also excited to see their favourite Asian actress making her name in the industry on the American soil and this includes Imelda Farrah Zohre Abdullah, who is no stranger in the local drama scene and hosting programmes.

    “She’s the living proof that dreams do come true. Don’t let age stop you from dreaming.

    That’s what Michelle Yeoh is doing. From her younger days to today, she never failed to amaze me with her strong acting character and I get to take tips from watching her movies too.”

    Local artiste and actress Monasalieana HMS said, “Heartiest congratulations Michelle Yeoh on your win! Nothing is impossible. Dreams do come true.”

    As fellow Asians, this is a proud moment and she is such an inspiration to all women especially those in the industry, added Monasalieana, who wished Yeoh well and prayed that she will be blessed with continued success.

    Yeoh’s victory at the Oscars is seen as a watershed moment for the Asian community in the entertainment industry, said The Star, and when she was asked last week by MSNBC if winning the award was important, she responded that winning the Academy Awards is not just an achievement for her and that it matters a lot.

    “And it doesn’t just matter to me. It’s shining the light on a part of the world, of people that look like me who’s never been included.”

    The Star also reported that clinching the Oscar is the highest recognition for an actor on the international stage and is a great way for Yeoh to celebrate her 40th year since stepping into the spotlight

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