PETALING JAYA, Sept 28 — Malaysians mocked today Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh after the actress, who previously endorsed Datuk Seri Najib Razak, was announced as the producer of the film version of Billion Dollar Whale, a book about the 1MDB scandal that has engulfed the former prime minister.
After the media reported that SK Global’s Ivanhoe Pictures, the company that co-financed and co-produced Crazy Rich Asians had obtained the film rights to the book with Yeoh — who had starred in that movie — at the helm, many took to venting online against her involvement in Billion Dollar Whale.
Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) executive director Cynthia Gabriel was among the first to criticise Yeoh, questioning the former Bond girl’s integrity and support for Najib and Barisan Nasional before the 14th general election.
Cheap opportunists like this should have no place in the new Malaysia!!— Cynthia Gabriel (@cynthia_gabriel) September 28, 2018
Mana ada integrity? Before regime change she was all over Najib and co...
Michelle Yeoh to co-produce Billion Dollar Whale film https://t.co/49Cq9YEnzU
The backlash dominated the conversation on social media, especially Twitter, with many calling Yeoh an opportunist and branded her involvement as insulting.
It is a slap in the face to Malaysians that Michelle Yeoh is involved in the 1MDB movie. She endorsed Najib, campaigned for his political alliance and even went on a special delegation for him this year to Myanmar. Watch this backlash get bigger.— Oli (@oiwoods) September 28, 2018
hello michelle yeoh ‘was’ pronajib and mca opportunist if im not mistaken right??— serenity (@lasagnia22) September 28, 2018
In 2013, Yeoh, the daughter of former Perak MCA chairman, the late Datuk Yeoh Kian Teik, had faced the same situation when she sang praises of Najib during a gathering.
Last January, the goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme and star of the 2011 Aung San Suu Kyi biopic, The Lady, again praised Najib, this time for his handling of the Rohingya refugee crisis.
Last week, Yeoh uploaded a photograph of herself with Billion Dollar Whale, which was written by Wall Street Journal journalists Tom Wright and Bradley Hope, calling it ä “fascinating book”.
The response to Yeoh’s involvement in the much-anticipated Billion Dollar Whale movie has been almost negative.
Many, however, took jibes at Yeoh in a more light-hearted fashion, and others in more simple, relatable Malaysian terms.
ai-yeoh-yeoh! https://t.co/R2geaCW4qW— CGLopez (@vakhil) September 28, 2018
Pelakon Malaysia jadi produser Billion Dollar Whale....fuyyyy-Yeoh!— KC Nazari (@TerunaWangi) September 28, 2018
Yeoh lah tu.— Nasrolhakim (@NashAgger) September 28, 2018
Michelle Yeoh should producer the Asian version of La La Land.— Shamaine Othman ✊🏼 (@shamaineothman) September 28, 2018
“La La Lang.”
While some took the passive-aggressive route in complimenting her acting.
Michelle Yeoh is such a good actor; I actually thought she was a BN supporter back then, turns out it was just acting.— Louis Liaw (@louisliaw) September 28, 2018
Even Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh and Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil chimed in with many “punny” responses.
Not all Yeohs are created equal 🤣— Hannah Yeoh (@hannahyeoh) September 28, 2018
Yeoh’ve got to be kidding— Fahmi Fadzil (@fahmi_fadzil) September 28, 2018
Whale will she find the time??— Fahmi Fadzil (@fahmi_fadzil) September 28, 2018
I Todt there’d be a better way to do this— Fahmi Fadzil (@fahmi_fadzil) September 28, 2018
Yeoh can say that again 😼 https://t.co/CwBMcWTXJX— soefira 🐈🐾🎡🎭🎪🃏 (@soefira) September 28, 2018
Yeoh reap what yeoh sow or produce 😁— Kem (@Jedi_Micks) September 28, 2018