'Don't be a traitor, Michelle Yeoh'

Michelle Yeoh at the Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong this year. The Malaysian actress was criticised for accepting an invitation to attend a mammoth dinner organised by a group of Selangor businessmen.

SHE is being flamed, not for poor acting, but for accepting a dinner invitation.

Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh, 49, was the target of netizens after reports emerged that she had accepted an invitation to attend a mammoth dinner organised by a group of Selangor businessmen, The Star reported.

The dinner, to be held at West Port, Klang, on Saturday, will also be attended by Prime Minister Najib Razak and Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) president Chua Soi Lek.

Netizens took to social networking sites to criticise Yeoh after an unofficial Facebook page in Chinese, "We Fully Support PKR", highlighted a local Chinese daily report about the event.

The page, which was set up in 2010 and has over 300,000 "Likes", posted a message on April 12 addressed to Yeoh, which said: "You were once Malaysian people's pride but now no longer."

The anonymous author of the post then went on to ask Yeoh if she had "any idea how her fellow countrymen live" before urging the 49-year-old international actress to reconsider her decision and "not become a traitor".

As of Tuesday, the post had received close to 7,000 "likes" and over 1,300 comments, most of which condemned the actress.

But others, including her father Mr Yeoh Kian Tiek, came to her defence, reminding netizens that she had the right to support any political party and the freedom to decide whichever dinner or event she wanted to attend.

Netizen Jovis Low commented: "We should respect every voter, instead of criticising them and claiming that they shouldn't vote for BN. That's the true spirit of democracy."


"It is her decision and they should respect it," added Mr Yeoh, an active Perak MCA politician, who claimed to be unaware of the online criticisms.

The event is expected to host 55,000 people in a bid to gain entry into the Malaysian Book of Records as the largest sit-in dinner in the country.

The dinner is being jointly organised by prominent businessmen, including Mr Philip Siew, Mr Ta Kin Yan, Mr Abu Sahid Mohamed and Mr Alex Chuah Poh Khiang. Mr Chuah said the actress had agreed to attend the dinner because she will be in Malaysia at that time.

Meanwhile, Yeoh said she is "carefully considering" marrying her partner, International Automobile Federation president Jean Todt, this year.

Talk of the couple's engagement began almost as soon as they paired off in 2004, when he said he had proposed to her.

Last month, she said she was deciding on a wedding date with her 67-year old partner, Ming Pao Daily News reported.

Asked if she meant they would wed this year, she said: "I'm carefully considering it. In fact, he has proposed to me several times, and as a woman, I'm happy to have someone who loves me so much.

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