#Showbiz: The year Malaysia struck gold at the Oscars

MALAYSIA'S journey to Hollywood reached its pinnacle on March 13, 2023 when Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh won Best Actress for the action-comedy Everything, Everywhere, All At Once.

The Ipoh-born actress' victory was the culmination of a six-decade journey to the United States' cinema capital which began in 1962 when comedian Ibrahim Pendek landed a role in the adventure film The Spiral Road.

Yeoh also tied the knot with her longtime fiancé Datuk Jean Todt in Geneva, Switzerland on July 27.


Malaysian films continued to shine locally and internationally, and on Feb 20, the science-fiction movie Imaginur premiered.

Directed by Nik Amir Mustapha and starring Beto Kusyairy and Diana Danielle, the story of illness and recovery collected RM6 million in a month.

March 16 saw Mechamato The Animated Series become the first animation series outside of Japan to win the Anime Fan Award at the Tokyo Anime Awards Festival (TAAF) 2023.

Another action heroine emerged on May 4, mixed martial arts exponent Farali Khan.

In Tujuh Dua Belas, she played a fearless aunt who went on a journey to rescue her nephew and other children from a human trafficking syndicate.

In Polis Evo 3 and War On Terror, she played tough police officers.


Anwar: The Untold Story premiered on May 18, the first film about an incumbent Malaysian Prime Minister.

Farid Kamil played Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the joint Malaysian-Indonesian production which also starred Indonesian actress Acha Septriasa as Anwar's wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Polis Evo 3 premiered in cinemas on May 25.

The action comedy became the country's top selling movie in the genre, collecting RM50 million at the box office in 24 days.

Directed by Syafiq Yusof, it saw Zizan Razak and Shaheizy Sam reprise their roles as Inspector Sani and Inspector Khai.


Visionary Dain Said continued to win international awards, and on May 30 he won Best Film Director for his supernatural movie Harum Malam at the 8th Horrorant Film Festival Fright Nights held in Greece.

Pulau was a hit on March 8 and WebTVAsia's horror film scored big in Cambodia, the highest-grossing Malaysian movie in the kingdom.

On July 26, YouTube filmmaker and cancer survivor Jared Lee did the country proud at the San Diego Comic Con 2023.

His short film Horologist won Best Animation at the San Diego International Independent Film Festival, part of SDCC 2023.


Actor and director Megat Sharizal saw his newest film Walid open in New York City, the United States on July 28.

The film about human trafficking starred Puteri Qaseh and Megat Shahrizal himself.

The 1987 horror Rahsia was given a fresh reinterpretation on Aug 19, courtesy of its director Othman Hafsham's son Shamyl Othman.

Written by Alfie Palermo, it starred Nabila Huda Suhaimi, Eman Manan, Marsha Milan Londoh and Fikry Ibrahim.


The country's patriotic film Malbatt: Misi Bakara premiered on Aug 24 and collected RM26 million in 11 days.

Directed by Adrian Teh and starring Bront Palarae, Shaheizy Sam and Dafi Ismail Sabri, it was based on the true story of Malaysia's United Nations peacekeeping troops who saved the lives of American soldiers in Somalia in 1992.

On Oct 20, Amanda Nell Eu's Cannes-winning film Tiger Stripes premiered in local cinemas, but she was not happy because the Censorship Board censored several scenes deemed sensitive to Malaysians.

By Nov 1, horror movie Sumpahan Jerunei which debuted in cinemas on July 23, collected 15 international film awards.

Directed by Jason Chong, it won Best Feature Film in the Toronto Independent Film Festival of Canada.


On Nov 9, Singaporean director M. Raihan Halim's comedy La Luna premiered in cinemas.

The movie which starred Sharifah Amani told the story of a Western educated entrepreneur who shook up her late grandparents' village.

On Nov 23, War On Terror: KL Anarki with a star-studded cast comprising Aedy Ashraf, Farali Khan and Adlin Aman Ramlie opened in cinemas.

Co-directed by Kroll Azree and Frank See, it was about a group of terrorists who planned to bomb the heart of Kuala Lumpur.


On Nov 30, Yasu and Bea Tanaka released Magik about a deaf girl who possesses a special gift that saves her village, a tourist attraction.

The breakout star was 11-year-old Qisya Hairulzain.

On Dec 14, Abang Adik premiered in Malaysia. The award-winning Malaysian film directed by Jin Ong won three awards at the Cinema At The Sea Okinawa Pan-Pacific International Film Festival in December and also won Most Anticipated Chinese-Language Film at China's Golden Rooster International Film Festival in November.


The country bid farewell to veteran singer Datin Paduka Julie Sudiro, 80, on Feb 5 and Mentor 3 runner-up Chaq Anam, who died in a car accident aged 35 on March 21.

Rocker Syed Ismail Syed Ibrahim of XPDC died at 55 on April 27 while actor Ridzuan Hashim died at 61 on May 4 and screen legend Wahid Satay died at 93 on May 22.

On June 21, legendary crooner Rohana Jalil died at 68 while Shaik Karim of Blues Gang, 70, died on July 10 and Film Directors' Association of Malaysia (FDAM) president Dr Ahmad Ibrahim died at 74 on July 14.

On Sept 11, veteran actress Habsah Bakar died at 67 and the following day, veteran newscaster Raymond Goh died aged 62.

Gerak Khas actor Majed Salleh died at 65 on Oct 6, singer Badrol Izhan Yeop Abdullah of Indigo died at 48 on Oct 26, actor Badrul Muhayat died at 55 on Oct 28, and Jinbara vocalist Shamsul Bakhtiar Zakaria died at 53 on Nov 8.

On Nov 15, nasyid singer Suhaimi Saad died at 43, on Dec 17, veteran singer Ibnor Riza died at 62, and the following day percussionist Lewis Pragasam died at 66 and veteran pop singer Datuk M Daud Kilau died at 85.


The country's biggest concert happened on Nov 22 at Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil when Coldplay captivated over 75,000 concertgoers.

Another British band Muse performed in the stadium on July 29, while Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza was the guest artiste at Indian musician AR Rahman's Jan 28 concert.

British pop group Blue entertained at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Feb 10 while Croatian pianist Maksim Mrvica came on Feb 14, British singer Sting sang on March 20 and Indonesia's Afgan sang on Dec 2.

Dewan Filharmonik Petronas had concerts featuring Stacy Anam on Feb 25, Alif Satar And The Locos on Aug 26, Datuk M. Nasir on Nov 18 and a tribute to Datuk Sudirman Arshad with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra on Sept 16.


Bukit Jalil's Axiata Arena had concerts featuring Eason Chan on May 12, Ella on June 10, Jacky Cheung on Aug 13, Judika on Oct 22, the Wynners (Nov 4) and Aina Abdul on Nov 18.

Zepp KL had concerts by Indonesia's Samsons (April 29), Datuk Seri Rossa (July 13), British singer Bruno Major (Aug 20), and Syamel and Ernie Zakri in Konsert Patah Hati 2.0 (Nov 25).

Resorts World Genting's Arena Of Stars had concerts by Search (Aug 12), Ronan Keating (Aug 19), Wang Leehom (Nov 10) and Air Supply (Dec 3) while Istana Budaya hosted Datuk Awie in his first keroncong concert (Aug 5), Datuk Zainalabidin (Sept 30), and Lah Ahmad (Oct 7),

Hip-hop guru Joe Flizzow marked 25 years in music at JioSpace, Petaling Jaya on July 15, Vanessa Reynauld represented Malaysia in Sing China on Aug 7, Jeryl Lee won The Next 2023 on Oct 3, Faizal Tahir marked 17 years in music at World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur on Sept 2, and Datuk Sheila Majid performed there on March 18.


At the Mega Star Arena, Ruffedge had a concert on Aug 20, followed by Raisa (Sept 23), Yuna (Oct 22), Noah (Nov 11), and Radja (Nov 12).

Stadium Melawati in Shah Alam witnessed two major concerts by Anuar Zain on Oct 28 and Wings on Dec 16.

On Feb 9, former Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin became a radio announcer on Hot FM and on March 16, Ella launched her autobiography Rockers Juga Manusia.

March 12 saw actor Kamal Adli suffer serious head injuries after being attacked at the Singapore Expo and on May 31, National Film Development Corporation (Finas) chief executive officer Professor Dr Md Nasir Ibrahim was removed from his post and replaced by Datuk Azmir Saifuddin Mutalib.


On June 9, Persatuan Seniman Malaysia (Seniman) urged the government to blacklist stand-up comedian Jocelyn Chia of the United States for distasteful remarks on the MH370 tragedy.

On June 22, comedian Shuib Muhammad tied the knot with Watie Hanafiah, while on July 5, the lawsuit by actress Puteri Sarah Liyana Megat Kamaruddin against her former husband actor-director Syamsul Yusof's wife Ira Kazar was amicably settled out of court.

On July 21, comedian Bell Ngasri struck gold at Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian 35 (ABPBH 35) while on July 22, the Central Agency for Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes (Puspal) banned British band The 1975 from performing in the country.

In the Good Vibes Festival from July 21 to 23, the band's lead singer Matt Healy kissed one of his bandmates, angering many Malaysians.


On Aug 3, celebrity chef Datuk Redzuawan Ismail or Chef Wan underwent chemotherapy after being diagnosed with lymphoma while on July 4, veteran actress Datuk Fauziah Nawi was awarded the Darjah Panglima Jasa Negara (PJN) which carries the title of Datuk by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.

On Aug 27, the inaugural TikTok Awards Malaysia 2023 was held and the Creator Of The Year was food entrepreneur Khairul Aming.

On Sept 17, celebrity couple Farid Kamil and Diana Danielle confirmed that they were working towards getting back in a relationship following their divorce a month earlier, while on Nov 29, singer and composer Yasin Sulaiman was acquitted on three charges of drug use by the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court.

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