News From:The Straits Timesposted on 1 April at 10:01 AM
1 April at 10:01 AM

Fans of actor Huang Wenyong furious about rumours of his death

By Charlene Chua

Please leave Huang Wenyong alone. This is the plea from an angry TV viewer who saw the shocking posts online a few days ago.

He was referring to a "cruel hoax" that was played on the 58-year-old veteran actor.

On March 27 on the hardwarezone forum, a thread was started with the heading: "Huang Wenyong passes away".

The post, which was created by wuming73, continued with: "... in Army Series (1983), anyone still remember?"

It referenced the plot of an 80s Channel 8 drama series that Huang had starred in.

This didn't go down well with other netizens.

Wrote fabianlau: "This kind of thing cannot joke one."

Agreed chuanchuan: "Do yourself a favour and don’t post such stuff. Bad for karma."

On March 26, on the blowingwind forum, another netizen caused controversy with a post that read: “Singapore Actor Huang Wenyong Is Dying Of Cancer”.

When contacted, Huang’s manager said that Huang is alive and “fine”, having spoken to him recently.

She also said that he is not accepting any interviews for now as he is on medical leave till the end of next month.

Tribute thread

On the blowingwind forum, the post had read: “We are a group of fans who are extremely shocked and saddened to know that MediaCorp actor, Huang Wenyong, is dying of cancer.

“We want to dedicate this thread to Huang Wenyong and his memory.

“Please send him your prayers, well-wishes, blessings and thoughts. Our thoughts are with him and his family at this difficult time.

“Wenyong, stay strong!”

The irony was that this netizen was likely the victim of someone else’s claims.

When questioned by forum users on the veracity of the news, the netizen posted a link to a comment on the trevvy forum,where “sableboy” wrote on March 26 in a thread about the Star Awards, “Huang Wenyong may win coz he dying soon of cancer.”

Both the threads on the hardwarezone and blowingwind forums have since been deleted.

But some damage has been done.

Comments found on various media websites have pegged these claims as “truths”. Now, Huang’s fans are outraged.

Said 50-year-old housewife Lee Bee Leng: “This is not funny at all. I don’t know why Huang Wenyong was the victim of such a cruel act.

“Can you imagine how his family and relatives must have felt when they heard of it?

“If people want to have an opinion on a celebrity’s acting or looks, that’s okay. But to say someone is dead, dying or has cancer when it’s not true is terrible.”

Businessman Henry Kok, 47, added: “People who have been following reports on Huang Wenyong would have known that he wasn’t in good health.

“But even if it’s just guesswork on these netizens’ part, they can discuss it, why do such bad things?

“Please leave Huang Wenyong alone so that he may recuperate in peace.”

The brouhaha over Huang’s health started last November when he was photographed looking pale and haggard at Channel 8’s 30th Drama Anniversary Show.

He told the media that he had lost about 8kg due to stomach flu that he had had since last September while filming the Channel 8 drama It’s A Wonderful Life.

Earlier this month, Huang had left an audio message to his fans on MediaCorp’s online portal Toggle.

He said: “I am well. All my friends who are concerned about me, please do not worry.
“It has been some time since we’ve met. I have never dreamt that I would fall ill, even though I am very health conscious and exercise regularly.

“After this experience, I realise just how important being healthy is.

“During this time, I feel sorry for not being able to respond, despite receiving so many well wishes. Sorry and thank you everyone.

“Please don’t forget to take care of your body. I will try my best as well.

“Hopefully, I’ll be able to return to work, film more great shows and entertain every one.”

This article first appeared in The New Paper on March 30, 2013.

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