The uncle of award-winning Ilo Ilo actress Yeo Yann Yann has died in Pontian, Malaysia, after he lost his footing on a boat and fell into the sea on Saturday evening (Nov 30).
Witnesses say the 75-year-old fisherman had gone out to sea to check on his traps on Saturday when he fell into the water at about 7.40pm, just as the tides were rising, reported Sin Chew Daily via The Straits Times.
Fishing folk nearby immediately mounted a rescue but failed to find him. A massive search and rescue operation was launched and Mr Yeo's body was discovered on Sunday morning (Dec 1) at 8.15am.
Family members of the deceased Mr Yeo told reporters that he was the oldest sibling in the family, while Ms Yeo's father is the third eldest.
The second eldest passed away previously. Ms Yeo said her parents will be helping her uncle's family with the funeral arrangements. The Singapore-based actress was in Kuala Lumpur, bogged down with work commitments.
Ms Yeo told reporters that her uncle was a cheerful man, always ready with a joke, and that he was one of the first to call her mum to pass on his congratulations after Ms Yeo won Best Supporting Actress at the 50th Golden Horse Awards held in Taiwan for her role in the film Ilo Ilo.
The film, which explores a family's relationship with their Filipino domestic helper during the 1997 financial crisis, is the first Singapore film ever to win the prestigious Best Feature Film honour at the Golden Horse Awards.Directed by Anthony Chen, the film also picked up Best Feature Film, Best New Director and Best Original Screenplay at the awards.