‘It hurts… I have done no wrong’

Pop icon Siti Nurhaliza says she did not wreck Datuk K’s marriage

Siti Nurhaliza and Datuk Khalid Muhammad Jiwa during their engagement announcement.

WITH her wedding just a few days away, this should have been the happiest period of her life.

Yet, Malaysian pop diva Siti Nurhaliza faces a sour note in her marriage to Malaysian businessman Datuk Khalid Muhammad Jiwa.

Some people have been accusing her of breaking up his first marriage.

So she decided to set the record straight at a news conference yesterday in Petaling Jaya.

She declared that she was no home-wrecker and did not steal another woman’s husband.

‘It hurts when people label me with all kinds of names. But what can I do except to prepare myself to face them,’ she told the Malaysian media.

She said she only got to know Datuk Khalid, 47, after her Royal Albert Hall concert in London in April last year.

‘I have done no wrong and it is better to keep silent and be patient,’ said Siti, who was present with Datuk Khalid at the press conference.

She was quoted by The Star as saying: ‘The people who would know the real situation are the Jawi (Federal Territory Religious Council) officials.’

Allegations that she broke up the marriage of Datuk Khalid and Tengku Zawyah Tengku Izham, 43, have been growing since Siti announced her wedding plans last month.

And it got worse when the singer decided not to ‘retaliate’.

Siti, who was her usual radiant self, said she had now picked up the courage to face the adverse perceptions some people had about her love life.

She said that Datuk Khalid was her ‘first true love’. And what did her ‘true love’ have to say?

‘In all sincerity and as a Muslim, I’d like to say that my relationship with Siti started after the divorce,’ he said.

‘Siti had in no way any connection with the divorce. If you check with Jawi, which carried out their investigations, you will know that this is true.’

He said it was unfair for people to criticise Siti since their relationship blossomed after her concert in London last year.

‘I was divorced a couple of years ago, long before Siti came into the picture. So it’s unfair for people to blame her for the break-up of my marriage,’ he said.

He said he had divorced Tengku Zawyah in 1998 due to certain problems but they remarried within three months for the sake of their children and because ‘I wanted to give it another chance’.

‘However, I divorced her later because there were transgressions against the agreement of the marriage, though I must admit I have to take some of the blame too,’ he said.

It was reported that he had performed the takliq (oral declaration of divorce) in February 2004 and the court granted the divorce on 12 Mar last year.

Datuk Khalid said he first fell in love with Siti after a visit to her home in Kuala Lipis.

It was her attire that caught his attention. She was dressed simply in a batik sarong and T-shirt.

‘For me, it was amazing that a celebrity could be so unpretentious,’ The Star quoted him as saying.

He added that when he saw her walking up the stairs, he had strong feelings for her, prompting a reporter to remark: ‘When you saw her thighs…’

This prompted laughter all round.

Siti recalled receiving a call from him while he was on a flight one day and wondered: ‘Could it be that he has feelings for me?’

Datuk Khalid said his courtship with Siti was ‘a difficult one’ as she was a public figure and they could not go dating or hold hands, for instance.

‘Besides, I have failed once in my marriage and I wanted to make sure I don’t fail this time,’ he said.

He dismissed reports that the wedding would cost more than RM12 million ($5.2m). He said that as far as he knew, it had not even touched RM1m.

‘Some of the wedding paraphernalia, from the tiaras to the wedding dresses, are sponsored,’ he said.

‘I am not a rich businessman and the speculations have portrayed a different image of me. People would think I’m riak (arrogant) for holding such a lavish wedding ceremony.’

The couple’s akad nikah (solemnisation) will be held this Monday at a mosque in Kuala Lumpur. On 28 Aug, they will host a reception for about 2,200 guests at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Ex-wife: I don’t need Siti to be mother for my children

THE ex-wife of Datuk Khalid Muhammad Jiwa, Tengku Zawyah Tengku Izham said she felt slighted that Siti Nurhaliza had voiced her willingness to be a mother to her four sons.

She told Malaysian newspapers: ‘I am still alive and able to care for my children. And so I do not need anyone to take over these responsibilities.’

Meanwhile, Siti has apologised for hurting Tengku Zawyah’s feelings. She told Berita Harian Malaysia: ‘I humbly ask for forgiveness if what was reported had hurt her. I did not intend to, but because of the situation, I gave a short answer. My answer may not have been properly expressed, leading to misunderstandings. I have no intention of taking over as the boys’ mother.’

The misunderstanding arose from a comment Siti made at a press conference last month.

Siti said that she was prepared to be a good mother to Datuk K’s sons from his first marriage.

Tengku Zawyah, 43, told reporters earlier this week: ‘My children and I have accepted the situation I want to show them that their mother is not weak. As for me, even though I feel hurt, I will not hurt anyone else.’

She and Datuk K were married in 1985 and have four sons aged 19, 16, 14, and 8.

‘I can stop them from spending time with their father.

‘But I will not allow anyone else to take their love. I am still alive and still able to care for them.’

She and three of the four children will most likely be out of the country during the wedding celebrations.

She said the family planned some time ago to holiday in Melbourne.

This means that son Mohamed Asyraf, 14 will be the only child at the wedding.