My stepmum, my ’sis’, my idol

By Sylvia Toh

August 30, 2006

Siti’s new stepson comes to terms to his star mum

THE teenage boy left the ballroom to go to the toilet and found his way blocked by a spike of tape-recorders and microphones.

— KUA CHEE SIONG
Mohd Ashraf Khalid, 14, the third of Datuk Khalid Mohamad Jiwa’s four boys, was pressed up against the wall and good-naturedly answered a few questions before his security located him and snatched him from the jaws of the media.

At last night’s wedding dinner for his father and singer Siti Nurhaliza, he said: ‘I have absolutely no problem with my father marrying Siti. When your father loves, you cannot refuse nor deny.’

The self-confessed fan of the singer said a lot of untruths had been published, and he would rather ‘look upon Siti as a sister than as a step-mother’.

He was the only one of the children from his father’s prevous marriage at the wedding. His mother and brothers are in Melbourne.

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Siti waves from the balcony of the KLCC earlier in the day
Meanwhile, back in the ballroom of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), 2,500 guests joined the newly-minted couple in their wedding reception, described last week as the wedding of the year and last night as the wedding of the decade.

How do you make and collect 2,500 friends?

A wag quipped: ‘When you have been in the entertainment
business 10 years, it’s not hard.’

Variously called Asia’s Celine Dion and Malaysia’s pop princess, the impossibly pretty kampung girl with the big beautiful voice, Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin, 27, has been enchanting millions of fans at home and Singapore and Indonesia for the last 11 years.

Last night, in KLCC – make that KLSiti – no one was more enchanted than her week-old husband, Datuk K, or, as she has referred to him, ‘my loved one’.

FANS WITH FLAGS

The day began at 2pm when a trickle of fans assembled at the barricades outside the centre, waving litte Siti flags.

More flags being waved outside the convention centre by fans.
Word was that Plan B would be activated at 5pm. No, there would be no horse-drawn carriage bearing the mister and his missus to the red carpet.

Siti would instead wave to her friends from the third-floor balcony (Plan B).

As Siti herself explained later to the media during the photo session: ‘We did not get approval for the horse and carriage and I am very disappointed not to get close to my fans. I cried a little.

‘Plan B was wave from the balcony, but I hope to be able to meet them in my hometown (Kuala Lipis) next week (at another reception).’

She obviously felt the fans needed reassuring for she added: ‘Tell my fans not to worry about me, Datuk K is a very caring man and he looks after me very well.’

There have been column inches longer than her wedding gown train and the red carpet combined about Siti and the Datuk and the ex-wife and the threat of rotten egg protests and TV3 paying RM5 million ($2.1m) for the exclusive live telecast of the wedding.

We cannot confirm any of the above rumours but, in truth, one of her gowns did cost RM300,000, because of the 8,888 embedded pearls.

The number 8 is reportedly her hubby’s favourite number.

The gown was a gift from designer Mr Khoon Hooi and jeweller Rafflesia.

‘By the way, her shoes are Loewe,’ said Khoon Hooi, of Penang.

The guest list looked like it was really 2,200 bulked up to 2,500 by TV3 crew.

TV3 was everywhere, exclusively. As a result, the rest of the media were shunted from pillar to post, up and down floors, through lengths of corridors, and told to come back at 4.30pm, 5pm, 6pm, 7.45pm, 9pm.

No wonder even the celebrated couple looked a bit tired at times.

GLAMOUR GUESTS

Guests starting arriving at 7.30pm and queued to get their table number and a door gift – a Siti Nurhaliza CD.

How do you spot the VVIPs and Malaysian royalty? Tuns and Tan Sris and Datins do not pick up door gifts, so they proceed right to their tables.

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Royalty is preceded by fanfare, bodyguards and distance. You keep yours, that is.

In the film Entrapment, Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones tried to heist bank transfers in the Petronas twin Towers.

Last night, KLCC next door out-Knoxxed Fort Knox in gilt and goldthreads on guests and in decor. The whole ballroom was transformed into a magical garden.

Singapore was represented by Taufik Batisah and his mother, invited by Siti.

‘I drove up this morning,’ Taufik said. He is busy with his next album.

You singing for her? No.

How about composing for her then? He has been busy, writing seven of the songs for his second record.

All heads turned when the blonde in a blaze of fuchsia silk walked in. The red of the carpet paled beneath her ballgown – diva Anita Sarawak, and her husband Mr Mohamad Mahathir.

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Siti Nurhaliza and Datuk Khalid Mohamad Jiwa.
‘Is this all right?’ Anita teased. ‘If they had said traditional dress, of course I would have worn one.’

She, too, wore many diamonds, each hand-picked for her collection Cinta, soon available for you to love too.

She was not one of the guest performers – Ning Baizura, Kris Dayanti and others were – because it was too short notice. ‘And I am a professional.’

Her husband interrupted: ‘Let me tell you the real reason. I don’t want to sit alone while she goes up and sing. I like to have my wife next to me.’

All night long, Datuk Khalid and his wife Datin Siti (though she won’t use the title) sat next to each other on the dais for the bersanding ceremony to receive blessings and prayers.

Then she left him, for a performance that took everybody by surprise, especially Datuk K. His wife sang, for the first time, a song she’d written expressly for him, just for this occasion.