By : Hamidah Atan
SEPANG: Datuk Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin was mobbed by her fans at the F1 race yesterday. Her husband Datuk Khalid Muhamad Jiwa, popularly known as Datuk K, sportingly stood aside so fans could snap photographs with the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top songstress.
The celebrity couple had to stop nearly a dozen times to greet the fans, including Sepang International Circuit (SIC) staff, as they walked along the pit lane to the VIP stand.
The scorching heat, with track temperature at 57 degrees Celsius, did not dampen the enthusiasm of motor-racing buffs, mostly foreigners, who came in the thousands for the ninth Malaysian Grand Prix.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin was present while Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi led the driversÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ parade in a vintage Mercedes 500K.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak followed in a Rolls Royce 20hp Connaught Tourer.
On hand to greet them were Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said, SIC chairman Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir and SIC general manager Datuk Azmi Murad.
A procession of more than 100 Kuala Lumpur City Hall dancers welcomed the guests.
Singaporean Rosmani Norman had nothing but praise for the organisers and the circuit.
“This is my first time at the SIC, and the world-class facilities are superb.
“I hope our government will emulate what Malaysia is doing.”
The self-employed 40-year-old said the night race planned by Singapore would benefit not only Singaporeans but also Malaysians.
Firdaus Johari said Malay- sians should not be jittery over SingaporeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s night race.
“Why worry? We have been organising F1 for more than 10 years,” he said.
“I do not see SingaporeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s night race as a threat to us.
“If it does take off the ground, it will provide healthy competition.”