Sunday October 12, 2008
People just Khan believe it!
By MARTIN CARVALHO and NURBAITI HAMDAN
MALACCA: The conferment of Datukship on Bollywood heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan has stirred up a controversy. Politicians, professionals and the man on the street are hotly questioning the wisdom of the move.
Some commented that the actor did not deserve the award as “he hardly knows where Malacca is” and asked whether he had promoted Malacca in his songs and movies.
SMSes received by The Star also hit out at the move, saying such awards should be given to local artistes.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the decision to confer the title on the actor was suggested to Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob by former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin recently.
Daim said it was a means to promote Malacca and the actor had shot a movie scene here several years ago.
The movie One 2 ka 4 was shot at the A Famosa Resort in Alor Gajah in 2001.
“This resulted in many people visiting Malacca. The award was given in recognition of this,” Mohd Ali said after the investiture ceremony in conjunction with Khalil’s 70th birthday celebrations.
Shah Rukh Khan was given the Darjah Mulia Seri Melaka (DMSM) which carries the title Datuk.
Scores of fans gathered at the Dewan Seri where the investiture ceremony was held yesterday to catch a glimpse of the actor. He, however, did not attend the ceremony.
Mohd Ali said Daim was making arrangements to bring the actor here to receive the award in a special ceremony.
Businesswoman Fatimah Tahir, a huge fan of the star, said she was stunned to hear that he had received a Datukship.
“I thought the award is given to those who have contributed towards Malacca’s development.
“I wonder whether Shah Rukh Khan even knows where Malacca is,” said the 40-year-old from Taman Melaka Raya.
Lawyer Nizam Bashir from Ujong Pasir here also questioned the decision to award Shah Rukh Khan as he had not seen the actor promoting Malacca in his songs or movies.
“I am happy for him but does he even know he is getting the award?” said Nizam, 35, adding that it would be more meaningful if deserving local artistes were given recognition.
The local artistes who received the Darjah Seri Melaka (DSM) award, which does not carry any title, were singer Goh Eng Boon, popularly known as Andre Goh, comedian Jantan Osman also known as Ali Mamak and 60s singer Mariam Ahmad.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said he was not against deserving people being awarded the Datukship but priority should be given to local artistes.
He noted that if Shah Rukh Khan deserved the award, then so should Hollywood stars Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones who shot the movie Entrapment against the backdrop of the Twin Towers in 1999.