By Kee Hua Chee
The newlyweds: Mohd Nizar and Sharmila Shaheen.
The recent marriage of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s son Mohd Nizar, 25 to Nur Sharmila Shaheen, 24, was celebrated with much pomp and splendour. Guests at the three wedding receptions included the King and Queen, Sultans and Sultanahs, Cabinet ministers and society’s elite.
The first function was hosted by the bride’s parents, Hj Shaheen Mirza and Datuk Maznah Hamid at Istana Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. Maznah is the “Iron Lady of Malaysia”, a nickname she earned from being the head of Securiforce. Shaheen runs Danau Lumayan, a development company.
Pop diva Anita Sarawak and crooner DJ Dave sang to the delight of nearly a thousand guests on that night.
Four days later on June 23, the groom’s mother, Kelantan princess Tengku Puteri Zainah Tengku Eskandar Sharifudin, held another lavish reception at the JW Marriott Grand Ballroom.
The third and grandest reception was hosted by Najib and Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor at the Mandarin Oriental. Tun Raha, Najib’s mother, graced all three functions.
Radzuan Radziwill designed the stunning songket for the resplendent couple.
The material was specially woven in Terengganu to Tun Raha’s colour choice and specifications. Said Radzuan, “I made extensive use of lace to soften the songket because it looked quite stiff.
“The bride’s many pieces of kebaya were beaded with Swarovski crystals so they shimmered. The couple’s outfits were modern with a few traditional touches.”
Instead of a selendang (shawl), Radzuan opted for a tiara and a veil made from French lace.
Even the three pelamin (wedding dias) used songket as a backdrop.
After the merenjis (blessing ceremony) at Najib’s reception, the Deputy Prime Minister gave a witty Thank you speech sprinkled with pearls of wisdom for the raja sehari (king and queen of the day).
He admitted that 28 years in politics couldn’t compare with organising his son’s wedding, which was a most challenging and unique experience.
Datuk Seri Najib and Datin Seri Rosmah.
He began with this observation: “Marriage is a process like having lunch in a cafeteria. You examine the many choices, select what is best and pay for it later!” That set the pace for the rest of his speech.
He went on, “Sharmila, my daughter-in-law, is a lady of many talents and has her own company with 300 security guards. Safety will never be an issue in this household.
“My son too has many talents but unlike his father, has chosen accountancy, which is much safer than politics.
“Did you know that according to most women, the most desirable husbands are not accountants or politicians, but archaeologists? You see, as women grow older, only the archaeologists will become more interested in them and start to pay more attention!
“Jaja (the groom’s nickname) was first attracted to Sharmila’s sweet voice when she rang his sister Puteri Nurlisa and he answered the call.
“And so slowly began their romance, with encouragement from Jaja’s sister. Both studied at Nottingham University in England. (Nizar studied accountancy while Sharmila took up management studies.)
“Once Jaja flew from Malaysia to visit Sharmila unannounced, arriving at her doorstep in Nottingham University. When she opened the door, there he was, with a bouquet of red roses. When it comes to love, even accountants can be romantic,” quipped Najib.
Then came his “father to son” advice: “Jaja, when you have differences with your wife and even if you know you’re right, end the argument with two words – ‘Yes dear’ – and then move on to another topic.”
He continued with a wicked glint, “I am now speaking as Minister of Defence. In a marriage, the husband is always the General while the wife is only a Major. The husband makes general decisions like where to go for dinner and which movie to watch. The wife makes major decisions like where to live and how many children to have.
“Fortunately, the Ministry of Defence does not run on this basis!”