KUALA TERENGGANU: Travel host and celebrity Daniel Tyler - better known as Mat Dan - is over the moon because he has been officially granted permanent resident status.
The Bristol native appeared shocked and delighted on stage when Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi publicly announced his new status at the launch of Expo Terengganu 2018 on Monday (Feb 26).
"I'm very happy because I've wanted it for a while and it's not an easy process," said Tyler.
He first came to Terengganu as a tourist in 2009 and became popular when he appeared in a viral video speaking fluently in the Terengganu dialect.
He embraced Islam in 2013 and took up the name Kareef Daniel Abdullah and married Terengganu native Nadifa Adnan last year.
He is also the host of a travelogue titled "Mat Dan Kaki Jalan" and co-hosts another travel programme titled "Haramain Backpackers".
Tyler said he was in the process of applying for a marriage visa and shared his problems with Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman when the Englishman was selected as one of the ambassadors of the Expo.
"He said he would offer his support and I am so grateful of my new status," said Tyler.
According to Tyler, he did not expect the Deputy Prime Minister would make a public announcement, adding that his heart was pounding when he was called on stage.
"Thank you, Malaysians and the people of Terengganu for accepting me. It's a dream come true," he said.