Shah Rukh Khan unable to receive Datukship Nov 29November 20th, 2008 - 4:08 pm ICT by IANS
Kuala Lumpur, Nov 20 (IANS) Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan will not be able to receive his Datukship, the traditional Malaysian title akin to British knighthood, Nov 29 due to his busy schedule. It is learnt that officials of Malaysia’s Malacca state, which conferred the title on the Bollywood superstar, are now trying to arrange an alternative date for the ceremony, Star Online web site said Thursday.
State Chief Minister Mohammed Ali Rustam said he had received information about the postponement but refused to comment on the matter.
“I understand it has been postponed. For any details, you will have to ask the state secretary,” he told reporters.
Khan, who is immensely popular among Malaysians, was among 77 people conferred the Darjah Mulia Seri Melaka (DMSM) which carries the title Datuk, on the occasion of the 70th birthday of Malacca’s Yang di-Pertua Negri (governor), Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob last month.
The announcement drew a mixed reaction from the public, including several NGOs.
While the government saw the award as a public relations feat, sections of public felt that this was being done at the cost of local talent.
The idea to confer the award on the Indian actor was mooted by former finance minister Daim Zainuddin with the chief minister defending the move.
State Secretary Wira Omar Kaseh, who was appointed to make arrangements for the actor’s visit here, could not be reached for comment.
Indian films are popular in Malaysia that has an estimated 2.6 million ethnic Indians.
A bulk of them are Tamils and films in Tamil are regularly released in theatres and on TV.