YANG AMAT MULIA, TENGKU PUTERI DATUK SERI HAJJAH ZAHARIAH SULTAN SALAHUDDIN ABDUL AZIZ SHAH ALHAJ, POPULALY KNOWN AS KU YAH, CELEBRATED HER 60TH BIRTHDAY WITH A RIGHT ROYAL GRAND PARTY AT CONCORDE KUALA LUMPUR ON 19 JUNE 2011 IN THE PRESENCE OF 2 MALAY RULERS, 2 CROWN PRINCES AND THE RAJA PEREMPUAN PERLIS.
KNOWN AS THE 'JOAN COLLINS OF MALAYSIA' FOR A FLEETING RESEMBLANCE TO THE SUPERSTAR THOUGH KU YAH IS BY FAR LOVELIER, SHE IS ACCLAIMED AS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PRINCESS IN MALAYSIA DUE TO HER FAMOUS FLAWLESS PORCELAIN COMPLEXION, FAIR SKIN AND EXQUISITELY LOVELY FACE. HER MAGNIFICENT JEWELS, FABULOUS FASHIONS AND SUPERB SENSE OF STYLE ONLY REINFORCE A LARGER THAN LIFE PERSONA!
Ku Yah's 5 children and 2 in-laws; left, Syed Budriz and wife, Sharifah Wani, Muhammad Faez, Raja Sheena Frida, Sharifah Amilia and husband
Ku Yah's 2 daughters; Sharifah Wani and Sharifah Amilia with children Adlina, Katie and Khalil
The Birthday Girl on stage
Ku Yah examining her birthday cake shaped as treasure chest overflowing with Tiffany jewels doubtless
The resplendent grandmother!
Blowing out the candles
Cutting the specially created birthday cake; HAPPY BIRTHDAY KU YAH!
One for the album
Ku Yah is the most glamorous, sexy and super single parent
Kissing her granddaughter
HH the Crown Prince of Selangor Tengku Amir Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, HRH Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah who is Tengku Zahariah's brother, HH Tengku Zatasha Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah and her French husband Aubry Rahim Mennesson. The couple run Originalo the gift experience company.
HRH the Raja Perempuan Perlis
HRH The Raja Perempuan of Perlis sang a song dedicated to the Birthday Girl
First Lady Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor sang 3 songs as a birthday gift to Ku Yah!
Kee Hua Chee sneaked into the photo to be with the two highest ranking royals in Selangor after the Sultan! Not only will Tengku Amir be the next Sultan of Selangor, he will be a future King of Malaysia too!
HRH Sultan of Selangor expressing something vividly to Datuk Seri Mohammad Taufic Ozier, husband of YAM Tengku Puteri Meriam of Pahang
HRH Sultan of Selangor, Datuk Seri Ozier and YAM Tengku Meriam Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang.
Happy royals; Datuk Seri Ozier, HRH Sultan Selangor, YAM Tengku Meriam and HH Crown Prince of Selangor
The Raja Perempuan Perlis being escorted by Ku Yah to the dancefloor where HRH Tengku Fauziah Tengku Rashid agreed to sing one song in Ku Yah's honour.
HRH Raja Perempuan Perlis singing a special song in honour of Ku Yah
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, First Lady and wife of Prime Minister of Malaysia being greeted by HH Raja Eleena Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak, touted by Forbes as Malaysia's second richest women worth US$ 228 million as Raja Eleena owns a vast chunk of Gamuda
A royal peck by Crown Prince of Selangor Tengku Amir Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah
Finally all the seats at the Main Table are occupied with the arrival of the First Lady Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor
First Lady Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor walking to the stage to sing for Ku Yah
Big honour; Kee Hua Chee with HH the Crown Prince of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Sultan Azlan Shah
HRH Raja Perempuan Perlis escorted by Syed Budriz Syed Amir, eldest son of Ku Yah.
The Crown Prince of Perak with Negri Sembilan royal sisters
Beautiful power princesses; Tengku Tan Sri Meriam of Pahang is the eldest daughter of Sultan Pahang just as Tunku Dara Tunku Tan Sri Naquiah is eldest child of the late Tuanku Jaa'far the 10th King of Malaysia.
The Raja of Perlis and Sultan of Selangor leaving the VIP Room for Concorde Ballroom
Ku Yah doing the 'sembah' before the two Malay Rulers before she sat
Even after sitting, the Selangor princess still 'sembah' her brother the Sultan of Selangor and Raja Perlis
YAM Raja Zarina Raja Zainal, the former first wife of Sultan of Selangor with the Crown Prince of
Selangor Tengku Amir Sultan Idris Shah
Tan Sri Syed Yusuff Tun Syed Nasser, Puan Sri Abedah Seman and husband Tan Sri Ariffin Yusuf of Prima Group
YM Dr Sharifah Eliza Cornelia Jamalullail, her father Tan Sri Syed Anwar Jamalullail and mother YAM Tengku Puteri Nor Zehan the sister of the Sultan of Selangor.
Looking Good! Tunku Dottie in red with her 4 handsome sons. She is the daughter of the late Sultan of Perak Sultan Idris Shah. From left; Syed Redzuan Alsagoff, Syed Idris Alsagoff, Raja Nazhatul Shima Sultan Idris Shah aka Tg Dottie, Kee Hua Chee, PR queen Datuk Nancy Yeoh, Syed Saifullah Alsagoff and Syed Iskandar Alsagoff.
Kee Hua Chee with Syed Budriz and his cute son
YAM Raja Zarina Raja Zainal wearing a couture Azzaro gown worn by Natalie Portman during the recent Screen Actors Guild Awards! However Raja Zarina asked Azzaro to create a matching cape to cover her shoulders so hers is totally unique.
Tengku Zatashah, youngest daughter of Sultan Selangor and hubby Frenchman Aubry Rahim Mennesson.
The cousins enjoying a dance
Muhammad Faez and Tg Dottie on floor
Doris Wong and Tengku Shahrizat from Kelantan
Photo montage; In tiara and rubies, Ku Yah looks the image of the ideal fairytale princess
Photos of Ku Yah with her late father, brother, sister and relatives.
Ku Yah through the years
Beautiful at every age and stage!
With her children
With VIPs, relatives, friends and celebrities.
Susan from Dubai, Puan Sri Czarina and Betty Banafe
Puteri Azalea Ramli and mum Puan Sri Raja Noora
left; Fida, Puan Sri Sharifah Aminah, Puan Sri Faridah and tengku Rahimah
Sexy Beauties; left, Zahida Rafik, Betty Banafe and Tasha Nadim
Mother and daughter appear to share the same designer and fabric; YM Dr Sharifah Eliza and mum Tengku Puan Panglima Perlis and Tengku Syarif Panglima Perlis
Zetty and Kelvin Ong
The appearance of Tengku Zahariah after the guests were seated as she was kissed and greeted by her eldest son Syed Budriz and his daughter.
The video presentation after Syed Budriz gave his speech
Syed Budriz and his gorgeous mother
Mother and son in younger days
Ku Yah's grandchildren doing a dance routine to Mama Mia
Ku Yah's eldest granddaughter taking the lead among the 7 grandchildren
Syed Budriz, Faez and Ku Yah's son-in-law singing 'Lean on You' which was so appropriate!
Next time, cut down on the dry ice!
I am always careful what I put inside my mouth so I don't choke and this rod is out of the question
Guests were fascinated at the way the fire went down the girls' throats while the balloons managed to stay in a state of erection
Do not try this at home
KU YAH IS THE SISTER OF HRH SULTAN SHARAFUDDIN IDRIS SHAH OF SELANGOR AND NATURALLY HER BROTHER THE 9TH SULTAN OF SELANGOR HEADED THE VIP LIST. ALSO PRESENT WERE HRH THE RAJA OF PERLIS TUANKU SYED SIRAJUDDIN SYED PUTRA JAMALULLAIL THE 7TH RAJA OF PERLIS AND 12TH KING OF MALAYSIA AND HIS CONSORT HRH TUANKU TENGKU FAUZIAH TENGKU ABDUL RASHID.
THERE WERE ALSO 2 CROWN PRINCES, HH RAJA DR NAZRIN SULTAN AZLAN SHAH THE RAJA MUDA OF PERAK AND HH TENGKU AMIR SHAH THE RAJA MUDA OF SELANGOR.
KU YAH IS ACCLAIMED AS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PRINCESS IN MALAYSIA AS HER FLAWLESS COMPLEXION, FAIR SKIN AND EXQUISITELY LOVELY FACE HAS MADE HER A LEGEND IN HER LIFETIME. HER MAGNIFICENT JEWELS, FABULOUS FASHIONS AND EXUBERANT SENSE OF STYLE SIMPLY REINFORCE HER LARGER THAN LIFE PERSONA.
Also present were princes and princesses from Selangor, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang and almost all the Royal Houses were represented. Over 350 guests came to wish Tengku Zahariah a very happy birthday including a very special VIP guest who arrived late around 11 pm which explains the empty chair next to the Birthday Girl. Her arrival was greeted with enthusiasm as Rulers, Crown Princes, high ranking royals and VIPs welcomed her entrance.
The special guest was none other than First Lady, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of Malaysian Prime Minister who had to attend another event but made up for it by consenting to sing on stage! "On condition everyone must take to the floor and dance!" said Datin Seri Rosmah looking elegant and beautiful in a blue and grey dress. Datin Seri Rosmah sang 'I Want Nobody But You' and
The entire Concorde hotel was abuzz with excitement as even foreign tourists stopped to gape and take photos of Malaysian royalty and socialites dressed to the nines. A red carpet led from the entrance towards Concorde Grand Ballroom decorated in the teal blue reminiscent of Tiffany jewellery boxes. A mini forest of trees glowed electric blue while rows of blue bags were given as door gifts.
I realised each goody bag was indeed from Tiffany since the illustrious name was emblazoned on it. A Tiffany diamond! A Tiffany watch! Perchance a Tiffany bling to bring home! Being so kiasu I asked for 2 bags. Sure enough, inside was a beautifully be-ribboned, signature Tiffany box! I hastily tore it open as I wondered if I could ask for another bag later on. Inside was a treat but of the edible, fattening variety---4 delicious Tiffany chocolates! The box can be used as a bijoux container so it makes a charmin memento. On the table was another box containing a gift of a clear crystalline paper weight featuring a photo of Tengku Zahariah.
Normally I find it is easier to squeeze blood out from a stone than elicit an answer from the eternal question 'So what is your age' at birthdays of women of indeterminate age.
But not when it comes to Ku Yah. Her invitation card has the number '60' emblazoned proudly on the cover just so you know she is celebrating the 6th decade of her life.
Then again, Tengku Zahariah has an advantage---she can go around town admitting she is 60 as she looks half the age! Those who do not know her will assume she is all of 30, max 35. Those who do continue to marvel at her famous porcelain, rosy complexion that can take the harshest scrutiny in broad daylight. I did a quick survey and discovered almost all unanimously agreed the Birthday Girl did not look a day past 45.
Mind you, Ku Yah is Malaysia's most celebrated princess, famous for her beauty, charity work and husbands. She is now the single mother of 5 children, 2 sons and 3 daughters and was married previously to Perlis Prince Syed Amir Zainal Abidin Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalillaiul in 1971 and to former Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Muhammad Haji Muhammad Taib. The latter was already married so Ku Yah was his second wife. Her father Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Alhaj was understandably miffed, more so when they married in Tak Bai in Narathiwat province in southern Thailand in 1987. Indeed His Royal Highness commented the couple might 'berkompang' as they crossed the Golok river in Kelantan as they entered Thailand.
Ku Yah's 60th birthday celebration was spear headed by eldest son YAM Syed Budriz Syed Amir, 38 and his siblings Sharifah Rima Irwani, 36, Sharifah Amilia Safinia, 33, Raja Sheena Frida, 26 and Muhammad Faez Muhammad 21.
The guests consisted of so many royals and heavily titled from Tan Sris to Datuks that for once, I was firmly inside the exclusive list of teh titleless. As I searched for my seat, I noted practically every name card carried a royal or honorific title and I hardly saw a 'Mr' or 'Encik'! I think only 5% of Ku Yah's guests had no titles. Actually I have a small title---Seri Kelantan---awarded by HRH Sultan Ismail Petra of Kelantan but this title appears after my name, not in front so it does not really count, does it? I cannot style myself as Seri Kelantan Kee!
On the stage was Tengku Zahariah's pet name 'Tengku Yah' though most call her Ku Yah. Once everyone was seated, a lady Puan Aida read a touching poem written by Tengku Zahariah in honour of her mother Raja Saidatul Ihsan Tg Badar Shah who passed away recently on 31 May 2011.
A troupe performed Bugis dances as many Royal Houses have Bugis links from centuries past. Finally the star of the night appeared amid a cloud of dry ice, shimmering in a boat-necked, silver-grey gown adorned with ruby brooch, ring, bracelet and earrings the size of pigeon's eggs.
Her eldest son Syed Budriz Putra Syed Amir Zainal Abidin Jamalullail made a speech in which he accurately described Ku Yah very accurately as 'my gorgeous mother'. "My gorgeous mother was born on 20 June 1951, the same year contraceptive pills were introduced as well as colour television which broadcast the Lucy Ball Show. Mum loved music and at one stage used to play 'Telephone' by Sheena Easton. She played it till we all knew the lyrics by heart. She loved Sheena Easton s much she named one of her daughters Sheena. Luckily she was not into Madonna or else I would find it hard to explain why my sister is named Madonna, like a virgin..."
He added how much he loved her as she was, and is, an inspiration. "She is my role model and helped me understand my limits and be the best I can and how to love unconditionally. She reminded me those who love deeply will never grow old. They may die but they will die young.
"Once my mum and I went to take a motorbike test at JPJ the Road Transport department. She asked to do the test during lunch hour as she thought everyone would be away for lunch. Word got round and it seemed the entire staff of JPJ turned up to watch! Mum did the test first and tried to balance but fell off the bike in her Versace leather tights. The officers rushed to help as the JPJ staff shouted 'Ku Yah!' Then only I realised how popular Mum was. She tried again and got it right and passed. Of course I passed without a hitch.
"Mum taught me to be humble, focused and persevere, based on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib's advice that one can be persistent but not to the point of being a pest.
"Mum, thank you for your love. Thank you for the life you gave me. Even at 60 I cannot imagine you slowing down. You look your best now and you have never been more beautiful than you are right now at 60. As Joan Collins use to say, age is only a number, unless you are a bottle of wine in which case age is even more preferable!"
Syed Budriz invited us to watch a short video presentation of him growing and bonding with his mother. Then it was the turn of Sharifah Rima Irwani or Sharifah Wani as she is known. "When I was a teenager growing into a young woman, Mum used to say, Put some mascara and lipstick on as you are looking pale. She would then produce a lipstick for me to use after which she would ask me to keep it for future use. As a result I had drawerfuls of lipstick and mascara!
"Being her, she used to remind me to be home by midnight...even on New Year's Eve! Once I crawled home at 3am totally plastered. She was waiting for me at the door but I was so disheveled she did not recognise me and asked "Yes, can I hlep you?" When she realised it was me, she freaked out and I was grounded for ages. She was furious as she discovered I climbed out of the window to get out. For years, she would tell my daughter Katie loudly in front of me and everyone else who happened to be around, "Katie, don't be naughty like your mother OK! Never climb out of the window, use the front door!" I always cringed when she said that but now I understand your concern.
"Mum, life is not perfect but to me, you are! Thank you and now I wish to sing a song by Sharifah Aini dedicated to you."
Ku Yah's 7 grandchildren trotted on stage to sing 2 numbers, 'Mama Mia' by Abba which was fine though the lyrics 'I been cheated by you' seemed unsuitable while the second song 'Forget You' by Cee Lo Green was even more bizarre to me as surely the grandchildren would never wish to forget their super glam grandma! But they were great on stage and Ku Yah was so pleased as this was a surprise show.
Sharifah Amilia, accompanied by her husband and son also paid tribute. "Tonight we celebrate our love for Mum. As a single parent looking after 5 kids, she made sure we were always happy even if some of her methods were unconventional. However busy, she would find time to play boardgames with me and my siblings. We would play 'Monopoly' which would not be over until she won!
"She always gave me and my siblings a birthday cake at midnight which became a tradition and I always looked forward to getting my birthday cake at midnight. Mum is very strong. Even if something went wrong or she was emotionally hurt or feeling down, she never showed and she always put on a brave face so we would not worry. Mum, you are my hero. When I was young, I took you for granted. Now I know the sacrifices you had made and I appreciate everything you did for me."
Sharifah Amilia's video clip was accompanied by Michael Jackson's 'I'll Be There'.
Raja Sheena Frida then took over the rostrum. "After a hard day's work, Mum would come home and asked me for a head massage. This I willingly did and when Mum felt better I would give her a bill for RM 50!
"She also enjoyed telling me and Faez ghost stories as she knew we would be frightened out of our wits. Faez and I would sit huddled in one corner as she related ghost stories and even pretended to be the ghost though it was a poor attempt as she was too pretty!"
Muhammad Faez, 21, is the tallest and resembles his father Tan Sri Muhammad Taib. Said the strapping, handsome young man, "Mum always assumed her birthday cake given to me at midnight was a surprise year after year so I always had to act and look surprised when she produced the cake!"
Faez spoke eloquently and passionately. It was clear he loved his mother dearly. After he left the stage, he went looking for a napkin to wipe the tears from his eyes! In fact I had to wait for him to dry his eyes during the photo session with his siblings before all 5 of Ku Yah's children went on stage to perform a dance routine for her!
However there were 7 performers as they included Syed Budriz's wife and Sharifah Amilia's husband. They sang 'Lean on Me' by Bill Withers and Syed Budriz brought the house down during the finale when he did a Moonwalk!
No birthday is complete without a birthday cake. One was duly rolled out and Syed Budriz invited his mother on stage with his siblings, spouses and children. As a Tiffany lover, Ku yah's birthday cake was shaped as a treasure casket filled with jewels and pearls.
Finally it was the turn of the Birthday Girl to give her long awaited speech.
"I am deeply touched my eldest child Syed Budriz has taken the effort to organise my 60th birthday party with the rest of my children. Being the shy person that I am, I came up with all sorts of ridiculous excuses not to have oe but he insisted so what could I do?
"I have been blessed with luxury and comfort but of all my blessings, the most precious are my children as nothing comes close! My 5 children are like Tiffany gems. Syed Budriz is like a diamond, strong, precious, rare and sparkling in his maturity.
"Wani is like an emerald, beautiful, radiant and head strong. She has taught me to look at things beyond my usual ways. A big lesson for a 60 year old!
"Amilia is like an opal, gentle, delicate and forgiving with an interplay of colours. She is a walking encyclopaedia and is fast in resolving my needs.
"Sheena is like a red ruby, lovely, mysterious and glowing. Many say she looks like me which I hope she takes as a compliment.
"Faez is my blue sapphire. He is my youngest child so he remains my baby. He is lovable, loving and when he is around, he makes the sky bright and blue!"
Then came the punchline. Giggled the Birthday Girl, "This is my birthday so the focus is on me, myself and I...but I still need all of you to help me celebrate and rejoice!"
We all attended her party for this very reason. The Raja Perempuan Perlis then honoured Tengku Zahariah by consenting to sing a song!
A Mr Love from New York performed a short dance. Time to make use of the dance floor and everyone clamoured for the Birthday Girl to be the first. Ku Yah invited her nephew, the Raja Muda Selangor and Crown Prince of Selangor to escort her which the gallant prince quickly complied and so they had the first official dance. Soon the floor swelled with guests.
Tengku Zahariah's 60th birthday ended on a glorious note as the First Lady and wife of the Prime Minister of Malaysia Datin Seri Rosmah sang as guests danced. What an honour to have the Raja Perempuan Perlis and former Queen of Malaysia and the wife of the Prime Minister sing at your birthday!
Then again, this is the one and only Ku Yah where everything is possible!
Faez, 21, youngest son of Ku Yah is now so handsome and tall, Princess Dr Becky Leogardo, Raja Sheena Frida who Ku Yah named after Sheena Easton and handsome Saddam Faisel Abdat
This 21 year old Faez is more than a head taller than his friend whose house he used to visit to see Alexis Leogardo, pretty daughter of Princess Becky
Terror threesome; this trio were the most glamorous stars of the night!
Ku Yah welcoming old friend as it was her who persuaded Princess Dr Becky to stay back in Kuala Lumpur in 1999 when her business was sabotaged and flew to Singapore to convince her not to return to Manila.
So much touchy-feely
Some secret tete-a-tete
Both are the same age---39
I am already 35 but look 30!
Princess Becky Leogardo and actress/singer Betty Banafe
Datuk Shah Rezza with Princess Dr Becky Leogardo
The super sexy Zahida Rafik with Princess Dr Becky Leogardo
With the even sexier Kee Hua Chee
Full length glamour