Sat, Feb 26, 2011
The Daily Chilli
Daphne Iking weds again and embraces Islam

When news broke that Daphne Iking has remarried, jaws dropped. Not just because the top Malaysian TV host is still entangled in a nasty court battle with her ex-husband, Ryan Chong, but her new husband is a powerful Malay businessman - Azmi Abdul Rahman, or fondly known as Joe - whose vast business interests included Redberry, The Malay Mail, Bernama TV and The Malaysian Reserve.

Daphne Iking and the apple of her eye, Isobel Daniella.

And it took a lot of pursuasion from a mutual close friend to finally have the newly weds open up about their secret nuptials on Jan 8.

"I don't care about her past," Joe told The Daily Chilli in an exclusive chat, hours after the power couple returned from their AIDSAware Campaign in The Gardens Mall in Mid Valley City.

They solemnised their union (akad nikah) in her hometown of Penampang, Sabah - witnessed by their close family members and friends. And no, they will not hold a grand wedding reception - just a private do with orphans and close friends in Kuala Lumpur.

A fiercely private person, Joe said it's his duty to protect his famous wife.

"In Islam, it's my duty as a husband to guide, to protect and to take good care of her. We nikah (legally married) to avoid fitnah (false accusations)."

Sure, he was the one who introduced her to Islam. But the controversial Daphne insists she would only have converted out of her free will.

"Islam is a beautiful religion. I've been studying it, especially after all the trials and turbulence in my life."

Her decision to embrace Islam and subsequently, marry Joe came in December last year, as she visited the Taj Mahal in India.

Its sorrowful sight, alongside passages of the Al-Quran, which decorated the majestic Islamic architecture, really moved her. The calligraphy on the Great Gate read: "O Soul, thou art at rest. Return to the Lord at peace with Him, and He at peace with you."

"I was spiritually enlightened. I told Joe I wanted to become a Muslim and be his wife. He was shocked," Daphne recollected.

The discreet couple, who dated for "a year plus", met via mutual friends.

Well, they started off as business partners, doing projects like 2REDchairs (www.2redchairs.tumblr.com), a street talk on taboo subjects in Malaysia like religions, transgender and homosexuality.

"But I wasn't sure if our relationship was going to work out. We broke up before," Daphne revealed. I told him 'Let's just stick to being business partners'. But he is really my jodoh (perfect match). He's been my rock since the failure of my first marriage became a public issue."

Oh yes, the partners in life and business get all emotional at the mention of Ryan as well as Darren Choy - the two lead stars of the real-life soap opera.

Ryan is suing Darren under Section 498 of the Penal Code for "enticing or taking away or detaining with a criminal intent a married woman (Daphne)."

-The Daily Chilli

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