Namaste, Datuk Shah Rukh Khan!

PETALING JAYA: Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan says he is humbled by being awarded a Datukship. He apologised for not receiving the honour in person during Melaka Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob’s birthday on Oct 11.

“I would also like to thank the Malaysian government, my friends, fans and Malaysians who have showed me so much love,” said the popular actor, clearing the controversy of whether he was reluctant to accept the award.

Shah Rukh was awarded the Darjah Mulia Seri Melaka (DMSM) which carries the title “Datuk”.

Datuk Shah Rukh Khan: Photo taken on Nov 2 (his birthday, obviously) showing Shah Rukh waving to fans from his home in Mumbai. — AFP

Speaking in an exclusive phone interview with mStar Online yesterday from his palatial mansion Mannat in Bandra, Mumbai, Shah Rukh could not contain his excitement when talking about the award.

“After I heard about the award, I have not stopped telling everyone around the world – in the United States, Britain and South Africa – that I have been ‘Datukshipped’ (knighted),” he said.

He said he only came to know about the award when he arrived in Singapore during the first week of November for the Zee Carnival.

“I saw it in the papers at the airport and was so surprised. I asked my friend who picked me up and he told me it’s a prestigious award, akin to the British knighthood.

“I would have stayed back if I had known much earlier.

“Again, I apologise,” said Shah Rukh, who also had to reschedule the Nov 28 ceremony as he was not well.

“We were completely in communication with the Melaka government but because of my very tight schedule and me falling sick, there was no way I could have come earlier,” he said.

Shah Rukh said he was quite thrilled at the thought of donning the traditional official black baju Melayu, samping and songkok to receive the award.

“What made this honour so profound was that it was given by a country that does not even speak my language.

“I have so much love for Malaysia. I shoot my movies there, take my family for holidays and visit my friends.

“This special honour is such a humbling experience,” he said.

Asked about the controversy over the award, with some saying that he was not deserving of it, Shah Rukh said:

“I do not have to read about myself in the papers. I know who I am and what I deserve.

“Whatever people write about me, be it positive or negative, will not change anything.

“I am a bit self-centred in that sense. I am my own best friend,” he said.

He added: “I have got a Padmashree in India. I have been honoured in Malaysia and France. I’m @ Madame Tussaud’s. I have a 2 billion rupee (RM150mil) turnover for the work I do.

“I’ve got a lovely house, beautiful children, lovely family.

“I’ve got beautiful friends in Malaysia. What more could I ask for. I thank God for all these blessings.”

He will be releasing his new movie Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi this week.

[Source : The Star Online]

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Namaste, Datuk Shah Rukh Khan!

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