updated 6 May 2011, 02:28
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Mon, Feb 28, 2011
The New Paper
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I don't care about her past

ONE of Malaysia's sexiest women.

Top model, journalist, actress, popular TV host. Daphne Iking has always been in the news in Malaysia - for both the right and wrong reasons.

Her marriage to businessman Ryan Chong in January 2007 had Malaysia in thrall.

So did the divorce proceedings when Mr Chong accused Mr Darren Choy Khin Ming of enticing Iking with the intention of having sex with her at a condominium.

There were also allegations that the father of her child was not Mr Chong's.

Now Iking is back in the news after she married for a second time and has become a Muslim.

She changed her name to Dahlia.

Her husband is a powerful Malay businessman - Azmi Abdul Rahman, fondly known as Joe - whose vast business interests included The Malay Mail, Bernama TV and business daily The Malaysian Reserve.

They married early last month.

In an interview with Malaysian news website The Daily Chilli, she said that her decision to embrace Islam and subsequently marry Mr Azmi came last December when she visited the Taj Mahal in India.

Mr Azmi said he was the one who introduced her to Islam, but the controversial Iking said she converted from a Catholic to Muslim of her own free will.

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

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

She said she wasn't sure whether the relationship would work out since she was in a failed one before.

She said: "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."

Said Joe: "I don't care about her past.

"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)."

They solemnised their marriage in her hometown of Penampang, Sabah. It was witnessed by their close family members and friends.

The couple said they will not be holding a wedding reception - just a private do with orphans and close friends in Kuala Lumpur.

Discreet couple

The discreet couple, who dated for "a year plus", met via mutual friends. They started off as business partners.

Her rise in the media scene was meteoric - she first made her mark on Malaysia television in 2001, in a Pond's commercial.

Two years later, she joined TV3 where she went on to host shows like Ringgit Sense and Explorace. Later, she also became a reporter on the same channel.

By 2006, she made her acting debut in KL Lights.

In the same year, she also co-hosted My Australian Adventure before moving on to another channel, ntv7, and hosting its Breakfast Show.

She holds a master's degree in communications and a bachelor's degree in broadcasting from Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang.

During the divorce hearing, her former husband had revealed that he had an affair with a Chinese national during Iking's pregnancy, a shocking revelation in a Malaysian court.

He also said he had demanded RM1 million (S$417,000) from Iking for conceiving a child that was not his while they were still married.


This article was first published in The New Paper.

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