Wednesday July 18, 2012
Umno leader’s interest in bikes leads him to new wife
By CHRISTOPHER TAN
Photos by MUSTAFA AHMAD
LITTLE did Penang Umno chief Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman know that his interest in motorcycles would lead him to his new wife, actress Siti Nur Syafiqa Amirol Melvin, whose father owned a Vespa that caught his eye.
Zainal Abidin, 52, first got to know former flight engineer Amirol Melvin Abdullah, 67, through a bikers’ club event, and was subsequently smitten by the latter’s Italian scooter.
It was only after the two men became closer that Zainal Abidin’s interest turned from the bike to the beauty.
“I was also watching the reality TV show Gadis Melayu and Siti Nur Syafiqa caught my attention. I fell for her on TV,” said Zainal Abidin.
Siti Nur Syafiqa, 23, was the winner of Gadis Melayu Season Two in 2009, and recently graduated from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia with a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology.
She is the eldest of five siblings.
Zainal Abidin said he got to learn more about Siti Nur Syafiqa from her father.
“Both Siti and I were busy with our schedules, and we could only communicate via Facebook. That strengthened our relationship,” he said after his wedding ceremony at Dewan Merdeka in Jalan Dewan, Parit Buntar, Perak on Saturday.
Amirol Melvin said he was very happy that Siti Nur Syafiqa found the right man.
“I hope and pray that they live happily ever after,” he said.
Datuk Ishak Osman, 65, who is Zainal Abidin’s eldest brother, said their family was glad that he had found someone to love after his wife Datin Shazarina Shamsuddin died of cancer at 46 two years ago.
Zainal Abidin’s second son Nabil Ashmawi, 20, said he was happy for his father.
“She completes the family and I hope that they can live happily forever,” he said.
Zainal Abidin has three other children — Nadhir Ashafiq, 24 years old, Najlaa Aina, 13, and Nafiz Ashrani, seven.
More than 6,000 people turned up for the wedding.
Among them were former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.
Also present were Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, Gerakan vice-president Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan and Penang Barisan Nasional chief Teng Chang Yeow.