Kuala Lumpur: Actor Shahrukh Khan on Saturday became the first of his ilk to be conferred a Malaysian title.
Wearing a traditional black and gold Malay outfit (Baju Melayu and samping) and headgear, he received the title of ‘Datuk’ from the Governor of Malaysia’s southern Malacca State, Mohamad Khalil Yaacob. ‘Datuk’ is often equated with the British knighthood.
Baju Melayu is similar to a kurta-pajama, while ‘samping’ is a piece of cloth men tie around the waist, falling to the length of the long shirt.
The 43-year-old, who has a large fan base among Malays, held the 1,000 guests at the investiture spellbound as he received the Darjah Mulia Seri Melaka, along with 76 others.
He waved to his fans as he was escorted in. Mediapersons and fans clicked away from their seats.
He will now be referred to as Datuk Shahrukh Khan and addressed as Datuk. Each Malaysian State chooses its own list of people to honour with ‘Datukship.’
A majority of the awardees are Malaysians who have excelled in some area of activity or are in government.
Malacca authorities said Khan was given the title because six of his movies were shot in the historical State, giving a boost to tourism. He shot a song for a 2001 movie, One 2 Ka 4, in Malacca, which was recently named a heritage city by UNESCO.
Spread the message
After the ceremony he announced he would star in a new movie that would help spread the message that Islam does not support terrorism.
His new film, My Name is Khan, which starts shooting this month, would “make clear that Islam does not in any which way tell you to be violent.”
He said: “I think the whole concept of jihad, the whole concept of warring needs to be explained as Allah meant it to be in the Koran … it is an attempt to try and do that in an entertaining way.”
The film, about a Muslim’s strife in telling people his name but that he is not a terrorist, will be directed by Karan Johar. Kajol Mukherjee will star in it. — PTI, AP