'Wasteful': Backlash for Singapore fans organising Malaysian celebs' $50,000 wedding reception
Celeb M'sian couple and their fans criticised for 'wasteful' sponsored reception intended for fans here
It is not unusual for some fans to go to extremes to please their favourite stars.
They shower their idols with lavish gifts, or do everything they can to meet them in person.
But pull sponsors together to pay for a wedding?
Malaysian TV personalities Amyra Rosli, 25, and Amar Baharin, 31, have already held their wedding - twice.
But with effort from some of their fans, they will be celebrating their marriage for a third time on Saturday.
The couple, who first tied the knot on Nov 11, have already held two receptions in Kuala Lumpurfor their families and friends.
The third reception, which will be held here, is for their Singapore fans.
The project was spearheaded by Madam Asliani Abdul Ghani, who heads Amyra's local fan club, Aamyra Rosli Supporters Singapore,together with local events company FA Event & Entertainment.
The fan club has nearly 29,000 followers on Instagram.
CELEBRATIONS: Madam Asliani Abdul Ghani (right) with celebrity Malaysian couple Amyra Rosli and Amar Baharin at one of their wedding receptions in Kuala Lumpur. Madam Asliani organised the couple's third reception, which will be held here on Saturday. PHOTO COURTESY OF ASLIANI ABDUL GHANI
News of the third reception, which is estimated to cost more than $50,000, irked some users of social media, with critics calling it a waste of money.
But Madam Asliani, 36, who has been a fan of the couple for four years, feels the effort and money will be worthwhile.
She told The New Paper: "I can understand how disappointed the fans felt when they were unable to travel to attend the wedding.
"This is a present to their fans for their support over the years."
Madam Asliani, a logistics officer, set the wheels in motion after attending the couple's engagement ceremony in July. She also received the go-ahead from Amyra's mother, who is a close friend.
Within three weeks, she and her team of five secured 22 sponsors for the reception.
There will be about 300 guests at the event, to be held at The Ballroom at East Coast, which is owned by local radio personality AB Shaik.
Said Madam Asliani: "We gave priority to big fans who were unable to attend past events, those who have paid in the past for their meet-and-greet sessions, and members of the public who have never had a chance to meet the couple."
Amyra and Amar, who grew close when they co-starred in the 2015 Malaysian TV drama series Suamiku Encik Sotong, were in town on Nov 22 for a wedding photo shoot.
FAMOUS PAIR: Newlyweds Amar Baharin (left) and Amyra Rosli will be having their third wedding reception here, thanks to their fans. PHOTO: FARAH REZAL
Amyra said: "We feel very grateful for our fans here. Singapore is like a second home to us and we are truly touched that the fans have gone out of their way to organise this."
One sponsor, Mr Zulkeffli Mohamed, director of local bridal company Chantique The Bridal Gallery, told TNP that the couple's wedding outfits were specially designed for them.
"Amyra prefers something simple yet classy, without too many heavy accessories. She will be wearing a modern traditional songket dress, as well as a white ball gown," said Mr Zulkeffli, 46.
"I like the couple's acting. When I met them to discuss the wedding, they were nice."
Another sponsor, Madam Masturah Mohd Nor, director of decor company SID Events, is looking at a pastel, English-inspired theme for the reception.
Madam Masturah, who is in her 50s, said: "I'm thinking of baby's breath and hanging vases with candles. But we will let this remain as a surprise for the actual day."
Netizens reacted with ire to news of the upcoming reception, which was posted on the Berita Mediacorp Facebook page. While it received 1,000 likes, most of the 80 users who commented called it "wasteful" and "stupid".
Others thought the money should have gone to charity.
But Madam Asliani said: "This is something we do sincerely as fans. This backlash is normal, so we let it be.
"At the end of the day, we know what our intentions are - and that is to give back to their supporters."
Amar said: "Without our fans, we wouldn't be here. With regards to the backlash that these fans received, that is merely from keyboard warriors who do not know our true intentions."
This is something we do sincerely as fans. This backlash is normal, so we let it be.
- Madam Asliani Abdul Ghani, who organised the third wedding, responding to criticism