Fazura brushes off old romance rumours over Taufik
M'sian actress-host Fazura squashes rumours she used to be in a relationship with newly-wed Taufik Batisah
For celebrities in showbiz, it is not easy to stay totally clear of gossip and controversy.
Malaysian actress-host and reality TV star Fazura knows that only too well.
Earlier this year, the Internet was abuzz with rumours that she was dating then-eligible bachelor and Singapore Idol winner Taufik Batisah.
The pair, both judges on Malaysian reality comedy show Maharajalawak Mega 2014, denied the allegations. The chatter died when it was revealed that Taufik had a long-time fiancee, Ms Sheena Akbal, whom he married in April.
Recalling the rumours, Fazura joked in a telephone interview with The New Paper: "I'm like, 'Taufik?' I'm dating Ryan Gosling!"
The 31-year-old, who is single and whose real name is Nur Fazura Sharifuddin, was in town on Saturday to break fast with fans at Kampong Ubi Community Centre as part of a StarHub TV Hari Raya promotional event.
She was joined by Malaysian actress Nabila Huda, Malaysian comedic duo Sepahtu and local comedy group Bora.
"Taufik and I are practically bros - we go way back to the times when I was dating (Singapore Idol 2 winner) Hady Mirza (in 2007). There is no way I could have feelings for him," said the star of E! reality TV show Facing Up To Fazura, which premiered last December.
Thankfully, the rumours did little to change their friendship.
"Neither of us bothered with it, we brushed it off. Besides, the only thing I am in a relationship with is my career," said Fazura, who will star in upcoming Malaysian romance flick Langit Cinta.
Fans can also catch her in the movie Kami Histeria on Aug 6 at 10pm and drama series Kisah Cinta, which starts on Aug 14 at 3pm. Both are showing on Sensasi (StarHub TV Ch 123).
Fazura said she could not be happier when she learnt that Taufik, 33, was getting hitched.
"He's a very private person and very good at keeping secrets so when I found out, I could not wait to meet her," said Fazura.
For now, love is the last thing on her mind - work comes first.
The multi-talented entertainer, who released her debut track Sayangi Dirimu last year, is in talks to collaborate with Taufik on a song.
"He approached me with the idea to feature on a track. I can't say much about it but it's really catchy," she said.
The plan is on hold due to their individual commitments.
It is set to be a busy year ahead for Fazura, who is involved in campaigns to champion animal rights.
"Maybe in the past, I was busy looking for guys and dating. But now, my priority is standing on my own two feet and achieving all that I have set out to do," she said.
She's also focusing her energies on her fashion label House of Doll, which will make its Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week debut next month.
She said of the collection: "I'm all about female empowerment and girl power. So it will be a fun and feminine ready-to-wear line that exudes elegance."
While Fazura counts herself blessed to be able to dabble in other ventures, she will continue to prioritise her entertainment career.
"I know other celebrities might try to take advantage of fame to do other things, but I think it's important to remember why you're in the industry," she said.
Taufik and I are practically bros - we go way back to the times when I was dating Hady Mirza.
Hijab business success not going to her head
It is easy to think of Malaysian TV personality Neelofa as a Jill of all trades.
Not only is the 26-year-old actress and TV host a well-loved household name, both here and across the Causeway, she is also a notable entrepreneur.
Her hijab (Muslim headdress) line Naelofar Hijab and contact lens brand Lofalens are seeing a steady stream of devoted customers.
To top it all off, she has her social media game down pat, with 1.6 million followers on Instagram and 1.39 million fans on Twitter.
Her success is enviable but does not come without its drawbacks.
Since Naelofar Hijab was launched in December 2013, many copycats have tried to use the brand name to sell their own designs.
Neelofa, whose real name is Noor Neelofa Mohd Noor, was in town on Saturday to make an appearance at Singtel TV's Hari Raya booth in Geylang Serai.
She told The New Paper: "I have a team that will investigate and then approach them or send them letters. We do what we can within our means to stop them..."
MOTIVATING: Malaysian actress-host Neelofa is also in the midst of writing an inspirational book for women. TNP PHOTO: SARANYA MAHENDRAN
The host of entertainment talk show MeleTOP, who will star in Hari Raya telemovie Suamiku Encik Beruang on July 22 at 10am on Astro Ria (Singtel TV Ch 608), also promoted her hijab collection at the booth.
She will donate 5 per cent of the sales proceeds to the Tabung Amal Aidilfitri, a charity that raises funds for the needy during Ramadan.
Neelofa admitted that the fakes initially "pissed her off" but she has since chosen to look on the bright side.
"My business is not affected and, in fact, they have given me free publicity for my brand. That's always a good thing," she said.
Neelofa is in the midst of writing an inspirational book to motivate other women to reach for their goals.
"When I was in school, I dreamed of being a speaker where I can travel the world and inspire people. I'm going to use this book as a tool to achieve that... I want to do that before I hit 30," she said.
Other goals include her very own motivational, female-centric YouTube talk show, a property business and her own brand of mineral water.
So where does love fit into the equation?
Happily single, she's not anxious to rush into things.
"During Hari Raya, you get those questions about marriage and kids," she said. "I know what I want so I will go with the flow... If I search for the one, he will remain elusive."
My business is not affected and, in fact, they have given me free publicity for my brand.
- Neelofa on copycats who have tried to use her brand name to sell their hijab designs