KUALA LUMPUR — It was supposed to be the Wedding of the Century, eclipsing even those of Mawi-Ekin or Siti-Datuk K. But despite all the hype, and most importantly — preparation — the most eagerly anticipated marital event in recent times between UMNO and PAS is not to be. And one party most unhappy with this development would be celebrity wedding planner Roger Wong, owner of Eternal Bliss Sdn Bhd.
“When I was approached to plan the wedding of UMNO and PAS for the end of the month, I could hardly believe it,” said Wong, at his outlet in Jalan Bukit Bintang. “I was like, ‘no — freakin’ — way’. I mean, these two are the biggest names in Malaysia, who doesn’t know UMNO and PAS? Can you imagine the guest list alone? I was extremely excited. So excited that I started going to work immediately. Flowers, the dress, tux, baju melayu, cake, broadcast rights, fireworks, A-list celebrity entertainment — the whole nine yards. The reps from UMNO and PAS said that money was no object, so I went on overdrive.
“And now they’re cancelling the whole thing? Who’s going to pay for all the stuff I’ve ordered?”
Talks of UMNO and PAS tying the knot began more than a year ago, after the last general elections in March 2008. After the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, took over 5 state administrations and de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim officially entered the Parliament, the rumours subsided. However, the possibility of a marriage surfaced yet again a month ago when PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang mooted the idea of a ‘unity government’ between the two parties in his speech at the PAS muktamar, effectively ‘proposing’ to the Malay party in public. UMNO President, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in return, while not outright saying ‘Yes’ to the proposition, gave hints that it was interested to talk further, assumingly to discuss pre-nuptual arrangements. However, due to pressures from family members, in particular from party elder Tuan Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat, PAS made an about-turn and said the wedding plans are off.
“My heart skipped a beat when Hadi proposed,” said Wong. “This was going to be the climax of the greatest love story of all time! I was like.. ‘say Yes, say Yes, SAY YES!‘ When UMNO hinted that it was possible, I shed a tear of joy. And now, this. I am angry.
“No, I am more than angry. I am enraged! Do you have any idea how much a Jovien Mandagie wedding gown costs?”
Wong admitted, however, that he may have rushed into the deal, pre-empting the event even before getting a black and white.
“Yes, I was a bit stupid, putting in my own money — and reputation — preparing for this bash, based on a verbal agreement. I mean, PAS and UMNO had not even decided who was going to be the bride, and who was groom. Personally, I think Hadi would look horrid in a gown, so I think he should be groom, but to prepare for any eventuality, I had asked Jovien to prepare a one-size-fits-all silk white gown, laced with 5,000 pieces of Swarovski crystals,” said Wong, dejectedly. “But by the sound of things, it seemed like a sure thing. The two parties indicated that it was going to happen. They were married once, afterall,” referring to PAS and UMNO’s previous marriage in the ’70s.
“I want them to pay for this,” said Wong. “With the gown, the huge cake, the flowers already being prepared and now going to waste, I not only lost money, but my face. Now I’ll only be known as ‘the ultimate wedding planner that was supposed to be’. My friends are sniggering behind my back.
“If they were never serious about getting hitched, they shouldn’t have announced it to the world like that. They just hurt their family members, friends, and innocent victims like me.”