Dutchman weds Malaysia’s princess

Streets in Malaysia were adorned with flags recently when 31-year-old Tunku Tun Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, daughter of the Sultan of Malaysia’s Johor state married 28-year-old Dutchman Dennis Muhammad Abdullah.

The lavish public and private wedding ceremonies has an estimated 1,200 members of the public in attendance. It was held at the Serene Hill Palace, the royal family’s residence in the southern city of Johor Bahru. Crowds watched the royal ceremony projected onto a big screen at Dataran Bandaraya, a public city square in Johor Bahru.

The princess is the only daughter (and the second of six siblings) of Sultan Ibrahim Ismail of Johor, a rich and powerful Malaysian southern state. Johor has its own army, the only state in the country to have a private military.

It was held according to Muslim Malay traditional custom. The groom gave the bride a dowry of 22.50 ringgit (about €4.50), and the couple kissed the hands of their parents, aunts and uncles as a mark of respect.

The couple sat on an elaborately decorated dias as family members and dignitaries dropped petals into their hands and sprinkled them with scented water and yellow rice as a mark of their approval of the marriage.

Earlier, the couple held a private solemnisation ceremony for family. It was the culmination of a three-year romance after meeting in a Malaysian cafe when the groom worked as a marketing manager for a Singapore football team. He was a former Dutch semi-pro footballer from the village of Lisse in The Netherlands. He converted to Islam in 2015, three years after their first meeting. He also switched his previous name of Dennis Verbaas to Dennis Muhammad Abdullah.

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