Daphne Iking – one cool dame from Sabah
MIRROR’S PERSONALITY Daphne Iking, the charming celebrity who is in the thick of a private legal tussle over “enticing with a criminal intent”, is a native of Sabah and a former Kadazan beauty queen known as Unduk Ngadau.
Daphne, born in Keningau the administrative capital of the interior region of Sabah, has been living a charmed life since hosting TV3’s Ringgit $ence in 2003.
From there, this Kadazan beauty never looked back in her pursuit for success in the electronic media, hosting many other TV shows, including Explorace, Wanita Hari Ini, PNB World Investment Challenge, plus doubling up as a reporter for some of these programmes.
She later became a host and scriptwriter of her own travelogue programme, “My Australian Adventure”, and was a celebrity guest in many other TV shows, including Jalan-Jalan Cari Makan S10 and Health Buzz.
This versatile media queen then became producer and host of The Search for the 10/10 Couple. She is currently a producer and host of The Breakfast Show 2009 of NTV7 (8.30-10am) that is fast becoming one of the most watched TV programmes.
FHM’s Sexiest Women list
At the same time, Daphne, who is also a model and brand ambassador, is one of the regulars in the FHM’s Sexiest Women list and has appeared in countless magazine covers.
Daphne was crowned Unduk Ngadau queen at the 2003 Harvest Festival in Kota Kinabalu where she lived and had her secondary education at SM Francis Convent before her move to the Peninsula.
She left for Penang to pursue her studies at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). After receiving a degree in broadcasting covering film, TV and radio (1999-2002), and to the surprise of even her own course mates, she moved ahead and obtained a masters degree at the same university in communications.
Today, she has become one of the most recognizable and popular faces on TV, having the ability to play the multiple roles as journalist, TV presenter, emcee, actress, columnist and of course, a mother of a 21-month daughter, Isobel.
Her husband, Ryan Chong, whom she married in Bali on Jan 27, 2007 after “an intense courtship lasting all of six months”, last week took managing director Choy Khin Ming to court in a private prosecution under Section 498 of the Penal Code for “enticing or taking away or detaining with a criminal intent a married woman”.
The Magistrate’s Court has adjourned the case following the defence’s application to disqualify the trial magistrate, fixing Sept. 7 as the mention date for a progress report on the defence’s application and setting Dec 9 and 10 as trial dates.
Surprise marriage announcement on tv
When she broke the news of her plan to marry Ryan Chong, her well-meaning friends had asked if this gorgeous host of The Breakfast Show on NTV7 if she was doing the right thing, since she had met Chong only in October 2006.
Ryan and Daphne met during the filming of KL Lights, a comedy series later aired on 8TV. He was executive producer and she was one of the stars of the show.
It was during a talk show staged by the Malay Mail and Weekend Mail, known as The Sofa Session, with a live audience where Daphne made the surprise announcement of her marriage plan.
The topic of discussion was, “Marriage… For Love or Money” and Daphne told the panel members and crowd present that she was proud to say her guy was no Bratt Pitt, and added, “He is tall, financially stable and spiritually strong. These traits are very important to me.”
When asked by the host, “Would you marry a guy for his money?” she answered, “Well, if I’m in love with him and he happens to have money, why not?
When the crowd cheered, She asked, “True or not? I’m being honest. If my man is spiritually, mentally and physically rich, why not? Oh! Of course, he has to love me, lah and only me.”
Then came the question, “What was the thing about him that made you go ‘Yup! He’s my man”?
Daphne came with the bombshell, “”I’m proud to announce to everyone that I only started dating this guy seriously for a very short while. He recently proposed and I said yes. So guys, I’m getting married!”
When Ryan and Daphne found that the banquet halls at hotels they favoured were fully booked for weeks ahead, they decided to fly to Bali for their wedding on Jan 27, 2007, a date selected by Ryan’s parents.
Commenting on her new life partner in one of her postings on her website, Daphne shared her thoughts, “Ryan travels a lot and stays everywhere except Malaysia! I will be based here, though. We may not see each other daily but absence makes the heart grow fonder, so this is a dream marriage!”
One cool lady
No matter what the outcome of this legal tussle related to her marriage, one thing is sure. Daphne, who has just turned 31, has earned herself the reputation of a well known and successful TV personality and is one cool lady who has withstood and overcome many challenges previously.
One of her admirers had this comment recorded following her being crowned Unduk Ngadau, “Whatever it is she’s trying to sell or project, she’s quite successful at it.
Even the Wikipedia has recorded her as one of the “well known media figures” that Sabah has produced with the advent of television in Malaysia.
She maintains an active lifestyle, enjoying horse riding, paint ball, scuba diving and swimming. She said in one of the media interviews that her parents are her biggest fans and critics as well.
Her father, Moses Iking, stood and gained a total of 2,820 votes as a PKR candidate in the March 2008 election in the Tambunan state seat in Sabah, against Joseph Pairin Kitingan, president of PBS, who won with a majority of 2,781 votes.
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