Back in 2010, songstress Shila Amzah had a crush on her friend’s older brother. She thought that he’d never feel the same way so she encapsulated that feeling of unreciprocated love in a song called Sedar. It was included in Shila’s self-titled album released in 2013.

Last Friday, 27-year-old Shila held an engagement ceremony at her family home in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur. The day also marked the first time the Asian Wave winner introduced her fiance to the public.

The man is 28-year-old Haris Idraki Elias, a Malaysian who works in the financial sector in London. It is the same man who inspired Shila’s song Sedar. Both of them were understandably nervous about going public with their relationship for the first time.

“Since we started dating three months ago, we’ve been really low-key about our relationship. I’m quite protective over Haris and I always wanted things to feel as normal as possible for him. To go public today, is such a big step,” said Shila who is currently based in China.

It was Haris who made the first move to reach out to the Mandopop star. He wanted to know if Shila was seeing anyone. So his mum met her mum to find out. When it was clear that Shila was single, he texted her in January.

Because of the distance – Shila, who’s based in Hong Kong and Haris in London – they would Skype and speak on the phone on a regular basis.

“I just wanted to get to know her. Once I did, I realised that she is a sweet, loving and kind person. We can talk for days. We won’t get bored of each other. When I’m with her, I cherish the time that we have because we’re both very busy people,” he shared.

Finally, they met face-to-face for the first time in October when Shila flew to London. Later in the same month, Haris contacted Shila’s father, singer ND Lala to ask for her hand in marriage.

Getting Shila Amzah’s father ND Lala to say ‘yes’

Shila Amzah

Shila Amzah with her mother Fauziah Sarman during her engagement ceremony while father ND Lala (sitting on left) looks on.

Haris described the process as “nerve-racking”.

In 2012, Shila dated actor Sharnaaz Ahmad. Their relationship made headlines when ND Lala announced that he did not approve of Sharnaaz. The pair broke up and Shila was rumoured to have run away from home. She denied it and said she just needed some time to herself.

No one was more surprised than Shila herself when her 56-year-old father gave his blessing to Haris.

“Yes, I was shocked! As most people know, my parents are quite protective of me. I remember talking to my dad about Haris and he just sat there listening with a serious look on his face. Then I was like, ‘Oh crap …’.

“I told my dad that Haris is the one. He just replied, ‘OK’.” She added: “Then my dad asked me to stand up and he hugged me. He said he was very happy for me. We both started crying. To this day, it still feels like a dream.”

Haris is grateful that ND has accepted him with open arms. According to ND, Haris is a familiar face in his household as their families have known each other for a long time. “How do I feel about Shila’s engagement? Finally! I’m just happy that she is happy,” ND said with a laugh.

Shila and Haris plan to hold a solemnisation ceremony in April next year. “We can’t wait for our future together,” Shila exclaimed.

What does Haris Elias thinks of Sedar?

Lastly, did Haris know that Sedar was about him? Shila was shocked when this question was posed to her as she has never publicly talked about the inspiration behind the song. Well, she can blame her dad for sharing that information.

“Did I know? I think it’s quite well-hidden to be honest. I did hear it from a couple of people but I never believed it,” Haris replied.