Friday, February 23, 2024

Tengku Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah & Dato’ Setia Aubry Mennesson – Directors, Light Cibles

They walk into Nobu at Petronas Tower 3 with a warm hello and even warmer smiles, and we all never stopped smiling and laughing until the interview and photoshoot was over. The Sultan of Selangor’s daughter and her ‘Malaysianised’ French husband are refined, courteous, intelligent, witty and engaging with their articulate answers and in-depth understanding of business and life in general.

 And they make an interview seem like catching up with long lost friends.

That in itself, is a rare art, and they are indeed, a rare couple, like diamonds. The added bonus, if it is even possible, is they are beautiful people, in every way. From the immaculate dressing to their stunning looks to the poised manner in which they speak to the way they make people around them feel, they are a power couple – and their power is the ability to reach out and communicate their thoughts, passion and drive to anyone they meet. That’s probably the success of their business venture, Light Cibles.

 They brought the unique expertise of the 30-year-old French lighting design company to Malaysia 6 years ago, and it has since taken up speed. From prestigious projects such as resorts World Sentosa, the Lake Gardens and National Mosque they are now working on the Four Seasons hotel, PJ Sentral Garden City, Iskandar Afiniti Medini, Sunway Velocity hotel and more.

 Interestingly, they also worked on both the Singapore Master Light Plan and the KL Master Light Plan, which sets international standard guidelines for a city’s roads, lighting calculation and lighting fixtures. impressive, we mused.

“Well, we are yin and yang,” Tengku Zatasha laughs. “He is the visionary, and I, typical woman, executes that vision, with all the attention to detail that women bring to the table. but we keep the sanity in our marriage by not talking work when we come home,” and they both laugh together at this.

They laugh a lot, this couple. And it is easy to see why working together is so do-able for them – the chemistry is just perfect. She speaks fluent French (she is the Chairman of Alliance Francaise by the way) and Spanish, and he loves durian and laksa and speaks Bahasa Malaysia better than most Malaysians. her favourite place in the world is France, and he absolutely adores anything and everything Malaysian. Dato’ Setia Aubrey says, “I think I must be Asian in my last birth. And I believe that the best thing about Malaysia is her different races. That melting pot of culture, religion and race is something we should treasure, for that is what makes Malaysia so rich and special. May we never erode that.”

 We couldn’t agree with him more. Tengku Datin Paduka Setia Zatasha and Dato Setia Aubrey bring just about every single mix to the table – laughter, wisdom, beauty, style, warmth, camaraderie, class and oodles of elegance. They have interests together yet they have projects and special interests apart too.

Kahlil Gibran comes to mind when describing this couple and we paraphrase… ”There are spaces in their togetherness… for they seem to let the heavens dance between them, They stand together, yet not too near together, For the pillars of the temple stand apart. And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.” 

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