KUALA LUMPUR — Istana Negara reverberated today with the hails of Daulat Tuankuand a 21-gun salute, heralding a new king.
The three hails of Daulat Tuanku in the Balairung Seri (Throne Room) and the gun salute in the grounds of the palace signified the culmination of a ceremony steeped in the rich tradition of the Malay Sultanate that saw Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustaffa Billah Shah of Pahang installed as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela (Grand Chamberlain) Azuan Effendy Zairakithnaini led the hails of Daulat Tuanku and the 41st Battery of the Royal Artillery Regiment based at the Sungai Buloh Camp managed the gun salute soon after Sultan Abdullah took his oath of office.
The installation had added meaning for Sultan Abdullah, resplendent in the Muskat royal attire, as it was His Majesty’s 60th birthday today.
The Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, was equally resplendent in an ivory white attire of Tenun Pahang (Pahang Weave) at the historic event.
The installation ceremony, broadcast live by all the local television stations, was also significant in terms of the aesthetic value and also the personal touch of Tunku Azizah, thus recording memorable moments for Their Majesties.
The royal couple, who always appear romantic, also made history in the sense that their fathers have also reigned as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Sultan Abdullah is the eldest son of the late Paduka Ayahanda Sultan Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah of Pahang, who was the seventh Yang di-Pertuan Agong (1979-1984), while Tunku Azizah is the third daughter of the late Sultan Iskandar of Johor, the eighth Yang di-Pertuan Agong (1984-1989).
Sultan Abdullah used the same throne that was used by his father when he was installed as the seventh Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Even more nostalgic was the fact that Their Majesties’ youngest daughter, Tengku Puteri Jihan Azizah ‘Athiyatullah, wore the same attire that was worn by Tunku Azizah when she witnessed the installation of her father, Sultan Iskandar.
Also of historical significance is the role of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was also the prime minister who proclaimed Sultan Ahmad Shah and Sultan Iskandar as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at the respective ceremonies then.
Sultan Abdullah, in taking the oath as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, declared that he will justly perform his duties in reigning Malaysia in accordance with the laws and the Constitution and faithfully uphold, at all times, the Religion of Islam and stand firmly with the just and peaceful administration of the country.
Dr Mahathir, in his speech conveying congratulations and allegiance, said shared prosperity of the people forms the basis of the commitment of the government led by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) in designing programmes and policies to make Malaysia a prosperous, dignified and independent nation.
He said the government, although in power for just about a year, has shown a high level of commitment and attained success in many matters, taking into consideration the financial position of the country inherited from the previous government.
“In this regard, I will continue to ensure that Your Majesty’s government does not remain satisfied with the achievements thus far. Efforts will be redoubled continuously to revive Malaysia to be one of the more important economic axes in Asia,” said Dr Mahathir at the first installation of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong held during the administration of the PH government.
Besides the Malay Rulers and their consorts, or their representatives, two foreign royal dignitaries also graced the installation, namely the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohamed Zayed Al-Nahyan, and the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, and his consort, Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha.
The Yang Dipertuas Negeri of Penang, Melaka, Sabah and Sarawak; Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Cabinet ministers and honorary guests comprising the heads of foreign missions and senior government officers also attended the event.
Sultan Abdullah, who was born on July 30, 1959, at Istana Mangga Tunggal in Pekan, is the fourth child and eldest son of the late Sultan Ahmad Shah and the late Tengku Ampuan Afzan Tengku Muhammad.
His Majesty was elected as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at a special meeting of the Conference of Rulers on Jan 24 after the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan, stepped down on Jan 6.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected for a five-year term from among the nine Malay Rulers, on a rotational basis agreed upon by the rulers themselves.
These are the rulers of Perlis, Kedah, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan.
Sultan Abdullah will set in motion the second round of the rotational system that has been in practice since independence in 1957.
Sultan Abdullah married Tunku Azizah on March 6, 1986. Their Majesties have four sons and five daughters.