Warm wishes for the King - DAULAT TUANKU - The Star

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Warm wishes for the King - DAULAT TUANKU - The Star
THE STAR, MONDAY 7 JUNE 2021                                                            DAULAT TUANKU

              Warm wishes for the King
                     Malaysians celebrate the official birthday of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong
                         Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah today.
Warm wishes for the King - DAULAT TUANKU - The Star
Warm wishes for the King - DAULAT TUANKU - The Star
THE STAR, MONDAY 7 JUNE 2021                                                                                                                                     Daulat Tuanku             3
NOTE: All photos featured in this pullout in which no face masks are worn were taken prior to the Covid-19 outbreak.


Sage king with a heart of gold
THE past year has been a tumultu-       commitment, bravery and
ous one with the country facing the     sacrifices of the frontliners who
Covid-19 pandemic.                      worked tirelessly to check the
   During this time, Yang di-Pertu-     spread of the virus.
an Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah                Sultan Abdullah noted that it
Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah          was only through the unity of all
Shah has performed his role as a        Malaysians that the country would
voice of reason and unity for           be able to curb the pandemic.
Malaysians. In particular, the King        Recently, Sultan Abdullah
had continuously called for the         advised the public to stay at home
people’s cooperation and patience       and adhere to the nationwide
in fighting the pandemic.               movement control order.
   In his recent Hari Raya Aidilfitri      His Majesty also repeated his
message, Sultan Abdullah said he        advice for the people to prioritise
was aware that the people had to        their loved ones and their own
comply with various regulations         safety by being disciplined and
imposed to curb the spread of           obeying all instructions set by the
Covid-19, as well as the grievances     National Security Council.
of those who had been affected             In managing the pandemic,
during this period.                     Sultan Abdullah declared an
   His Majesty said he did not want     Emergency in January, to be
the harmonious society in Malaysia      enforced until Aug 1 or earlier
to fade into discord.                   in order to contain the spread
   “Let’s move forward by taking        of Covid-19 after the number of
care of our health and complying        infections in the country continued
with all the regulations,” His          to increase.
Majesty added.                             Sultan Abdullah did not give his
   Sultan Abdullah also expressed       assent in October last year when
his appreciation to all Malaysians,     Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin
regardless of race and religion,        Yassin proposed the move,
who had come together to help           saying there was no need for          Sultan Abdullah conducting a video call with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs)
fight Covid-19.                         an Emergency at that time.            Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri at Istana Negara in April 2020. The King had decreed that all meetings
   His Majesty called on the people                                           would be held online to maintain physical distancing amid the Covid-19 pandemic. — Photo taken from Istana
to appreciate the contributions,                  > TURN TO NEXT PAGE         Negara’s Instagram page

The King and his son Tengku Panglima Raja Tengku Amir Nasser Ibrahim Shah (fourth from right) performing
Hari Raya Aidilfitri prayers at Istana Negara in May this year. The prayers were carried out with strict adherence
to the Covid-19 standard operating procedure set by the National Security Council. — Bernama

inspecting the
guard of
honour during
the opening
ceremony of
the second
of the 14th
Parliament in
March 2019.
MAHFOF/The                                                                                                           An electronic billboard outside the Kuala Lumpur City Hall building
Star                                                                                                                 showing a message from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong thanking
                                                                                                                     frontliners fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star
Warm wishes for the King - DAULAT TUANKU - The Star
4      Daulat Tuanku                                                                                                                                                 THE STAR, MONDAY 7 JUNE 2021

    Model of strength for the people

    People saluting as Sultan Abdullah’s car reaches Istana Negara              Sultan Abdullah, Tunku Azizah and their children took off their face masks for a quick family photo in front
    ahead of his installation ceremony as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong             of a mural of the King painted by artist Muhammad Suhaimi Ali on the wall of a building in Klang, Selangor,
    in January 2019. — Art Chen/The Star.                                       in July 2020. — KK SHAM/The Star

                                                                                                                                                                           Sultan Abdullah
                                                                                                                                                                           posing for a
                                                                                                                                                                           ‘wefie’ with
                                                                                                                                                                           guests at a
                                                                                                                                                                           community feast
                                                                                                                                                                           after Friday
                                                                                                                                                                           prayers in Masjid
                                                                                                                                                                           Baru, Temerloh,
                                                                                                                                                                           Pahang, in
                                                                                                                                                                           January 2019. —
    Sultan Abdullah boarding a boat with Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy
                                                                                                                                                                           NIK NAIZI
    Wan Ismail (in light brown cap) to inspect the flood-hit district of Lipis in January
                                                                                                                                                                           HUSIN/The Star
    this year. — ONG HAN SEAN/The Star

                                                                                                          The King admiring a scale model of Istana Mangga Tunggal displayed in the
    The King inspecting halal products exhibited during a visit to the Malaysian International Halal      Khutubkhanah DiRaja in March this year. Earlier, he was briefed on a proposal to
    Showcase at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in April 2019. — AFIQUE            sign memorandums of agreement to set up the Al-Sultan Abdullah Research
    YUSOFF/The Star                                                                                       Centre for Pahang History and Civilisation. — ONG HAN SEAN/The Star
Warm wishes for the King - DAULAT TUANKU - The Star
Warm wishes for the King - DAULAT TUANKU - The Star
6    Daulat Tuanku                                                                                                                                            THE STAR, MONDAY 7 JUNE 2021

                                                                                             Tunku Azizah honouring underprivileged couples with Tunku Azizah Fertility Foundation
Kolej Yayasan Pahang Advanced Skills students showing copies of a recipe book written by     sponsorship letters at TAFF’s family day in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, in October 2019.
Tunku Azizah after the launch of the book in October 2018. — NIK NAIZI HUSIN/The Star        — RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star

Warm and
loving Queen
THE consort of a Yang di-Pertuan     Ampuan Mariam, Sekolah Rendah
Agong holds the title of Raja        Perempuan Sultan Ibrahim and
Permaisuri Agong, which does         Sekolah Tun Fatimah, Johor Baru.
not have a stipulated role in the       Her Majesty married Sultan
Federal Constitution.                Abdullah in March 1986.
  As the consort of Al-Sultan           Tunku Azizah is known to be
Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa     passionate in various fields of the
Billah Shah, Tunku Hajah Azizah      arts, with cooking being one of her
Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah          favourite activities.
automatically assumed the title of      Like the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,
Raja Permaisuri Agong when he        the Raja Permaisuri Agong is not
became the Yang di-Pertuan Agong     allowed to hold any appointment
in 2019.                             carrying any remuneration and
  Tunku Azizah was born at Istana    shall not actively engage in any
Bukit Stulang in Johor Baru on       commercial enterprise.
Aug 5, 1960, to Almarhum Sultan         The Parliament, however, is
Iskandar and Almarhumah Enche’       legally required to provide a Civil
Besar Hajah Khalsom Abdullah.        List of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong
  Her brother Sultan Ibrahim Ibni    which shall include provision for
Almarhum Sultan Iskandar is the      an annuity to be paid to the Raja
Sultan of Johor.                     Permaisuri Agong.
  Tunku Azizah studied at Sekolah                                          Tunku Azizah joining a group of children at a TAFF family day in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, in October 2019. —
Taman Kanak-Kanak Tunku                             > TURN TO PAGE 8       RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star

 Sultan Abdullah
 and Tunku
 Azizah viewing
 the colourful
 displays during
 the 62nd
 National Day
 parade in
 Putrajaya in
 August 2019.
                                                                                                  Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah taking a photo with a baby T-Rex figurine at the
                                                                                                  Jurassic Research Centre at The Top, Komtar in George Town, in December 2019. —
                                                                                                  CHAN BOON KAI/The Star
Warm wishes for the King - DAULAT TUANKU - The Star
Warm wishes for the King - DAULAT TUANKU - The Star
8     Daulat Tuanku                                                                                                                                     THE STAR, MONDAY 7 JUNE 2021

    Generous and diligent heart
    > FROM PAGE 6

                                                                                                          (Above) Tunku Azizah showed her down-to-earth nature when she
                                                                                                          boarded the KLIA Express train to catch a flight at the airport in
                                                                                                          December 2019. — The Star

                                                                                                          (Left) Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah arriving at the Bunga Raya
                                                                                                          complex at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for a ceremonial
                                                                                                          welcome ceremony in Parliament in January 2019. — RAJA FAISAL
                                                                                                          HISHAN/The Star

                                                                                  The Queen sharing cooking tips with the female inmates and staff members of Bentong Prison
                                                                                  in Pahang during the ‘Beauty Behind The Wall’ programme in November 2018. — AZLINA
                                                                                  ABDULLAH/The Star

                                                                                                                                                               Tunku Azizah
                                                                                                                                                               visiting a patient
                                                                                                                                                               at the Cheras
                                                                                                                                                               Hospital, Kuala
                                                                                                                                                               Lumpur, in
                                                                                                                                                               August 2019.
    The Queen admiring the tenun work done by inmates at Penor Prison, Kuantan,                                                                                — The Star
    in July 2019. — NIK NAIZI HUSIN/The Star
Warm wishes for the King - DAULAT TUANKU - The Star
Warm wishes for the King - DAULAT TUANKU - The Star
12 Daulat Tuanku                                                                                                                                             THE STAR, MONDAY 7 JUNE 2021

History of the Pahang Sultanate

                                                                         The Sultan Abu Bakar Museum in Pekan, Pahang, which houses a large collection of ancient Chinese
                                                                         glassware and ceramics previously used by former sultans of Pahang. — NIK NAIZI HUSIN/The Star

                                                                         MALAYSIA practises an elective          modern era was Wan Ahmad,              The late Paduka Ayahanda
                                                                         monarchy system, which means            who emerged victorious in a civil   Sultan Ahmad Shah ruled from
                                                                         the Conference of Rulers will select    war with his brother and was        then onwards until 2019.
                                                                         the head of state from among the        subsequently proclaimed as Sultan      Sultan Ahmad Shah was the first
                                                                         nine Malay rulers.                      Ahmad Al-Mu’adzam Shah.             Pahang Ruler to take on the role of
                                                                            The reigning Yang di-Pertuan           Sultan Ahmad’s reign ended        Yang di-Pertuan Agong from 1979
                                                                         Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah                upon his death in 1914 and he       to 1984.
                                                                         Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah          was succeeded by his son Sultan        In early 2019, the Pahang royal
                                                                         Shah comes from the Pahang              Mahmud.                             council conducted Sultan Ahmad
                                                                         Sultanate, whose history dates            Sultan Mahmud ruled for three     Shah’s abdication due to his ailing
                                                                         back centuries.                         years before his own passing,       health.
                                                                            The current ruling house of          whereupon another of Sultan            His heir was then proclaimed
                                                                         the sultanate, however, is fairly       Ahmad’s sons then ruled as Sultan   Sultan of Pahang on Jan 15 of that
                                                                         recent as this particular ascendan-     Abdullah Al-Mu’tassim Billah from   year, taking on the regnal name of
                                                                         cy came into being in 1882, when        1917 to 1932.                       Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin
                                                                         the Raja Bendahara family consoli-        Sultan Abdullah’s son then        Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
                                                                         dated its hegemony over Pahang          succeeded him as Sultan Abu            On Jan 24, 2019, Al-Sultan
The fifth Pahang Ruler, the late Sultan Ahmad Shah, and his son Sultan   territory.                              Bakar Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mu’adzam      Abdullah was elected the 16th
Abdullah. — Photo courtesy of the Raja Permaisuri Agong                     The first Sultan of Pahang in this   Shah and ruled until 1974.          Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
14 Daulat Tuanku                                                                                                                                                     THE STAR, MONDAY 7 JUNE 2021

A King with great wisdom and foresight
THE institution of the Yang di-                                                                                          “Aside from that, the three         a situation that needed to be
Pertuan Agong, which was formed                                                                                       events attracted high public atten-    addressed by interpreting the pro-
as a constitutional monarchy in                                                                                       tion as it was the first time they     visions of the Constitution regard-
1957, is intended to be used as a                                                                                     had happened at the federal level.     ing his powers in determining the
symbol of sovereignty for the                                                                                            “The Yang di-Pertuan Agong          new head of the government or
Malay Federation as an independ-                                                                                      had also acted to set a precedent      appointing the prime minister.
ent state.                                                                                                            of the relevant provisions in the         “The general public and the
   Constitutional expert Assoc Prof                                                                                   Constitution,” she said.               international audiences were
Dr Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz said                                                                                            According to her, during the        watching the development of the
the institution of the Yang di-Pertu-                                                                                 controversy involving the Rome         situation with full interest.
an Agong also serves as the highest                                                                                   Statute, Sultan Abdullah had              “The King’s wisdom in managing
pinnacle of the country’s adminis-                                                                                    initiated a meeting with his fellow    the democratic conflict had ended
tration at the federal level.                                                                                         Rulers to discuss its impact on the    the episode peacefully.
   “Through the provisions of the                                                                                     royal institution and the position        “Although there were opposing
Federal Constitution, the Yang                                                                                        of the Constitution.                   voices, in the end, the situation
di-Pertuan Agong is the nation’s                                                                                         The government later withdrew       became less tense,” she said.
Supreme Head of Federation                                                                                            and the issue did not prolong, she        On the declaration of Emergency
(Article 32 of the constitution).                                                                                     said.                                  to check the spread of Covid-19,
   “As the head of state, the                                                                                            Prof Shamrahayu added that the      Prof Shamrahayu said Sultan
Constitution stipulates that the                                                                                      announcement by the then prime         Abdullah had initially rejected the
executive authority of the                                                                                            minister had sparked public dis-       suggestion by the government.
Federation shall be vested in                                                                                         course involving the role of the          She said although there seemed
him as per Article 39 of the            Sultan Abdullah having an audience with Prime Minister Tan Sri                King in the process of ratifying       to be a bit of tension between the
Constitution,” she told The Star        Muhyiddin Yassin in Istana Negara in October 2020. — Photo courtesy           international agreements.              two parties early on, the situation
in an interview.                        of Istana Negara                                                                 “The episode had shown the          de-escalated quickly.
   On Jan 24, 2019, the Conference                                                                                    King’s wisdom and great foresight         “This once again proved a sign
of Rulers during its 251st meeting      incumbent Institution of the Malay         Secondly, there was the change     in realising the provisions of the     of the King’s wisdom and resilience
elected Al-Sultan Abdullah              Rulers chair at Universiti Teknologi    of government which was trig-         Constitution.                          in handling differences with the
Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah          Mara.                                   gered following the decision by          “The situation demonstrated his     government leadership.
Shah as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan           For the purpose of this article,     Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to            wisdom and high intelligence in           “The wisdom of the King had con-
Agong.                                  Assoc Prof Shamrahayu cited three       hand in his resignation. The King     realising the provision of the         tributed to the social and political
   Sultan Abdullah took his oath to     major events that featured and          later had to appoint a new prime      Constitution and his firmness on       stability of the country,” she said.
mark the start of his reign at the      reflected Sultan Abdullah’s type of     minister.                             important matters involving the           Prof Shamrahayu said the
Istana Negara on Jan 31, 2019, and      reign based on the provisions in           Thirdly, there was the             position of the royal institution      aspects of Sultan Abdullah’s
throughout the two years of his         the Constitution.                       declaration of Emergency due          and monarchy in this country.          wisdom in managing the relations
reign, there have been many                Firstly, there was the controversy   to the Covid-19 pandemic.                “He placed the sovereignty of       between the royal institution and
challenges.                             involving the ratification of the          The declaration was approved       the royal institution at the fore-     the political leaders in interpreting
   “Among them was the political        Rome Statute under the Pakatan          by the King following the start of    front in handling differences in       the Constitution while facing
uncertainty that led to a change of     Harapan government.                     the pandemic although initially,      the approach adopted by the            political challenges and public
government in the early part of last       Initially, the government had        His Majesty had rejected the          government,” she added.                health threats must be given due
year.                                   wanted to ratify the statute but        proposal by the government.              Prof Shamrahayu said the King       attention.
   “Right after that, there was a       later decided to withdraw                  Prof Shamrahayu said she want-     also managed to bring about               “Adapting the provisions of the
huge threat to public health            following the decision made by the      ed to highlight the three major       stability when the country was         Constitution with the real situation
which led to the declaration of         Conference of Rulers, which was         events as they involved the inter-    facing political uncertainty due to    is not an easy task, especially in
Emergency,” said Assoc Prof             expressed by the Yang di-Pertuan        pretation of the Constitution based   conflict among certain parties.        such a tense political situation,”
Shamrahayu, who is also the             Agong to the then prime minister.       on the actual current situation.         She said Sultan Abdullah faced      she said.

                                        Enduring legacy of the Malay Sultanates
THE existence of the Malay
Sultanates in the country is
historically linked to the Melaka
   According to Istana Negara’s
official website, the Melaka                                                                                                                                    According to the Federal
Sultanate played a significant role                                                                                                                          Constitution, as the nation’s head
in establishing the current palace                                                                                                                           of state, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong
traditions which were inherited by                                                                                                                           plays a role in the three branches
subsequent sultanates.                                                                                                                                       of government, namely executive,
   Prior to the establishment of the                                                                                                                         legislative and judiciary.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong post, from                                                                                                                                Article 39 of the Constitution
the nine existing sultanates, only                                                                                                                           stipulates that the executive
the Perak Sultanate had a direct                                                                                                                             authority of the Federation shall
link to the Melaka Sultanate as it                                                                                                                           be vested in the Yang di-Pertuan
was established from the Melaka                                                                                                                              Agong and exercisable by the King
Sultanate before it fell to the                                                                                                                              himself or the Cabinet or any
Portuguese in 1511.                                                                                                                                          minister or any other person
   The Kedah Sultanate, which                                                                                                                                authorised by Parliament.
once enjoyed the protection of the                                                                                                                              Dewan Negara president Tan
Melaka Sultanate, possesses royal                                                                                                                             Sri Rais Yatim was quoted by
regalia including nobat instruments                                                                                                                          Bernama as saying that in
presented by the Melaka Sultanate.                                                                                                                           carrying out his duties as
   The Selangor Sultanate, although                                                                                                                          stipulated in the Constitution,
founded by the Bugis in the 18th                                                                                                                             Sultan Abdullah’s leadership
century, was given recognition by                                                                                                                            qualities would come to the fore
the Perak Sultanate.                                                                                                                                         in cementing the institution of the
   Other sultanates such as Johor,                                                                                                                           Yang di-Pertuan Agong and
Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu                                                                                                                              constitutional monarchy.
emerged after the lineage of the                                                                                                                                Pointing to the fact that the
Melaka Sultanate died out.                                                                                                                                   term of Yang di-Pertuan Agong
   These sultanates filled the void                                                                                                                          is mentioned more than 450 times
left by the Melaka Sultanate after      The Melaka Sultanate played a significant role in establishing the current palace traditions which were              in the Constitution, he said this
it fell to the Portuguese and           inherited by subsequent sultanates. — A. MALEX YAHAYA/The Star                                                       alone reflected the crucial role
continued the legacy of the Melaka                                                                                                                           played by the institution in the
Sultanate.                              of Malaya.                                Based on the seniority of the       as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.          administration of the nation, as
   The same holds true for Negri           The proposal for the Yang di-        longest-reigning period, Sultan of       The third-longest reigning Ruler    well as in ensuring the well-being
Sembilan whose rulers had               Pertuan Agong post was made             Johor Major-General Sultan            was Tuanku Abdul Rahman ibni           of the people.
originated from Sumatra.                following the objection of the          Ibrahim Sultan Abu Bakar, who         Almarhum Tuanku Muhammad                  The election of Sultan Abdullah
   Thereafter, the British              establishment of the Malayan            was appointed as Sultan in 1895,      from Negri Sembilan, who ascend-       as Yang di-Pertuan Agong has
intervened in the Malay states,         Union, which was seen as an             was the longest-reigning Sultan       ed the throne in 1933 and was later    created history in the system of
starting with the Pangkor Treaty in     attempt by certain quarters to          but he rejected the appointment       appointed Yang di-Pertuan Agong        constitutional monarchy and
1874 and ending with the British        abolish the Malay royal institution.    due to his old age.                   of the Federation of Malaya.           parliamentary democracy
agreement with Johor in 1914.              In August 1957, after choosing         The second in line was Sultan          The present King, Al-Sultan         practised by this country.
   The post of the Yang di-Pertuan      the Yang di-Pertuan Agong title         Sir Abu Bakar Riayatuddin             Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa          This is because the decision
Agong, also known as the Supreme        instead of the Yang di-Pertuan          Al-Muadzam Shah Almarhum              Billah Shah was officially installed   pertaining to the election of
Head or the King, was established       Besar, which was proposed earlier,      Sultan Abdullah Al-Mutassim Billah    as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong      the Pahang Ruler was made
in 1957 following a proposal by the     the Conference of Rulers convened       Shah of Pahang, who ruled in 1932     in a majestic ceremony steeped in      barely a week after he was
Reid Commission which drafted           to elect the first sultan to ascend     but failed to get sufficient votes    royal customs and traditions at        proclaimed Sultan of Pahang
the Constitution of the Federation      the throne.                             from fellow Rulers to be appointed    Istana Negara on Jan 31, 2019.         on Jan 15.
18 Daulat Tuanku                                                                                                                                                   THE STAR, MONDAY 7 JUNE 2021

Royal residence with fascinating features

The entrance to
Istana Negara,
which leads to a
and landscaped
garden. — RAJA
The Star

THE Istana Negara or the National        lobby, they will find themselves
Palace has served as the official        under a dome that is 40m above
residence of the Yang di-Pertuan         ground – as high as a 10-storey
Agong and the Raja Permaisuri            building – and fitted with a
Agong, as well as the centrepiece of     magnificent chandelier specially
the country’s constitutional monar-      made in Kuala Selangor.
chy system, the symbol of the posi-         The massive dome is surrounded
tion of Islam as the religion of state   by large round pillars with eight
and other aspects that define the        paintings depicting the country’s
nation’s identity.                       history from the Malacca Sultanate
   Originally, Istana Negara was         era to the present time.
located on an 11.34ha compound              Istana Negara also has suites
in Jalan Istana, Bukit Petaling,         and halls built for specific uses and
facing the Klang River.                  purposes.
   Now situated in Jalan Tuanku             The Balairong Seri, or the main
Abdul Halim (formerly Jalan Duta),       throne room, is used for official
it spreads across a total of 97.65ha     functions, including the ceremonial
of land.                                 occasions of taking the royal
   Istana Negara started operations      pledge, installation ceremony of a
in its new location on Nov 11, 2011,     new elected King and the appoint-
during Tuanku Mizan Zainal               ment of a new prime minister and
Abidin’s tenure as the nation’s          federal government.
13th King.                                  Other formal occasions held here
   Although it has many uses,            include investiture ceremonies and
including for official events and        the taking of oaths by government
receptions held by the King, it          ministers and state governors. This
serves mainly as a symbol of the         is also where the presentation and
sovereignty of the Malay Rulers.         acceptance of foreign diplomatic
   Consisting of three main compo-       appointments are held. It also
nents – formal, royal and adminis-       sometimes serves as a banquet
tration – the palace also houses         hall.
other facilities such as a surau            The iconic royal throne room is
that can accommodate up to 1,000         finely decorated with Malay tradi-
worshippers, a security office,          tional carvings and calligraphy of      Istana Negara spreads across a total of 97.65ha of land. — ART CHEN/The Star
elevated roads, a visitors square,       Quranic verses made by renowned
underground parking, a multi-pur-        woodcarving masters from                and the Queen as well as fellow
pose hall, a medical treatment           Kelantan and Terengganu.                Malay Rulers and Her Royal
room, a helicopter pad, stables             The royal section of the palace is   Highnesses, and the Yang Di
and sports facilities including a        specially designed for the use of       Dipertua Negeri, head of states
swimming pool.                           the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the          and governments.
   Distinctively standing out with       Raja Permaisuri Agong and other            The main entrance also sees the
two large gold domes in Kuala            members of the royal family.            deployment of Royal Guards from
Lumpur, the palace has a total of           Although it is often seen as an      the First Battalion of the Malay
22 domes which are designed to           administrative area, it is also a       Regiment.
resemble an arrangement of sirih         home to the royal family.                  The second entrance, situated
(betel nut) leaves.                         The national palace also consists    in Jalan Changkat Semantan, is
   Each suite and royal hall is          of bedrooms, the King’s office,         reserved for royal guests and those
distinctively decorated with             dining and living rooms, as well as     who are specially invited to events
traditional Malay-themed ornate          rooms for royal guests.                 at the palace.
carvings, drawings and designs              The well-manicured and land-            The third entrance, also known
with Islamic motifs.                     scaped garden is an equally promi-      as Pintu 3, is located in Jalan Sri
   Islamic elements are also evident     nent feature of the royal palace.       Hartamas, Mont Kiara. It is meant
in the three-dimensional geometry,          Istana Negara has three main         for the use of civilians who have
carvings of Quranic verses and           entrances, with the main entrance       business regarding the King
lamps used throughout the                via the multi-storeyed road             and Queen, as well as the adminis-
palace, especially in the surau.         from Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim           trative staff and guests invited to   Mounted palace guards making their way to Istana Negara’s entrance in
   As visitors walk into the main        reserved for the use of the King        Istana Negara.                        April this year. — RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star
20 Daulat Tuanku                                                                                                                                           THE STAR, MONDAY 7 JUNE 2021

How the Agong is appointed
THE Conference of Rulers is a
unique institution that chooses
the Yang di-Pertuan Agong from         “The Conference of
among its ranks of nine Malay
                                       Rulers is a unique
   Although it was officially estab-   institution that
lished in 1948, the Conference had
a predecessor in the durbar, where     chooses the Yang
the Rulers and the British adminis-
trators would meet during the days
                                       di-Pertuan Agong
of the Federated Malay States.         from among its
   Following the country’s indepen-
dence, the Conference of Rulers
                                       ranks of nine Malay
was established in accordance with     Rulers.”
Article 38 of the Federal Constitu-
tion which, among others, stipulat-
ed that it would elect Yang di-Per-    mitted to stand as candidates and
tuan Agong as the head of state.       elect the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
   It would also elect the Deputy         The appointment of the Yang
Yang di-Pertuan Agong.                 di-Pertuan Agong has generally
   Its other functions are to agree    followed the tradition of rotation
or disagree to the extension of any    based on the first cycle of nine
religious acts; observances or         Rulers to have taken on the mantle.
ceremonies to the Federation as a         But the year 2019 saw an
whole; consent or withhold consent     unprecedented event that could
to any law and making or giving        have broken that tradition when
advice on any appointment              Sultan Muhammad V resigned as
which requires the consent of the      the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong
Conference under the Constitution;     midway through his five-year term.
appoint members of the Special            The next in line was the then
Court; grant pardons, reprieves        Sultan of Pahang Almarhum
and respites or remitting, suspend-    Paduka Ayahanda Sultan Ahmad
ing or commuting sentences.            Shah but since he was ill at that
   It may also deliberate on matters   time, it would not be suitable for
of national policy and any other       the Conference of Rulers to appoint
matter it deems fit. Its members       him as the next Yang di-Pertuan
comprise the hereditary monarchs       Agong.
of the states of Malaysia and the         This matter was averted when
Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Melaka,       Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin
Penang, Sabah and Sarawak.             Al-Mustafa Billah Shah acceded the
   Only the Rulers of Negri            throne of Pahang with the abdica-
Sembilan, Selangor, Perlis,            tion of Sultan Ahmad Shah, thus
Terengganu, Kedah, Kelantan,           making him eligible to become the     Sultan Abdullah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Maimunah Iskandariah at the opening
Pahang, Johor and Perak are per-       Yang di-Pertuan Agong.                ceremony of the second session of the 14th Parliament in March 2019. — AZHAR MAHFOF/THe Star
22 Daulat Tuanku                                                                                                                                                THE STAR, MONDAY 7 JUNE 2021

Snap and Chat: Sultan Abdullah taking a photo with guests after a banquet at the Top            Enjoy!: Sultan Abdullah distributing meals to journalists stationed outside the Istana
Komtar Banquet Ballroom at The Top, Komtar in George Town, during a visit in December           Negara gates as they waited for updates following the political impasse in February 2020.
2019. — CHAN BOON KAI/The Star                                                                  — AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

Spirit of kindness
WHEN Al-Sultan Abdullah
Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah
Shah was sworn in as the 16th
Yang di-Pertuan Agong in January
2019, he immediately won the
                                                                                           Choice fruits:
hearts of Malaysians with his                                                              Sultan Abdullah
down-to-earth and compassionate                                                            selecting fruits from
demeanour.                                                                                 a roadside stall in
   People were often amazed at                                                             Kampung Padang,
Sultan Abdullah’s knack for setting                                                        Kuantan, on his way
aside protocol to be with them in                                                          to a ceremony to
both good and bad times.                                                                   proclaim city status
   There were many occasions                                                               on the Pahang
where Tuanku was spotted assist-                                                           capital in February
ing accident victims he encoun-                                                            this year. — Photo
tered on his journeys or stopping                                                          taken from Istana
by a roadside fruit stall to buy                                                           Negara social media
fruits. Tuanku charmed the people
even more when he was seen               Sultan Abdullah also congratu-         During this time, Tuanku was
queuing up to buy a fast-food meal    lated students Cheryl Chow Shu         accompanied by Raja Permaisuri
with his entourage.                   Wei for earning the “Top In The        Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah
   Sultan Abdullah showed his         World” Award for Chemistry in the      Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah
thoughtfulness further by issuing     International General Certificate of   and they helped to prepare meals
congratulatory messages to            Secondary Education and Pavit          for those housed at evacuation
Malaysians through the Istana         Coran, who was crowned champi-         centres.
Negara social media channels to       on of the English Speaking Union          During the political impasse
commend them on their every           International Public Speaking          early last year, the King and
achievement.                          Competition.                           Queen once again showed their
   Last month, Sultan Abdullah           Tuanku is also not a stranger to    compassion by treating members
congratulated dive queen              bringing comfort to people hit by      of the press to a meal after they
Pandelela Rinong on winning the       hardships and disasters.               spent long hours waiting for
gold medal for the 10m platform          When floods struck several          updates outside the Istana Negara
individual event at the FINA Diving   villages in Pahang earlier this        gates.
World Cup in Tokyo, and he did the    year, Tuanku donned his military          The King’s attentiveness to his    Royal compassion: Sultan Abdullah planting a kiss on a child as he
same when shuttler Lee Zii Jia won    fatigues and waded through             people’s needs has earned him         hands out packs of food to the homeless during a visit to Masjid Jamek
the All England Badminton             floodwaters to visit and give aid to   praises and a special place in        Kuala Lumpur in July 2019. — AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star
Championship title in March.          the victims.                           their hearts.

Raya joy: Sultan Abdullah made time to accompany the underprivileged in Kuantan to              Nice to meet you: Sultan Abdullah meeting with locals after performing Friday prayers
shop for Hari Raya essentials as they made preparations for the celebration in May 2019.        following the launch of Masjid Al-Bukhary Pulau Pinang in Bandar Sri Pinang in December
— NIK NAIZI HUSIN/The Star                                                                      2019. — Bernama
26 Daulat Tuanku                                                                                                                                                 THE STAR, MONDAY 7 JUNE 2021

                                                                                                                 Helping out: Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah serving food to flood
                                                                                                                 victims at a flood relief centre in Pekan, Pahang, in January this year.
                                                                                                                 — Photo taken from Istana Negara’s Facebook page

Hand in hand: Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah holding hands as they cross the Canopy Walk during a
visit to Bukit Bendera, Penang, in December 2019. — Bernama

The rakyat’s
pillars of strength
A FIGURE that is always by          maintaining a level of decorum.        together and are prepared to
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan        Once, during a banquet in           extend a helping hand to those in     Generous gesture: Sultan Abdullah giving Raya packets to a boy
Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa    Penang in 2019, the King jokingly      need.                                 during a Compassion and Grace Programme at Masjid Kampung Kuala
Billah Shah’s side is Raja          told guests he had to cut his speech      One of the causes close to         Penor in Kuantan in April this year. The King spent time with and gave
Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah        short because the Queen wanted         their hearts is the Tunku Azizah      donations to 52 dependants, including the elderly and those with
Azizah Aminah Maimunah              to bring him out for durian after      Fertility Foundation, which aids
                                                                                                                 special needs. — Photo taken from Istana Negara’s Facebook page
Iskandariah. They are each          the event.                             couples who cannot afford
other’s strongest supporter.           During a dinner in London           fertility treatments to make their
  They often leave the people       that same year, the Queen had no       dreams of starting a family come
amused by their candidness as       qualms about adjusting the King’s      true.
they are not afraid to show their   table microphone as he delivered          Both the King and Queen are
fondness for each other.            his speech, in which he also           also advocates for education and
  Oftentimes, they will inject a    managed to insert a few light          have encouraged the people to
dose of fun and warmth at           jokes.                                 constantly learn new skills as they
the events they attend, putting        The King and Queen are always       preserve and treasure their own
their guests at ease while still    ready to engage with the public        local knowledge and cultures.

                                                                                                                 Team effort: Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah stirring bubur lambuk
                                                                                                                 during a programme organised by the Istana Negara Sports and
                                                                                                                 Welfare Club in May this year. — Bernama

                                                                                                                 Happy families: Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah taking pictures
Rapt attention: Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah visiting the Fulbright English teaching assistants (ETA)        with children of couples that benefited from the Tunku Azizah Fertility
booth in Kuantan in October 2019. The Queen had earlier officiated the ETA state-level showcase. — NIK NAIZI     Foundation at the foundation’s family day in October 2019. — RAJA
HUSIN/ The Star                                                                                                  FAISAL HISHAN/The Star
30 Daulat Tuanku                                                                                                                                                    THE STAR, MONDAY 7 JUNE 2021

Humble and sporting Ruler
DATUK Mohd Rashid Hasnon’s
first close encounter with Yang
di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan
Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa
Billah Shah was when he was
Penang deputy chief minister.
   He said Sultan Abdullah (who
was then Tengku Mahkota of
Pahang) had just been appointed
as president of the Football
Association of Malaysia (FAM) in
May 2014.
   “As the head of a prestigious
sports association, His Majesty
handled his responsibilities firmly
when facing criticism from various
quarters, especially from sports
fans and critics from all over the
   “I never saw Sultan Abdullah
get angry or feel offended by any
remarks. Instead, he took the
comments in his stride and viewed
them as constructive criticism
for the future of the country’s
football,” he said in an interview
with The Star.
   Mohd Rashid added that every
time he and His Majesty met
during a friendly football match
involving Penang, Pahang or
Selangor, Sultan Abdullah would
approach the spectators and
amiably chatted with them.                                          Sultan Abdullah giving the Jalur Gemilang to ex-national football coach Datuk K. Rajagopal before a match in October
   “That really grabbed my atten-                                   2011. (Inset) Mohd Rashid often saw His Majesty chatting with spectators at matches. — M. AZHAR ARIF/The Star
tion. Tuanku was never arrogant
and treated everybody with full        Parliament get to meet him when        follows the Federal Constitution in    them during meals or while              distancing, Sultan Abdullah had
respect although His Majesty is a      the Parliament convenes during         all of his speeches to ensure that     playing sports.                         consented for the surau located
highly respected figure.               the start of each meeting,” he         it becomes a guide and basis for          “Whenever I meet Tuanku, his         within the Istana Negara grounds
   “His Majesty is very well           added.                                 Malaysia.                              family will always be by his side       to be opened to the public for
acquainted with football and              Mohd Rashid, who is Batu Pahat         Recalling last year’s leadership    and Tuanku will introduce them to       Friday prayers.
adopted some of the concepts of        MP and the Dewan Rakyat’s Deputy       crisis, when each lawmaker was         all of us,” he added.                      “As the head of state that
the game during his term as FAM        Speaker, added that the King           summoned to meet His Majesty              “Sultan Abdullah is a leader who     upholds Islam, His Majesty’s life is
president.                             would give his advice and views to     one by one, Mohd Rashid said           is moderate, including as the head      very close to religion,” Mohd
   “Tuanku is an excellent planner     all MPs as the head of the country.    Sultan Abdullah was calm and           of Islam in Malaysia.                   Rashid said, adding that Sultan
who can strategise amazingly and          “The King’s speeches are very       listened to their opinions.               “Everything is conducted             Abdullah was also a humble and
communicate well with all the          much in line with the Standing            On His Majesty’s personal life,     perfectly according to the tenets of    down-to-earth person.
players in order to achieve victory.   Order and rules of the august          Mohd Rashid said the King was          Islam and implemented in modera-           “Tuanku will sometimes stop by
   “From my personal point of          House, showing his deep under-         known to be very close with his        tion,” Mohd Rashid said.                the roadside and talk to the rakyat.
view, Sultan Abdullah is a warm        standing in the administration         family members, especially his            He added that prior to the              “He has even helped small busi-
person with a friendly smile.          and management of Parliament,”         wife and children.                     Covid-19 pandemic, which saw            nesses by buying items directly
   “Tuanku is also an interesting      he said.                                  “Tuanku spends time with his        the enforcement of movement             from the rakyat, which they really
character and Members of                  He also noted that His Majesty      children and usually interacts with    restrictions including physical         appreciate,” he said.

Wishes for a beloved King
YANG di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah         help those in need.
Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah is a wise       “This practice has continued during his
and compassionate Ruler who is the symbol        current reign as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,”
of unity of all Malaysians regardless of their   he said.
background.                                         Aznil, popularly known as Pak Nil, added
   Malaysians believe that the King repre-       that the rakyat was lucky to be able to see
sents harmony among the multiracial              the King and Queen exercising their royal
and religious communities living in the          duties through photos and videos shared on
country.                                         social media.
   Despite the postponement of events and           “We rarely see any form of strict protocol
programmes in conjunction with the King’s        as the King blends in naturally with his
official birthday this year, Malaysians of all   subjects.
backgrounds continue to extend their good           “Our King clearly shows that he is one
wishes.                                          with the rakyat and never creates any
   This is the second time that all events in    barriers between him and us,” he said.
conjunction with the King’s official birthday       Aznil added that the rest of the royal
have been postponed to another date due to       family, including Pahang Regent Tengku
the Covid-19 pandemic.                           Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah, also shared
                                                                                                 Low: ‘I hope His Majesty’s reign will be          Aznil: ‘His Majesty is the best person to
   Lawyer Datuk Andy Low Hann Yong said          the same traits, values and humbleness that     peaceful and that he will live a long and         lead the country during this challenging
the King was a symbol of peace and a sage        warmed the hearts of the rakyat.                healthy life.’                                    and uncertain time.’
Ruler who has the rakyat’s best interests at        “They are often seen with minimal police
heart at all times.                              presence or protocols, and the people really       Sabahan Jim Matthew, 40, said Sultan           country without fail, even when some people
   “My hope is that His Majesty’s reign will     appreciate this about them,” he said.           Abdullah was always down-to-earth and             have raised controversial views.
be peaceful and that he will live a long and        He also noted that Sultan Abdullah was       caring towards the people.                           “His Majesty has also proven that he is
healthy life,” he said.                          helming the country during a particularly          “His Majesty always seems to be up to          level-headed and makes sound decisions for
   Television host and popular personality       challenging period.                             date on current issues and the welfare of his     the well-being of the rakyat.
Datuk Aznil Nawawi said the King was a              “His Majesty is playing a big role in        people.                                              “When talk of an Emergency was first
humble and down-to-earth person, and that        managing the Covid-19 pandemic and                 “I remember the many times the King            raised amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the King
there was no protocol barrier between him        the rakyat is always behind him.                stopped to help accident victims he encoun-       did not simply accept the government’s pro-
and the people.                                     “I believe Allah put him in the right        tered on his journeys, as well as the time        posal; rather, the King listened to the rakyat’s
   “Even when he was still the Crown Prince      place at the right time to steer the country    His Majesty and the Queen went down to            sentiments and asked for more solid reasons
of Pahang, he followed in the footsteps of his   forward,” said Aznil, who expressed his con-    the ground to check on the welfare of flood       to justify an Emergency,” she said.
father, who had no qualms about going            fidence that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong          victims in Pahang,” he recalled.                     Priyanka noted that the King had also
down to the ground to meet the people.           would use his wisdom to make the right             University student S. Priyanka, 23, said the   given much concern to every decision made
   “There are many pictures of His Majesty       decisions for the people.                       King had shown exceptional discretion and         by the government to address the impact of
going on a boat ride or a four-wheel drive          “I wish Tuanku a long and healthy life,      consideration for all races in Malaysia.          Covid-19, especially on financial and eco-
with Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah           and I hope Malaysia will prosper under             “The King and Queen have acknowledged          nomic matters such as unemployment and
Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah to            his reign,” he said.                            every major cultural celebration in the           the most affected sectors of the economy.
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