All set for installation of 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians are all ready to witness yet another historic ceremony tomorrow that usually takes place every five years - the installation of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah of Pahang will be installed as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara in a ceremony unique to Malaysia that draws the attention of people the world over.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong or King 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.

Al-Sultan Abdullah will set in motion the second round of the rotational system that has been in practice since independence in 1957.

He succeeds Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan who stepped down as the head of state on Jan 6.

Al-Sultan Abdullah was proclaimed as the sixth Sultan of Pahang on Jan 15, succeeding his father, the late Sultan Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah.

His Majesty was elected as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at a special meeting of the Conference of Rulers on Jan 24, and was sworn in on Jan 31.

The installation on Tuesday will have yet another historical significance because Sultan Abdullah and the Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, are the children of sultans who have been elected as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Al-Sultan Abdullah is the eldest son of the late 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).

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.

Various preparations have been meticulously made ahead of the installation to ensure a smooth ceremony.

Bernama found banners and bunting strung along the roads leading to the entrance of Istana Negara, among them Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim, Jalan Semantan, Jalan Cangkat Semantan and Jalan Sri Hartamas. The banners feature the portraits of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Raja Permaisuri Agong.

Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) and other local television stations are scheduled to carry the installation ceremony live from 9 am.

The government has declared a public holiday tomorrow to enable the people throughout the country to watch the ceremony that will be steeped in the tradition and splendour of the Malay Sultanate.

One of those who will be watching is housewife Junaidah Kamal, 50.

“I am really excited to watch the ceremony. I will make sure that my children wake up early on Tuesday to watch this historic and important event. They will learn about the history and uniqueness of Malaysia’s constitutional monarchy,” she told Bernama.

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