KUALA LUMPUR: The granddaughter of the late Kedah Sultan, Raja Sarina Iskandar moved Malaysians to tears when she posted a moving tribute to her late grandfather Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah.
Sarina posted a black and white photo of Sultan Abdul Halim kissing her on the cheek while holding her face.
The post received almost 7,000 likes within two hours of being uploaded.
"Today and forever, Kedah and Malaysia have lost one of their greatest kings. Your dedication to Kedah and Malaysia has inspired me growing up.
“When you were Agong for the second time at the age of 83, I moved in with you at Istana Negara. It was then that I saw for the first time the behind the scenes of your life."
Sultan Abdul Halim was installed twice as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, with the first installation taking place in 1970 and the second one in 2012 before ending his term as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong last December.
He was succeeded by Kelantan's Sultan Muhammad V.
Having stayed with the late Tuanku Abdul Halim at the Istana Negara, Raja Sarina recalled her grandfather's dedication and commitment in performing his obligations, even to the point of skipping meals to practice his speeches or to work in the office.
“Which 80-something man would do that? Most of us dream of retiring at 50 if we can! But you never could even if you wanted to.
"And there were times, more often than people knew, when you were ill but still continued with your Agong and Sultan duties.
She said even when Sultan Abdul Halim was unwell to the point of being warded in the hospital, he would sometimes attend official functions.
"When you would leave the ward, I would watch you on television looking normal as you greet the Prime Minister, ministers and the Rakyat.
"But as soon as the event was over, you would return to the hospital ward with tubes connected to your body. Even on your sickest day, you would be on time. You would never make anyone wait," she said in her post saying that was a side of the king no one knew off.
"You don't simply sit on a throne and enjoy your riches despite what many ignorantly think. There are sacrifices because you can't have a normal life. Your status is an Amanah (trust) from Allah," she said, adding that her "Tok" always ensured that he tried his best.
"People are unforgiving when leaders make mistakes... When I told him this blog or that person insulted him, he was never angry. He was calm and would simply say, 'I did my best’,” she wrote.
The journalism graduate ended her tribute message with "You did the very best and more your whole life Tok. The reason I know how to be a good princess is because you taught me how. I love you so much Tok; you're forever my Sultan. Al-Fatihah."
Tuanku Abdul Halim passed away at 2.30pm today at Istana Anak Bukit in Alor Star . He was 89.
Instagram user Nurwaznati commented on the post, saying," My deepest condolences to your Royal family Raja @sarinaiskandar..Al-Fatihah and may Allah ease everything for a King..Aamiin."
Another user, ‘natchogirl’, said Sultan Abdul Halim was one of the greatest rulers in Malaysian history and the country had lost a great leader.
"He was one of the greatest rulers and today Malaysia weeps for a great loss. Al-Fatihah."
"You will be missed. We surely belong to Allah and to Him we shall return ," said another user, Azhar_ul_amin.