ALOR STAR: Sultanah Maliha Tengku Ariff has been proclaimed as the new Sultanah of Kedah in a royal ceremony at Istana Anak Bukit here today.

The royal ceremony took place at the palace’s audience hall, which was marked by a 21-gun salute.

Sultanah Maliha was then bestowed with the Darjah Seri Setia Sultan Sallehuddin (SSSK) by Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah.

The ceremony began at 11am with the arrival of the royal couple, accompanied by palace officials bearing the ceremonial mace, swords and spears.

Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah read out the proclamation letter which stated that Sultan Sallehuddin had been granted the authority under the state law to declare his wife as the Sultanah of Kedah.

Sultanah Maliha then stood up and kissed Sultan Kedah’s hand before the 21-gun salute was fired.

Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah and Sultanah Kedah, Sultanah Maliha Tengku Ariff gesture during the ceremony at Istana Anak Bukit. Pic by AMRAN HAMID

Present at the proclamation ceremony were the royal couple's sons, Raja Muda of Kedah Tengku Sarafudin Badlishah Sultan Sallehuddin and wife, Raja Puan Muda of Kedah, Che Puan Muda Zaheeda Mohamad Ariff, and Tunku Laksamana of Kedah Datuk Tunku Shazuddin Ariff Sultan Sallehuddin.

Also present were Tengku Bendahara of Kedah Tan Sri Tunku Abdul Hamid Thani Sultan Badlishah, Tengku Temenggong of Kedah Tan Sri Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz Sultan Abdul Halim, state royal families and dignitaries.

Sultanah Maliha, 69, was born in Kota Baru, Kelantan on April 13, 1949 and is the grandniece of Almarhum Sultan Yahya Petra, the 27th Sultan of Kelantan.

She received her early education at Sekolah Rendah and Sekolah Menengah Assunta, Petaling Jaya when her father Tengku Sri Jaya Diraja Tengku Arif Tengku Long Abdul Rahman was serving with Dutch Airline, KLM.

She then returned to Kelantan and studied at Sekolah Menengah Sultanah Zainab in Kota Baru.

Sultanah Maliha married Sultan Sallehuddin in 1965 when he was serving as an Army officer at the 2nd Battalion Malay Regiment Camp in Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan.

Sultanah Kedah, Sultanah Maliha Tengku Ariff kisses the hand of Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah during the ceremony at Istana Anak Bukit. Bernama pic.

The royal couple is blessed with two sons, Tengku Sarafuddin Badlishah and Tunku Shazuddin Ariff.

Sultanah Maliha cares and is involved in the education development of the people especially in Kedah and is keen the development of the English Language.

As such, she was appointed as the patron of English Literacy and Computer Programme (COMEL), an online learning programme for primary students to master the language, jointly organised by state Education Department and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Sultanah Maliha also loves cats and enjoys cooking especially, East Coast delicacies.

The proclamation of Sultanah Maliha as the new Sultanah of Kedah was made following the appointment of Sultan Sallehuddin as the 29th Sultan of Kedah.

Sultan Sallehuddin succeeded his brother, the late Sultan Abdul Halim Sultan Badlishah who passed away on Sept 11, last year.

Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah and Sultanah Kedah, Sultanah Maliha Tengku Ariff pose for a photo following the ceremony at Istana Anak Bukit. Bernama pic.