KUANTAN It was with pride and a tinge of sadness that the people of Pahang bade ‘bon voyage’ to the Sultan of Pahang, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, and Tengku Ampuan Pahang Tunku Azizah Maimunah Iskandariah Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, as they left for Kuala Lumpur for Sultan Abdullah to be sworn in as the new Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Sultan Abdullah, accompanied by the new Raja Permaisuri Agong, would be ascending the throne as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, having been elected to the office at the 251st (Special) Meeting of the Conference of Rulers on Jan 24.
At the 252nd (Special) Meeting of the Conference of Rulers today at Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Sultan Abdullah will take the oath of office and sign the instruments of office and declaration of assuming the office of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
As early as 5.30am para today, thousands of people of all races walks of life and ages had gathered outside Istana Abdulaziz in the Indera Mahkota township here as well as the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base in Kuantan to bade farewell to Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah.
Their Majesties, clad in matching turquoise royal attire, left Istana Abdulaziz in a royal vehicle at 7.10am am, accompanied by the new Tengku Mahkota and Regent of Pahang, Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah.
Also in the motorcade were Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail and Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, as the minister-in-attendance.
Their Majesties’ vehicle arrived at the RMAF base about 30 minutes later, with the people lining both sides of the road leading to the airport hailing ‘Daulat Tuanku’ while waving the Jalur Gemilang national flag and the Pahang state flag.
The new Yang di-Pertuan Agong acknowledged the salute after which the national anthem, Negaraku, was played by the RMAF band of the Kuala Lumpur airbase. A 21-gun salute was also fired.
Sultan Abdullah then inspected the guard-of-honour mounted by four officers and 103 men of the RMAF led by Maj Abdul Nasir Abdul Majid.
His Majesty again acknowledged the salute of the guard-of-honour and the Negaraku was played again.
The Mufti of Pahang, Datuk Seri Dr Abdul Rahman Osman, said the ‘doa’ (prayers), seeking the blessings of the Almighty for Their Majesties’ well-being, after which Their Majesties bade farewell to the dignitaries and senior government officials.
Their Majesties then boarded a special vehicle and proceeded to the special aircraft as they waved to the large crowd of people who had gathered at the airbase. Pahang had declared today an occasional public holiday in the state.
Shouting “Allahu Akbar” and “Daulat Tuanku” while waving the Pahang flag and the Jalur Gemilang, many among the crowd made up of children and adults from all walks of life whipped out their handphones to record the historic moment.
Their Majesties were deeply touched by the grand farewell given to them so much so Sultan Abdullah gave ”flying kisses” to them before entering the jet.
The special aircraft carrying Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah left the airbase at 8.34 am and is scheduled to arrive at the KL International Airport in Sepang in about 45 minutes.