Installation ceremony of Malaysia's 16th King begins

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 30): Malaysians once again witnessed a historic moment as Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah is officially installed as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in a ceremony steeped in Malay royal customs and tradition.

Sultan Abdullah and the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah entered the Balairung Seri (Throne Room) of Istana Negara at 10.45am.

The royal couple were escorted in by Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela (Grand Chamberlain) Azuan Effendy Zairakithnaini, flanked by Warrior Mace Bearers and Royal Regalia Warrior Bearers, accompanied by the rhythm of the trumpet-like instrument known as 'nafiri' played by Malaysian Armed Forces personnel and the percussion of the Terengganu Royal Nobat Ensemble.

The Cogan Alam (Mace of the Universe) and the Cogan Agama (Mace of Religion) are part of the Royal regalia which bear great significance in the installation ceremony and symbolise the greatness of the institution of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Government of Malaysia.

Sultan Abdullah, attired in the official Yang di-Pertuan Agong's black and gold embroidered ‘Muskat’, and Tunku Azizah dressed in a beautiful ivory white attire and matching scarf, then proceeded to the royal dais.

The ceremony was broadcast live via the national television station which allowed the public to witness the historic event, which also falls on the King’s 60th birthday.

Apart from the Malay Rulers and their respective consorts, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed Zayed Al-Nahyan and the Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and his consort Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha were also present at the ceremony.

Also in attendance were representatives of the Malay Rulers, heads of state, the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers, as well as other distinguished guests comprising foreign envoys and senior government officials.

Once Their Majesties were seated, the Grand Chamberlain then requested the King's consent to begin the installation ceremony by bringing in a copy of the Quran and the rest of the regalia into the Balairung Seri including the Keris Panjang Diraja (Government Keris), the Proclamation Letter, and the Oath of Installation.

The Quran, which symbolises Islam as the official religion of the country, was then presented to Sultan Abdullah, who kissed it before placing it on a table to his left.

The Grand Chamberlain then presented the Proclamation Letter to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who read it out and formally proclaimed Sultan Abdullah as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong was then entrusted with the Government Keris, which he drew out, kissed, and returned to its scabbard and placed it on the table to his left, before taking the oath as Malaysia’s new King.

Right after the oath, the Grand Chamberlain led the hall in proclaiming 'Daulat Tuanku', three times.

The national anthem was then played, along with a royal 21-gun salute.

Dr Mahathir, representing the government and the people, then delivered his congratulatory message before Sultan Abdullah proceeded with his address to the people.