Malaysians bid farewell as Al-Sultan Abdullah’s 5-year reign as King ends

Their Majesties showing the popular 'finger heart' gesture before boarding the plane back to Pahang at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Jan 30, 2024. Photo credit: Information Department (JaPen)

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30: Today marks the end of the five-year reign of Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

According to Bernama, the day started with the call of the ‘Azan’ at Istana Negara as Al-Sultan Abdullah and Her Majesty Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah departed from the palace.

Following the completion of the ‘Azan’, Their Majesties, accompanied by palace officials, walked out of the palace to board a special vehicle accompanied by Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry (Miti) Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz, as the minister in attendance, and his wife, Raja Datin Seri Johanna Adrina Raja Arshad.

Al-Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah wave before departing Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur following the end of His Majesty’s five-year reign as King on Jan 30, 2024. Photo credit: Information Department (JaPen)
The special vehicle carrying Al-Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah as they depart Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur. Photo credit: Information Department (JaPen)

Their Majesties then proceeded to Parliament Square for the ceremonial send-off, where they were welcomed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his wife Datin Seri Hamidah Khamis, and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and his wife Datin Seri Ruziah Mohd Tahir.

Their Majesties were escorted to the Royal Dais and walked past by the lance-bearers to receive the Royal Salute by the main guard-of-honour before the national anthem was played. Simultaneously, the Royal Standard of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was lowered, followed by a 21-gun salute.

Al-Sultan Abdullah then inspected the main guard-of-honour mounted by 103 members and four officers from the 1st Battalion Royal Malay Regiment.

The event proceeded with a prayer recital before the main guard-of-honour performed the Royal Salute, and the national anthem was played for the second time.

Their Majesties then shook hands to bid farewell to the members of the Cabinet, lawmakers, heads of government departments and agencies, and foreign diplomatic corps before heading to the Bunga Raya Complex of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to board the plane to their home state of Pahang.

Along the way, well-wishers gathered to say goodbye to the beloved King and Queen, along with a procession to send them off.

Upon arrival, Their Majesties were greeted by the Regent of Pahang, Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah, and royal family members.

Members of the public gather to send off Their Majesties following the end of Al-Sultan Abdullah’s reign during the ceremonial send-off at Parliament Square in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 30, 2024. Photo credit: Information Department (JaPen)

Al-Sultan Abdullah was installed as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Jan 31, 2019, and is known for his friendly and approachable personality and warm and humble demeanour, which easily won him the hearts of Malaysians.

He was also attentive to the well-being of his subjects, making him a beloved royal figure.

Al-Sultan Abdullah’s reign was marked by various events, including Covid-19 and political crises. He was also the only King to have governed the country under four different prime ministers — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He also played a pivotal role when Malaysia experienced its first hung parliament when no clear winner emerged from the 15th General Election (GE15) in 2022.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, he stood tall with his calming presence, soothing his subjects who were overwhelmed by the sudden changes that disrupted their lives by telling them to continue adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs), and reassured them that Malaysia would prevail.

Last September, Al-Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah embarked on a memorable trip along the Pan Borneo Highway from Sept 3 to 13, dubbed ‘Kembara Kenali Borneo’ or ‘the royal tour’. The journey spanned 2,154 kilometres (km) along the mega road project, starting from Tawau, Sabah, up to Telok Melano, Sarawak.

Along the way, Sabahans and Sarawakians gathered to catch a glimpse of the royal couple who made an effort to mingle with the public.

Al-Sultan Abdullah will be succeeded by the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, who will be sworn in as the 17th Yang di-Pertuan Agong tomorrow (Jan 31). — DayakDaily

)Second row, from left) Fauziah, Wan Junaidi, Abang Johari, Al-Sultan Abdullah, Asfia, Awang Tengah and Uggah photographed with children clad in traditional costumes during the state banquet in conjunction with His Highness’ ‘Kembara Kenali Borneo’ tour on Sept 13, 2023, in Kuching. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communication Unit (Ukas)