Wednesday April 11, 2012
Ceremony steeped in tradition
TODAY, Malaysians will witness a historical event as Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah becomes the first Sultan to be installed as Yang di-Pertuan Agong twice.
The installation ceremony will be held, for the first time, at the new Istana Negara in Jalan Duta.
Tuanku Abdul Halim was sworn in as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Dec 13 last year under the five-year rotation system among Rulers of the nine Malay states, amid great pomp and splendour.
Tuanku Abdul Halim was the country's fifth Yang di-Pertuan Agong from 1970 to 1975.
Before the official swearing-in ceremony of the new King in December, a series of events were held at the new palace to thank and bid farewell to Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, the Terengganu Ruler who completed his term as the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong under the country's unique monarchical system.
The ceremony, held at the Balairong Seri of the new palace, was witnessed by the respective Sultans and Yang di-Pertua Negris.
It also saw the Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Muhammad V, taking his oath as the new Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
The Keeper of the Rulers' Seal first presented the Letters of Oath to the incoming King and Deputy King, who then signed the documents after reciting the Oath of Office.
The Letters of Oath, which are prepared by the office of the Keeper of the Rulers' Seal, were then signed by witnesses appointed by the Conference of Rulers.
The Conference of Rulers or the Majlis Raja-Raja is a council comprising the Rulers of all 13 states and holds the responsibility of electing the King and his deputy once every five years.
After the signing, the Keeper of the Rulers' Seal proclaimed that the Conference of Rulers would meet at a date to be determined later.
Next, the Grand Chamberlain the Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela sought permission from the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong to formally permit the commencement of the next ceremony, which is the signing of the Proclamation of Enthronement and Installation documents by the new King and his deputy.
The Prime Minister, accompanied by the Grand Chamberlain and His Majesty's aides-de-camp, then presented the documents to be signed by the King and his deputy before he formally read aloud the contents of the letter during the ceremony.
Then, Federal Territories mufti Datuk Wan Zahidi Wan Teh recited a doa selamat to mark the close of the ceremony.
In a formal pronouncement at the end of the ceremony, the Grand Chamberlain invited the dignitaries, including the Chief Justice, Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, the Chief Secretary, Attorney-General, Chief of Defence Forces, Inspector-General of Police, Opposition Leader and various head of judges, to take their turns to greet the new King.