Monday, December 12, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 12, 2011): Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Tuanku Nur Zahirah returned to Terengganu at the end of His Majesty's reign as the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong in full royal tradition.

Tuanku Mizan, who was installed as the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on April 26, 2007 for a five-year term, left Istana Negara at 11am.

The royal couple's departure was accompanied by the minister-in-attendance, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek and his wife, Datin Seri Che Sharifah Ismail.

Also present were Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan and his wife, Puan Sri Wan Noorlina Wan Hussin and Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said and his wife, Toh Puan Seri Norliza Mahmud.

Earlier, the royal couple spent time to shake hands with all of the 500 staff of Istana Negara before proceeding to the Parliament Square for the official farewell ceremony.

Tuanku Mizan, who wore the official attire for the Head of State known as "muskat", also accorded an audience to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

Muskat, the costume that originated from the old government of Muscat, which is now known as Oman, is made of black thread and sewn with gold-coloured embroidery in the form of the hibiscus flower, which is the Malaysian national flower.

Their Majesties left the Istana Negara in the official vehicle for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, escorted by seven outriders and 12 sovereign escorts from the Royal Armoured Corps.

As they left the Istana Negara, Their Majesties passed by an Honour Guard mounted by members of the 6th Battalion Royal Ranger Regiment comprising three officers and 45 other ranks lead by Major Mohd Zaffar Ismail, while another group from the same regiment played the national anthem "Negara Ku".

The arrival of Tuanku Mizan and Tuanku Nur Zahirah at the Parliament Square was greeted by Najib and his wife as 20 members of the Second Regiment of the Royal Armoured Corps sounded the trumpets.

Their Majesties were then escorted to the dais, walking past an honour guard after which the Royal Malay Regiment Band led by Major Ahmad Muzaimi Mohd Ali played the national anthem.

At the same time, the personal colour of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was raised followed by a 21-gun salute.

Tuanku Mizan later inspected the honour guard mounted by 103 officers and other ranks from the First Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment led by Lt Mohd Nor Azizan Yahya.

The national event proceeded with the recital of a prayer by the Federal Territory Mufti, Datuk Wan Zahidi Wan Teh, which was then followed by the 'Royal Salute' and the playing of the national anthem.

Their Majesties then shook hands to bid farewell to the members of the Cabinet, heads of departments and foreign diplomats before proceeding to the Bunga Raya Complex, KL International Airport (KLIA).

Meanwhile, as the vehicle carrying Their Majesties passed Jalan Parlimen, the people from all walks of life including civil servants and private sector employees lined up both sides of the road to bid farewell to Tuanku Mizan and Tuanku Nur Zahirah.

Their Majesties' arrival at the Bunga Raya Complex, KLIA at 12.35pm was preceded by a procession in accordance with the rich traditions of the Malay Sultanate, with a decorated elephant leading the procession comprising 30
drummers and 300 escorts wearing traditional Malaysian costumes.

Upon arriving at the main gate of the complex, the royal couple were greeted by Najib and Rosmah, as well as Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim and his wife, Datin Seri Maznah Rais.

This was followed by a presentation, 'Daulat Tuanku', by members of the procession after which Wan Zahidi recited a prayer before Their Majesties boarded the aircraft which would take them back to Terengganu.

Cheers of "Daulat Tuanku" were uttered three times as everyone present waved to bid farewell to Their Majesties.

The special aircraft carrying the Royal couple took off from the KLIA at 1.15pm heading for the Sultan Mahmud Airport, Kuala Terengganu.

Sultan Kedah, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, 84, has been chosen as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, while the Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Muhammad V, 42, was chosen as the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

This is the second time that Tuanku Abdul Halim was chosen as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

The first time was in 1970 for a five-year term from Sept 21, 1970 to Sept 20, 1975.

Tuanku Abdul Halim will attend the oath-taking ceremony as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara tomorrow. – Bernama


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