KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 2019 (Bernama) – The Sultan of Pahang, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, was sworn in today as the new Yang di-Pertuan Agong in a ceremony steeped in tradition at Istana Negara here.
At the same ceremony, the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, took the oath of office as the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Their Majesties were elected to the office, respectively, by the Malay Rulers at the 251st (Special) Meeting of the Conference of Rulers at Istana Negara on Jan 24 to reign for a five-year term from today.
Malaysia is one of 43 nations which practise the system of a constitutional monarchy, but the rotational system of electing a king from among nine Malay rulers is the only one of its kind in the world.
Sultan Abdullah, 59, and Sultan Nazrin, 62, took their oath and signed the instruments of office before the other Malay Rulers, from Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, Perlis, Terengganu, Kedah, Johor, the Tengku Makhota of Kelantan, the Regent of Pahang and the Yang Dipertuas Negeri of Melaka, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak as well as dignitaries from the executive, legislative and judiciary.
The ceremony at the Balairung Seri (Throne Room) was held during the 252nd (Special) Meeting of the Conference of Rulers chaired by the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.
The Sultan of Terengganu, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, and the Raja of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail, also signed the instruments of office, as the witnesses.
Sultan Abdullah also signed the proclamation of assuming the office of the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Sultan Nazrin, the office of the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad read out the instrument of proclamation, officially signifying Sultan Abdullah’s ascension to the throne as the new head of state of Malaysia in accordance with the laws and the Federal Constitution.
The Mufti of Sabah, Datuk Bungsu @ Aziz Jaafar, recited the ‘doa’ (prayers), seeking the blessings of the Almighty for the well-being of Their Majesties, the people and nation.
Sultan Abdullah succeeds Sultan Muhammad V, the Sultan of Kelantan, who stepped down as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Jan 6 after having reigned for just over two years of the five-year term from Dec 13, 2016.
Earlier, Sultan Abdullah had come to Istana Negara with sovereign escorts from Parliament Square after the state welcome there following the flight from Kuantan.
Sultan Abdullah acknowledged the salute from the guard-of-honour mounted by three officers and 31 men led by Mej Mohd Azwan Ariff Mohd Azawi from the 1st Battalion of the Royal Rangers Regiment as the royal vehicle passed the guard-of-honour as it headed to the main porch of Istana Negara.
Then the central band of the Royal Rangers Regiment comprising Maj Abdul Aziz Abdullah and 33 men played the national anthem.
At Istana Negara, Sultan Abdullah was welcomed by Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela Maj Gen (Rtd) Datuk Mamat Ariffin and the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal, Tan Sri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad.
Sultan Abdullah, accompanied by the other Malay Rulers , the Tengku Makhota of Kelantan, the Regent of Pahang and the Yang Dipertuas Negeri, proceeded to the Balairung Seri for the swearing-in and signing of the instrument of office and declaration of assuming of office.
After the ceremony, Sultan Abdullah and Sultan Nazrin posed for photographs with the other Malay Rulers; Yang Dipertuas Negeri; Prime Minister; Deputy Prime Minister; Menteris Besar and Chief Ministers.
The new Yang di-Pertuan Agong also granted an audience for the introduction of several dignitaries, among whom were Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum; Syariah Chief Judge Datuk Mukhyuddin Ibrahim; Attorney-General Tommy Thomas; Chief of Defence Forces Tan Sri Zulkifli Zainal Abidin; Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun; Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof; Dewan Negara President Tan Sri S. Vigneswaran and Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Bakar.