THE enthronement ceremony of Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah as the 35th Sultan of Perak on Wednesday was a simple but majestic affair steeped in culture and tradition.
In keeping with the Ruler’s decree that there should not be any extravagance or wastages, decorations were kept to a minimum.
The Balairong Seri inside Istana Iskandariah was decked in traditional motifs and ornaments according to colours of the state flag.
The Perak flag was also seen flying proudly all around the palace grounds.
The ceremony started out with the sounding of the nobat (royal orchestra) as Sultan Nazrin and Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, looking resplendent, entered the royal hall.
On both sides of the hall stood 16 spear-bearers and 16 ladies-in-waiting with state umbrellas.
The enthronement rites then began with the proclamation of Sultan Nazrin and Tuanku Zara as the Sultan and Raja Permaisuri of Perak, respectively.
This was followed by Raja Muda Perak Raja Jaafar Raja Muda Musa and Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir reading out their congratulatory speeches and pledges of loyalty to the new Ruler.
Promising to be a Ruler for all, Sultan Nazrin Shah said in his speech that the monarchy played a role as a royal bi-partisan institution standing for justice and fairness.
“A ruler is like an umbrella, never looking at race and religion of his subjects and treating everyone fairly.
“The royal institution must rise above partisan political polemics and stand as a stabilising presence, a source of justice and an instrument of unity,” he said.
“A monarch needs to be energetic, dynamic and convincing, and must fulfil his duty as a unifying presence,” he said towards the end of the ceremony, which ended with a prayer and followed by a 21-gun salute.
Among the royalties present at the enthronement ceremony were Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, Negri Sembilan prince Tunku Zain Al-’Abidin Tuanku Muhriz, Raja Muda Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin, Tengku Mahkota Pahang Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, Tengku Mahkota Kelantan Tengku Dr Muhammad Faiz Petra ibni Sultan Ismail Petra and Crown Prince of Brunei Al-Muhtadee Billah Ibni Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.
Also present were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Chief Justice of Malaysia Tun Arifin Zakaria, The Star Publications (M) Berhad group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai and envoys from the United Nations.
Like the state’s Rulers before them, both the royal highnesses took part in an “Istiadat Bersiram Tabal” on top the Panca Persada (Royal Platform) where they were bathed with water taken from seven tributaries along Sungai Kangsar, the following day.
Sultan Nazrin Shah and Tuanku Zara were seated under a piece of white cloth at the top of the 11-tier structure before water was poured onto them.
Prior to that, an “Istiadat Tabal Pusaka” or the invocation of the Perak Guardian Spirits was held at the Balairong Seri.
Some 16 royal regalias, including the state sword Cura SiManja Kini, Geliga Embun and the nobat, were presented to the Sultan during the invocation ceremony.
The items were also blessed by a royal shaman as a symbolic manner to re-glorify them.
Between now and May 13, Sultan Nazrin Shah, along with Tuanku Zara, will be visiting the graves of his ancestors and predecessors.
Several meet-the-people programmes will also be held in Bota Kanan, Kampung Gajah and Teluk Intan in conjunction with the Sultan’s enthronement.