CITYFOLK from all walks of life, took time off, albeit for a short while to witness the royal installation of the nation’s 16th King yesterday.
There was a lot of buzz on the streets, in local eateries, train stations and at home as Malaysians literally glued themselves to the television from 9am to 11am to witness the installation of Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah as King.
In Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur, what was supposed to be a regular committee meeting for the Taman Desa Residents Association (TDRA) turned out to be a festive and proud affair when they decided to catch the historical event at Istana Negara.
Realising that it was an important affair, the members who gathered at association adviser Datuk William Chan’s house to discuss on their Merdeka Fun Run event, decided to watch the ceremony first.
Chan said it was rare for all members to be able to meet due to their work schedule.
“As it was a public holiday we planned to meet at my house, but decided to watch the ceremony first as some have not seen this before, ” he said.
TDRA chairman Wong Chan Choy said it was good that they killed two birds with one stone and it turned out to be an educational and fun affair for them.
“Apart from watching a traditional royal ceremony, it was also a nice way for everyone to bond, ” he added.
Chan’s wife, Teow Yoke Yeen and their two children, Yi-Von Chan, 29, and Victor Chan, 25, also decided to catch the ceremony.
“I missed the previous ceremony as I was in UK, but I am so glad that I managed to watch this one.
“It was very interesting, the tradition, the music and the protocol, ” he added.
“I enjoyed the pomp and pageantry of it all.
“The ladies were so beautiful decked out in their traditional attire, I enjoyed it, ” said Yi-Von.
In Petaling Jaya, Abdul Razak Abu Hasim, 53, and his family also took the opportunity to watch the event at home.
“We waited in front of the TV from early morning. It’s very interesting because you can see all the state rulers gathered at one place, ” he added.
Razak said he asked all his children to watch the ceremony together to ensure they knew who their King and other state rulers were.
At a mamak restaurant in SS5, Petaling Jaya, ordinary citizens also watched the event while having breakfast.
Father of three, Muhd Fahmi Amri hoped the installation of the 16th King would ensure continuous safety and security for the country.
“The King seems to be a man of the rakyat. I hope he will continue to prioritise the people’s welfare.”
A retiree who only wants to be known as Susan saw the King as a symbol of unity and harmony.
“We are all Malaysians regardless of race. It would not do us good to be divided.
“We must heed our King’s advice and work together for a more harmonious future, ” she said.
Malaysians are not the only ones in awe of the moment.
Bin Zhi, 42, a tourist from Hunan, China, said he was lucky to be in Kuala Lumpur to soak in the experience and excitement Malaysians felt yesterday.
He was one of many people hanging around the Istana Negara area to catch royalties and dignitaries arriving for the ceremony.
Najmi Rahim, 34, from Kuala Lumpur said the King is a very down-to-earth person having met him as a student in UK back in 2006.“A few other Malaysian students and I had the privilege to meet him and his late father at Oxford Street.
“It was memorable because through our conversation I can tell that he is an approachable person. They even asked about our well-being and how we were coping with the challenges of studying abroad, ” he said.
Debra Abraham, 35, from Cheras said she is surprised with the King’s humbleness which makes him a role model to every Malaysian.
“I hope under his rule Malaysians can unite to become a better nation, ” she said.
College student Zulazhar Zulkarnain, 19, said the King is a figure of inspiration for the younger generation.
“As our country’s future leaders, young adults need to aspire to possess the same leadership qualities as shown by our King, ” he said.
Amysha Rusdi, 24, said it was a blessed day for Malaysia when the King was installed.
“I wish our King well and pray that Allah blesses our King and the nation.”