JOHOR BARU: Thousands of Johoreans and foreigners turned up at Istana Pasir Pelangi here despite the hot weather to celebrate the second day of Hari Raya with the Johor royal family.
Iranian Arsalan Abyn, 16, said he was impressed that the Hari Raya celebration in Malaysia was done in such a grand manner as compared to his homeland.
“The celebration is a big deal here, participated by people of all races unlike back in Iran, where celebrations are on a much smaller scale,” he said when met at the palace here on Friday.
The people crowded around Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar as he walked into the hoards of people who waited for an opportunity to shake hands with him.
Other members of the royal family including his children Tunku Mahkota of Johor Tunku Ismail, Tunku Tun Aminah and Tunku Abdul Jalil, also took the opportunity to meet with the people and pose for photographs.
Visitors and dignitaries were also treated to delicious food, which included the must-have laksa Johor and moist chocolate cake with blue and white icing.
It was the second time spending Hari Raya at the palace for student M. Hamsevathi, 16, and her sister Maiteni, 18.
“We enjoyed the atmosphere at the palace when we came last year and this year was no different as it was interesting to see people dressed up in their best to spend the festive occasion with the sultan and his family,” she said.
Meanwhile, when approached, Sultan of Johor’s royal consort Raja Zarith Sofiah Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah advised the people of Johor and Malaysia to stay united at all times.
“I also hope that the people will spare a thought for the less fortunate like old folks and orphans at the homes especially during the festive season.
“We are lucky enough to have families and are well to do and my hope is that we all can share our good fortune with them by showing some love and care,” she said.