BY EDWARD RAJENDRA
SULTAN Sharafuddin Idris Shah, who was proclaimed the Ruler of Selangor 15 months ago, has established a strong presence among his people.
In February alone, he criss-crossed the state to be with the people by attending prayers in mosques, visiting several government departments, discussing religious matters with the Selangor Religious Department officers, being with the people in Sungai Sireh in Klang under the Mesra Rakyat programme and checking the welfare of the underprivileged. Sultan Sharafuddin's hectic schedule often involves meeting his people and is testament to how thoughtful the Sultan is towards his subjects.
The hearts of more than 450,000 people in Klang are filled with joy today as the coronation ceremony would see Sultan Sharafuddin crowned as the ninth Ruler of Selangor.
Palace District Officer Datuk Abdul Ghani Pateh Akhir said Sultan Sharafuddin is a hands-on person who would not just listen to feedback from officers but constantly “go to the ground” himself to check on the situation.
“Every Friday, he is with the people by attending prayers in different mosques in the various districts. He wants to be in touch with his people and know how best he could help improve their neighbourhood,” he said.
Abdul Ghani, 58, whose acquaintance with Sultan Sharafuddin began in the 1970s, said: “What I see is a Ruler with a heart for the people.”
A week before the coronation, Sultan Sharafuddin personally checked into the preparation by being present at the rehearsal, he said. Klang Municipal Council president Datuk Mohd Sharif Yusof said that people who met the Sultan have noted his down-to-earth nature and his willingness to step away from the royal facade to meet his subjects.
Mohd Sharif said that during a visit to Sungai Sireh village in Klang, the Sultan's warm personality towards the villagers captured their hearts.
A director in the hospitality business, Florence Leong, said she admired the Sultan for his vision and commitment to setting up a Royal Trust Fund to help talented urban youth with no financial backing to excel in their fields.
“Such a benevolent act just does not come from the mind but from the heart and soul of the person. It reflects how good a Sultan we have in Sultan Sharafuddin,” she said, adding that the fund would see many Selangor youth gaining from it.
Kuala Langat district officer Rozali Ahmad pointed out that for the coronation, a variety of programmes had been organised for people from all walks of life.
“It just goes to show that the Sultan wants the coronation to be celebrated with the rakyat. But the best thing is that the Sultan himself will be present at the events,” he said.
“Selangor has a Sultan who has been raised within the framework of tradition. But there are indicators that the Sultan would also be one who will put a contemporary face to Selangor's royal house,” he added.