FOR some, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail represents the epitome of regalia and the symbol of the country's monarchy.
However, to many of his subjects, he's just simply and truly – the people's King.
Many people, including politicians, retired civilians and fellow citizens from Perlis, had similar things to say about the King – he's a simple, kind and friendly man who has the interests of the people at heart.
Home Minister and a friend of more than 30 years, Datuk Azmi Khalid, described Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin as a very sociable person who would leave a deep impact on a person's life.
“He and the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Fauziah Tengku Abdul Rashid touch people's lives, not just by meeting them but by taking the trouble to get to know them and find out how they're doing.
“He's someone who knows what to say and makes everyone feel comfortable around him, be it someone holding high positions or a kampung person.
“He cracks jokes too and I've never seen him raise his voice or show his temper,” said Azmi, who is Padang Besar MP.
Although sometimes it may not be easy for many people to feel comfortable around those in high places, Azmi said that was not the case with Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin.
“It could be because of his army background or his upbringing in the small state of Perlis, where everyone knows everyone, irrespective of their position in society.
“He has not forgotten his roots and often plays golf with ordinary people like retired teachers. Even his late father, who was an avid tennis player, had an office boy as his partner.
“He's simple but sophisticated. While he maintains his regality, he's still someone who is easy to get along with and makes people around him feel comfortable, especially with his jokes,” he added.
Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin, who became the Raja Muda at the tender age of 17, is also an avid golfer and enjoys a good game with his old friends, said fellow golfer from his hometown, Othman Mat, 65.
“Tuanku plays (golf) rain or shine and enjoys spending time on the course with his friends.
“He's very friendly even at the golf course as he enjoys greeting people around him, without fail. It's fun being around him as he enjoys cracking jokes and making people laugh.
“He's not just a good human being or a very friendly and honest person,” said Othman who knows Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin for more than 30 years.
State MIC chairman S. Vendagasamy said the King was a friendly and good listener to his people regardless of race or creed.
Perlis MCA chairman Datuk Chor Chee Heung said the King was known to the entire nation as a very friendly person who is always on the ground with his rakyat whenever possible.
“He loves to meet the common folk and never fails to meet up with the rakyat when he returns to Perlis,” he said.
Those who have worked in the palace have the same thing to say – they feel like it was their second home as working with Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin make them feel like one big happy family.
“He's very sensitive to the needs of those around him and would even ask if the person who comes to see him if he has had his meal.
“He's also very approachable and friendly, and never fails to have a session with the rakyat each time he visits a state,” said an official.
In the words of his own subjects, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin is “a truly wonderful king.”
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