JOHOR BARU: He was only 12 when Johor last held a coronation of the Sultan some 55 years ago, but restaurant owner Ismail Mohd Safri still remembers the occasion vividly.
Now, he looks forward to witnessing the coronation of Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar on March 23.
The owner of Warong Saga, well known for its local delicacies, recalled that thousands converged at Istana Besar during the coronation of Sultan Ismail Ibni Almarhum Sultan Ibrahim, the late grandfather of the present Ruler, in 1960.
“There were thousands of people of various races and from all levels of society. It was a sunny day but there was a cool breeze and we were all excited to be witnessing a historic event.
“My friends and I then waited patiently near the city centre for the royal procession. When the open-top car carrying the Sultan and Sultanah (Ungku Tun Aminah Ungku Ahmad) drew near, all of us waved the state flag and cheered,” he said
Ismail remembered that the vehicle carrying the Sultan and Sultanah broke down at Jalan Wong Ah Fook and had to be pushed by Johor Military Force personnel.
Ismail, 67, was grateful that the Sultan Ibrahim would be having a coronation because “it is an important event especially for the younger generation”.
He himself wants to witness the coronation with his only grandchild, a boy of seven.
“I believe everyone in Johor and many in other parts of the country will not want to miss such a big event,” he said, adding that he would be making “some space” in his restaurant to commemorate the ceremony.
His restaurant, inspired by the country’s first national car, is also known for thousands of pictures of important events and figures in the nation’s history.
Did you find this article insightful?