KUALA LUMPUR: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah was accorded a state welcome at Parliament Square.
His Majesty and Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tengku Ampuan Pahang Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, arrived at 10.05am.
They were welcomed by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad All and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
Sultan Abdullah, accompanied by Dr Mahathir, then walked to the royal platform, past the lance bearers, to acknowledge the salute of the main guard of honour.
The Royal Malay Regiment central band led by Major Muhamad Nor Azizan Yahya played the national anthem.
The royal standard of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was hoisted and a 21-gun salute was fired.
Sultan Abdullah then inspected a guard of honour mounted by four officers and 103 members from the First Battalion of the Royal Malay Regiment led by Major Mohd Izham Ahmad Rashidi.
Federal Territory mufti Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri recited the doa before the main guard of honour performed the salute and the Negaraku was played for the second time.
Sultan Abdullah then proceeded to Istana Negara for the official swearing-in ceremony.
Earlier in Kuantan, people from all walks of life lined the roads to send off their beloved Sultan as he begins his duties as the Yang-di Pertuan Agong.
They gathered as early as 6am along the route from Istana Abdul Aziz in Indera Mahkota to the Royal Malaysian Air Force base.
They came from as far as Jerantut and Bera in buses and their own vehicles.
Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah arrived at the base at about 7.40am and as they stepped out of the vehicle, Tunku Azizah waved towards the crowd who cheered loudly.
She then joined Sultan Abdullah on the main stage alongside Tengku Muda Pahang Tengku Abdul Rahman Sultan Ahmad Shah.
This was followed by the national anthem played by the Air Force band along with the firing of a 21-gun salute.
Sultan Abdullah inspected the guard of honour and then Negaraku was played for the second time.
Before boarding a special aircraft to Kuala Lumpur, Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah stood on a jeep as they were taken around the tarmac to wave to the crowd.
As they climbed the stairs of the waiting plane, Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah turned around and waved to shouts of “Allahuakbar” and “Daulat Tuanku” from the crowd.
Zamri Mat Amin, 52, from Kuala Tahan, Jerantut, said he and his fellow villagers left home at 2am to make sure that they would not miss seeing their beloved Sultan and Tengku Ampuan Pahang.
“We knew that we could watch the ceremony on TV but we still preferred to see them in person. We don’t mind the money and time spent,” Zamri said.