PEKAN (Bernama): The former Sultan of Pahang, Paduka Ayahanda Sultan Ahmad Shah Al-Musta'in Billah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar Ri'ayatuddin Al Muadzam Shah, was laid to rest at the Pekan Royal Mausoleum at 4.35pm Thursday (May 23).
The remains of His Highness were interred next to the grave of his wife Tengku Ampuan Pahang Tengku Afzan Tengku Muhammad, who died on June 29, 1988.
Feelings of sadness filled the air when the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatudin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and his brother Tengku Muda Pahang Tengku Abdul Rahman laid the tombstone on their father's grave.
Also present at the Royal Mausoleum were the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar and Melaka Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Dr Mohd Khalil Yaakob.
Soon after the burial rites were completed, Pahang Mufti Datuk Seri Dr Abdul Rahman Osman read the "talkin".
Earlier, he led the final funeral prayer at the Sultan Ahmad Shah Mosque, located next to the mausoleum.
The Pahang royal family, state leaders, Pahang executive council members and thousands of people joined the congregation in performing the funeral prayer, as they bid their final farewell to their beloved Ruler, known for his generosity and love for his subjects.
Sultan Ahmad Shah, 88, the fifth Sultan of Pahang who ruled the state for 45 years, died at the National Heart Institute at 8.50am on Wednesday (May 22).
Earlier, Al-Sultan Abdullah arrived at the stateroom of Istana Abu Bakar at 10.40am, accompanied by Pahang Regent Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, together with Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah and Sultanah Hajah Kalsom, received dignitaries including Malay Rulers, royalties, and federal and state leaders from 11 am to 1.10pm.
Apart from Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan Ibrahim and the Tengku Mahkota of Johor, Tunku Ismail, also present to pay their last respects were the Sultan of Terengganu Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin and Sultanah Nur Zahirah, as well as the Sultan of Kedah Al Aminul Karim Sultan Sallehuddin Almarhum Sultan Badlishah and Sultanah Maliha Almarhum Tengku Ariff.
Also present were the Tengku Mahkota of Kelantan Tengku Muhammad Faiz Petra, Penang Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas and Sarawak Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, who were accompanied by their spouses.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah arrived at 11.05am. Also there to pay their last respects were Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo and Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
An unending stream of visitors turned up during the lying-in-state of the body, held from 11pm on Wednesday until the session for members of the public ended at 10.30am Thursday.
The coffin bearing the remains was later carried out of the stateroom at 1.45pm by members of the Malaysian Army, Navy, Air Force and Royal Malaysia Police and placed in a funeral van at 2.20pm.
A guard of honour was mounted as a fitting farewell soon after the coffin was placed in the vehicle, which was followed by the playing of the Pahang state anthem "Allah Selamatkan Sultan Kami".
The hearse carrying the remains of Sultan Ahmad Shah left the Istana Abu Bakar compound at 2.35pm.
Al-Sultan Abdullah and his youngest son Tengku Arif Temenggong Tengku Abdul Fahd Mu'adzam Shah accompanied the coffin bearing the remains on the journey to the Sultan Ahmad Shah Mosque.
The funeral procession was led by 75 military personnel while royal household staff and religious officers from the palace and state mosques followed closely behind the hearse.
At the same time, an 88-gun salute was fired by the 41st Royal Artillery Regiment based in Sungai Buloh Camp, Selangor, to mark the age of the late Ruler and to honour him on his journey to his final resting place.
The hot weather did not deter thousands of people from waiting along the 2.2km stretch to bid farewell to their beloved Sultan, well known for his humility and love for the people. - Bernama