TEMERLOH (Bernama): Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah Saturday (June 1) brought the people here to tears as he was overcome with emotion when he spoke about his late father, Paduka Ayahanda Sultan Ahmad Shah Al-Musta'in Billah.
He also had to pause to wipe his tears and was at a loss for words during his speech on his late father’s good deeds and sacrifices during his 45-year-reign over Pahang.
Sultan Abdullah said his late father excelled in various fields including religion, education, welfare, military and sports, which was why he refused to let his name be commemorated at the new mosque here, which he officiated Saturday.
"The State Government wants to proclaim this mosque in my name, to pay homage to me as the new Sultan, but I think my name is not as great as the name of my late father.
"I am proclaiming this mosque as the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta'in Billah Mosque and it is hoped that it will be a memorable legacy to commemorate the administration and the services of the late Paduka Ayahanda," he said in his speech at the mosque Saturday.
Also present were Tengku Muda Pahang Tengku Abdul Rahman Almarhum Sultan Ahmad Shah; Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail; Deputy Works Minister Mohd Anuar Tahir, who is also Temerloh MP; Pahang State Secretary Datuk Seri Dr Sallehuddin Ishak and Pahang mufti Datuk Seri Dr Abdul Rahman Osman.
Sultan Abdullah said the mosque, which cost RM18.7mil and can accommodate 3,000 people at any one time, was also the brainchild of his late father at the end of 2013 when Temerloh was declared the centre point of peninsular Malaysia.
"Since work began on Aug 19, 2014, Paduka Ayahanda had been hands-on in monitoring the progress of the construction and gave his personal touch in its interior decor and design as well.
"But I guess, we could only plan. Paduka Ayahanda could not be here today. Last year, we discussed the possibility of him officiating at the opening of this mosque via video conference from Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur,” he recalled.
Naturally, Sultan Abdullah said the mosque holds a special place in his heart and his family and hopes that a gallery featuring his late father’s contributions and legacy could be created there.
In his speech, Sultan Abdullah described how his late father was a Ruler of the people because he was always looking out for the sick and was among the first to arrive at the scene of a disaster, at times way before Government officials or elected representatives.
"He had set the benchmark for us all to be proactive in terms of the comfort and well-being of the people. He was always ahead of the scheduled time, sometimes even earlier than the arrival of the Tengku Mahkota Pahang (Sultan Abdullah’s former title).
"This had put me in a difficult position and I had to remind him that he was way too early and that made us look like latecomers,” he explained.
Sultan Abdullah said Paduka Ayahanda, who died on May 22 at the National Heart Institute at the age of 88, was not merely the fifth Pahang Sultan but also served as the seventh Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
As a religious leader, his late father also attended various religious programmes, upgraded the mufti position and instructed more mosques to be built where to date 15 mosques in Pahang were named after him, His Majesty said.
The atmosphere turned sombre as Sultan Abdullah, on behalf of his whole family, expressed gratitude to the specialists, nurses, hospital staff, policemen, the army, Istana employees and all those who served his late father.
"If you ever felt offended by him or his actions, I hope you can find it in your heart the capacity to forgive him and I pray that he be placed among the righteous,” he said. - Bernama