King takes pride in unity of Malaysians to help Palestinians

KUALA LUMPUR: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has expressed pride in Malaysians who continue to rise in solidarity with Palestinians suffering from the atrocities committed by the Zionist regime.

Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara, Major-General Datuk Indera Zahari Mohd Ariffin said His Majesty was also grateful for the spirit shown by the people in joining hands to provide humanitarian aid, including medicines, clothing, baby essentials, blankets, and food to the Palestinians in Gaza.

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"If only Malaysians could see His Majesty's reaction during the Ops Ihsan visit...the King was highly excited to witness the support and solidarity of the people demonstrated through the aid delivery to Palestine.

"Al-Sultan Abdullah was filled with pride to witness the solidarity of Malaysians on the Palestine-Israel issue," he said recently in an interview with Bernama at Istana Negara.

On Dec 18 last year, His Majesty inspected the preparations for a shipment of humanitarian aid under Ops Ihsan for the Palestinians at the KL International Airport (KLIA).

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He said Al-Sultan Abdullah expressed his appreciation for the people's efforts to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who was also present to send off the team.

"The King said he was truly grateful to Malaysians for their solidarity in providing aid and contributions and hoped that the items, including food, medicines, and clothing, could be sent directly to those in need in Palestine," he said.

According to Zahari, His Majesty fully supported Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim when the government agreed to provide aid to Palestine.

"When the government announced the support, His Majesty wanted to see the preparations and delivery of the aid.

"His Majesty provided advice regarding the aid delivery and utilised his international platform to ensure that the assistance reached Palestine.

"That's why on Dec 18, during Ops Ihsan to deliver a shipment of 60 tonnes of goods, Al-Sultan Abdullah went to KLIA cargo to personally inspect the items and preparations before they were flown to Egypt (then distributed to the Palestinians in Gaza)," he added.

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On the preparations for the return journey of the King and Queen, Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah to Pahang, Zahari said an air of sadness looms over Istana Negara, for there are so many memories created with the royal couple for the past five years.

Zahari, who previously served as the Commander of the Fourth Malaysian Infantry Brigade, said Their Majesties are close to the people, adding that the Royal couple loves to share their knowledge, experience, and guidance with the Istana Negara staff.

"...making the preparations makes us sad because we will be parting with Their Majesties, who have imparted so much advice over the past five years," he added.

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He promised that the send-off ceremony on Jan 30 would be carried out as best as possible to express appreciation for the royal couple.

According to him, Their Majesties will bid farewell to the palace staff on Monday (Jan 29).

Al-Sultan Abdullah will end his reign as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Jan 30. The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, will assume his role as the nation's 17th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Jan 31. -Bernama

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