Johoreans and visitors throng palace open house

Meeting the rakyat: Sultan Ibrahim shaking hands with the public at the open house at Istana Besar in Johor Baru.

JOHOR BARU: The overcast skies and drizzle did not deter thousands from making their way to the Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house at Istana Besar to meet His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia, and Her Majesty Raja Zarith Sofiah, Queen of Malaysia.

Armed with umbrellas, they waited patiently in line for their turn to enter the palace and come face to face with Their Majesties.

Also gracing the event were Johor Regent Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, his wife Che’ Puan Mahkota Khaleeda, and Raja Muda Johor Tunku Iskandar Ibni Tunku Ismail.

Other members of the Johor Royal family present were Tunku Temenggong Johor Tunku Idris Iskandar Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Tunku Panglima Johor Tunku Abdul Rahman Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, and Tunku Putera Johor Tunku Abu Bakar Ibni Sultan Ibrahim.

Alieeya Muhammad, 22, from Perlis could not hide her excitement at meeting Sultan Ibrahim for the first time.

“I moved to Johor about a year ago after my husband got a job as a chef in Singapore.

“We were not able to return to my hometown as my husband only got two days’ leave for Hari Raya.

“So, we decided to spend our time here in the city.

“I am most excited about attending the open house at the palace as I get a chance to see Sultan Ibrahim for the first time in my life,” she said yesterday.

Alieeya said she also attended Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi’s open house at his official residence in Saujana on the first day of Hari Raya on Wednesday.

“This is the first time my husband and I are celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri away from our families.

“Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, we were still able to be with them as we worked in Perlis then.

“In a way, coming to these open houses helps ease some of the sadness of having to be away from home,” she added.

A retiree who wanted to be known only as Pang, 77, said he had been attending the Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house hosted by the Johor Royal family for decades.

“For me, it is a good way to get to know people while also tucking into the delicious food.

“This year is extra special as our Sultan is also the King of Malaysia. As a Johorean, I am very proud of this,” he said.

Onn Hafiz and other top state leaders were also present at the open house.

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