By Tengku Noor Shamsiah Tengku Abdullah
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia marked a historic milestone as Sultan Ibrahim and Raja Zarith Sofiah of Johor ascended to the esteemed titles of the 17th Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong of the nation.
The royal couple, who have reigned over Johor since 2010, ascended to the pinnacle of Malaysian monarchy, marking a remarkable moment in Malaysia’s history. Sultan Ibrahim followed in the footsteps of his father, Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Sultan Ismail, in assuming the federal throne under the unique rotating monarchy system.
His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, aged 65, took his oath of office at the palace and signed the instrument of the proclamation of office in a ceremony witnessed by other royal families, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and Cabinet members. A coronation ceremony will be held later.
The ceremony also marked the appointment of Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak as the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the same period.
Their Majesties were elected to their respective offices by the Malay Rulers at the 263rd (Special) Meeting of the Conference of Rulers in October last year.
Malaysia’s unique constitutional monarchy system, where the King is elected from among the nine Malay rulers, distinguishes it globally.
Sultan Ibrahim and Raja Zarith Sofiah are not only the new sovereigns of Malaysia but also the new symbols of hope and unity for the nation.
They have earned the respect and admiration of the Malaysian people for their wealth, charisma, and philanthropy, as well as their passion for sports, culture, and cuisine.
They have also earned the affectionate titles of “the People’s Sultan” and “the People’s Queen” for their close ties with their subjects and their generosity towards the needy and the affected.
As they assume their roles as Malaysia’s sovereigns, Sultan Ibrahim and Raja Zarith Sofiah have a vision of fostering harmony and optimism in the nation.
Born on November 22, 1958, at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital, Johor Bahru, Sultan Ibrahim stepped forward to take his oath of office, his lineage tracing back to the esteemed heritage of Almarhum Sultan Iskandar and Almarhumah Enche’ Besar Khalsom Abdullah.
Beside him stood Raja Zarith Sofiah, a beacon of grace and wisdom, pledging her allegiance to the nation and its people.
Their journey, woven with threads of education and military service, spoke volumes of duty and honor. From the corridors of Tunku Ampuan Mariam Kindergarten to the halls of Trinity Grammar School in Sydney, Australia, Sultan Ibrahim’s pursuit of knowledge laid the foundation for his illustrious destiny.
His tenure at Sekolah Temenggong Abdul Rahman (1) and English College (Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar) in Johor Bahru, coupled with religious teachings at Sekolah Agama Ayer Molek, shaped his vision of leadership and service.
The rigors of military training molded Sultan Ibrahim into a paragon of strength and valor. From the Malaysian Army Training School (PULADA) to the hallowed grounds of Fort Benning, Georgia, and beyond, he honed his skills as a leader and a warrior. His exploits as a United States SEAL and an honorary member of the Indonesian red beret KOPASSUS underscored his commitment to excellence and camaraderie.
Yet, Sultan Ibrahim’s journey transcended mere accolades and titles. His tenure as the Crown Prince of Johor and subsequent proclamation as the Sultan of Johor bore witness to his unwavering dedication to his people.
Beside him stood Her Majesty Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah of Perak, a pillar of strength and grace.
Their union, blessed with six children, reflected a bond forged in love and duty—a testament to their commitment to family and nation.
As prayers were recited seeking divine blessings for Their Majesties, the people, and the nation, the solemnity of the occasion intertwined with the hopes and aspirations of a nation in transition.
Sultan Ibrahim’s ascent to the throne, succeeding Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah of Pahang, who completed his five-year term yesterday, marked the commencement of a new chapter in Malaysia’s royal legacy. – TNS News