JOHOR BAHARU, March 23 (Bernama) — Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar was today crowned as the fifth sultan of modern Johor with pomp and pageantry at the Istana Besar here.
Raja Zarith Sofiah Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah was also crowned, at the same ceremony, as the Permaisuri of Johor, a title used for the first time in the state.
The ceremony, which was aired live over RTM and TV3 and beamed to a large screen at Dataran Bandaraya, was witnessed by thousands of people in Johor and the rest of the country.
The ceremony was also witnessed by Sultan Ibrahim’s mother, Enche’ Besar Hajah Khalsom Abdullah; the sultan’s elder sister, the Tunku Puteri of Johor Tunku Kamariah Sultan Iskandar and the sultan’s younger sister, Tunku Besar Zabedah Sultan Iskandar.
The Tunku Mahkota of Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, and Che’ Puan Khaleeda Bustamam as well as the other children of Sultan Ibrahim also witnessed the historic ceremony.
The Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, and his wife Paduka Seri Baginda Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha and the Malay Rulers also witnessed the coronation, held at the Throne Room of the palace.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, as well as Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his wife Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman also attended the ceremony.
Sultan Ibrahim, who was attired in a dark blue uniform complete with decorations, and Raja Zarith Sofiah, who was attired in a Johor baju kurung of similar colour, arrived at the Istana Besar at 9.35 am.
Sultan Ibrahim took the royal salute before a guard of honour mounted by the Askar Timbalan Setia Negeri Johor from the royal steps of the Istana Besar, after which the Johor State Anthem was played.
The coronation ceremony began at 10 am with Sultan Ibrahim and Raja Zarith Sofiah entering the Throne Room.
The Johor State Anthem was played and Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin read out the proclamation of coronation.
The president of the Johor Council of the Royal Court, Datuk Abdul Rahim Ramli, then sought the consent for the coronation of Sultan Ibrahim and Raja Zarith Sofiah.
Sultan Ibrahim read out the pledge and a verse from the Quran. The Johor deputy mufti Datuk Yahya Ahmad read out the sermon.
Johor mufti Datuk Mohd Tahrir Samsudin then placed the crown on the head of Sultan Ibrahim and then placed the diadem on the head of Raja Zarith Sofiah.
The coronation was followed by the firing of a 21-gun salute by the Malaysian Armed Forces. The Johor State Anthem was played and deputy mufti Yahaya recited the ‘doa selamat’.
Tunku Ismail and Che’ Puan Khaleeda began the paying of homage, followed by the other children of Sultan Ibrahim; Tunku Aris Bendahara Tunku Abdul Majid Sultan Iskandar and his wife Tunku Teh Mazni Yusuf, who represented the royalty; Mohamed Khaled on behalf of the state government and Abdul Rahim, who represented the Johor Council of the Royal Court.
The Johor State Anthem was played again, after which Sultan Ibrahim and Raja Zarith Sofiah, the Permaisuri of Johor, proceeded to a section of the palace to observe a fly-past.
The fly-past comprised seven Eurocopter EC725, Super Lynx and Agusta Loh A109 helicopters, three of which bore the Johor flag and released white, blue and red smoke symbolising the colours of the flag.
Following the fly-past, the gathering hailed ‘Daulat Tuanku’ and Sultan Ibrahim and Raja Zarith Sofiah went on a royal motorcade in a Mercedes-Benz 600 around the city, travelling 8.5 kilometres from the Istana Besar to the Istana Bukit Serene.
About 40,000 people from all the communities watched the motorcade, which emulated the concept of the motorcade during the coronation of Sultan Ismail in 1960.