King, Queen’s Kembara Kenali Borneo ends on a high, leaves lasting impression

It was a hectic, yet rewarding 11 days as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong were celebrated by Sabahans and Sarawakians during their Kembara Kenali Borneo tour that ended yesterday.

Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and his consort, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, were joined by other members of the royal family, including the Regent of Pahang, Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah, Tengku Panglima Raja Kolonel Tengku Amir Nasser Ibrahim Shah, and Tengku Ahmad Ismail Mu’adzam Shah, on their Borneo trip.

They returned to Kuala Lumpur yesterday, but not without leaving a lasting impression, while cementing the notion of ‘Raja dan rakyat berpisah tiada.’

Sabahans and Sarawakians came out in numbers and lined the roads, waving and cheering as Al-Sultan Abdullah drove by, with Tunku Azizah by his side.

Tunku Azizah also shed a tear or two, overwhelmed by the warm reception they received.

The tour went off without a hitch, with observers noting that the strict protocols that usually accompanied these types of events were conspicuously absent. Both the King and Queen embraced the warmth of the people of Sabah and Sarawak, who exhibited a genuine love for the royal institution.

The 11-day trip, which started in Tawau, Sabah, on Sept 3 and ended in Telok Melano, Kuching yesterday, covered some 2,000km, including a short stop in Brunei.

There were many hilarious moments. They included Tengku Hassanal, armed with a red mini-hailer, promoting his brothers Tengku Amir and Tengku Ahmad, and the locals calling Al-Sultan Abdullah “pakcik (uncle) Agong, abang (brother) Agong and Gong Gong”, while referring to Tunku Azizah as “Datin Permaisuri”.

The royal couple treated these references as a good laugh. They also listened to some of the grouses aired by those who greeted them.

This image of Al-Sultan Abdullah leaning against a vehicle, baseball cap turned around, with Tengku Hassanal and Tengku Amir eating packed rice with their hands, looks like the cover of a music album.

Video clips of Al-Sultan Abdullah, Tunku Azizah and the royal family taking part in traditional dances and other activities made their rounds on social media, putting smiles on the faces of those who watched them. The royal family didn’t just take part in those activities, they completely immersed themselves in the experience, and showed the people that they were good sports.

Tunku Azizah on the stage with performers.

There were those who described Tunku Azizah as “down-to-earth and pretty”.

It was a memorable trip, one that will be remembered by the royal household and the rakyat for a long time.


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Images: Istana Negara