29/01/2024 02:51 PM


KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 (Bernama) -- ‘Behind every great man, there stands a woman.’

Perhaps these are the most accurate words to describe the love of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah for the Permaisuri Agong, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah.

Over 38 years of marital bliss, including Their Majesties’ five years in the Istana Negara, Al-Sultan Abdullah has openly acknowledged that Tunku Azizah had given him a lot of encouragement and strength, especially at the beginning of His Majesty's ascension to the throne as the head of state in 2019.

In an interview with a group of editors and senior journalists at the Istana Negara recently, Al-Sultan Abdullah, looking dignified in a black suit, expressed his deep love and appreciation for Tunku Azizah, who steadfastly stood by him through various ups and downs.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong saw the Queen play a prominent role in caring for the common people, women and prisoners, through various programmes and community activities.

“Indeed. I think she has done a tremendous role as a Queen and as my wife. And I have to agree with you that she has given me a lot of ‘semangat’ (determination) to carry out my duties as Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

"Apart from that, as a mother, as a wife, and I acknowledge the support, encouragement and strength given to me by the Queen. Alhamdulillah, I am grateful," said His Majesty, inviting a sweet smile from Tunku Azizah who sat beside His Majesty throughout the session.

For Al-Sultan Abdullah, Tunku Azizah - a resilient woman who has gone through six episodes of miscarriage and 17 rounds of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatments - is a perfect mother, wife, and Queen, who has provided much advice to His Majesty on various matters.

"She (Tunku Azizah) advises me like this, like that, (but) I make the decision, not her," His Majesty said in jest.

Although not feeling well during the interview session, Tunku Azizah - often called 'Ji' by Al-Sultan Abdullah - who looked graceful in pink attire, occasionally chimed in during various questions posed by media practitioners from 16 media organisations.

"I'm the ‘lady of the house’ not ‘the Queen’, I am the one who manages everything in the house. His Majesty takes care of the country, I take care of the house," said Tunku Azizah, 63, who has four children from IVF treatment.

Throughout the nearly two-hour interview, the love and affection of Al-Sultan Abdullah for Tunku Azizah - who affectionately calls His Majesty, ‘Alam’ - was evident through His Majesty’s body language and occasional gazes towards the Queen - and vice versa.

"Thank you for your service to the King as a Queen," His Majesty said, then casually kissing Tunku Azizah on her cheek, a gesture of appreciation for the woman who has reigned in his heart all this while.

Their Majesties love episode which started on the polo field, eventually led to their marriage on March 6, 1986. The romantic Royal couple who often perform cute gestures for one another are now happily blessed with four princes and five princesses.           Despite being busy with state affairs and caring for the people, sometimes setting aside protocols, the close familial relationship between Their Majesties and all their children serves as a perfect model of the closeness and strength of the family institution.

Al-Sultan Abdullah said that during programmes to meet the rakyat, Her Majesty would make an effort to bring along their children, allowing them to interact and get to know the people better.

Now, the 'DNA' of 'raja dan rakyat berpisah tiada' (the Ruler and the people are inseparable) has been inherited by Their Majesty’s prince, who is also the Regent of Pahang, Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah.

"Alhamdulillah, I have to say it, I don't know about others, but we didn't have to tell him (Tengku Hassanal) what to do. He knew what his job was. Right from when he was small I had said to him: You are born to serve, your duty is to serve the people,” said Tunku Azizah.

Tomorrow (Jan 30) marks the completion of His Majesty Al-Sultan Abdullah’s reign as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and ‘Alam’ and ‘Ji’ will return to reside at Istana Abdulaziz, Kuantan.

When asked what his plans were once he returned to Pahang, His Majesty said there was a lot of work to be done.

“As I mentioned earlier, I've only been Sultan of Pahang for 15 days. So, the people of Pahang are waiting for me. Much needs to be improved and developed to assist the poor, many of whom are still struggling,” said Al-Sultan Abdullah.

Ending the interview, His Majesty said: "I may not be the King of Malaysia after January, but if I can be - King of all of your hearts. I would like to thank all the media during my time at Istana Negara, apologise if there were any shortcomings, and I am very grateful. I hope the people continue to reflect and provide all cooperation to advance and improve our country's economy and unify our people of all ethnicities, at all levels, and be grateful and continue to be grateful.”

Thank You, Your Majesty.