Tough decisions had to be made. As Malaysia’s King, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah faced a slew of unprecedented challenges – from political imbroglio to the Covid-19 pandemic – which required some deft handling, a vast, and deep understanding of the complexities of human behaviour, endless hours of study, research, and consultations, wisdom, the ability to look at issues from a multitude of perspectives, and a fair degree of good fortune.
Throughout his five-year reign as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, he made sure his brother Rulers were informed of the situation, and even sought their views before making a decision.
That is the concept of syura (consultation), a trait Al-Sultan Abdullah upheld throughout his five years at the helm.
“That’s a good question,” was Al-Sultan Abdullah’s immediate reply when asked why he constantly consulted with his fellow Malay Rulers. Others would argue that as King, he could have just made his own decisions.
“I took the oath of office as Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and I realise that my appointment was based on the agreement and consensus of the Conference of Rulers, the Malay Rulers. So, whatever I did, I would be acting on their behalf, as a representative of the Conference of Rulers.
“Yes, all the decisions are the decisions of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Except, what I did was, I brought the issues to the Rulers. We would discuss them, and I would receive their views and suggestions. But the decision at the end of the day, came from the King himself. That was all I did.
“The decisions were not the decisions of the Conference of Rulers. When it came to the appointment of the prime minister, for example, it was the appointment by the King, and not the Conference of Rulers.
“I discussed, I heard their views and I informed (the Malay Rulers) of my decision. That’s it,” he added.
Al-Sultan Abdullah, who returns to Pahang tomorrow, shared his views during an interview with selected media agencies, including Twentytwo13, at Istana Negara on Jan 3. He was joined by the Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah during the session with media members.
Al-Sultan Abdullah was elected by the Malay Rulers at the 151st (Special) Meeting of the Conference of Rulers on Jan 24, 2019, following the abdication of the Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Muhammad V, on Jan 6, 2019.
Twentytwo13, had on Jan 7, 2019, reported that Al-Sultan Abdullah, then the Tengku Mahkota of Pahang, was tipped to take over the Pahang throne in a matter of days to pave the way for him to be named Malaysia’s 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Al-Sultan Abdullah’s election by the Malay Rulers was in line with Article 38(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution, which states that the Conference of Rulers shall exercise its role in electing the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Several special meetings among the Malay Rulers were held during Al-Sultan Abdullah’s five-year reign at Istana Negara.
They included a meeting on Feb 28, 2020, following the sudden resignation of then-prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and a special discussion on June 16, 2021, which decided that there was no need to extend the Covid-19 emergency beyond Aug 1, that year.
Similarly, a special meeting was also convened on Nov 24, 2022, following a hung Parliament after the 15th General Election.
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