The King's Coronation - What Is It, And What Happens On The Day Itself?

Besides it being a Public Holiday

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The King's Coronation - What Is It, And What Happens On The Day Itself?

What goes on behind the scenes?

In most countries, the coronation of a royal figure - be it a King or a Queen - only happens once in their lifetime.  

Malaysia, however, is unique in a sense that the coronation of our King or Agong happens once every five years and a Sultan can be enthroned more than once. 

The choosing of the next Agong is largely on a rotational basis, but the nine Sultans who sit on the Conference of Rulers do vote to see who will take the throne next, and there is a possibility of the one next in list to not be chosen. 

Agong at the 253rd meeting of Conference of Rulers
Now, if you paid attention in History classes, you'd know that Malaya was made up of several states that had its own royal lines that go way back - some even to the 12th century. 

The Sultans of the nine states with royal lines were not going to give up their role because some white people said so.

So, even when the Reid Commission tried to dilute their power when Federal Constitution was drafted, they stood their ground. 

This is also how the Conference of Rulers started in 1957.

According to New Straits Times, before there was the conference, there was the Durbar Conference held at the Kuala Kangsar palace in 1896 when the Federated Malay States was formed. 

This is probably where the idea to have a Conference of Rulers came from, and it has been actively operational since its inception the year the country got its independence. 

Why is the coronation happening way after the Agong's appointment?

Agong  at the conferment of Federal Territory Honours, Awards and Medals

It's sort of like weddings. You know how you have to register with the government agency first, so you can get rid of all the legalities before having a more traditional ceremony or reception? 

It's sort of like that. 

It takes time to plan and prepare the coronation, which is pretty much ceremonial and done for the benefit of the public, but the appointment of the Agong is a practical matter as the King has duties to perform. 

Considering that the stepping down of the previous Agong was unprecedented and unexpected, it only makes sense that there is a gap of almost seven months between the appointment of the new ruler and the coronation day. 

What happens on coronation day?

We've never been invited for one, but we did find a Bernama article that explain the important elements of the ceremony. 

We're a little sad but we wouldn't know all the protocols anyway
First things first, the King sits on his Peterana Diraja (a chair reserved for him and only him) and receive the Hormat Diraja from the First Battalion Royal Army of Malaysia as a show of loyalty by the Royal Malaysian Army. 

This is significant as the Agong is the Supreme Commander of the Royal Army after all. 

The Agong then walks to the Balairong Seri (something like a throne room), accompanied by musicians from the Pasukan Gendang Besar Diraja Kelantan, who'll be playing a song called 'Raja Berangkat'.

Agong at the  opening of the second session of the 14th Parliament
His entourage also includes his commanders (panglima), who will be carrying banners, and other royal items that signifies the stature of the Agong as the leader of the country. 

The Agong will also receive an Al-Quran and a keris as a symbol of his role in upholding Islam and the sovereignty of the country. 

An oath taking ceremony also occurs, after which 'Daulat Tuanku' (long live the king) will be proclaimed and repeated by those at the event. 

There are more frills to the event, but that's basically the highlights. 

Daulat Tuanku! 

Now that you know all about the coronation, you can appreciate the throning of the 16th Ke Bawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah Ibni Almarhun Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al Musta'in Billah Shah, on 30 July. 

Plus, when your foreign friends ask about it, you will have a good answer.

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