KOTA KINABALU: The significant union of the Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak is the binding force that has shaped the Malaysian nation, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah (pix) said.

In this regard, His Majesty invited all Malaysians to work together to defend this union and put all differences aside, in addition to appreciating the history of Malaysia’s independence and formation for the sake of a glorious future.

His Majesty went on to cite the Malay proverbs ‘bagaikan aur dengan tebing’ and ‘serumpun laksana serai’ to describe how all the regions, in unison, complemented one another.

Al-Sultan Abdullah said this at a dinner hosted by the Sabah government in conjunction with the ‘Kembara Kenali Borneo’ tour at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) here last night.

Also gracing the event was the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah.

Among those in attendance were the Yang Dipertua of Sabah Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor and Sabah State Assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Kadzim Haji M Yahya.

Al-Sultan Abdullah also hoped his visit to Sabah would build a bridge of friendship that could strengthen the bond of unity between Sabah and Sarawak and the Peninsula.

“All of us, whether from Sabah, Sarawak, or the Peninsula, are from an independent nation that stands proudly under a flag known as the Jalur Gemilang,” he said.

Al-Sultan Abdullah also said that during the Kembara Kenali Borneo tour, Their Majesties got to know the cultures of Sabah’s various ethnic groups, traditional foods, local musical instruments and traditional dances.

“I am also very happy with the warm hospitality and friendliness of the people I have met along the journey who consists of various ethnic groups and races.

“I learned that the people of Sabah consist of 33 indigenous groups that communicate in more than 50 languages ​​and 80 ethnic dialects, this is an amazing reality,” said His Majesty.

Al-Sultan Abdullah said the harmonious environment enjoyed by the people in Sabah that exists in the form of diversity is a symbol of unity and should be used as an example.

His Majesty also expressed his gratitude to the people of Sabah, who always be close to his heart, for their hospitality during the Kembara Kenali Borneo tour.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong also thanked Tun Juhar, Hajiji, the Sabah government, and state and federal agencies that helped organised the tour.

“Kembara Kenali Borneo is my last visit to Sabah, the Land Below The Wind, as Yang di-Pertuan Agong. It is an experience I will never forget.

“May the people of Sabah whom I love be protected by Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala. I also pray that Sabah, the Land Below The Wind, will continue to remain prosperous, successful, peaceful and joyful in the Federation of Malaysia in the spirit of true unity,” His Majesty said.

Al-Sultan Abdullah also had a chance to recite a sentence in the Kadazan language tonight that meant “Thank you, everyone... Sabah and its people will always be in my heart.”

Their Majesties are on a 2,154km journey from September 3 to September 13 from Tawau, Sabah, via the Pan Borneo Highway that connects Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei before ending the tour in Telok Melano, Sarawak. - Bernama

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