KUALA LUMPUR: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah today expressed happiness after having the opportunity to fulfil their dream to get closer to the people of Sabah and Sarawak through the Kembara Kenali Borneo tour programme.
Their Majesties also expressed gratitude for the success of the 11-day tour which began on Sept 3 in Tawau, Sabah, and ended in Telok Melano, Sematan, Sarawak, yesterday.
Comptroller of the Istana Negara Royal Household Major General Datuk Zahari Mohd Ariffin said Their Majesties had extended their highest appreciation to the government led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, and the state governments of Sabah and Sarawak for all the assistance in making the programme a success.
“Their Majesties also express their deepest gratitude to all the people of Sabah and Sarawak for the tremendous reception given to Their Majesties and the royal family throughout the tour along the Pan Borneo Highway.
“Their Majesties are also deeply touched by the love and support shown by the people who tirelessly lined up by the roadsides to greet them, be it day or night, rain or shine,” he said in a statement from Istana Negara today.
The inaugural Kembara Kenali Borneo tour, which received an exceptional reception from the people of both states, involved a 2,154-km journey along the Pan Borneo Highway connecting Sabah, Sarawak, and Brunei.
Zahari said all the experiences of witnessing the manifestation of love from the people, the spirit of unity, cultural and ethnic diversity, and the beauty of the natural landscapes in both states are etched in the hearts of Their Majesties and the entire royal family as sweet memories that will never be forgotten.
“Furthermore, Their Majesties also express their joy because the Kembara Kenali Borneo programme had provided an opportunity to strengthen the bonds between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak and to realise the spirit of “Raja dan Rakyat Berpisah Tiada” (The Ruler and the people are inseparable),” he said.
He said Al-Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah also prayed that Allah would continue to protect and bless the people of Sabah and Sarawak and that both states would continue to prosper and progress with their people living in unity, peace, and prosperity.
In conjunction with the Malaysia Day celebration this Saturday, Zahari said that the King called on all Malaysians to observe and embrace the principles of the Rukun Negara, which serve as the foundation for national unity and the development of the Malaysian identity.
“His Majesty said this is because each of the five principles of the Rukun Negara provides a formula for how people of different races, religions, cultures, and languages can overcome differences and diversity and live harmoniously and peacefully,” he said.
This year’s Malaysia Day celebration will adopt the same theme as the 2023 National Day, which is ‘Malaysia MADANI: Tekad Perpaduan Penuhi Harapan, while the Iban phrase from Sarawak, ‘Segulai Sejalai’ which means ‘together in unity’, will be used as the slogan for unity across the nation.
The national-level Malaysia Day celebration on Sept 16 will be held at the Stadium Perpaduan in Kuching, Sarawak. -BERNAMA