KOTA KINABALU: The public in Sabah is putting on a celebrity welcome for the Kembara Kenali Borneo convoy at every stop along the way.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah are receiving a tremendous welcome from Sabahans into the fourth day of their tour.

Local communities are also eagerly awaiting a glimpse of the royal children, Tengku Arif Bendahara Tengku Muhammad Iskandar Ri’ayatuddin Shah, Tengku Puteri Raja Tengku Puteri Jihan Azizah ‘Athiyatullah, Tengku Puteri Raja Tengku Puteri Ilisha Ameera and Tengku Puteri Raja Tengku Puteri Ilyana.

Excited cheering and loud applause as well as echoes of ‘Daulat Tuanku’ accompanied the royal family and their entourage along the route from Ranau to Kota Kinabalu.

Bernama reporter who is part of the Kembara Kenali Borneo entourage saw for himself the patience and loyalty of Sabahans waiting to see the convoy after hearing it would pass through their neighbourhood.

There were adults, children, students, senior citizens and even disabled people lined up along the roadside waiting to witness the royal couple pass along the 75-kilometre stretch from Pekan Nabalu, Ranau to Kota Kinabalu.

Most of them told Bernama that they were thrilled to be able to welcome the royal family and cheer them on their journey.

Despite rushing to the next destination, Al-Sultan Abdullah, who was driving a four-wheel drive vehicle accompanied by Tunku Azizah, slowed down to wave, shake hands and smile at the waiting crowd.

Similar moments were also captured during the King and Queen’s drive through Jalan Berungis-Tamparuli across the Tamparuli bridge, where the two-kilometre road from Bulatan Nenas to Pekan Tamparuli was lined with people.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong also appeared touched by the welcome and was seen waving and showing the mini heart gesture, while the Raja Permaisuri was recording the momentous occasion with her mobile phone.

The Sabah state song titled ‘Sayang Kinabalu’ was also sung by students from various schools while Al-Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah were approaching Pekan Tamparuli to symbolise their arrival.

The warm welcome did not stop there but was replicated in other areas as well, including in front of Sepanggar Polytechnic, with hundreds of its students surrounding the convoy.

Despite intermittent drizzle and sunshine, they were willing to wait for the royal couple’s arrival and wished them ‘Welcome’, ‘Thank you’, ‘Take care’ and ‘Come again to Sabah’, proving the warm hospitality and sincerity of the people of the Land Below the Wind.

In Kota Kinabalu, Al-Sultan Abdullah is scheduled to officiate the opening of the Kota Kinabalu Syariah Court Complex, while the Raja Permaisuri visits the Kepayan Prison. -Bernama

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