Category: Muar History & Story

History revisited in Muar

THE 54th birthday celebration of His Royal Highness, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, on Nov 22 will be a historic one.

Tuanku has chosen Muar as the venue for the event, recreating history some 117 years after his great-great-grandfather, Sultan Abu Bakar, celebrated the anniversary of the day of his ascension to the Johor throne on March 1, 1895, in this town.

Tuanku will make history when he officially declares Bandar Maharani a royal town. In 1887, Abu Bakar had named the capital of Muar district as Bandar Maharani, after his Consort Maharani Fatimah, making the town a showpiece of his administration.

Tuanku is meticulous in his quest for a clean environment. He observes the areas along his jogging routes and during his impromptu visits, he passes on the information to the authorities for immediate action.

Visitors will witness a transformation of the town once regarded a sleepy hollow. Roads are upgraded, shophouses and government buildings given a facelift and painted with vibrant colours. Flags and buntings gaily decorate streets and buildings.

A major restoration is seen at the Dewan Jubli Intan Sultan Ibrahim, the venue for the levee and investiture ceremonies. Some 800 guests are expected to witness the ceremony that will be conducted with pomp, splendour and protocol.

Tuanku has ensured that Johor royal traditions are observed. An Istiadat Meletak Kerja, signalling the start of the celebrations with the raising of the State ceremonial flag, will be held today at Dataran Tanjung Emas. The flag will be lowered a week later at the end of the celebrations.

The dress code for the birthday ceremony is white ceremonial uniforms for Datuks, state assemblymen, members of Parliament, Johor civil service officers, police and armed forces officers, and penghulus. The occasion is regarded as “Collar Day”, when decorations and medals are to be worn.

The Tunku Mahkota Johor represents the Sultan in the Majlis Doa Kesyukuran. The first of a 21-gun salute will be fired when Tuanku’s name is mentioned in the prayer recital by the mufti. The Lagu Bangsa Johor will greet the Sultan’s arrival. The guard of honour mounted by the Johor Military Forces is led by his son, Tunku Abdul Rahman.

The levee ceremony (Majlis Teriman) starts with a prayer recital by the mufti, followed by a congratulatory speech by the Tunku Mahkota on behalf of the royal family. The Menteri Besar, accompanied by a representative each from the Chinese and Indian communities, delivers a congratulatory speech and pledge of loyalty.

Tuanku will then proclaim the appointment of his children to titles and offices which in former times existed or were commonly used in Johor. The immediate members of the royal family, the Menteri Besar and the president of the council of the royal court are then invited to pay homage to Tuanku during the Majlis Mengadap Takzim.

An investiture ceremony follows. The Johor Sultan in his absolute authority may confer titles and awards. The Council of the Royal Court stringently vets the honours list before presenting for royal approval. This is in tandem with Tuanku’s decree that all awards are to be placed on a high pedestal and that recipients must be individuals of high calibre and integrity and who have contributed unselfishly to society.

Treats are in store for the citizens of Muar and the rakyat. A tea party for 40,000 rakyat will be held at Muar Stadium. Food and drinks are contributed by confectionery and food factories, fast food outlets, the hospitality industry, caterers and the government.

Tuanku and members of the royal family will mingle freely with the rakyat. Thirty artists from Johor have volunteered as a show of loyalty to entertain the people in a musical and cultural extravaganza.

Muar town will be turned into a fairyland when a procession of 30 gaily-decorated themed floats makes its way along the major streets on Friday night. A boat procession and fireworks display will be held on Sunday evening. The Sultan Ismail Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic to allow the public to view the events. Hawkers are permitted on the bridge for that occasion. Events with participation of the rakyat include a mini marathon, futsal, football, netball, jet-ski and kayak race, and cooking.

Tuanku will join the villagers for Friday prayers after opening the Al Ikhsan mosque at Batu 18, Jalan Air Hitam, on Nov 23.

The official declaration of Bandar Maharani Bandar Di Raja will be held on Nov 24, highlighted by the placement of a time capsule containing a copy of the declaration, a copy of the State Constitution and a replica of the Muar State Commissioner’s flag.

This symbolic gesture mirrors a similar ceremony at the founding of Bandar Maharani at Tangga Batu in 1887. An iconic crown atop an arch resembling four elephant tusks has been constructed as a physical symbol of the declaration of the royal town.

Datuk Abdul Rahim Ramli is Secretary of the Council of the Royal Court

Read more: History revisited in Muar – Johor – New Straits Times

Category: Muar History & Story