KUALA LUMPUR – The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah today opened the first meeting of the third session of the 13th Parliament here.
In a break with tradition, the Royal guard-of-honour was mounted at the Banquet Hall of Parliament House instead of at the Parliament Square.
The ceremony was held indoors for the third time because of poor weather.
At 10 am, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tuanku Hajah Haminah, were accorded a warm welcome upon arrival at Parliament Square by Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and Dewan Negara president Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang.
Also present to greet Their Majesties were prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor; and deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Tuanku Abdul Halim and Tuanku Hajah Haminah were then escorted to the Banquet Hall to be accorded the Royal Honours.
The national anthem “Negaraku” was then played by the central band of the Royal Malay Regiment from Sungai Besi Camp. A 21-gun salute was also fired.
The inspection of the guard-of-honour could not be carried out due to the restricted space in the banquet hall.
At 11 am, the bell was rung and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was escorted into the Dewan Rakyat to deliver the royal address.
The Dewan Rakyat will sit for 20 days beginning today until April 9 while the Dewan Negara will sit from April 13 to 28. – BERNAMA