KUALA LUMPUR – Sultan Muhammad V took his oath of office as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong XV and at 47 he is the youngest among the Malay rulers at present.
His majesty’s role will be complemented by the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, who is 60.
They maybe from two different generations, but both are known for their grounded leadership styles and their level of commitment to the people.
Sultan Muhammad V loves going down to the ground to visit his subjects and has been seen on various occasions going to the mosques in Kelantan dressed simply in a ‘jubah’ (robe) or a white ‘kopiah’ (skullcap) and sandals, without any royal entourage.
Sultan Nazrin’s profound royal addresses, meanwhile, have often garnered attention locally and internationally.
Political analyst, Dr Chandra Muzaffar opined that the appointment of both rulers were exactly what the country needed at the moment.
“The Agong is someone committed to the people while his deputy is someone known for his integrity and deep moral values,” he said.
He said both rulers had values that were crucial in reaching out the population, with the majority being youths.
“Sultan Muhammad enjoys mingling with his subjects and is at ease with them. He is also a man of religion and often goes to the mosques to pray, which makes him accessible to the people,” Chandra explained.
He said in a time when many in the population were struggling with the rising costs of living, having a ruler who goes down to the ground was important as his majesty’s findings could be relayed in the form of advice to the country’s administrative body.
Chandra also viewed Sultan Nazrin’s appointment as ‘perfecting the combination’. The Perak monarch is known for his focus on honesty and integrity among the country’s leadership.
The ruler recently voiced out his concern on the increaseing number of bribery and breach of trust cases committed openly by those in high positions.
He spoke of the matter during his address at the state-level 1438H Maulidur Rasul celebration in Perak on Dec 12, a day before he was appointed the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
In addition to their high moral values, both rulers also share impressive academic backgrounds.
Both Sultan Muhammad V and Sultan Nazrin received their higher education at Oxford.
Upon completing his studies at the St.Cross College and Centre for Islamic Studies at Oxford, Sultan Muhammad V continued his education at the Deutsche Stiflung Entwicking in Berlin, Germany and subsequently the European Business School in London.
Sultan Nazrin, meanwhile, pursued a masters degree in public administration at Harvard University after obtaining a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in Oxford.
He subsequently obtained a doctorate in Political Economics and Government at Harvard. He was also conferred an Honorary Fellowship at Worcester College in Oxford in Oct 2013.
Constitutional law expert, Assoc Prof Dr Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz opined that the intellectual abilities of both rulers would help them decipher the plethora of issues plaguing the country.
“In times like these, it is important to have a head of state with a strong academic background so that wise decisions regarding the country’s future could be made,” said the Principal Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Shariah, Law and Politics at the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM).
She said it would also aid Sultan Muhammad V in areas of administration which His Majesty might not have been familiar with due to his relatively shorter time as a ruler, compared with those from other states.
Sultan Muhammad V was proclaimed the Sultan of Kelantan in 2010. A year prior to that he was appointed as the ‘Pemangku Raja’.
Earlier, he was appointed a rightful heir with the title Tengku Mahkota in March 1979 and installed in October 1985.
He reigned as the 14th Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong from 2010 until his appointment as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Shamrahayu said Sultan Nazrin, meanwhile, was highly knowledgable in the country’s formation and history, as proven in his articulation of the facts during his royal addresses.
“His knowledge on the country’s policies, history, legal system, judiciary, human rights, economy and racial unity shows how well versed he is in the country’s administrative system.
“He is able to think locally and globally and delve into the minds of both the older and younger generations, making him a wonderful ruler,” she said.
Both Chandra and Shamrahayu were positive that both rulers would take the country to greater heights.
Chandra hoped that their administrative advice to the country’s executive body would help in resolving the issues plaguing the country.
He noted that the constitutional monarchy system practiced by the country provided room for both the rulers to take action within the boundaries of the constitution.
Shamrahayu, meanwhile, hoped that the monarchy would become the voice of reason in the current state of politics for the sake of a better future for the country. – BERNAMA