KOTA BARU: Sultan of Kelantan Sultan Muhammad V (pic), who was elected the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Friday’s special meeting of the Conference of Rulers to succeed Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah is a King of the people, and very close to the hearts of the people in the state.
The eldest son of Sultan Ismail Petra who was previously known as Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra, 47, used the name Sultan Muhammad V after being proclaimed the 29th Sultan of Kelantan on Sept 13, 2010.
Sultan Muhammad V, who often refers to himself as kita (we) when meeting the people of this state loves going down to the ground, including the interior areas and Orang Asli settlements in Gua Musang and Jeli.
Sultan Muhammad V who was installed as the Tengku Mahkota of Kelantan on Oct 6, 1985, prefers to wear a jubah (robe) or baju melayu (Malay attire), which is known in the state as baju gumbang with a kain pelikat (sarong cloth) and a white kopiah (skullcap) when making visits on his subjects.
Sultan Muhammad V, who was previously the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong since Dec 12, 2011, had sparked the idea for the Walkathon D’Raja Kelantan programme since 2011, which is aimed at strengthening relationship with the people.
Through the Walkathon D’Raja Kelantan programme, thousands of people from all walks of life in Kelantan have the opportunity to walk with Sultan Muhammad V and the Kelantan royal family for 10km around the city of Kota Baru.
Along the walkathon route, there are also several checkpoints that showcase a variety of cultural performances such as dikir barat, kertuk and rebana ubi (traditional musical instruments).
In 2011, the programme managed to enter into the Malaysia Book Of Records when it drew about 21,000 participants.
The charity programme organised by the Pertubuhan Kerabat D’Raja Kelantan Al-Muhammadi is aimed at fostering closer ties between Sultan Muhammad V and the people, promoting a healthy lifestyle and becoming a tourist attraction in the state.
He has also nurtured spiritual values among the Muslim community in the state through the organising of Qiam With Me programme, which is held every year since 2011 and during the month of Ramadan.
The programme which starts at around 10pm after the Isyak and Terawih prayers, will be followed by a religious lecture from a guest preacher, Qiamullail (Qiam means standing to denote prayer), before performing the Subuh prayers in congregation.
At the programme, Sultan Muhammad V will also present zakat donations to the asnaf (qualified group) recipients and the less fortunate.
Both programmes – Walkathon D’Raja Kelantan and Qiam With Me – are included in the state’s tourism calendar and serve as another unique tourist attraction in the state.
Despite his popularity as the Sultan of Kelantan who often received wide coverage from media practitioners in the state, he always demonstrates sincere concern for the welfare of villagers and extends assistance to those in need without making a fuss about it for the media.
In fact, a picture of Sultan Muhammad V driving a four-wheel drive vehicle alone after Kelantan was hit by massive floods in 2014 had spread in social media.
Born on Oct 6, 1969, Sultan Muhammad V received his early education at Sekolah Sultan Ismail I here before continuing his studies at the Alice Smith International School in Kuala Lumpur.
He was then enrolled in the Oakham School Rutland, England, until 1989 before pursuing diplomatic studies at the St Cross College, Oxford, and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies until 1991.
Sultan Muhammad V, who is Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) Chancellor, fills his free time by reading and has an interest in extreme sports such as four-wheel drive expeditions and endurance challenges and shooting.
He has three younger siblings who are the Tengku Mahkota of Kelantan Tengku Dr Muhammad Faiz Petra, 42, Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra, 38, and Tengku Amalin A’ishah Putri, 32. – Bernama