KOTA BHARU – The leadership quality and approachable attitude of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V was evident since the beginning of his schooling years, said his former teacher, Seman @ Kamarulzaman Hassan.
Though of noble descent, Sultan Muhammad V remained open to opinions from his peers while studying at the Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Sultan Ismail I here.
“From an early age, His Majesty showed leadership quality by adopting discussions with his colleagues.
“Sultan Muhammad V excelled in academics and was active in the school’s societies, and was once appointed the school’s head prefect,” he said when met by Bernama at his house in Kampung Lembah Sireh here recently.
Seman, 72, said he first noticed Sultan Muhammad V when he arrived for year one at SK Sultan Ismail I.
Although His Majesty was the eldest son of Sultan Ismail Petra and Tengku Anis Tengku Abdul Hamid, it was not an obstacle for Seman to serve as the teacher in providing the best education.
In fact, Seman had stopped the security personnel who tried to help the Agong lift a table and chair, after he was directed to do so.
“I stopped the security personnel from helping His Majesty as it was a form of discipline and thank God, Sultan Muhammad V could follow the directions I set out,” he said.
Seman, who was teaching at SK Sultan Ismail I throughout 1976-1985, said when the king was sent to school there, his mother, Tengku Anis brought him out to see the headmaster with a cane.
He said Tengku Anis had directed the headmaster to cane her son if he violated the school’s directives.
“I often imparted religious advice when educating His Majesty and his classmates because I treated them like my own children,” he added.
Seman said the Agong was also gentle and non-confrontational against his peers.
“If angry with friends, he did not take action and he would just keep it to himself,” he recalled.
Commenting on the achievement of Sultan Mohammed V in education and extra-curricular activities, Seman, who taught History and Geography subjects at school said the king was very focused on his education.
“Sultan Muhammad V always focused on the lessons, often asked questions and was also among students who obtained 5As in the Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR).
“His Majesty also actively participated in societies at school such as the Shell Road Safety Society and Music Society,” he added.
Seman, who is now partially paralysed following a stroke, said the king still remembered him despite not having met for a long period, and had given him aid during the 2014 flood.
“At that time, incidentally Sultan Muhammad V was reviewing the flood situation in Kota Bharu and bumped into my son who works as fire and rescue department personnel.
“His Majesty inquired about me and in the evening, he arrived at my home on his four-wheel drive vehicle to deliver the food aid personally,” he said.
The installation ceremony of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V will be conducted at Balairung Seri, Istana Negara on April 24.
Sultan Muhammad V was elected the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong to replace Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah who completed his term as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Dec 12, last year. – BERNAMA