JOHOR BARU: The private sector in Johor has been urged to observe the March 23 state public holiday in honour of the coronation of Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.
Johor Royal Court president Datuk Abdul Rahim Ramli said the non-gazetted date had been declared a public holiday by the state government and all parties are encouraged to observe it.
He said the day off would give the people of Johor ample chance to witness the once-in-a-lifetime event, where the Ruler would be crowned the fifth Sultan of modern Johor.
"The private sector is encouraged to observe the holiday as well to show their loyalty. There is nothing wrong about taking a day off to witness the historic event. It should not be an issue at all," he said at Bukit Timbalan here yesterday.
Abdul Rahim said the elaborate coronation would be a fusion of Malay culture and Islamic rituals with Western practices.
"The climax of the ceremony will be when the Johor Mufti places the 1.6kg crown on Sultan Ibrahim followed by the conferment of the Permaisuri of Johor title on royal consort Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah," he said.
Abdul Rahim said the crown made by London jeweller J.W. Benson, based on Britain's King Edward's crown, was of gold, silver and encrusted with precious stones.
"It will have six diamonds, three red rubies, four green emeralds and four blue sapphires.
"It will also have the Arabic words 'Allah' made from 37 rubies and 'Muhammad' made from 58 emeralds at the top of the crown," he said.
He said the diadem to be placed on Raja Zarith was designed in white gold studded with diamonds.
She will also wear a platinum chain set with 1,450 diamonds and a necklace containing 671 diamonds of various sizes.
Abdul Rahim said the upcoming coronation was being done 55 years after the previous one and four years after the present Sultan ascended the throne.
"The longest gap between two coronations in the state was 65 years when Sultan Ibrahim's late grandfather, Sultan Ismail Ibni Almarhum Sultan Ibrahim, was last crowned in February 1960," he said.