JOHOR BARU - Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Sultan Iskandar has been crowned the fifth Ruler of modern Johor in a historic ceremony that saw a fusion of traditional Malay culture with Western practices and Islamic rituals.
The coronation was held in the throne room of the 149-year-old Istana Besar or Grand Palace overlooking the Straits of Johor, witnessed by more than 200 guests.
Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin read the proclamation of Sultan Ibrahim as the Johor Sultan and Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah as Permaisuri Johor at 10.02am.
At 10.11am, state mufti Datuk Tahrir Samsudin placed the crown of Johor on the Sultan's head and a diadem on his consort. This is the first time that the Permaisuri Johor title has been conferred on a royal consort. A 21-gun salute was fired, followed by a fly-past involving military helicopters carrying the state and national flags.
Sultan Ibrahim looked resplendent in a dark blue military uniform embedded with gold threads and barathea wool while Permaisuri Raja Zarith was dressed in silk dark blue baju kurung and hand-woven sarung songket.
Taking the oath, Sultan Ibrahim pledged that he would rule Johor fairly, treating with equality all his subjects.
Among the guests were Sultan Brunei Sultan Hasanal Bolkiah and Queen Consort Pengiran Anak Saleha, Pahang's Sultan Ahmad Shah and Sultanah Kalsom, and Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin and Sultanah Nur Zahirah of Terengganu.
Others included Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Toh Puan Sri Ragad Kurdi, Malacca Governor Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob and his wife Toh Puan Zurina Kassim, Penang Governor Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas and his wife Toh Puan Majinor Sharif, Sabah Governor Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and his wife Toh Puan Norlidah Jasni.
Also present were all the children of Sultan Ibrahim and Permaisuri Raja Zarith and members of the Johor royal family, including the Sultan's mother, Enche' Besar Khalsom Abdullah.
The children are Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail (who was accompanied by his consort Che' Puan Khaleeda Bustamam), Tunku Temenggong Johor Tunku Idris Iskandar, Tunku Tun Aminah, Tunku Laksamana Johor Tunku Abdul Jalil, Tunku Panglima Johor Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tunku Putera Johor Tunku Abu Bakar.
Also present were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and wife Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman, and Cabinet ministers.
After the ceremony, Sultan Ibrahim and Permaisuri Raja Zarith Sofiah travelled in a vintage open-top Mercedes Benz 600 in a 7.95km procession.
The last coronation that took place in Johor was held on Feb 10, 1960, when the present Ruler's grandfather Sultan Ismail Ibni Almarhum Sultan Ibrahim was crowned.