Big crowd at Johor royal wedding

JOHOR BARU - A drizzle failed to deter a huge crowd from conver­ging at Dataran Bandaraya here to watch the live broadcast of the royal banquet to celebrate the wedding of Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim and his bride Che' Puan Khaleeda Bustamam.

Two large screens were set up for the broadcast of the istiadat persandingan diraja (sitting toget­her on the royal bridal dais) held at Istana Besar. The grand ceremony was attended by about 2,000 guests.

Some members of the public, who gathered outside the palace as they were looking forward to seeing the royal couple drive past in an open-top Mercedes-Benz, were left disappointed as a result of the rain.

Tunku Ismail, looking smart in a military uniform, and Che' Puan Khaleeda, who was dressed in a white gown, arrived at the palace grounds at 8.50pm.

The istiadat merenjis had to be moved inside the ballroom due to the rain.

Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar and his royal consort Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah, together with their children and other Johor royal family members, were present.

Other special guests included Sultan Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah and Sultanah Kalsom, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his wife Puan Sri Noorainee Abd Rahman as well as cabinet ministers and MPs from Johor.

Also present were Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin, state executive councillors and local leaders.

Among the foreign dignitaries were Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching.

Mr Lee and his wife arrived at about 8.13pm, according to a tweet from Bernama news agency.