Sempena Kemahkotaan DYMM Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Johor

27 Mei 2014

Royal tour to promote wellbeing

(Streets Johor, News Straits Times - 26th May 2014)

RULER’S INITIATIVE: The annual Kembara Mahkota Johor promises plenty of healthy surprises

JOHOR BAHRU: THE 17th edition of the Kembara Mahkota Johor (KMJ) will see new elements in the much-awaited event which will include lots of sport activities and free ice cream.

KMJ is the brain-child of Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar when he was the crown prince.

Since 2001, when it was first launched, KMJ bridged the gap between the ruler and his people.

Sultan Ibrahim will be travelling in a left-hand drive, custom-made Prevost Marathon coach during KMJ, from June 21 to 24.

The state-of-the-art coach is fitted with a bed, a lounge, water-closets and shower facilities, as well as a kitchen, and entertainment unit.

Sultan Ibrahim said he purchased three coaches, so that he and his family could spend their nights in the villages, to be closer to his subjects during KMJ, and participate in the night activities.

Sultan Ibrahim said in past KMJs, he was unable to join the people especially at night, which included cooking gotong-royong style.

This time around, he will be spending more time with the villagers, especially the old folk whom he fondly refers as Wak.

Wak is an endearment used on older men, which means uncle.

He said he loved listening to their stories and experiences.

The rulers said after KMJ, he will be driving the coach, on Thursdays, to a village in one of the 10 districts, chosen randomly, to perform Friday prayers with his subjects and spend a night at the village.

In an exclusive interview with Streets, Sultan Ibrahim said he looked forward to KMJ, which is special to him because during these trips, he gets to meet his subjects without much protocol.

"I get to listen to what they are feeling, their needs and suggestions on how things could be better.

"If I invite them to visit me, it would be a hassle for them. They may also be uncomfortable. Not wanting to trouble them, I choose to visit them on their own turf.

"In olden days, my ancestors went horseback, or rode on elephants to be with the people. I want to emulate them. I want to make sure that my subjects are fine and their welfare taken care off.

"Travelling like this, I can ensure that everything is in order, and facilities are there for them."

Sultan Ibrahim, who recently lost almost 20kg after embarking on a strict exercise regime and watching his diet, said KMJ's theme this year is "Health".

"There is no wealth without health. So, I want to promote a healthy lifestyle.

"During this KMJ, there will be lots of sport activities, and medical check-ups. There will also be delicious but healthy food," Sultan Ibrahim said, adding but that there is something special in store for the children.

A custom-made Flintstones ice-cream truck will be serving a special blend of ice cream called Johor Soft Ice, at every stop Sultan Ibrahim makes on his KMJ tour.

"The ice cream truck, with its cheery jingles, caught my attention when I was in London, England, recently. I saw children faces light up with happiness as they skipped towards the truck to get their ice creams. Looking at the happiness it brought, I decided to get one and bring the joy here to the children of Johor, but the twist here is the ice-creams are free and healthy," he said, when met at Istana Pasir Pelangi here on Thursday.

Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar inside the customised coach which which he will be driving to meet his rakyat during Kembara Mahkota Johor. Pic by Zain Ahmed

23 Mei 2014

Bas mewah, van ais krim elemen baharu KMJ

(Berita Harian, 23 Mei 2014)

Johor Bahru: Kembara Mahkota Johor (KMJ) 2014 mencipta kelainan tersendiri, apabila menggunakan tiga bas mewah Prevost Marathon Coach, termasuk sebuah akan dipandu Sultan Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar.

KMJ edisi ke-17 dijangka berlangsung mulai 22 hingga 25 Jun ini, dijadual menjelajah semua daerah di Johor, dalam usaha baginda mengerat hubungan dengan rakyat, sambil meninjau sendiri permasalahan penduduk luar bandar.

Sultan Ibrahim bertitah, ekspedisi bertemakan kesihatan itu, akan turut disertai keluarga baginda selain pemimpin negeri dan ketua jabatan kerajaan untuk bersama-sama bertemu rakyat.


Solat Jumaat bersama penduduk
"Saya suka pergi ke kampung, terutama pada hari Khamis dan Jumaat kerana boleh bersembahyang Jumaat bersama penduduk. KMJ diadakan untuk memudahkan saya bertemu rakyat.

"Ketiga-tiga bas ini dibeli dari Amerika Syarikat dengan satu daripadanya sudah tiba, manakala dua lagi dijangka dalam tempoh terdekat. Sebuah untuk keluarga saya, sebuah lagi untuk Tunku Mahkota Johor dan sebuah lagi untuk saya pandu sendiri.

"Saya akan pandu sendiri, tiada masalah mengenainya kerana saya ada lesen memandu," titahnya dalam temu bual eksklusif bersama kumpulan The New Straits Times Press (NSTP), di Istana Pasir Pelangi, di sini, semalam.

Sultan Ibrahim bertitah, bas tempahan khas itu dilengkapi pelbagai kemudahan termasuk bilik tidur dan baginda tidak perlu bermalam di rumah rakyat seperti edisi KMJ sebelum ini.

"Saya tidak mempunyai masalah bermalam di rumah rakyat, tetapi keadaan itu menyebabkan mereka menjadi serba salah. Untuk tidak menyusahkan sesiapa, saya akan tidur dalam bas yang digunakan tahun ini.

"Saya pasti bas ini akan menjadi tumpuan rakyat di setiap lokasi yang kami singgah nanti. Saya juga berpeluang berbual-bual dan minum bersama walaupun tidak tidur di rumah mereka," titah baginda.

Titah baginda, sejajar dengan tema KMJ 2014, pelbagai aktiviti sukan dan senaman akan diadakan bersama rakyat dalam usaha mempromosikan gaya hidup sihat sepanjang program kembara itu berlangsung.

"Selain bas, beberapa kenderaan rekreasi (RV) akan turut serta dalam program ini.

"Lebih unik, sebuah van aiskrim akan dibawa bersama sepanjang kembara dan pada setiap lokasi program KMJ, aiskrim ini akan diagihkan kepada rakyat," katanya.


Tahun ini bas pula

(Harian Metro, 23 Mei 2014)

Johor Bahru: Selepas bermotosikal dan menaiki kereta api, Kembara Mahkota Johor (KMJ) kali ke-17 pada tahun ini menampilkan Sultan Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar berangkat mencemar duli bertemu rakyat dengan menggunakan bas khas.

KMJ selama empat hari dijangka bermula dari 21 hingga 24 Jun depan, Sultan Ibrahim akan memandu sendiri dengan bas yang dibeli dari Amerika Syarikat, jenama Prevost Marathon Coach.

Lebih unik, baginda akan memandu bas keluaran syarikat dari Kanada yang menggunakan kaedah pemanduan sebelah kiri.

"Saya akan pandu sendiri, tidak ada masalah mengenainya kerana saya ada lesen memandu," titahnya ketika temubual eksklusif bersama The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad di Istana Pasir Pelangi di sini, semalam.

Menurutnya, bas ditempah khas itu lengkap dengan peralatan dan kemudahan termasuk tempat tidur dan baginda tidak perlu bermalam di rumah rakyat seperti KMJ sebelum ini.

Katanya, baginda tidak mempunyai masalah bermalam di rumah rakyat dikunjunginya, namun keadaan itu menyebabkan mereka menjadi serba salah.

"Untuk tidak menyusahkan sesiapa, saya gunakan bas pada tahun ini dan akan tidur di dalamnya di tempat yang akan disinggahi nanti.

"Saya akui pastinya bas ini akan menjadi tumpuan rakyat di tempat kami singgah nanti. Saya juga berpeluang berbual dan minum bersama rakyat, walaupun bermalam dalam bas," titahnya.

Menurutnya, untuk masuk ke kawasan kampung tidak menjadi masalah kerana baginda akan menunggang motosikal 'pocket bike' yang dibawanya sepanjang kembara itu.

Baginda bertitah, bas yang ada sekarang adalah untuk kegunaan keluarga, manakala dua bas lagi akan tiba dalam masa terdekat yang dikhususkan untuk baginda dan Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail.

Mengenai KMJ tahun ini, baginda bertitah, edisi tahun ini bertemakan 'kesihatan' dalam acara sukan dan makanan disajikan di lokasi yang akan dikunjungi.

Menurutnya, baginda juga akan mengagihkan aiskrim secara percuma kepada kanak-kanak di mana sebuah kenderaan khas membawa aiskrim turut mengikut KMJ kali ini.

"Saya terfikir idea ini apabila melihatnya ketika berada di luar negeri, saya bawa untuk rakyat negeri ini pula," titahnya.

05 Mei 2014

Waiting for new coronation date

New Straits Times, Monday, May 05, 2014

 

 The refurbishing and renovation works are almost complete.

THE Sultan of Johor's coronation, originally scheduled to be held today, is probably the most awaited event for Johoreans.

It has not been made official, but it is learnt that it will be postponed.

Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar has decreed that the rituals of his coronation follow those of the previous Sultans of Johor.

He was reported as saying that he was willing to delay his coronation until all preparations, including the restoration of the throne room and Istana Besar, and the refurbishment of the crown jewels were concluded.

While the public is eagerly waiting for the new dates, pundits are discussing several possibilities.

Sultan Ibrahim, 55, told the New Straits Times in an exclusive interview last year that since he would be crowned the fifth Sultan of modern Johor, May 5, was chosen.

Sultan Ibrahim will be 56 on Nov 22.

It is said that his coronation will be the grandest ever, after a 54-year gap.

The first coronation in Johor and Malaysia was that of Sultan Sir Abu Bakar Daing Ibrahim (1833-1895), who is known as the Father of Modern Johor.

His coronation was held on July 29, 1886.

The last coronation in Johor, was that of Sultan Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (1959-1981), which was held on Feb 19, 1960.

The current Sultan's late father Sultan Iskandar Sultan Ismail (1932-2010) did not hold a coronation ceremony.

Pundits believe that Sultan Ibrahim, who speaks highly of Sultan Abu Bakar, will also hold his coronation on the same day as the first coronation in the country's history, and follow the same rituals carried out 128 years ago.

Some punters believe the coronation will be held before the next Chinese New Year, because this is the Year of the Horse. Sultan Ibrahim fancies horses and is known as one of the best polo players in the world.

Others are saying that it will be on Jan 22 next year, marking exactly five years since his ascension to the throne.

Some believe Sultan Ibrahim will hold his coronation on Jan 25, as he is the 25th Sultan of Johor.

An astrologer, whose predictions are based on traditional Hindu astrology, said it would be ideal for the celebrations to be held anytime between May and next January. But, he thinks the coronation will be held this November.

Attempts to get the date from sources close to the palace seem futile. So far, none of them are sure when the new date will be made known.

Refurbishing and restoration works at the Istana Besar and Istana Bukit Serene are almost complete.

One of the new additions is the arch at Istana Bukit Serene. It resembles four elephant tusks surmounted by a crown, which is a mammoth replica of the crown worn by Sultan Abu Bakar during his coronation.

I was privileged to attend a briefing on Sultan Ibrahim's coronation, which will be an amalgamation of Malay traditions, Islamic rituals and Western culture.

According to Council of the Royal Court secretary Datuk Abdul Rahim Ramli, the celebrations will be conducted in four phases and includes prayers, a bathing ritual, coronation and royal tour of districts.

When Sultan Ibrahim chooses to have his coronation and the significant of the dates, it will definitely be the tide of history.

Daulat Tuanku!

03 Mei 2014

Johor Sultan's coronation put off



Work in progress: Renovation work is still ongoing at the Istana Besar in Johor Bahru


JOHOR BARU: Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar’s coronation, which was initially slated for this month, has been postponed.

It is learnt that Sultan Ibrahim has been notified about the delays as the restoration, renovation and refurbishment work at the Istana Besar and Istana Bukit Serene are still underway.

All the infrastructure work was to have been completed by end of last month and the coronation was initially scheduled for May 5.

No new date has been set but it is believed that it could be held either at the end of the year or early next year.

Sources said Istana Besar played an important role as the coronation would be held there while the Istana Bukit Serene has traditionally been the Ruler’s residence.

A check showed that construction work at several of the palaces including the Istana Besar, Istana Bukit Serene and Polo Club are still ongoing.

State Public Works executive councillor Datuk Hasni Mohammad downplayed the delays but confirmed that the event had been postponed.

Hasni explained that all the restored venues could be utilised during Sultan Ibrahim’s birthday celebrations on Nov 22.

It is learnt that all the necessary items needed for the coronation including robes, uniforms, and crown jewel for the event are ready.

As part of the preparations for the coronation, a giant replica of the Johor Ruler’s crown was placed at the entrance of Istana Bukit Serene recently.

The crown, weighing several tonnes and placed on an arch resembling elephant tusks, had attracted a lot of admiring glances, especially from motorists along Jalan Skudai, near Danga Bay.

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