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.