THE Pahang palace is expected to make an important announcement at the Istana Abu Bakar in Pekan today, following a Pahang Royal Council meeting yesterday.
Pahang state secretary Datuk Seri Dr Sallehuddin Ishak confirmed the scheduled announcement.
“There will be an official announcement at Istana Abu Bakar at 3pm tomorrow (Saturday),” Dr Sallehuddin told the media when he was asked about the outcome of the royal council meeting yesterday, which was held at Pullman Hotel here.
The three-hour meeting was attended by Regent of Pahang Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, Tengku Muda Pahang Tengku Abdul Rahman Sultan Ahmad Shah, Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, Pekan member of parliament Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who holds the title Orang Kaya Indera Shahbandar and is one of the Orang Besar Berempat, Sallehuddin, and members of the Pahang royal household.
Sources had told the New Straits Times that the meeting was on the possibility of Tengku Abdullah ascending to become Sultan of Pahang, replacing Sultan Ahmad Shah, who is ill.
Tengku Abdullah’s installation as the sixth modern Sultan of Pahang will effectively pave the way for his election as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, based on the rotation system.
Sources said Tengku Abdullah is expected to become the new Pahang Sultan on Jan 19.
The meeting was held between the state’s royal household and chaired by Tengku Abdullah.
Tengku Abdullah was seen going in and out of the room during the meeting by newsmen camped outside the meeting room.
At 7.30pm, a resounding “Daulat Tuanku” could be heard from inside the meeting room before Tengku Abdullah made his way out to take a group photo with his family and other members of the royal household.
Before they took photos, Tengku Abdullah embraced his wife, Tunku Azizah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan Iskandar, outside the hall.
Tunku Azizah was seen wiping away tears.
Tengku Abdullah, when approached by the media, said: “I cannot comment."
Earlier, before entering the meeting room, Tengku Abdullah had said, “Doakan yang terbaik” (pray for the best) as he passed members of the media.
Sallehuddin had before the meeting taken an oath as the new state secretary and signed an appointment letter before Tengku Abdullah.
He is replacing former state Secretary Datuk Seri Muhammad Safian Ismail.
He came into office on Jan 7.
Safian has served the state's office for 12 years since 2007.
Tengku Abdullah in a brief speech during the installation ceremony congratulated Sallehuddin on his appointment and advised him to carry out his duties as the state secretary responsibly.
He also thanked Safian for his services to the state.
On Monday, the Conference of Rulers fixed Jan 24 for a meeting to select the new king and Jan 31 for the oath-taking ceremony, following an unprecedented move by Sultan Muhammad V to step down on Sunday.
In terms of monarch seniority in the rotation system, Pahang ranks seventh out of nine states.
Sultan Ahmad was the seventh king elected in 1979.
Sources had stressed that talks for a new Pahang ruler were only done to honour the rotation system.
Due to sensitivities and Sultan Ahmad’s health, royal family members and advisers have opted to handle the matter “as gently as possible”.
“We need to be sensitive, as His Majesty is unwell. We do not want to slight those participating in this process in any way,” said a royal source.