SEPANG: Two elephants, named ‘Rambai’ and Myan Thon Pian or Pian, stole the limelight today, being given the task of leading the procession during the sending-off ceremony for Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at the Bunga Raya Complex, Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
The pachyderms, specially brought from the Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre (PKGK), in Lanchang, Pahang, were dressed up in yellow and red, with a man and a woman, dressed in the costume of a Malay Ruler and his consort sitting on top of each of the elephant.
The ceremonial procession, steeped in Malay traditions and customs to bring back the glory of the Malay Rulers, involved the participation of staff of the National Culture and Arts Department dressed as Malay warriors, court officials and palace assistants.
Also in the procession were bearers carrying the sirih junjung, a replica of the gold flowers, yellow umbrellas, spears and the royal colours.
They were accompanied by the royal orchestra (nobat) which provided the music using traditional Malay musical instruments such as the Gendang (drum), Nafiri (long clarinet), Serunai (flute) and a Gong.
According to Pian’s mahout or handler, Mohd Faridzul Mohd Padzil, 38, Rambai and Pian were also involved in the sending-off procession for the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah in 2016.
Al-Sultan Abdullah also rode on Pian, which weighs 150 tonnes and is 50 years old, when His Majesty visited the conservation centre during the visit of the Prince of Monaco, Prince Albert II, on Nov 28 last year, he said.
The parade also involved the participation of Querac, Pappi Russe, Silent, Fast Trak, Courtex, Love Beautiful and Fordodo, which were among the 16 horses from the 21st Cavalry Ceremonial Squadron of the Royal Armored Corps (Ceremonial).
According to its Commanding Officer, Lt Col Shahanun Osman, all the horses are of the Warmblood breeds from Belgium.
“The original names of the horses are maintained to facilitate training now all these horses understand instructions in Malay. It only took them between three and four months to understand our language and they are used to participating in various official events,“ he said.
Meanwhile, in Kuantan, two elephants, named Alam and Sanum, which Al-Sultan Abdullah often visited at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Center (PKGK), Temerloh, also ‘welcomed’ the return of Their Majesties to Pahang.
Alam is a 26-year-old male elephant and Sanum is a 19-year-old female elephant.
KGK Assistant Director Mohammad Abu Huzaifah Abu Samah said the two pachyderms were trained since a month ago for the event.
“This is to familiarise them with the real situation of the ceremony, including using loudspeakers so that they get used to the noise.
“We also arrive at the location two days earlier to familiarise the elephants with the route of the parade,” he added.
Also at the parade to welcome the royal couple was His Majesty’s horse, a seven-year-old Criollo breed stallion named Cacu, as well as 15 other horses from the Pahang Royal Polo Club (RPPC) in Pekan.
Al-Sultan Abdullah who is the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong ended his reign today, after holding the reins of the country’s leadership for five years starting on Jan 30, 2019.
The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar has been elected the 17th Yang di-Pertuan Agong for five years starting tomorrow. -Bernama