CEREMONIES AND ETIQUETTE INVOLVING THE KING AND SULTANS OF MALAYSIA

ROYAL REGALIA OF MALAYSIA

Tengkolok Diraja (The Royal Head-Dress): For centuries Malay Rulers have worn head-dresses as part of their regalia. They have been wearing head-dresses made of embroidered silk folded in different styles since the days of the Malay Sultanate. The style of folding is called solek. The colour of the head-dress varies from one state to another. There are various styles of folding among which are: ANAK GAJAH MENYUSU, LANG MENYUSUR ANGIN, GARAM SEBUKU (GETAM PEKASAM), PUCUK PISANG PATAH, AYAM PATAH KEPAK and DENDAM TAK SUDAH. The royal head-dress worn by His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong during his installation is made of black fabric embroidered with gold thread. It is folded in the style called Dendam Tak Sudah which originated from Negeri Sembilan. Pinned at the front of the head-dress is a crescent and a star. In the centre of the star is the colorful crest of the Government of Malaysia. [Source: malaysianmonarchy.org ]

Muskat (Robe Of Office): The Muskat is the official dress of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the ceremonial officials of the National Palace. This dress originated from Muscat a Muslim country not far from Iran. The Muskat is also the official dress of officials from the State of Kedah. This official dress was first worn in 1960 during the installation ceremony of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong III. It was inspired by His Highness Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Alhaj when he was the Prime Minister of Malaysia. This dress has been modified from the official dress of Kedah officials. This robe is made of black wool with gold embroidery and decorated with traditional 'awan larat' and hibiscus - the national flower – patterns. Thigh-length with long sleeves, it is normally worn together with long embroidered trousers and a head-dress by His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong during his installation as king, the celebration of his birthday, his official visits to Malaysian states and the opening of Parliament.

Pending Diraja (The Royal Waist Buckle): The Pending Diraja or Royal Waist-buckle is made of 24-carat gold and decorated with eleven rubies and embossed at the centre with the crest of the Federal Government. The accompanying waistband is made of wool embroidered with floral motifs in gold thread. Payung Ubur-Ubur Kuning (Yellow Umbrellas) The Payung Ubur-ubur Kuning is part of the royal regalia. The twenty umbrellas are made of silk in royal yellow, the colour venerated by the Malays and reserved for royalties. A crescent and a star are mounted on each umbrella.

Gandik Diraja (The Royal Tiara): The Gandik Diraja or Royal Tiara is the head-dress of Her Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong. It is made of platinum and encrusted with diamonds in the traditional 'awan larat' motif. A crescent and a star made of platinum are set in the centre of the tiara. The tiara is worn by Her Majesty on royal ceremonial occasions and during the installation of His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The tiara is specially designed so that it can be taken apart to form a locket and brooches. The Gandik Diraja or Royal Tiara was gazzetted as National Heritage on 16 March 2009 (P.U. (A) 121). Kalung Diraja (The Royal Necklace) The Kalung Diraja is the Royal Necklace worn by Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong. It is made of platinum and studded with diamonds. The necklace is part of Her Majesty's regalia worn during royal ceremonies and during the installation of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Like the tiara, the necklace can also be taken apart and converted into a pair of earrings, brooches and ear ornaments. The Royal Necklace was gazzetted as National Heritage on 16 March 2009 (P.U. (A) 121)

Cogan Alam (Sceptre Of The World): The Cogan Alam or Sceptre of the World is part of the royal regalia symbolizing the royal authority of the Government of Malaysia. The Scepter of the World is made of silver measuring 162.66 cm, which is equivalent to five feet four inches. At the head of the scepter is an orb surmounted by a crescent and a star made of gold. The crests of the eleven states fabricated from gold decorate the orb. The orb is supported by four upright tigers whilst the shaft is decorated with six ears of paddy made of gold. Cogan Agama (Sceptre Of Religion): The Cogan Agama or the Scepter of Religion is part of the royal regalia symbolizing the royal authority of the Government of Malaysia. It is made of silver and measures 155.04 centimeters or five feet one inch in length with a large conical head. At the top of the head is a crescent and a five-pointed star made of gold. Verses of the Holy Quran are engraved on the head and around the shaft.

Royal Swords and Weapons of Malaysia

Cokmar (The Maces): The Cokmar or maces are part of the royal regalia symbolizing the royal authority of the Government of Malaysia. They come in a pair and are made of silver. Each mace measures 81.32 centimeters or two feet eight inches long and is a weapon of war. The maces have short shafts and dome-shaped heads. The pedang (sword), keris panjang (long keris) and sundang (a type of keris) are three old Malay weapons which form part of the royal regalia. The blades of the pedang, keris panjang and sundang date back to ancient times. The keris panjang and sundang are silver coated with decorations carved on their hilts and sheaths. Tombak Berambu (Fringed-Collared Spears) There are 20-fringed spears with blades of three curved flexures. These blades were forged from ancient spears from the eleven states of Peninsula Malaysia.

Keris Panjang Diraja: (The Royal Long Keris) The most revelated item in the Malay royal regalia is the keris. The Keris Panjang Diraja is the most important symbol of authority during installation ceremonies. The Keris Panjang Diraja is the Keris of the Government symbolising power and authority. Both its hilt and sheath are covered with gold. The crosspiece of the keris is engraved with the crest of the Federal Government and that of the eleven states of Peninsula Malaysia. Its blade was forged from steel taken from eleven keris from the eleven states. The hilt of the keris is in the form of a horse’s hoof with decorations resembling the "jering" fruit. This keris is worn by His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on certain occasions only. Pedang, Keris Panjang and Sundang (Sword, Long Keris and Sundang)

Keris Pendek Diraja: (The Royal Short Keris) The Keris Pendek Diraja was forged from the blades of antique keris. The hilt and sheath are made of ivory embedded with gold. The hilt is called "Hulu Pekaka" and in the shape of the head of a "Garuda". The crosspiece of the keris is engraved with the crest of the Federal Government. This keris, as part of the royal regalia like the Keris Panjang Diraja, can only be carried or worn by His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Nobat (The Royal Ochestra)

The word 'nobat' originated from the Persian word 'naubat' which means nine types of instruments. The Nobat is the royal orchestra which has been used for centuries in the Malay States especially during installation ceremonies. Among the musical instruments of the Nobat are the Gendang (drum), Nafiri (long clarinet), Serunai (flute) and a Gong. The Malay States which have a Nobat are: Perak, Kedah, Selangor and Terengganu. [Source: malaysianmonarchy.org ]

The Nobat of the State of Perak consists of the following: 1) Gendang Nobat (Nobat drum), is commonly known as Gendang Nyenyalu; 2) Nafiri, a long clarinet is played at the start of a song as the introductionl 3) Gendang Nenghara, a drum carries the melody; 4) Serunai, a flute which accompanies the song; and 5) Gendang Penengkah, a drum brings rhythm to the song.

Among the musical instruments mentioned above, the Gendang Nobat is the most highly regarded instrument. It is given an exalted place and used only for royal purposes. However, HRH the Sultan may order the use of the Nobat in any ceremony or in a funeral. The level of respect enjoyed by the Nobat depends on the number of instruments used. As for the Royal Nobat of Perak, only five out of nine instruments are used in a ceremony.

Members of the Nobat orchestra consist of people from certain families only called the Kalur people. In the past, the Nobat Hall was fenced with cock feathers and any one caught trespassing the area will be punished. The head of the Nobat and his assistant are given the titles Toh Setia Guna and Toh Setia Indera respectively.

Nobat of Perak State

According to the customs of the State of Perak, no Sultan is considered sovereign until he is installed accompanied with the sounds of the Nobat. Customs dictate that the frame of these drums be made of Jerun heartwood, and their covers made of Kulit Tumur. Now however, their frames are made of hardwood while their covers are made of goat skin. [Source: malaysianmonarchy.org ]

The Nobat group plays the following Nobat songs: 1) Raja Berangkat (Gendang Berangkat); 2) Puteri Mandi Mayang; 3) Rama-rama Terbang Tinggi; 4) Kumbang Si Kumali (Kumbang Kembali); 5) Arak-arak Atandis (Enteals) (Arak-arak Untandai); 6) Aleh-aleh Panjang; 7) Aleh-aleh Pandak; 8) Dang Gendang; 9) Lenggang Che Kobat; 10) Jong Ber-aleh; 11) Anak Raja Membasuh Kaki; 12) Gendang Perang; 13) Nobat Tabal; 14) Nobat Raja; 15) Nobat Khamis; and 16) Nobat Suboh.

The Royal Nobat of the State of Perak Are Played on the Following Occasions: 1) Private occassions of HRH the Sultan of Perak; 2) During the installation of Their Royal Highnesses the Sultan and Raja Permaisuri of Perak; 3) the birthday of HRH the Sultan of Perak; 4) weddings or circumcision ceremonies of the princes and princesses; 5) Procession for Air Bersiram Tabal and Berlimau Besar (subject to the order of HRH); 6) the traditional customs of Menjunjung Duli; 7) When HRH the Sultan of Perak departs to visit foreign countries (subject to the order of HRH); the funeral of HRH the Sultan or Raja Permaisuri of Perak to the royal mausoleum; 8) Royal state ceremonies held during the visits of other rulers to the state of Perak; 8) Welcoming the fasting month of Ramadan – three consecutive nights, i.e. 28th, 29th and 30th of Syaaban every year; 9) On the evening of 24th Ramadan, to welcome the night of the 25th of Ramadan and the evening of 26th Ramadan until the evening of the Eid Al-Fitr; 10) When HRH the Sultan performs the bersiram rituals on Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha mornings; 11) On three consecutive evenings, i.e. 7th, 8th, 9th of Zulhijjah to welcome Eid Al-Adha; 12) Upon the arrival of HRH the Sultan of Perak at the mosque to perform the Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha prayers, and upon his departure.

During the installation of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, three Nobat songs are played namely, Raja Berangkat song which is played upon the arrival of Their Majesties at the Throne Room; Palu song when the regalia of installation are brought into the Throne Room; Raja Bertabal song after His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has read the document of the Royal Oath of Office; and Raja Berangkat song again when Their Majesties leave the Throne Room.

Nobat of Kedah State

The Nobat of the State of Kedah is comprised of the following musical instruments: 1) Nahara, two small drums; 2) Gendang Ibu and Gendang Anak, medium-sized drums; 3) Nafiri, i.e. a silver trumpet measuring 83.8 centimeters; 4) a hanging Gong; and 5) the royal mace, a long rattan staff wrapped in velvet. [Source: malaysianmonarchy.org ]

The head of the Nobat is called Mahaguru (master). The Mahaguru will always hold the royal mace which is made of Malacca cane and wrapped in yellow cloths. The Mahaguru is also known as “Kalur Besar”. The Nobat can only be played on the order of the Sultan, during royal ceremonies such as the installation, royal weddings or royal funerals. The Nobat instruments can only be played by royal musicians selected from certain families.

It has been narrated that the Nobat emerged during the time of Prophet Ibrahim Khalilullah and that it was later passed down to Iskandar Dzulkarnain followed by all Arab kings in the Arab Peninsula and lastly to Sultan Ataillah Mohammad Shah I of the State of Kedah.

There is another version of this story, which says that during the reign of Almarhum Sultan Ataillah Mohammad Shah, the first Raja of Kedah, one of his brothers, Tunku Mohammad Jiwa visited India. There he witnessed an entertaining musical performance. After asking around, he discovered that it was a Nobat performance. Upon his return to Kedah, he informed Sultan Ataillah Mohammad Shah about the musical performance which was a royal tradition of Hindustan emperors. After listening to the story, the Sultan ordered the formation of a Nobat group as a symbol of greatness and glory of the Sultan and his entire family.

The Nobat is normally played: 1) Before performing each prayer; 1) Every Friday; 2) During installation ceremonies; 3) During royal weddings of the Sultan, Crown Prince and members of the royal family; 4) The Royal Orchestra / Nobat walking up to the seating area of the Sultan, Crown Prince, and married members of the Royal Family; 5) The nobat flutist walking up alone to the seating area of the ministers; 6) The death of the ruler, the Crown Prince, members of the royal family and others; 6) Reception for foreign dignitaries visiting Kedah; 8) Proclamation on the eve of Eidul Fitri and Eidul Adha; and 9) Respecting the sorrow of the solar and lunar eclipses.

Nobat songs usually played are: 1) Raja Burung (king of birds) song; 2) Belayar (sailing) song Gendering Perang song; 3) Mambang Berkayuh song; 4) Seratan song; and 5) Arak-arak song. Besides the songs mentioned above, selected songs are also played like the accompanying Barisan Pemerintah Kehormat or Jenazah Diraja. The Cendering Perang song is played when the King leaves the palace or comes back from travelling or sailing. The Berlimau song is specifically for when the King goes through the ceremonial bathing ritual on the occasion of the Royal Marriage. On the occasion of the Installation ceremony of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, three Nobat songs are played, which are "Raja Berangkat" once again played when the Seri Paduka Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong are both leaving the Throne Room.

Nobat of Selangor State

The Nobat used during the installation of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong XI was the Nobat of the State of Selangor. The Nobat of Selangor originated from the royal Nobat of Perak and is used on certain ceremonial occasions such as royal installations, royal weddings, official royal ceremonies and royal funerals. [Source: malaysianmonarchy.org ]

The Nobat of the State of Selangor consists of the following: 1) Gendang Nobat (Nobat drum), is commonly known as Gendang Nyenyalu; 2) Nafiri, a long clarinet is played at the start of a song as the introductionl 3) Gendang Nenghara, a drum carries the melody; 4) Serunai, a flute which accompanies the song; and 5) Gendang Penengkah, a drum brings rhythm to the song.

Gendang Nobat is the most venerated instrument of all and used only for royal purposes. However, His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may order for the Nobat to be used in any ceremony or in a funeral. The level of respect given to the Nobat depends on the number of musical instruments used. Nobat musicians are selected from members of certain families only called the Kalur people.

The Nobat group plays the following songs: 1) Raja Berangkat (Gendang Berangkat); 2) Puteri Mandi Mayang; 3) Rama-rama Terbang Tinggi; 4) Kumbang Si Kumali (Kumbang Kembali); 5) Arak-arak Atandis (Enteals); 6) Arak-arak Untandi; 7) Aleh-aleh Panjang; 8) Aleh-aleh Pendek; 9) Dong Gendang; 10) Lenggang Che Kobat; 11) Jong Beraleh; 12) Anak Raja Membasuh Kaki; 13) Gendang Perang; 14) Raja Bertabal (Nobat Tabal); 15) Nobat Khamis; 16) Nobat Subuh. Nobat Subuh, Nobat Khamis and Nobat Raja can only be played in the morning and afternoon, whereas the Puteri Mandi Mayang song is played in celebration of the arrival of the month of Ramadan for three consecutive nights, i.e. the 28th, 29th and 30th nights of Syaaban every year.

During the installation ceremony of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong XI, the Nobat of Selangor played three Nobat songs. The Raja Berangkat song was played when His Majesty the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong and Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong entered the Throne Room. The Menjunjung Duli was played as the Installation Regalia were carried in. The Raja Bertabal song was played after His Majesty read the document of the Royal Oath of Office. The Raja Berangkat song was played again when Their Majesties left the Throne Room.

Nobat of Terengganu State

It can be said that most royal states in Malaysia, including Terengganu uses the Nobat as part as its royal regalia. According to history, the Nobat of Terengganu originated from Riau and was introduced during the reign of Sultan Ahmad. The first person who used the Nobat was the Princess of Pulau Bentan who was the wife of Demang Lebar Daun also known as Telani Bentan or Tun Telanai. [Source: malaysianmonarchy.org ]

The royal Nobat consists of a Gendang Saku known as Negara, two Gendang Nobat, a Nafiri, a pair of Kopak-kopak and a flute. The Nafiri is made of silver while the flute is made of ivory with ends of silver. The Negara and Gendang Nobat are played by four people of royal descent on ceremonial occasions.

The Nobat of the Terengganu State has thirteen songs which are the following: 1) The Iskandar Shah song; 2) The Ibrahim Khalil Song; 3) The Seri Istana (Semang) song; 4) The Anak Kuda Ragam/Raja Beradu song; 5) The Seri Istana song; 6) The Petang Khamis song; 7) The Palu-Palu Melayu song; 8) The Lapan song; 9) The Petang Jumaat song; 10) The Palu-Palu Nigiri song; 11) The Petang Khamis Perak song; 12) The Arak-Arak song; 13) The Perang song. Of these thirteen songs, only three are constantly played during royal ceremonies in the Throne Room. These three songs are: 1) The Iskandar Shah Song; 2) The Ibrahim Khalil Song; and 3) The Seri Istana Song

During royal wedding ceremonies and other special events, the Nobat of the State of Terengganu will be played everyday, in the morning and evening and also at specific times. The Nobat is also played every evening before the breaking of the fast during the month of Ramadan and on Eidul Fitri and Eidul Adha evenings. The Nobat is also played every Thursday evening at the palace. HRH Almarhum Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah has regained possession of the original Nafiri which belongs to the royal palace of the Sultan of Terengganu when it was handed over to him by the family of Tengku Hamid bin Tengku Mandur of Singapore on 17 March 1990. Until today, the Nobat of Terengganu has never been played during the Installation Ceremony of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Panji Panji Diraja (Royal Flag)

The Panji-Panji Diraja (Royal Flag) is royal yellow. In the centre is the Coat of Arms of Malaysia flanked by two sheaves of paddy. The gold-coloured sheaves represent abundance and prosperity. As the Supreme Head of the country, His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the symbol of the loyalty of Malaysian citizens towards the law and constitution. The Panji-panji Diraja is the symbol of the existence of the institution of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong. The Panji-panji is in royal yellow. At its centre is the Coat of Arms of Malaysia flanked by two sheaves of paddy. The gold-coloured sheaves represent abundance and prosperity. [Source: malaysianmonarchy.org ]

The coat of arms of Malaysia shows a 14-pointed star representing the 13 constituent states within the Federation of Malaysia together with the Federal Government, while the star and the crescent together symbolise Islam as the official religion of Malaysia. The five Kris represents the five former Unfederated Malay States (Johor, Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu). The left-hand division of the shield represents the state of Penang and the right-hand section shows the Malacca tree that depicts the State of Malacca. These two states formed part of the former Straits Settlements.

In the four equal sized panels in the centre, the colours black and white are colours of the State of Pahang; red and yellow are colours of the State of Selangor; black, white and yellow are the colours of the State of Perak; and red, black and yellow those of the State of Negeri Sembilan. These four States formed the original Federated Malay States. The three sections below represent the State of Sabah on the left and the State of Sarawak on the right. In the centre is the hibiscus, the national flower. Flanking the shield are tigers, a design element retained from the earlier armorial ensign of the Federation of Malaya (and before that, of the Federated Malay States).

On certain occasions, when His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is attending an important function such as the opening of the Parliament, an official visit or ceremony, the Panji-Panji Diraja is raised at the place where His Majesty will be present. The Panji-Panji Diraja will be raised upon the arrival of His Majesty at the location and brought down later when he leaves. The Panji-Panji Diraja will only be raised at half-mast on the event of the death of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

The consort of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong enjoys a very special status after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Hence, Her Majesty has her own flag. This flag enables people to recognise Her Majesty’s presence when attending an official ceremony on her own without the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The design of the Panji-panji Raja Permaisuri Agong is similar to that of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, except that the light yellow background is substituted with light green.

Royal Palace Customs and Etiquette

On being presented to His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong, you should stand straight with both feet together. Straighten both hands and pay your respects by bowing once and do not bow too low like the Japanese do. Then walk slowly towards His Majesty. The distance between yourself and His Majesty should be about two to three feet. Bow again. Muslims should say "Assalamualaikum Tuanku". Non-Muslims can say "Selamat Pagi Tuanku" or "Good Morning Your Majesty" for foreigners, whichever is applicable. Take about three steps backwards and bow again. [Source: malaysianmonarchy.org ]

On being presented to the His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong, who is seated on the throne, you should stand with both your feet together. Straighten both hands and pay your respects by bowing. The act of bowing should be done with the utmost respect and order, i.e. by standing still before bowing in the direction of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong, whichever is applicable. Then approach His Majesty, kneel and kiss His Majesty’s hand. After that take about three steps backwards, bow again before turning around.

If you are presenting a gift in the form of a letter, souvenir, flowers and such to His Majesty in a formal function, you should make sure that two trays lined with yellow cloths have been prepared. One tray in which the gift will be placed and the other for the Private Secretary or Aide-De-Camp or the Dang Perwara who is assigned to receive the souvenir from His Majesty. Bow and move forward about three steps until you are facing His Majesty. Then bow again and present the gift. After that, stand up straight for a moment and bow again. If His Majesty offers his hand, you should bow and kiss His Majesty’s hand. Then take about three steps backwards. Bow again and sit down or turn around to go back to your original position. If His Majesty is seated, bow and move forward about three steps or until you are facing His Majesty or to the right or left depending on where His Majesty is seated. Bow and then bend until you are almost kneeling with your left knee touching the floor and present the gift. If His Majesty offers his hand, receive and kiss His Majesty’s hand. Then stand up, bow, take about three steps backwards to your original seat or turn around and walk back to your original position, depending on the circumstances.

When seated facing His Majesty, you should sit properly. Never sit with your knees up or raising one foot over the other or pointing your sole towards His Majesty or stretching out your legs or crossing your legs. When seated during dinner or luncheon, you should sit properly. Both hands should be placed on your thighs and never fold your arms. Your elbows should not rest on the table and if it is necessary to place your hand on the table, it should only be you wrist. Never sit with your chin in your hands. When seated, do not slouch. In formal functions, avoid talking among yourselves as though oblivious of His Majesty’s presence. If you need to talk, do so softly and politely. If His Majesty passes in front, behind, by the side or opposite you, stand up or turn and face His Majesty and bow as a sign of respect.

Women seated on the floor facing His Majesty, should sit with her legs turned to the right and drawn close to the body, while the left arm rests on the ground and if possible her legs should be covered by her garments. Otherwise, sit primly. Men should sit crossed-legged in a polite and respectful manner and they should never stretch out their feet or raise their knees and so on. Smoking is not allowed.

Royal Palace Dining Customs and Etiquette

Etiquette at the dining table of a royal family members: 1) Do not eat or drink before His Majesty has done so; 2) Avoid opening your mouth widely when putting food into your mouth. When chewing your food, your mouth should be closed. Do not talk when your mouth is full; 3) Make sure that the cutlery is used correctly and do not make too much noise. Leftovers should not be left on the tablecloth; 5) After eating, the cutlery should be arranged neatly and not scattered about; 6) If food is stuck in your teeth, avoid picking at it with your fingers. Use a napkin to cover your mouth when you remove it; 7) Cover your mouth with a napkin when you are coughing or sneezing; 8) Avoid yawning or belching loudly; 9) Do not pick your ears, scratch your body, stretch yourself, and crack your knuckle, during the dinner; 10) Do not raise your head or rest both elbows on the table; 11) For women, when seated at the dining table, the handbag should be hanged using a handbag holder and not placed on the table even if it is a small handbag. [Source: malaysianmonarchy.org ]

On speaking at the dining table with royal family members: 1) When His Majesty speaks, you should answer "Tuanku" instead of "Ya". 2) Use "Ampun Tuanku" or "Tuanku" at the beginning or end of a sentence when speaking to His Majesty. 3) When talking about both Their Majesties, you should use "Tuanku Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Tuanku Permaisuri Agong". 4) Avoid using short and simple phrases such as: "The King wants a drink" or "The Queen is leaving". Instead use: "His Majesty would be pleased to have some coffee" or “Her Majesty has consented to depart".

5) When His Majesty points with his index finger, do not do the same; you should instead point with your thumb over the fist and say "Ampun Tuanku" or "Tuanku". 6) Men should bow and women should curtsy when presented to the Prince/Princess. When speaking, use "Tengku", "Mohon Tengku" or "Ampun Tengku", where appropriate. 7) When speaking in English, you should always use the Royal Vocabulary or Royal Language or Royal Term. Avoid using English words when speaking in Malay unless you have a complete mastery of the Royal Language in English. If necessary, you should use the following words: "His Majesty" for Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong; "Her Majesty" for Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong.; "Your Majesty" for "Tuanku" not "You" or "Your" or "Yours"; Use "Patik" instead of "I" even if you answer in English unless you are using the Royal Vocabulary in full.

When escorting His Majesty, you should walk slightly behind His Majesty and do not at any time walk in line with His Majesty (on the left or right). If it is necessary to pass in front or behind His Majesty, you should bow respectfully while saying "patik pohon lalu Tuanku". You should bow when His Majesty passes in front of you (for men). If His Majesty passes behind you, turn around and face His Majesty and bow. When you are standing in front of His Majesty/Royalties, avoid folding your arms, or with your arms akimbo, or with your hands in your pockets or with your hands crossed behind your back. For women, do not carry a shoulder handbag.

Although the Royal language is seldom used these days, it is worth noting that some words have been used in speech for a long time. Check malaysianmonarchy.org.

Dressing For Royal Ceremonies And Functions

If a Function specifies a dress code we should dress accordingly: A) Formal National Dress: 1) Tanjak (Head-dress); 2) Black Baju Melayu (“Cekak Musang” Collar); Black Samping; 3) Black Bengkong; Black Socks; and 4) Black Leather Shoes (without the kris for evening functions). B) National Dress, Non-formal: 1) Black Songkok; Baju Melayu (“Cekak Musang” Collar); 2) Black Songket Samping; Black Socks; 3) Black Leather Shoes. [Source: malaysianmonarchy.org ]

C) Western Dress: 1) Dark Lounge Suit; 2) White collared shirt; 3) Dark tie; 4) Black socks; 5) Black leather shoes, with Songkok for Muslims. D) Tie (Evening Dress) or Tail Coat: 1) Black long Tail Coat; 2) White Waist Coat; 3) Stiff (starched) white shirt; 4) Wing Collar; 5) White Bow Tie; 6) Black Trousers; 7) Black Socks; 8) Black Leather Shoes. E) Dinner Jacket 'Black Tie' or 'Smoking'” 1) Black Jacket with Silk-faced lapels or white Shell Jacket (tuxedo); 2) Stiff (starched) white shirt; 3) Soft Collar; Black Bow Tie; 4) Black Cummerbund or White Waist Coat; 5) Black Trousers with Silk Stripe; Black Socks; 6) Black Leather Shoes. F) Morning Dress: 1) Black Tail Coat; 2) Black Waist Coat; 3) White Shirt; Plain (Stiff Turndown) Collar; 4) Grey Tie; 5) Stripe Black Trousers; 6) Black Socks; 7) Black Leather Shoes, (Black Silk Hat is worn for Official Functions),

Prohibited Dresses for Ladies: 1) White Kebaya, 2) Sam Fu. For other dresses, the following rules should be adhered to: 1) The kebaya hemline must be below the knee. 2) The sarong of the kebaya must not have a slit either on the side or back. 3) The Coli (sari blouse) must not expose the belly and it should have sleeves. 4) The Cheong Sum must be ankle-length, with sleeves and the slit should only be up to the knee. 5) The hemline for skirts (western dress) must be below the knee.

Installation of the Malaysian King

The installation of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has been held at the Istana Negara Throne Hall (grand hall of the palace) since the seventh Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Prior to that, it was held at Dewan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. [Source: malaysianmonarchy.org ]

The Installation Ceremony of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is one of the days termed as “Collar Days”. Therefore, Collars should be worn by all recipients of Orders with Collars. When wearing the Collar of an Order, the sash of the same Order should not be worn. However, the Sash of another Order, may be worn. Only one Collar may be worn. The Collar should be worn over both shoulders such that it hangs in equal length from back and front, with the Badge suspended in the center of the chest. In the case of formal dress or uniform, the Collar should be worn through the epaulettes. Collars are not worn for Royal Banquets.

At 9.50 a.m. the Royal Spear Guard will take their place at the entrance to the Throne Hall. At 9.57 a.m. the Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela (Grand Chamberlain) appears accompanied by the Warriors bearing the Cogan Alam and Cogan Agama, His Majesty’s Aides-De-Camp as well as the Warriors bearing the Royal Regalia such as the Sword, Kris, Mace, Sundang and Tombak Berambu. The Dang Perwara (ladies-in-waiting) will also be getting ready.

Exactly at 10.00 a.m., His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong enter the Throne Hall. His Majesty’s arrival is announced by the Master of Ceremonies. The entrance of Their Majesties into the Throne Hall is preceded by Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela, the Warriors bearing the Cogan Alam and Cogan Agama, His Majesty’s Aides-De-Camp, Dang Perwara and the Warriors bearing the Royal Regalia such as the Sword, Kris, Mace, Sundang and Tombak Berambu. As soon as His Majesty enters the Grand Entrance of the Throne Hall, the Nobat (royal orchestra) plays a tune entitled "Raja Berangkat". As soon as the Nobat starts playing, the audience will stand up. His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong will then sit on the throne. The Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela, the Aides-De-Camp, the Dang Perwara and the Warriors take their respective places.

The Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela approach and seek the consent of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to begin the Ceremony. After obtaining His Majesty’s consent, the Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela step backwards and announced the commencement of the Installation Ceremony of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. After making the announcement, the Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela will approach and seek the consent of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to bring in the Regalia of the Installation Ceremony into the Throne Hall. After obtaining the consent of His Majesty, the Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela will step backwards and leave the Throne Hall. The Master of Ceremonies will then announce the bringing-in of the Regalia of the Installation Ceremony into the Throne Hall. The Nobat will play a tune entitled "MENJUNJUNG DULI". The Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela enters the Throne Hall accompanied by the Datuk Penghulu Istiadat and Religious Officer of the National Palace as well as the Warriors carrying the: 1) Al-Quran nul Karim, 2) Government Kris, 3) ) Letter of Declaration and 4) Letter of Oath.

Installation Ceremony of the Malaysian King

On arrival in front of the Throne, the Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela receives the Al-Quran Nul Karim from the warrior and brings it up the Throne until the third Step where he seeks consent to present the Al-Quran Nul Karim to His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. His Majesty kisses the Al-Quran Nul Karim and places it on the table between His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong. The Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela then steps down. The Warriors place the other regalia on the table, and then together with the Datuk Penghulu Istiadat and Religious Officer, they proceed to their respective seats. [Source: malaysianmonarchy.org ]

The Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela approaches and seeks the consent of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to present the Honourable Prime Minister who will read out the Letter of Proclamation. After the consent of His Majesty is obtained, the Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela steps backwards and invite the Honourable Prime Minister to read out the Letter of Proclamation. The Datuk Penghulu Istiadat comes forward to take the tray containing the Letter of Proclamation and, together with the Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela, accompanies the Honourable Prime Minister. The Honourable Prime Minister then takes the Letter of Proclamation from the Datuk Penghulu Istiadat and reads it out. After reading, the Honourable Prime Minister puts back the Letter of Proclamation, bows and steps backwards followed by the Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela and Datuk Penghulu Istiadat who puts back the tray containing the Letter of Proclamation on the table.

Letter of Proclamation: Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim:
This Is To Proclaim
To The People Of Malaysia
That Their Majesties Have
Chosen................................................As
His Majesty The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong
And On This Auspicious Day And Time
His Majesty Is Installed To The Throne Of Malaysia
As The Head Of The Country Of Malaysia
With The Title Of His Majesty The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong

The Datuk Penghulu Istiadat then takes the pedestal tray containing the Government Kris and accompanies the Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela to approach His Majesty. In front of the Throne, the Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela bows and receives the tray containing the Government Kris from the Datuk Penghulu Istiadat and steps up the Throne until the third step, kneels and presents the Government Kris. His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong receives the Kris, draws and kisses it. The Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela steps down.

The Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela bows and takes the tray containing the Letter of Oath from the Datuk Penghulu Istiadat and steps up the Throne until the third step, kneels and presents the Letter of Oath, and he then steps backwards and stands in front of the Throne with Datuk Penghulu Istiadat. The audiences stand when asked to do so by the Master of Ceremonies. His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong reads out the Oath.

Letter of Oath “Bismillah Al-rahman Al-rahim,
Are Grateful to Allah Subhanuhu Wata’ala
Because with His Benevolence We Are Elected
The Yang Di-pertuan Agong.
We Will Thereby Justly and Faithfully
Perform Our Duties in the Administration of Malaysia
In Accordance with its Law and Constitution
And at All Times Protect the Religion of Islam
And Uphold the Rules of Law and Order in the Country”.

After the completion of the Oath-taking, the Nobat plays a tune entitled “RAJA BERTABAL”. The Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela then steps up the Throne until the third step and receives the Letter of Oath and steps down. The tray containing the Letter of Oath is then handed over to the Datuk Penghulu Istiadat. After the Nobat has finished playing, the Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela proclaims “DAULAT TUANKU” three times followed by the audiences in the Throne Hall. The cannons are fired twenty-one times when the first proclamation of Daulat Tuanku commences. The “NEGARAKU” is played simultaneously with the firing of the cannons. His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong then returns to the Throne and the audiences sit down. Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela and the Datuk Penghulu Istiadat step backwards and put back the Letter of Oath on the table.

Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela approaches and seeks the consent of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to present the Most Honourable Prime Minister to give the congratulatory speech and the oath of allegiance of the government and the people of Malaysia. After the consent is obtained, the Honourable Prime Minister approaches His Majesty escorted by the Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela and Datuk Penghulu Istiadat bearing the tray containing the speech of the Most Honourable Prime Minister.

After accompanying the Most Honourable Prime Minister to his seat, Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela again pays his respects accompanied by Datuk Penghulu Istiadat carrying a tray with the scroll of the Royal Address. Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela then seeks The consent of His Majesty to present the scroll of the Royal Address. After consent is granted, Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela then takes the tray containing the Royal Address from Datuk Penghulu Istiadat and proceeds to the third step of the Throne, kneels and presents the scroll. His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong receives the scroll of the Royal Address and Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela steps backwards and walks down the throne.

His Majesty then begins his address: In the name of Allah the Almighty, May God bless all of you. I am grateful to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala for with His blessing I am able to be present here today for the ceremony of my installation. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to my brother Ruler who have bestowed their trust upon me to hold the post of the …….Yang di-Pertuan Agong. With the prayers and cooperation of all, I am certain that I will be able to carry out my duties and responsibilities justly, efficiently and diligently....

After the Royal Address, Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela proceeds to the third steps of the Throne to receive the scroll of the Royal Address from His Majesty and then steps back and descends from the throne. He returns the tray containing the scroll to Datuk Penghulu Istiadat, pays his respects and leaves the throne. Datuk Penghulu Istiadat returns the scroll to the tray and then places the tray on the table. The emcee announces that the prayer recitation will commence. A Religious Officer of Istana Negara will recite the prayer. The Religious Officer together with Datuk Penghulu Istiadat seek permission to recite the prayer. After permission is granted, they bow and the Religious Officer recites the Doa Selamat (prayer) to solemnize the occasion. After reciting the prayer, the Religious Officer and Datuk Penghulu Istiadat step back and return to their seats.

Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela and Datuk Penghulu Istiadat pay their respects and proceed to the dias. He then ascends to the third steps of the throne to receive the Quran from His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. After receiving the Quran, Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela steps back and leaves the throne. Then he hands the Quran to Datuk Penghulu Istiadat. Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela seeks the permission of His Majesty to announce that the Installation ceremony has come to an end. After getting His Majesty’s permission, Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela proclaims aloud: “I Hereby Announce That the Ceremony for the Installation of His Majesty the Yang Di-pertuan Agong Has Come to an End.” The Departure of His Majesty the Yang Di-pertuan Agong and Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong.

The emcee announces that it is time for His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to leave the Throne Hall. As soon as the announcement is made the audience rises, followed by the playing of the nafiri. The tune called RAJA BERANGKAT (THE KING DEPARTS) is played on the nobat. Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela, Datuk Penghulu Istiadat and bearers of the Royal Regalia, the Royal Escorts and Dang Perwara take their respective places in front of the Throne. His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong step down from the Throne and leave the Throne Hall headed by Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela and Datuk Penghulu Istiadat carrying the Quran on a paha, (pedestal tray) followed by the Bearers of the Scepter of the World, the Scepter of Religion, the Royal Regalia, the Royal Escorts and Dang Perwara. The nobat stops playing when His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong reach the main entrance of the Throne Hall and proceed to a special room.

Royal Banquet In Conjunction With The Installation Ceremony

The Royal Banquet in conjunction with the Installation of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is held at the Banquet Hall of Istana Negara. The occasion is attended by all the Malay Rulers and the Governors of the states. The dress for men attending the Royal Banquet is as follows: 1) A full suit of the National Dress in black i.e. a Baju Melayu with a cekak musang collar, a pair of trousers, samping, a waistband and a headdress but without a kris. 2) White tie (with Awards and Decorations); (Black tailcoat, white waist coat, white shirt with starched front, wing collar, white bow, black trousers and black shoes); 3) Black tie (without Awards and Decorations); 4Black trousers with piping, white shirt with starched front, black waistband, black bow, black jacket with satin lapel and black shoes). For Women: 1) Dress for Formal Functions (Mess Kit - for those who are entitled to wear them); 2) Baju kurung and a selendang or a long kebaya and a selendang of any colour except yellow or all in the same colour. At least the selendang must be of a different colour (except for those who are entitled to wear such); Long evening gown with long sleeves but no see-through dress or those with low necklines or décolletage, low back or high slit; 3) For the spouses of Foreign Diplomats the dress is prescribed by the Government of their countries. [Source: malaysianmonarchy.org ]

At 8.50 p.m. all the guests are seated in the Banquet Hall of Istana Negara. The arrival of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Her Majesty the Permaisuri Agong is preceded by Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela. The guests-of Honor, the Malay Rulers and their consorts, their Excellencies the Governors and their spouses, the Prime Minister and spouse and the Deputy Prime Minister and spouse enter the Throne Hall simultaneously.

When the Master of Ceremonies announces the entrance of His Majesty, the nafiri is then played and the audience will stand up. Upon reaching the Royal Table, His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong pauses, until all the Rulers and their consorts are at their respective places. Then, the National Anthem is played and the banquet starts. Throughout the banquet, the audience is entertained with instrumental music by the RTM Orchestra.

Ten minutes after coffee is served at the Royal Table, the music by the RTM Orchestra is stopped and the Master of Ceremonies announces that the Istana Negara Religious Officer will recite the Doa Selamat. After the prayer, the Master of Ceremonies will announce the departure of Their Majesties from the Banquet Hall, all the audience rise and the National Anthem is played. After the National Anthem, the nafiri is then played. Their Majesties’ departure is headed by Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela.

Their Royal Highnesses the Malay Rulers and their Consorts, their Excellencies the Governors and their spouses leave the Banquet Hall and head for the Special Hall to get into their respective vehicles and leave Istana Negara.

Royal High Tea In Conjunction With The Installation

The High Tea in conjunction with the Installation of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is held in the Istana Negara grounds. The dress for this occasion is the national costume or a lounge suit. When the Master of Ceremonies announces the arrival of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong at 4.30 pm, the nafiri is played and the audience rise. As soon as Their Majesties reach the Royal Table, the National Anthem is then played. After the National Anthem, His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong will and Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong sit on the throne. The Religious officer of Istana Negara seeks his Majesty’s permission to recite the Doa Selamat. After permission is granted, the Religious Officer will recite the doa. [Source: malaysianmonarchy.org ]

After the prayer, the Chairman of the Installation’s Central Committee pays his respects and seeks the permission of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to proceed with the high tea. After permission is granted, the Master of Ceremonies announces that the high tea is about to begin. The high tea, accompanied by music played by the PDRM Combo and songs rendered by local artistes, lasts for about 45 minutes.

After the tea and after getting a signal from the Deputy Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela, the Honourable Chairman of the Installation’s Central Committee seeks the permission of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to proceed with the ceremony. Then, His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong accompanied by the Most Honourable Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Deputy Prime Minister and the Honourable Chairman of the Installation’s Central Committee and their spouses step will royal meet with the guests.

Following this, Their Majesties and the other dignitaries will return to their respective seats. The combo then ceases to play the instrumental music. The Honourable Chairman of the Installation’s Center Committee announces to His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that the high tea has come to an end. Soon after, the Master of Ceremonies announces the departure of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong. Then, the National Anthem is played.

After the National Anthem, His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong will leave their seats accompanied by the Most Honourable Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Deputy Prime Minister and the Honourable Chairman of the Installation’s Central Committee and their spouses. Their Majesties will then depart.The Most Honourable Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Deputy Prime Minister and the Honourable Chairman of the Installation’s Central Committee and their spouses will then leave Istana Negara. The guests also take their leave.

Other Ceremonies, Functions And Events

1) The Oath of Office and Signing of Declaration of Office Ceremony by His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and His Majesty the Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong.; 2) Audience Ceremony and Investiture of Awards, Decorations and Medals of Malaysia; 3) Oath of Office, Oath of Alligiance and Oath of Secrecy Ceremony as the Prime Minister/Ministers/Deputy Ministers (After New Cabinet is Set Up); 4) Ceremony to Receive Certificate of Appointment by the His Excellency the Governor; 5) Ceremony to Receive Certificate of Appointment by the Most Learned Lord President of the Federal Court; 6) Ceremony to Receive Certificate of Appointment as Judges (Appeal Court President, Chief Justice of Malaya, Chief Justice of Sabah/Sarawak, Judges of the Supreme Courts, Appeal Courts and High Courts); 7) Ceremony to Receive Certificate of Appointment as His Excellency Ambassador of the Malaysian High Commissions Abroad; 8) Ceremony to Receive Certificate of Appointment (commission) as Ambassador Designates/Foreign High Commissioners to Malaysia [Source: malaysianmonarchy.org ]

Palaces of the Malaysia’s King

The Istana Negara is the official residence of His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Her Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong. It was built in 1928 and was originally the residence of a millionaire, Mr. Chan Wing. During the Japanese Occupation from 1942-1945, it was used as the Japanese Officers’ mess. After the surrender of the Japanese, the building was bought by the Selangor State Government and after being renovated, it became the palace of His Majesty the Sultan of Selangor until 1957. [Source: malaysianmonarchy.org ]

The Federal Government then bought the palace in 1957, to be converted into the Istana Negara. Since then it had undergone several renovations and extensions. But the most extensive upgrading was carried out in 1980, as it was the first time that the Installation Ceremony of His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong was held at the Istana Negara. Prior to this the Installation Ceremonies were held at the Tunku Abdul Rahman Hall in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.

This majestic building is nestled within a serene and beautiful 11.34-hectare compound with a variety of plants and flowers, swimming pool and indoor badminton hall. It is located at Syed Putra Road right in the heart of the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. The building has several halls for specific purposes such as the two main halls, the Throne Hall (Balairong Seri) and the Audience Hall (Dewan Mengadap) on the ground floor.

The whole area is fenced up and the Royal Insignia of His Majesty is placed on each steel bar between two pillars of the fence. At the front of the Istana Negara, there is the main entrance which resembles a beautiful arch. On each side of the arch, are two guard posts to shelter two members of the cavalry in their smart full dress uniform similar to the ones at Buckingham Palace, London. As the palace grounds are not opened to members of the public or tourists, the Main Palace Entrance is a favourite picture spot for tourists.

The Melawati Palace is located in Precint 1, Putrajaya. It has a resort concept and serves as a retreat for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Melawati literally means guard’s tower. Designed by YM Raja Datuk Kamarul Bahrin, the palace comprises four components namely, Royal Wing, Arrival Wing, Meetings Wing and the Administration Block. Three guard’s towers form a prominent structure at the side and centre of the palace. Inside the palace at the main staircase of the Meeting Wing, is a Melawati which is made from cengal wood topped with golden roof.

The Royal Wing consists the following components: 1) Royal Bedroom; 2) Royal Resting Room; 3) Royal Banquet Room; 4) Office of the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong; 5) Office of the Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong; 6) Royal Bath (Royal Swimming Pool); 7) Royal Kitchen; 8) Royal Guest House; 9) Royal Gallery; 10 ) Main Meeting Room.

Image Sources:

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and various books, websites and other publications.

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© 2008 Jeffrey Hays

Last updated June 2015

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