Malaysia’s sports-loving King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah celebrates his official birthday on Monday (Sept 9).
The 60-year-old monarch is a well-known figure in the sports world, having held key portfolios in FIFA (football) and FIH (hockey) and is the former president of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC).
His Majesty has been on the go since taking oath as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) on January 31. His reign is for a five-year term.
With the rakyat (people) close to his heart Sultan Al-Abdullah has many a time brushed aside protocol to show his caring nature in times of need. Sultan Al-Abdullah has often alighted from his official car to check on the condition of accident victims.
The Ruler has also shown his down-to-earth side, queuing up like any other customers at fast-food outlets and enjoying his favorite food at restaurants – catching his subjects by surprise.
Recently, His Majesty visited victims of a fire in Kampung Otentik, Tanjung Batu Keramat in Tawau.
In conjunction with his official birthday celebrations, His Majesty called on Malaysians to stand tall as a nation that transcends all differences to create lasting unity and togetherness for a safe and prosperous nation.
For the record, the six-nation Sultan of Johor Cup Under-21 Invitational hockey tournament is the brainchild of Sultan Al-Abdullah. It is the only annual international Under-21 tournament and features in the FIH calendar.
The Sultan of Johor Cup was inaugurated in 2011 and is played at the world-class Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Bahru. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH