Sultan Ibrahim: A King who values punctuality

JOHOR BAHRU, July 7 — “His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim doesn’t like keeping people waiting for his arrival,” a little detail shared by Datuk R. Sugumaran, the police aide-de-camp (ADC) to the 17th King of Malaysia.

Sharing insights into His Majesty’s personality traits, Sugumaran, who has been serving Sultan Ibrahim since 2003, said the King greatly values punctuality and has never been late to any event.

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“In my 20-odd years as Sultan Ibrahim’s ADC, I have never seen His Majesty arriving late, but instead always being five or 10 minutes early,” he told Bernama in an interview recently.

Despite his stern appearance, Sugumaran revealed that His Majesty is actually a kind-hearted person who easily empathises with others.

“His Majesty doesn’t like to get angry and is quick to show compassion. If someone did something wrong and we asked His Majesty to give the person another chance, the Sultan’s response would always be ‘Okay Sugu (Sugumaran), you do what you think is right’,” he said.

Another heartwarming quality of Sultan Ibrahim, according to Sugumaran, is that the King enjoys interacting with the people and listening to their concerns.

“And at every chance they get, the people also like to share their problems with the King.

“Normally, at this kind of event, government officers of the district are present, and public complaints are addressed immediately,” he said.

He said that Sultan Ibrahim places great emphasis on public welfare and discipline and often advises government servants, particularly senior officials, to prioritise public interest over personal gain.

According to Sugumaran, Sultan Ibrahim also does not like division among the people and would promptly address any issues to prevent them from escalating.

“Those who spread falsehoods or fake news to sow discord, especially in Johor, including politicians, will be summoned to the palace to be reprimanded so that the issue doesn’t escalate and can be contained early,” he said.

Recalling his first meeting with His Majesty, Sugumaran, who began his career with the Royal Malaysia Police in 1978 as a Constable, said it all started when he was the Johor Bahru Sentral Police chief in 2003.

The son of a rubber tapper from Bestari Jaya, Selangor, said his background as an Air Quartermaster with the Police Air Wing Unit and his Half Wing badge, as well as their common interest in flying, caught the attention of Sultan Ibrahim, who is a licensed pilot, to have him to be stationed at the palace.

“My first assignment as the ADC to the then Crown Prince was during the Installation Ceremony of the Sultan of Selangor (Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah), followed by the Conference of Rulers meeting.

“Back then, the Crown Prince was representing his father the Sultan of Johor (the late Sultan Iskandar Almarhum Sultan Ismail), and that was the beginning of my career as his police ADC,” he said.

Sultan Ibrahim took the oath and signed the instrument of office as the 17th King of Malaysia on Jan 31. The installation ceremony is scheduled for July 20. — Bernama

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