Kamek rasa sangat bertuah (We feel very lucky).”
That was the reaction of the Raymong Plen Longhouse residents here, which was the first location visited by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah today.
The residents met by Bernama expressed delight at meeting the royal couple in person as Their Majesties visited the longhouse for the first time in conjunction with the Kembara Kenali Borneo tour, which enters its ninth day.
Also present were Their Majesties’ sons, the Regent of Pahang Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah; Tengku Panglima Raja Colonel Tengku Amir Nasser Ibrahim Shah and Tengku Ahmad Ismail Mu'adzam Shah.
The arrival of Al-Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah brought many sweet memories that will be hard to forget for the residents there as they were touched by the friendliness of the royal couple, who had no problem mingling with them.
Their Majesties, in fact, spent nearly three hours there and even took part in various activities with the residents of the longhouse, who are mostly from the Iban tribe.
The most entertaining moment was when Al-Sultan Abdullah sang “Gadis Melayu”, which had been made popular by Jamal Abdillah, as well as “Bekikis Bulu Betis”, an original Iban song with some of the longhouse residents.
The 53-door longhouse residents erupted with joy when His Majesty tweaked the chorus of the song “Gadis Melayu” a little to “siapa bilang gadis Sarawak tak menawan” (who says Sarawak girls are not attractive), earning rapturous applause from those present, who also video recorded the memorable event.
Tunku Azizah also earned the admiration of the residents of the Raymond Plen Longhouse when they witnessed first-hand the Queen's culinary skills as she prepared three dishes, namely egg curry, 'mihun siam’ and 'sup betik’.
Fifty-six-year-old Slyvia Manye said she was excited and happy as she got to see Tunku Azizah show off her cooking skills.
"All these while only saw Her Majesty (cook) on television… I feel that everyone in the Sebauh area in Bintulu is happy that we got to see the royal couple in person,” said the Raymond Plen Longhouse resident.
Fifty-year-old Lulie Obu also felt lucky that she was able to demonstrate the cooking of traditional Iban cookies, namely 'kuih ros’, to celebrate the arrival of Their Majesties.
"I am very happy because it's not always we get to do this… I have stayed in Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya for a long time and I was willing to fly back to my village here to have an opportunity to meet the royal couple,” she said.
Meanwhile, Raymond Plen Longhouse women's bureau chief Ensuna Bujang praised Their Majesties and the royal family for being so warm and cordial with the people.
"I am very happy because this is the first time I managed to see His Majesty and his family. But I am also sad because I don’t know when I’ll get another opportunity like this,” said the 58-year-old Ensuna.
The royal family also received a pleasant surprise from the longhouse residents when they brought out two cakes to celebrate the birthday of Tengku Ahmad Ismail, who turned 23 today.
The Kembara Kenali Borneo tour, aimed at fulfilling Al-Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah’s dream of getting closer to the people of Sabah and Sarawak, ended in Sabah on Sept 7 before entering Sarawak through Brunei.
The tour, from Sept 3 to 13, began in Tawau, Sabah and ends in Telok Melano, Sematan, Sarawak, covering a distance of 2,154 kilometres along the Pan Borneo Highway that connects Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency