The Royal Regalia is not complete without the Throne. The throne at Istana Negara’s Balairong Seri (Throne Room) was crafted and structured to blend motifs from the peninsula as well as Sabah and Sarawak. The motifs are coloured gold, to add regality and an imperial aura to the throne, and all the designs point upwards to indicate that all beings are created by Allah.
Royal Attire, Muskat
The royal attire of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the installation ceremony is the Muskat, which is the King’s Royal Dress.
The origin of the Muskat can be traced to the ancient kingdom of Muscat, which is the present day Oman. Originally the Muskat was worn by government officials of Kedah. The Muskat was first worn in 1960, at the installation of the third Yang di-Pertuan Agong. It was the brainchild of the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-haj, Malaysia’s first prime minister, who was from the Kedah royal house.
The Muskat is made of black wool embroidered with gold threads, in the pattern of the hibiscus, Malaysia’s national flower. The dress is worn with a headgear and long pants embroidered at the lower portion at ceremonies to mark the King’s installation day and birthday, His Majesty’s official visits to the states and during the opening of the Parliament sitting.
Tengkolok or Royal Headdress
Like the Muskat, the tengkolok (Royal Headdress) is among the symbols of power of the Malay Rulers. The tengkolok is black and intricately woven with gold threads and folded according to the Negri Sembilan-style Dendam Tak Sudah. Affixed at the front of the headwear is a crescent-shaped ornament and a 14-pointed star. At the centre of the star is the crest of the Malaysian Government.
The Pending or Royal Buckle is made of pure gold and decorated with 11 rubies. There is an engraved centrepiece featuring the Federation Crest. The belt is made of heavy ribbed silk and embroidered with floral motifs in gold thread.
The keris is among the Royal Regalia worn by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. There are two – the Keris Pendek di-Raja and Keris Panjang di-Raja.
Keris Pendek di-Raja is the short keris made from the steel blades of older keris. It has an ivory hilt and gold-decorated sheath. The hilt is called Hulu Pekaka and shaped like the head of the legendary Garuda bird. The Federation Crest is embossed on the crosspiece of the sheath, Keris Panjang di-Raja, the long keris, symbolises power and authority.
Its hilt and sheath are coated with gold and it is made from the blades of 11 other keris.
Gendik or Royal Tiara
The Gendik di-Raja or Royal Tiara is worn by the Raja Permaisuri Agong during royal ceremonies and on the day of installation. The Gendik is made of platinum and studded with diamonds. It is so designed that it can be separated to form a locket and two brooches.
The Kalung di-Raja or Royal Necklace is made of platinum and studded with diamonds. The kalung can be separated into a pair of earrings, brooches and kerabu (ornament for the ears).
The Cogan Alam (Mace of the Universe) is part of the Royal Regalia. This silver mace symbolises power and is 162.66cm long. It consists of an orb mounted on a long shaft.
The orb has a crescent and an 11-pointed gold star sitting on it. Around the centre of the orb, the crests of the 11 states of Malaya are embossed in gold. The orb is supported by four tigers while the shaft itself is decorated with six padi stalks carved in gold.
The 155.04cm long Cogan Agama (Mace of Religion) is also made of silver. It consists of a large conical-shaped head with a golden five-pointed star mounted on a long shaft. Verses from the Holy Quran are embossed on the head and shaft.
The Cokmar, or War Club, is another symbol of power and part of the panoply of authority of the Malaysian Government. The Cokmar are two in number and made of silver. Each is 81.32cm long and consists of a circular, fluted orb made of plain silver and mounted on a short shaft, also made of silver.
The other Royal Regalia are the Pedang di-Raja (Royal Sword), and Sundang di-Raja (royal swordkeris). The Pedang and Sundang are traditional Malay weapons that have become symbols of royalty. They have silver-gilt hilts and sheaths.
The Payung Uburubur Kuning (royal umbrella) are 20 in number and made of silver. Yellow symbolises royalty and is reserved for royal usage. At the top of the Royal Umbrella is an 11-pointed star and crescent.
Tombak Berambu, also 20 in number, have blades with three curved indentations. They are made from ancient spears from the 11 states of Peninsular Malaysia.
The Nobat or Royal Musical Ensemble is a form of traditional Malay music. Only four states have the nobat – Kedah, Terengganu, Perak and Selangor
(see posting on (25th May 2012): The Royal Sounds of Nobat)
(source: The Sunday Star)