The friendly demeanour of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah was clearly evident when Their Majesties attended a meet and greet session with the people who had been waiting excitedly for their presence up close here today.

Their Majesties arrived in Tawau to begin their first-ever Kembara Kenali Borneo tour beginning with this district and ending in Telok Melano, Kuching, involving a distance of 2,154 kilometres via the Pan Borneo Highway which connects Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei.

From the airport to their hotel accommodation in Tawau town, Al-Sultan Abdullah who drove the car himself accompanied by Tunku Azizah, repeatedly took the time to stop and get out of the vehicle to shake hands and pose for photographs with residents who had been waiting at the roadsides to catch a glimpse of the royal couple.

The journey from Tawau Airport to the hotel which should have taken 30 minutes was delayed by about five hours due to the frequent stops made by His Majesty to say hello to the people along the way.

Some residents in Kampung Ranggu, here, in their excitement and happiness to welcome the arrival of the royal couple proudly waved the Jalur Gemilang and Sabah flags.

In fact, some local residents in their eagerness, requested the royal motorcade to stop or slow down the convoy when passing through their area to allow them the opportunity to meet Al-Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah.

When contacted by Bernama, a Kampung Ranggu villager, Haryati Bahar, 49, expressed her happiness and excitement for the chance to meet Their Majesties in person for the first time.

“I am even more elated and pleased that I was able to shake hands with the Raja Permaisuri Agong despite having to wait for Their Majesties’ arrival since 2 pm. All this time, I’ve only seen (Al-Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah) on television,” said the housewife.

Another villlager Siti Elfiya Rahman, 49, expressed her admiration for Al-Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah's "berjiwa rakyat" nature, saying the opportunity to meet Their Majesties in person was something meaningful to her.

“Perhaps there will be never be another opportunity like this,” said the housewife who had waited at Jalan Batu 8 near Kampung Ranggu since 2 pm.

While in Sabah from Sept 3 to 7, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Permaisuri Agong, along with their entourage are scheduled to visit eight other districts, namely Lahad Datu, Sandakan, Telupid, Ranau, Kundasang, Kota Kinabalu, Penampang and Sipitang.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency