Kembara Kenali Borneo Heads To Sri Aman, Convoy Gets Ecstatic Reception

SRI AMAN: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah continued on the ‘Kembara Kenali Borneo’ convoy which entered its 10th day today, in warm weather of 30 degrees Celcius.

Even in such weather, the public enlivened the atmosphere by lining up along the road shoulders to await the Agong’s convoy travelling from Sibu to Sri Aman, involving a distance of approximately 224 kilometres (km) on the Pan Borneo Highway.

Although His Majesty had a tight schedule to keep, Al-Sultan Abdullah who was driving a four-wheel drive slowed down or stopped the vehicle to shake hands with the people of Sarawak who came out early in the morning and had to endure the scorching heat to see the King.

Accompany the Agong were his 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.

Bernama newsmen, who accompanied the Kembara Kenali Borneo convoy, found that almost every village intersection near the highway became a gathering place for the local community to catch a glimpse of His Majesty, his sons and the Kembara Kenali Borneo group.

Many bus stops along the highway were also gathering places for the villagers waiting for the arrival of the Agong and his entourage, Some of the villagers donned traditional outfits representing their ethnic groups such as Iban, Bidayuh, Kayan and Orang Ulu.

Schoolchildren had much merriment as they celebrated the Agong and Kembara Kenali Borneo convoy as they passed through their school which is located near the highway.

Cheers of excitement broke the silence along the path near Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sungai Paoh in Sarikei, where dozens of students and teachers called out “Selamat Jalan” and “Hati-Hati” to the convoy.

As if predicting that Al-Sultan Abdullah and his entourage would make a stop to refuel their vehicles at the Petronas Layar Station, Betong, people waited on the side of the road near the petrol station to take a glimpse of His Majesty and the entourage.

The warm response from local residents including those near Sarikei, Saratok and Betong prevented the Agong from visiting the Bandar Sri Aman Mosque and Fort Alice as scheduled as he had to continue his journey to Kuching.

Immediately after arriving in Sarawak’s state capital, Al-Sultan Abdullah and the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah are scheduled to go to the programme’s closing ceremony as well as state dinner by the Sarawak government at 8.30 pm today.

As of 6.30 pm, the Kembara Kenali Borneo convoy was still on its way from Pakit here to the hotel where the Agong is staying in Kuching city, involving a distance of about 184 km.

The Kembara Kenali Borneo programme will end tomorrow in Telok Melano in Sematan, Sarawak after kicking off in Tawau, Sabah on Sept 3.

The journey, which was held for the first time and to realise the dream of Al-Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah to reach out to the people of Sabah and Sarawak, ended in Sabah on Sept 7 before entering Sarawak via Brunei.

The 11-day trip involved a distance of 2,154 km along the Pan Borneo Highway that connects Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei. – Bernama

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