Istana Negara was shrouded in gloom and sadness when almost 500 personnel shook hands and bade farewell to Their Majesties Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Tuanku Nur Zahirah yesterday.
Tuanku Mizan’s term of office as the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong ended yesterday.
Istana Negara Administrative Officer Mohd Aseral Jusman, who had served the royal residence since 2003, said he was sad at not being able to work for a ruler who was close to his heart.
“Tuanku Mizan is not only meticulous in his administration but is also friendly with us, the staff of Istana Negara. His warmth is what kept him close to my heart.
“He is the second Yang di-Pertuan Agong that I had the pleasure of serving after Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail. Both rulers are special in their own ways and it has been an honour to work for both,” he told Bernama.
Meanwhile, Istana Negara’s Religious Affairs Assistant Officer Zulkefli Saleh said Tuanku Mizan was approachable by not only the staff but also members of the public.
“The best memory for me is performing ‘tarawih’ prayers with Tuanku Mizan during Ramadan recently. I feel it is a loss at not being able to work for him any longer,” said Zulkefli, who has served at the Istana Negara for three years.
Palace worker Sa’adiah Mohd Mahathir said Tuanku Nur Zahirah’s pleasant nature made the staff feel at ease and more like part of a big family.
“Tuanku Nur Zahirah is a simple person like her husband. She is motherly and shows concern for all palace personnel. I will always remember her sweet smile.
“I’ve worked here for 22 years and it makes me proud to have contributed my services to Tuanku Mizan and Tuanku Nur Zahirah,” she added teary-eyed.