By Mohamad Mudanoran Mohamad Mushaari
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin arrived in Scott Base on Monday for a special working visit to Antarctica.
The King and his entourage arrived in the South Pole on a special United States Air Force C-17 Globe Master aircraft which landed at Pegasus Airfield, where the runway was built on frozen sea water, at about 1pm local time.
The entourage comprised, among others, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili, Academy of Sciences Malaysia Antarctica Taskforce chairman Tan Sri Salleh Mohd Nor, National Antarctica Research Centre director Prof Datuk Dr Azizan Abu Samah.
Also on board the aircraft were 70 international researchers and scientists who will be conducting research in Antarctica.
Tuanku Mizan was met on arrival by Antarctica Service Supervisor, David Washer, and was later taken on a 20-minute ride to Scott Research Centre.
A briefing on Antarctica was given to the King by Chief Executive of Antarctica New Zealand Lou Sanson before he took a ride on a tracked vehicle, known as Hagglund, to visit Castle Rock and Antarctic Field Training Camp.
On the second day in Antarctica, the King is scheduled to go on a helicopter trip across Mc Murdo Sound and visit the hut occupied by Captain Scott between 1910 and 1912 in Cape Evans and the hut occupied by Sir Ernest Shackleton between 1907 and 1909 in Cape Royds.
The two huts had become iconic and historic destinations for researchers and scientists in Antarctica.