KUALA LUMPUR: As if counting the days, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah said today that he and the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, have only 239 days left before they fulfil their duties and return to their home in Pahang.

Al-Sultan Abdullah expressed his gratitude for receiving the guidance, strength and benevolence of Allah Almighty to carry out the great task of protecting Malaysia for almost five years.

"In my estimation, there are only 239 days left before we both 'balik kampung', to the state of Pahang," His Majesty said when gracing the investiture ceremony of federal awards and honours held in conjunction with his official birthday celebration at Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur, today.

This is the last investiture ceremony graced by Al-Sultan Abdullah as the 16thYang di-Pertuan Agong during his five-year reign which began on Jan 31, 2019.

At the same time, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who is also the Sultan of Pahang, expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the Conference of Rulers for trusting and placing great faith in him to protect the country.

His Majesty said that the advice and views of the Malay Rulers have helped to overcome the various crises that have plagued the country.

"The spirit of consultation between the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Malay rulers must be upheld and strengthened as the ultimate check and balance mechanism for transparent national governance for the benefit of the common people," His Majesty said.

According to Al-Sultan Abdullah, the system of rotating the Yang di-Pertuan Agong among the nine Malay Rulers, which has been practised since the country's independence, is proof that power and position are not absolute.

His Majesty said the institution of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, is also a landmark that protects the Federal Constitution, a source of justice, a pillar of stability and a guardian of national democracy.

"The institution of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as the head of the country is a pillar of unity that transcends race, nation and religion.

"It is the centralisation and concentration of the undivided loyalty of the federal government, the Malaysian Armed Forces and the people," Al-Sultan Abdullah said.

His Majesty said the institution of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is also a protector for the people.

"Therefore, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is a torch that always illuminates the country so that it does not fall out of the mould of the Federal Constitution, the idealism of the nation's ideals and aspirations," Al-Sultan Abdullah said.

Al-Sultan Abdullah said today's celebration of the official birthday of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong also symbolises the image of a sovereign institution that is still embedded in the heart of every Malaysian.

At the same time, His Majesty thanked the people for their congratulations and prayers on the occasion of the official birthday of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, which were meaningful and meant a lot to both Majesties.