Sunday, June 08, 2008

Istana Negara's garden tea party on Agong's birthday

I had to work today, even though it was a public holiday. It was the Agong's birthday but I had to be at his garden tea party at Istana Negara to shoot it. The dress code was suit, tie and songkok. By the time I got there, a lot of the guest had already started arriving. I drove all the way up to the back gate and the guards stopped us to verify our identity. Normally, the press had to walk in. They finally let us drive in after they confirmed who we were.

It was hot at first then it rained and I got wet. I don't think Malaysian weather is suited for wearing a long jacket and songkok. Wearing a songkok just makes me really uncomfortable in this hot humid weather.

The Agong walking in, happy birthday tuanku! Erm... I forgot Tuanku's age, I think better left unsaid.

Istana Negara garden tea party
The prime minister and wife following closely behind with the Deputy Prime Minister and wife.

Istana Negara garden tea party
I think a company sponsored this golf themed cake. I wonder what it tasted like.

Istana Negara garden tea party
The horses at the front gate of Istana Negara. Did you know that Istana Negara used to belong to a Chinese tycoon? I was talking to Tan Sri Professor Emeritus Khoo Kay Khim and he was telling me the history of the building. He was just made a Tan Sri earlier in the morning. Congratulations again Tan Sri!

The band playing Negaraku.

Tuanku getting ready to cut his birthday cake.

Nurul Izzah at Istana Negara Garden Tea Party
I saw Nurul Izzah, the Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai there with her husband. There were quite a number of opposition MP's there too like Tian Chua. He was one of the MP's that stood out from the crowd. A lot of guest walked up to shake his hand.

I found it quite ironic that only a few months ago during the Bersih rally, the opposition leaders marched down to Istana Negara trying to pass a memorandum to the Agong. The police wouldn't let them meet the Agong and they never got pass the main gates. Today, some of the opposition members are walking around in the gardens mingling with the crowd.

It goes to show the Agong is non-political. I didn't see Karpal Singh, Wan Azizah or Tun Dr. Mahathir though. Probably elsewhere... maybe they were there but the crowd was so huge, I might have missed them.

All the guest lining up to wish the Agong happy birthday and shake his hand. Even the ambassadors and VIP's had to line up. I think there must have been at least a 1000 guest. I didn't stay until the end, I figure it must have taken at least an hour for the Agong to shake hands with everyone. By the way, the man in the suit talking to the lady in purple is Tan Sri Professor Emeritus Khoo Kay Khim with his wife.

At the end of the day, I was drenched in sweat. I have to dry clean my suit tomorrow. It was soaked in sweat. Anyway, it was fun visiting the palace and talking to some of the guest.


sensei said...

Don't you just hate it when a person nicely places his/her own thumb/fingger in your picture..

luxen said...

yeah, my cameraman not so pandai