Award recipient touched by King’s kind gesture

KUALA LUMPUR: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah spontaneously left the royal dais to confer an award to Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) director-general Datuk Dr Abd Latif Mohmod.

After the investiture ceremony of federal awards and honours at the Istana Negara on Monday (Sept 9), Abd Latif said that he never expected His Majesty to do so after seeing him moving about with help of a walking stick following injuries sustained 10 years ago while on duty.

“I feel touched and overwhelmed. Perhaps the Yang di-Pertuan Agong found that it would be difficult for me to climb (the steps) as I am using the walking stick.

“I was so surprised. His Majesty gave me the signal (not to climb the steps) and he said, ‘It’s okay, I will walk down’, ” said Abd Latif, who described His Majesty’s action as a tribute from a noble-hearted King to the people who were trying to contribute to the nation.

Abd Latif was bestowed the Darjah Panglima Jasa Negara (PJN), which carries the title “Datuk”. He is set to retire next year.

In His Majesty’s official birthday celebration yesterday, Yang di-Pertuan Agong has consented to confer federal awards and honours to 795 individuals. “This award is the best gift I have received at the federal level. This shows that we need to continue to serve our country, ” said Abd Latif.

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