KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 (Bernama) -- The Sultan of Terengganu, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, who ends his term as the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong today has recorded a string of sterling achievements.
Tuanku Mizan was the first Muslim head of state to step foot on Antarctica last month after His Majesty made a five-day working visit to the research station at Scott Base located in the southernmost continent on Nov 20 to 24.
The visit was held in conjunction with Malaysia's accession to the Antarctic Treaty, 1959 on Oct 31 this year, which among others, enables Malaysian scientists to be directly engaged in all research undertaken on the continent.
Malaysia's assent to the Antarctic Treaty also made it the first Southeast Asian country and first Islamic nation to accede to the treaty.
Tuanku Mizan who was among the youngest Malay rulers to ascend the throne as the Sultan of Terengganu, aged 36, in 1988, was the second youngest Yang di-Pertuan Agong after Tuanku Syed Putra Syed Hassan Jamalullail when he was chosen as the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Dec 13, 2006 at age 44.
Tuanku Mizan, 49, as the Supreme Commander of the Malaysian Armed Forces was also the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong to take a flight in a fighter jet, the Sukhoi SU-30MKM at supersonic speed which was faster than the speed of sound, for about 45 minutes over Pulau Langkawi and Penang, where he visited the Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Butterworth on Feb 7, this year.
On March 10, His Majesty went into KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's first submarine, which made a maximum depth dive for an operation in the South China Sea, as well as carrying out simulation fire on targets from the Scorpene submarine.
Tuanku Mizan who is known for his humility, spent a day with the crew to experience life in a submarine.
During his reign, Tuanku Mizan also helped to strengthen relations between Malaysia and other countries. Apart from receiving the visits of foreign leaders, he also visited several countries including in the Asean region, and Kuwait, Qatar and Uruquay.
He also made special visits to the United Kingdom, United States and Canada.
For Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, he was very grateful to Tuanku Mizan in all his dealings with His Majesty.
"Under His Majesty's reign, state matters were smoothly conducted. The King's support is also highly appreciated by members of the Cabinet," he said at the banquet held in conjunction with the end of Tuanku Mizan's term as the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara, here, on Saturday.
Najib also expressed his appreciation for Tuanku Mizan's entire reign as Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and that the government and people were proud of His Majesty's concern for the people, apart from being active in charity work and sports.
Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim in his speech said that during the five-year reign of His Majesty, Malaysia continued to progress from one level to another higher level.
"All the policies and practices under the 1Malaysia concept proved fruitful under Tuanku's reign and it is hoped that the nation will continue to prosper," he said.
For Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela, Datuk Awang Kechik Abdul Rahman who had served for more than two years with Tuanku Mizan as the Agong, said His Majesty's tenacity should be an example to every citizen of the country.
"The King has repeatedly reminded the people to protect the good relations between the races, and to practise mutual respect and cooperation for harmony to prevail in the country," he told Bernama at Istana Negara recently.
Awang Kechik said Tuanku Mizan had devoted his full attention to the people when each invitation involving the people was always fulfilled.
Tuanku Mizan married Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah in 1996 and the royal couple is blessed with two princes, Tengku Mohammad Ismail, 13, and Tengku Muhammad Mua'az, 11, and two princesses, Tengku Nadhirah Zahrah, 15, and Tengku Fatimatuz Zahra', 9.
Tengku Mohammad Ismail, the elder son of Tuanku Mizan, was appointed as Acting Sultan of Terengganu following the appointment of his father as the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Tuanku Mizan who is active in sports, especially in endurance horse riding, had spent time to participate in several competitions such as the World Endurance Challenge for the World Endurance Championships organised by Yayasan Diraja Sultan Mizan (YDSM), Equestrian Association of Malaysia (EAM), Federation Equestrian International (FEI) and Penn Endurance & Equestrian Club (PENN)).
The King had also participated in the Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup competition in Dubai in January 2008.