Saturday, December 27, 2008, saw the passing of the 10th Yang DiPertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan, HRH Tuanku Jaafar Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman. A well-liked ruler, Almarhum passed away at the Seremban General Hospital named after him.
The next day, Sunday the 28th, Muslims welcomed the Hijri New Year's Eve. It is common practice among the Muslims to recite the "doa akhir tahun" after the Asar Prayers and the "doa awal tahun", after Maghrib.
On Monday, the 1st of Muharram 1430 Hijri, Almarhum Tuanku Jaafar was laid to rest at the Royal Mausoleum in Sri Menanti, Negeri Sembilan, but not before the new Yamtuan was proclaimed. After much deliberation, the 4 Undangs elected the Tunku Besar Sri Menanti, HRH Tunku Muhriz Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir as the 11th Yamtuan. Tuanku Muhriz is the son of the 9th Yamtuan and nephew of the 10th Yamtuan, Almarhum Tuanku Jaafar.
I first came to know about Tuanku Muhriz in the 70s, when I was in primary school. No, it was not from the history lessons. HRH was the guest-of-honour at a function then. I remembered staring at this particular guest because he had this regal demeanour ('aura' is not my favourite word. So mawiesque!). Later, that evening, I asked my mom about him and was told who he was. 15 years on, friendship with a certain Kuala Pilah native ensured more anecdotes on the NS royal family. It seemed that Tuanku Muhriz, despite being low-profiled, was never quite forgotten by the older generation. Therefore, his election as the 11th Yamtuan did not come as a surprise to most NSians (who know the adat that is).
It is hoped that the installation of Tuanku Muhriz as the 11th Yang DiPertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan on the prosperous Maal Hijrah will signal a new era in my home state.