KUALA LUMPUR: The passing of the Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Abdul Halim Mua'adzam Shah has left a personal mark on the Ukrainian Ambassador to Malaysia, Olexander Nechytaylo.
Sharing it with Bernama in an interview at the news agency's headquarters here today, Nechytaylo said he was deeply saddened by the news which he personally described him as "a great leader who had captured people's heart".
Yesterday shortly after receiving the news, Nechytaylo twitted: "Deeply saddened by the news about the demise of HM Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah. Great leader, who served the nation and won people's heart".
The envoy who presented his credentials to the late Sultan Abdul Halim on July 18 last year in an official ceremony at Istana Negara, shared his personal moment when he was given an audience with him.
"He is the person I presented my credentials to and I can still vividly remember his warm attitude. When I introduced myself, he really expressed wide interests about Ukraine and for that, I appreciate his personality."I believe he had won the hearts of all Malaysians," said Nechytaylo.
Knowing the fact that Sultan Abdul Halim became the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the second time in 2012 after being installed for the first time in 1970, Nechytaylo was also impressed with Sultan Abdul Halim's ability in completing duties while he was on the throne.
"It was an interesting fact that in his second term as Agong, he was still very active, punctual and respectful of other countries," he added.
The nation on Monday mourned the demise of Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah who had ruled as the Ruler of Malaysia's northern state Kedah for 59 years and twice reigned as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
The late Sultan was installed as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong twice from Sept 21, 1970, to Sept 20, 1975 as the fifth Head of State for Malaysia, and as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong from Dec 13, 2011, to Dec 12, 2016.
His Royal Highness passed away at 2.30pm yesterday at Istana Anak Bukit, in Alor Setar, Kedah at the age of 89.
During his rule, Sultan Abdul Halim endeared himself to the people in his unique gentle way that had won him the love and respect of the people, not only in Kedah but also throughout the country.
His remains would be buried at the Langgar Royal Mausoleum at 4 pm today.