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Royal Standard (Malaysia)

Panji-Panji Yang di-Pertuan Agong

Last modified: 2013-07-27 by ian macdonald
Keywords: yang di-pertuan agong | royal standard (malaysia) |
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[Royal Standard as flown on official buildings (Malaysia)] 1:2 image by Santiago Dotor, 31 March 2006



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Introduction

The Malaysian monarch is an elective position, chosen from among the hereditary rulers of the several Malaysian states. Each of them serves for life as the ruler of his individual state, but only for a five-year term as the chief of state of the federation.
Joseph McMillan
, 12 August 2002

From this webpage:

The head of state is entitled the Yang di-Pertuan Agung (Supreme Head of State or King). The position is elective but only the rulers of the states of Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor and Trengganu are eligible. He holds office for five years and enjoys the style of Majesty. His position as head of his home state remains in 'suspended animation', a regent fulfilling his role during his term in office.

Ole Andersen, 12 August 2002

The Malaysian administrative system is a parliamentary democracy, not a constitutional monarchy. Malaysia is a federation of 13 states and 3 federal territories; of the 13 states, 7 states are headed by Sultans, one by a Yang DiPertuan Besar and one by a Raja (all considered royalties). The other 4 states are headed by governors who are commoners appointed by the Federal King for a certain term.

The Federal King is appointed by the Malay Rulers' Council in a secret ballot. Only the 9 royalties have the right to vote and the system follows a sucession line by states, the present King is from Perlis and the next to follow will most probably be from Terengganu. A person can only be appointed as King once for 5 years unless everyone had the chance to be appointed, a Sultan can withdraw from the balloting if he does not intend to be selected as the Agong. Once a King is appointed, his home state will be headed by the crown prince. In the balloting a deputy king will also be selected and he will head the country in circumstances when the King is unable to perform his duties.

The idea of an elected monarchy was first mooted by the first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman in 1957 and the first King was from Negeri Sembilan whose image adorns the Malaysian currency. As the Federal Monarchy is new, all traditions and royal regalia are based on other states, the official attire of the King is from Kedah and the Royal Kris is made from melted kris of other states. The King himself is quite powerless, most laws that are passed by Parliament must be verified by him but if he refrains from verifying it, the law will come to effect in 30 days for financial law and one year for other laws. The Federal King is also not diplomatically immune, he can be charged in a Special Court (Mahkamah Khas) for any crimes he has committed as himself.
Nagathisen Katahenggam, 16 August 2002


Description

The Royal Standard (proportions 1:2) is described (but incorrectly pictured!) in The Malaysia Homepage [broken link]:

The Royal Standard is flown to mark the presence of His Majesty, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. It has a yellow background with the Coat of Arms of Malaysia in the centre enwreathed by two sheaves of paddy. Yellow is the symbol of royalty. The sheaves of paddy signify abundance or prosperity.

Santiago Dotor, 18 December 1998

The Malaysian Monarchy webpage shows a photograph of the actual standard and says:

Panji-Panji Diraja (The Royal Flag)

The Panji-Panji Diraja is in royal yellow. In the centre is the Coat of Arms of Malaysia flanked by two sheaves of paddy. The gold-coloured sheaves represent abundance and prosperity.

The Design

As the Supreme Head of the country, His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the symbol of the loyalty of Malaysian citizens towards the law and constitution. The Panji-panji Diraja is the symbol of the existence of the institution of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong. The Panji-panji is in royal yellow. At its centre is the Coat of Arms of Malaysia flanked by two sheaves of paddy. The gold-coloured sheaves represent abundance and prosperity. (...)

The Raising of the Panji-Panji Yang Di-Pertuan Agong

The Panji-Panji Yang Di-Pertuan Agong is raised at all times on the flagpole of Istana Negara (National Palace). When His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is outside the state for more than one night, the Panji-panji Diraja is brought down.

The Raising of the Panji-Panji yang di-Pertuan Agong at other places apart from Istana Negara

On certain occasions, when His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is attending an important function such as the opening of the Parliament, an official visit or ceremony, the Panji-Panji Diraja is raised at the place where His Majesty will be present. The Panji-Panji Diraja will be raised upon the arrival of His Majesty at the location and brought down later when he leaves.

The Panji-Panji Diraja will only be raised at half-mast on the event of the death of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Measurements of the Panji-Panji Yang di-Pertuan Agong

  • Large size – 6' × 12' (for the flagpole of Istana Negara)
  • Normal size – 3' × 6' (raised at places where His Majesty is present for official purposes)
  • Car size – 12" × 18"
  • Train size – 12" × 18"
  • Plane size – 12" × 18"
  • Ship size – 2 ½' × 4 ½'
So there are three different ratios of the royal standard:
  • National palace (Istana Negara) and official buildings 1:2
  • Cars, trains and planes 2:3
  • Ships 5:9
In my images I have assumed that the height of the arms is slightly larger than half the height of the flag.

Santiago Dotor, 31 March 2006


Royal Standard as flown on official buildings

[Royal Standard as flown on official buildings (Malaysia)] 1:2 image by Santiago Dotor, 31 March 2006

According to the Malaysian Monarchy webpage:

  • Large size – 6' × 12' [1.83 m × 3.66 m] (for the flagpole of Istana Negara)
  • Normal size – 3' × 6' [0.91 m × 1.83 m] (raised at places where His Majesty is present for official purposes)

Santiago Dotor, 31 March 2006


Royal Standard as flown on land vehicles

[Royal Standard as flown on land vehicles (Malaysia)] 2:3 | 30.5 cm × 45.7 cm, image by Santiago Dotor, 31 March 2006

According to the Malaysian Monarchy webpage:

  • Car size – 12" × 18" [30.5 cm × 45.7 cm]
  • Train size – 12" × 18" [30.5 cm × 45.7 cm]
  • Plane size – 12" × 18" [30.5 cm × 45.7 cm]

Santiago Dotor, 31 March 2006


Royal Standard as flown on ships

[Royal Standard as flown on ships (Malaysia)] 5:9 | 0.76 m × 1.37 m, image by Santiago Dotor, 31 March 2006

According to the Malaysian Monarchy webpage:

  • Ship size – 2 ½' × 4 ½' [0.76 m × 1.37 m]

Santiago Dotor, 31 March 2006


Former Royal Standard

[Former Royal Standard (Malaysia)] 1:2 image by Zoltán Horváth

My image of the royal standard is based on the above description and an image in Smith 1975 [smi75c].
Zoltán Horváth
, 11 June 2001

If I remember correctly [the arms on] the Malaysian royal standard is not encircled by a garland of leaves, but by a garland of golden sheaves of rice.
Andrew Yong, 17 August 2001

The Royal Standard on FOTW is [a] very old [one]. [The current one has no white disc behind the coat-of-arms and the paddy wreath is yellow.
Nagathisen Katahenggam, 2 June 2003