NS Fest 2019 di Dataran Nilai
Kuala Pilah, 1 Disember 2019 (Korporat SUKNS) - This is an occasion for the renewal of the pledge of allegiance to the Ruler of the State, His Royal Highness the Yang di-Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan, by the chiefs of the various provincial groups, locally known as “luak”.

Negeri Sembilan (literally: Nine States) existed as nine fiefdoms, each under the rule of their respective “rulers”. They were reinstated as one federation in 1885, with the signing of a treaty between the Governor of the Straits Settlement (representing the British Government) and these “rulers”. The federation was divided into three categories of Luak, (clans) viz; i) those placed under the Undang, ii) Tanah Mengandung, and iii) other smaller Luak.

Under the Jurisdiction of the Undang are, Luak Sungei Ujong, Luak Johol, Luak Rembau and Luak Jelebu, whilst a portion of Tampin fell under the jurisdiction of the YTM Tunku Besar Tampin. The Luak Tanah Mengandung, which is further divided into Luak Ulu Muar, Jempol, Terachi, Gunung Pasir and Inas (and the smaller Luak of Gemencheh, Pesaka Air Kuning and Linggi), fell under the jurisdiction of the (then) Yamtuan Seri Menanti.

In the year 1898, with the consensus of all vested parties, it was deemed that there should be a sovereign head for all of Negeri Sembilan. As a result, DYMM Tuanku Muhammad ibni Almarhum Tuanku Antah (1888 M – 1933 M), the Yamtuan of Seri Menanti was installed as the first Yang di-Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan. By extension, Luak that were originally under the Yamtuan Seri Menanti, now fall under the direct patronage of the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan and that they are to periodically pay homage and renew their pledge of allegiance to his Royal Highness. Thus, every once in three years the “Istiadat Ulangan Penghulu Luak Mengadap” is etched in the calendar of the Negeri Sembilan Royal household.

The Ceremonies

1. Retrieving and Displaying of the Royal Regalia

The Royal Regalia consists of 8 long keris (malay dagger), 8 yellow umbrellas, 8 swords, 8 spears and 8 flags (4 yellow and 2 each of red and black). The retrieving and displaying of these regalia are carried out in full tradition, witnessed by His Royal Highness’ specifically assigned representative. They are retrieved from storage, inspected and displayed in the gardens of the Istana Besar Seri Menanti (the Grand Palace). The eight umbrellas are then drawn open to a three gun-salute, announcing that the ceremonies have officially begun.

2. Ceremonial Bath

This is a ceremony of grandiose scale, held in preparation of the impending visit by His Highness’ subjects, represented by their various Penghulu (Chiefs) from the various Luak. (clans).

Their Royal Highnesses arrive at the Panca Persada (the dais where the ceremonial bath takes place), drawn on the Takhta Rencana (carriage), by the Pegawai 99 Istana (99 Palace Officials), preceded by the Kumpulan Rebana (traditional drum team), and palace officials carrying the Cepu Bedak Limau (a concoction of mortar and lime). Following immediately behind the carriage are the members of the Royal family

On the Panca Persada (dais), the Dato’ Seri Amar di Raja holds court. He circumambulates seven times around Their Royal Highnesses with the Cepu Bedak Limau, each time stopping for their Royal Highnesses to dip their hands into it, (symbolic of a bath). The procedure is repeated by the Dato’ Raja di Wangsa, Dato’ Penghulu Dagang and Dato’ Akhir Zaman, them being the Orang Empat Istana (the Four Palace Officials), the four senior most officials of the Palace.

After the Ceremonial Bath, Their Royal Highnesses return to the Palace, drawn on the Takhta Rencana, the same way as they had arrived. Only the procession is now joined by the VIP’s and the State dignitaries who had just witnessed the ceremony.

An eight- gun salute accompanies the march back to the Palace.

3. Homage and Renewal of Oath of Allegiance

This represents the highlight of three-day ceremonies. It is held in the Balairung Seri (Throne Room).

The event starts when the Penghulu Luak (provincial chiefs) file in to the Balairung Seri (throne room) with their respective subordinates and take their designated places on the Seri Raja di Muda (a specially constructed dais exactly opposite the Singgahsana). Once again, the order of entry (of these chiefs) and the places they are seated are observed according to strictly adhered tradition.

Their Royal Highnesses enter the Balairung Seri with the YAM Putera Yang Empat (the Four Princes) in tow, to the accompaniment of Raja Berangkat by the cak lempong musical group. Their Royal Highnesses take their places on the Singgahsana (Throne), flanked on the right by the YAM Tunku Besar Seri Menanti and the YAM Tunku Muda Serting, whilst the YAM Tunku Laksamana and the YAM Tunku Panglima Besar occupy their places to the left.

As the eleven-gun salute booms from the Istana Grounds, the various Luak (Clans) proceed to declare their allegiance to the Yang di-Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan in turns, again, determined by traditionally arranged sequence, led by their respective Penghulu (Chiefs) as follows:

i. Luak Ulu Muar is headed by Dato’ Bendahara Setia Maharaja, Setia Maharaja Lela Pahlawan.

ii. Luak Jempol headed by Dato’ Lela Putra Setiawan.

iii.Luak Terachi headed by Dato’ Anjah Pahlawan.

iv. Luak Gunung Pasir headed by Dato’ Orang Kaya Mempasir Setiawan, and,

v. Luak Inas headed by Dato’ Pahlawan Lela Perkasa Walad Kuala Dioh.

The ceremony ends with an address by his Royal Highness.

The Istiadat Ulangan Penghulu Luak Tanah Mengandung Mengadap Menjunjung Duli, officially comes to a close when the Royal Regalia which were on display in the Palace grounds over the last three days, are brought back to be re-stored at their rightful places. This is again done in full ceremony in the afternoon of day three, culminating in a three gun-salute, which officially announces the end of the ceremonies.