MANY of us shed tears upon hearing about the demise of Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah on Wednesday at 1.30pm.
Sultan Azlan was truly the people's king.
Never once mindful of his royal status, he would would come down from his pedestal, roll up his sleeves and mingle with the people.
His warm smile and ready handshake made the day for everyone who had the opportunity to meet him in person.
Handsome and regal, Sultan Azlan's charismatic personality and charm made him stand above the rest in any social function.
Above all, his intellect, wisdom and compassion when he was High Court judge and lord president earned him the respect of even hardened criminals.
The legal fraternity had high respect for him during his tenure.
He had written many landmark rulings that judges still read and refer to in making judgments and decisions.
In sports, he inspired greatness, with his passion being hockey. He would come down to the turf to meet and motivate players, who saw him as their royal coach and mentor.
He exuded the feeling of that in The King and I, where the crown is not seen as a symbol of the ruler, but more of the people. He preferred to be "in touch" with his subjects.
Of all the things he treasured most was knowledge. An avid reader, he would spend much of his free time reading books covering a wide range of topics to keep him in touch with current issues.
He believed in the adage "a book is man's best friend".
As the torchbearer of Islam, Sultan Azlan believed in moderation.
The 34th ruler of Perak will be sorely missed by all.
May Allah bless his soul.
Hassan Talib, Gombak, Selangor New Straits Times Letters to the Editor 30 May 2014