During his six-nation tour, 81-year old Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, Saudi Arabian King, visited Indonesia for nine days in early March 2017. It was the first visit in 50 years and he made quite an impression on the Indonesian people when he arrived with an entourage of about 1,500 people, in several specially fitted airplanes, two limousines that were the most expensive ever seen in Indonesia, and two gold-clad elevators.During his visit to Jakarta, he met with House Representatives at the Parliament House (DPR) and religious leaders at the Istiqlal Mosque, the largest and oldest mosque in Southeast Asia. He attended the Sunnah prayer called Tahiyyatul. In honor of his visit and upon his request, the mosque installed a new toilet and an elevator.
The toilet inside the VIP room that was built during the era of President Suharto is, according to Syaiful Haq, Istiqlal’s spokesman, only used for the country’s special guests. The newly installed toilet is our Reach 2pc model fitted by our distributor Wisma Sehati in Jakarta.The toilets on the ground floor and the plenary hall of the DPR were also replaced with the same model.
Some special requirements by the Saudi Arabia committee led to modifications of the toilet in the mosque. It is set 12 centimeters higher than any normal toilet for a total height of 52 centimeters from the ground. In addition, some handgrips were installed for easy standing and sitting. Besides the changes to the toilet, a thick rug called Al Malik was placed near the door in the bathroom to prevent slipping. The meaning of ‘Al Malik’ is ‘kingdom’, so it signifies a place for a king or a special guest of the country.No one shied away from expenses for the Saudi king. The Ritz Carlton, understandably after the 2004 attacks, installed bulletproof glass in the presidential suite. It was one of four hotels that were booked by the Saudi delegation.The king, who appeared quite approachable, was said to have stayed at the Raffles Hotel. During his visit at the presidential palace in Bogor, about 40 kilometers outside of Jakarta, where the nude statues in the botanic gardens were covered with potted plants, he and Joko Widodo did a quick Facebook video session. He was also frequently photographed.The king’s request for a Kohler toilet had been picked up by the second largest Indonesian language newspaper and made the headlines in February.
Sources: some of the photographs are courtesy of Asia Times and Reuters.