In saluting a great Chief, the hands are “lifted up in salutation with the palms pressed together, but the tips of the thumbs are not suffered to ascend beyond the base of the chin”. In saluting a real Raja, the hands are carried higher and higher, according to the prince’s rank, until, for the Sultan, the tips of the thumbs are on a level with the forehead. Little details such as these are of immense importance in the eyes of the Malays, and not without reason, seeing that in an Independent Native State many a man has come by his death for carelessness in their observance.
In the king’s audience hall the formal salutations are performed in a sitting posture, and in this case, too, the greatest attention is paid to the height to which the hands are raised. The chief twice makes salutation in a sitting posture as he advances, and at the third advance bends over the Sultan’s hands, two more salutations being made on his way back to his place.