PETALING JAYA: Kedah’s Sultan Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah has passed away at the age of 89.
He passed away at 2.30pm on Monday.
The Kedah ruler made history when he became Agong for the second time in 2012 after being installed for the first time in 1970.
Tuanku Abdul Halim ended his term as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong last December and was replaced by Kelantan ruler Sultan Muhammad V.
An official from the Kedah MB’s office said Mentri Besar Datuk Paduka Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipa was informed of the Sultan’s death as soon as he arrived at the airport in Alor Star from Kuala Lumpur at about 2.40pm.
Former Kedah mentri besar Tan Sri Osman Aroff said he was on his way to Alor Star to attend the Sultan’s funeral.
“I am very deeply saddened to hear of his passing. He was a most compassionate Ruler,” he said.
Tuanku Abdul Halim was born on Nov 28, 1927. On July 14, 1958, he ascended the throne of Kedah after the demise of his father, Sultan Badlishah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah. He was installed as the Sultan of Kedah on Feb 20, 1959.
He received his early education at Sekolah Melayu Titi Gajah and then went to the Sultan Abdul Hamid College in Alor Setar.
In 1952, when he was the Raja Muda of Kedah, Tuanku Abdul Halim attended Wadham College, Oxford, in London, graduating in social science and public administration.
Tuanku Abdul Halim married Tuanku Hajah Bahiyah Tuanku Abdul Rahman on March 10, 1956, and they were blessed with three princesses, Tunku Soraya, Tunku Sarina and Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz. Tunku Sarina has since passed away.
After the passing of Tuanku Sultanah Bahiyah on Aug 26, 2003, Tuanku Abdul Halim married Che Puan Hajah Haminah Hamidun who was proclaimed the new Sultanah of Kedah on Jan 9, 2004, with the title of Tuanku Sultanah Hajah Haminah.
Late Kedah Sultan’s granddaughter posts touching tribute on Instagram
The granddaughter of the late Kedah Sultan, Raja Sarina Iskandar, has posted a touching tribute to her grandfather Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah on social media.
Tuanku Abdul Halim passed away at 2.30pm on Monday.
In an Instagram post, Raja Sarina said Kedah and Malaysia had “lost one of their greatest kings”.
“Your dedication to Kedah and Malaysia has inspired me growing up. When you were Agong for the second time at the age of 83, I moved in with you at Istana Negara.
“It was then that I saw for the first time, the behind the scenes of your life,” she said.
Tuanku Abdul Halim made history when he became Agong for the second time in 2012 after being installed for the first time in 1970.
Tuanku Abdul Halim ended his term as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong last December and was succeeded by Kelantan’s Sultan Muhammad V.
Raja Sarina, who is a journalism graduate, related how she saw Tuanku Abdul Halim skipping meals to practise his speeches or to work in the office.
“Which 80-something man would do that? Most of us dream of retiring at 50 if we can! But you never could even if you wanted to.
“And there were times, more often than people knew, when you were ill but still continued with your Agong and Sultan duties,” she said.
She added even when Tuanku Abdul Halim was warded in the hospital when he was unwell, he would sometimes leave to attend official functions.
“When you would leave the ward, I would watch you on television looking normal as you greet the Prime Minister, ministers and the rakyat.
“But as soon as the event was over, you would return to the hospital ward with tubes connected to your body. Even on your sickest day, you would be ON TIME. You would never make anyone wait,” she said.
“This is the side of a king no one knew. You don’t simply sit on a throne and enjoy your riches despite what many ignorantly think.
“There are sacrifices because you can’t have a normal life. There is no privacy and no normal schedule. Your status is an amanah (trust) from Allah,” she said.
She added that some people were unforgiving when leaders make mistakes, “and my Tok always made sure he did the very best.
“When I told him this blog or that person insulted him, he was never angry. He was calm and would simply say: “I did my best.
“You did the very best and more your WHOLE life Tok. The reason I know how to be a good princess is because you taught me how. I love you so much Tok; you’re forever my Sultan. Al-Fatihah,” she said.