Raja Dato’ Seri Azam bin Raja Kamaralzaman


Raja Azam Raja Kamaralzaman. (Photo: Arkib Negara Malaysia)

Raja Dato’ Seri Azam bin Raja Kamaralzaman was born in Kuala Dipang, Perak on 13 July 1918. He was the only son of the DYAM Raja Di-Hilir Kamaralzaman ibni Raja Mansur and Raja Nasibah binti Raja Ismail[1].

Like his father, Raja Azam was educated at the Malay College, Kuala Kangsar, where he was also head boy, the nurturing ground for the Malay ruling class. In an interview  with the Sunday Star in 1996, he recalled, “From the start, we knew that we were being groomed for administrative positions. We were taught a basic course which included English, Mathematics and History. But the most important thing about College was its discipline and dedication – its commitment to excellence.”

Raja Azam was the head boy of the Malay College in 1936, seen here seated third from left. (Source: The Sunday Star)

He obtained his Senior Cambridge in 1938 and then furthered his studies at the Raffles College, Singapore, where he obtained a diploma in administration.

In 1942, Raja Azam began his career in the administrative service and one of his earlier positions was held in the Taiping Land Office. A civil servant was expected to be versatile and he had described in the aforementioned interview that “(one) had to know the law very well as administrators  often beckoned the role of magistrates.” By 1952, he was absorbed into the Malayan Civil Service (MCS).

Raja Azam when he was the State Secretary for Brunei, with his wife, Raja Fatimah. (Personal collection of Raja Muzaffar Kamaralzaman)

Raja Azam had served as Commissioner of Lands and Mines in Perlis and the District Officer of Kuala Langat,  Selangor. After independence, he was the State Secretary of Negeri Sembilan from 1960 to 1962 during the reign of Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Tuanku Munawir and later was the State Secretary of Brunei  from 1962 to 1964, at the invitation of Sultan Sir Omar Ali Saifuddien III, the Sultan of Brunei, to help establish the Brunei civil service.


Raja Dato' Seri Azam as Secretary for the Ministry of Transport (far left) during the signing ceremony between Malaysia and the United Kingdom on 1 August 1967 regarding flight services between the two nations. (Photo: Arkib Negara Malaysia)

Raja Azam then returned to Malaysia as Secretary-General at the Ministry of Transport from 1967 to 1971.  He was requested by Tun Abdul Razak to resign from the Ministry of Transport to become chairman of the Port Swettenham (now Port Klang) Authority from 1971-1977. He was later the Director of Keretapi Tanah Melayu (1978).


Raja Dato' Seri Azam chatting with Hurbert H. Humprey, the Vice-President of the United States at the Istana Tetamu, Kuala Lumpur on 3rd November 1967. (Photo: Arkib Negara Malaysia)

Raja Azam died in 1999. He was married to Raja Fatimah binti Raja Zainal Azman, the grand-daughter of Raja Sir Chulan. He had issue, five sons and three daughters.

1. Raja Nasibah was the daughter of Raja Ismail bin Raja Kulop Muhammad and Raja Puteh Aishah binti Sultan Abdullah. She was essentially Raja Kam’s first cousin.


1. RoyalArk.net
2. Khoo E. Groomed for a life in service. Sunday Star. 1996 June 2.


19 thoughts on “Raja Dato’ Seri Azam bin Raja Kamaralzaman

    • No worries Nadeeya. Send our regards to your mum, Auntie Ku Chik. ANyway, thank you for visiting sembangkuala.


  1. Owh wait.. no need to answer the question. I forgot to look at the editor’s page. Regards to the editors.

    By the way, feel free to come over to our place.. you know we have a collection of pictures of the Sultan Abdullah descendants, and if you wish, you could also set up an interview with my late grandfather’s sister. Her memory about the royals is still strong.

    • hehehehe…thanks Nadeeya for your invitation. Insyallah kalau x de aral melintang we will visit u & ur family & not to forget for the interview….

      Many thanks & selamat berpuasa.


  2. nadeeya, are you referring to mak ulong? would love to meet her too. my dad and his siblings refer her as “pah bedah’s right-hand man[sic]”. we have an old photo of mak ulong and pah bedah in tok kam’s convertible. i’m planning to write a blog entry on tok’s cars for my blog, so this raya will be photo scanning time! 😀

  3. Ah…Ayah Azam…I remember when Uncle was staying at Padang Merbuk way back in the 60’s and we would go to his house to play with Bab, Tot, Tet & Lela. Bok & Kuzu were too ‘senior’. Around the house were many of Hossein Anas’ paintings and Auntie’s intricate leather-tooled room dividers. Cantek. Uncle Azam then moved to Klang – big, hulking house and I attended Kuzu & Mohsein’s wedding. So glamorous then…

    • Salam Mansor

      We visited his house in Klang, and later in Ampang, quite often then. And how can I forget Ku Ju’s wedding – Iskan, Amir (your brother) and I were running around like the maniacal under-10’s we were with bits of bunga manggar! I can still clearly recall my late mom and all the aunts were dressed to the nines for that evening.

      The last time I saw Allahyarham was in 1988 before I left for England, and Allahyarmah nde Naun was still around. Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat ke atas roh mereka. Al-Fatihah.


    • Salam. Ada tak contact Raja Munawar/Munawir (Tot/Tet)? Arwah bapa saya pernah jaga mereka masa kecil dahulu. Harap dapat respon darr tuan. Terima kasih.

  4. Dear editor(s)

    In the footnote, you mentioned Raja Puteh Aishah bt Sultan Abdulllah. I presume you meant the same Sultan Abdullah as my late grandmother’s father. Was Raja Puteh Aishah also known as Raja Nuteh? I ask because my mother cannot recall a Raja Puteh Aishah in the Sultan Abdullah clan.

    Thank you.

    • Salam nde Yam

      Yes, the same Sultan Abdullah. As for your second query – no, she is not. Raja Puteh Aishah was one of the elder daughters born ‘pre-Seychelles’, as it were, whilst Raja Nuteh (Tok Nuteh – Nuteh was her actual name) was born in Félicité and brought up in Mahé, Seychelles when the family was in exile. Tok Nuteh was the daughter who played the piano beautifully despite her deformed hands.


    • Salam Ku Yam, I presume the Raja Nuteh you mention is my late onyang, who was born with small digital fingers. Her daughter was Raja Saadiah and only son Raja Nazran, the late cpo of prison.

      • Salam chor Wah – Tok Nuteh married dgn siapa? And also, who did Wan Saadiah marry?

        Ayah Pa has some nice stories about Taiping. He can imitate the way Tok Minah speaks, how Raja Alang Ismara panggil hi wife balik if she is at Tok Nuteh’s house etc. And how nakal Ayah Nan was! Btw Ayah Pa nak confirm – ayah Nan hhidup lagi ke tak? Ayah Pa ingat dah passed away, but now we have accounts from two sources he is alive and well in Selama!


  5. Salam

    I would like to highlight this fact to Raja Mariam:

    Raja Azam’s grandfather, Raja Ismail bin Raja Kulop Muhammad was Raja Yaacob/Raja Per Kelsom brother. ‘Sebelah tanah’, he was a descendant of Raja Kulop Muhammad but not many realised about it, because has was ‘seen’ as Sultan Abdullah clan. I just knew about it myself very recently. So Kuyam, he is related to you from both sides. (3 kalau campur sebelah Ku Naung)

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  7. I came across the name “Raja Azam” while surfing the net and recalled a time in the 1950’s when I was a waitress in a Brisbane cafe among whose regular customers were Raja Azam and his Indian friend, both Colombo students. On his return to Malaysia we corresponded for a time and subsequently lost contact.
    I’m curious to know what happened to him.
    If you can be of help I’d love to hear from you.

    • Dear Rosemary – From your description of the Raja Azam that you knew it may well be someone else, as the Raja Azam described in this post was not known to have been a scholar in Australia under the Colombo Plan. However, he was a keen traveller and may well have visited Brisbane in the 50s. You may well refer to the photographs above to refresh your memory if indeed this is the same Raja Azam you are referring to. If he is the one and the same, he had passed on in 1999, as described in the last paragraph of the published post. Best wishes.

      -Raja Mahariz Muzaffar

  8. Dear Nadeeyah – I remember your mom when your granny stayed at the State Secretariat house in S’ban sometime in late 1959, when I always visited Wak and enda Naung, also Mak Ulung. Ku Cik and Ku Teh were small then, may be they could not remember me, but Mak Ulung will definitely remember me as Ku Wah. Send my regards to Mak Ulung. I’m still in KL, staying near Wan Puteh / Ku Puteh. I’m still working at Pusat Perubatan Kohilal Tmn Melawati.

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