YAM Raja Di-Hilir Chulan ibni Sultan Abdullah was the first Malay communal representative at the Federal Council (the predecessor to the Parliament as we know it today) in 1924. The British were somewhat wary of him but still acknowledged his abilities. R.J. Wilkinson, who was Colonial Secretary of the Straits Settlements had this to say about Raja Chulan:
Despite what had been unfairly said by Wilkinson, during his time in the Council, Tuanku always had the interest of the Malays in mind, and he was known to have stressed to the British that more Malays were needed in government service. For his meritorious service in the Federated Malay States, Tuanku was made Knight Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1930, and was believed to be the first ever non-ruling Malay royal to be knighted.
1. The London Gazette online archive
2. Khoo KK. Man behind the national anthem. Sunday Star. 1994 October 23.