DYTM Raja Ahmed Sifuddin ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Shah (Raja Muda: 1984-1987)

Raja Muda Ahmed Sifuddin ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Shah. (Source: Raja Khairul Annuar Raja Muda Ahmed Siffudin)

Raja Ahmed Siffudin ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Shah was born on 11th October 1930 and was the fifth son of Sultan Iskandar Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Idris Murshidul Azzam Shah. He was not expected to inherit the throne and had spent his early life in the shadow of his elder brothers, Sultan Idris Shah II and Raja Mohamed.

Raja Muda Ahmed Siffudin and Raja Puan Besar Nor Izan. (Source: Raja Azmatul Azfa Raja Mohamed)

Raja Ahmed Siffudin was granted the title of Raja Kechil Sulong by his brother, Sultan Idris Shah II, in 1982. On 3 February 1984, upon the demise of Sultan Idris Shah II, Raja Ahmed Siffudin was appointed Heir Apparent, with the title of DYTM Tuanku Raja Muda Wakil us-Sultan Wazir ul-Azam , bypassing the then DYAM Raja DiHilir, Raja Ahmad Hisham ibni Raja Abdul Malek, due to the Raja Di-Hilir’s ill health.

Raja Ahmed Siffudin, fondly known as Ku Tam, spent his childhood years in Bukit Chandan. Tuanku was gentle and considerate, which made him a person admired by the rakyat who described him as a people’s prince. According to his son, YM Raja Kamar Azhar, Tuanku was always concerned about the rakyat’s well-being and had always reminded his children to never be stand-offish or look down on anyone. He also recalled that Tuanku did advise him to, in Tuanku’s own words, “… jangan sekali-kali menganiaya orang lain” (never ill-treat others).

Tuanku loved outdoor activities, especially hunting, photography, fishing and speedboat racing. In speedroat racing, Tuanku was considered the arch-rival of his elder brother, Raja Mohamed (Yong Namad). As for his maritime hobbies, most of his free time would be spent on boating and fishing. Tuanku usually brought his sons hunting. Raja Kamar Azhar added that at one time, he was given only a pen-knife and a small torch by Tuanku and was left with only his brothers on a hunting trip. He and his brothers were only reunited with their father later at midnight. He believed that this was Tuanku’s way of grooming his children in preparation for the real world.

Ku Tam is seen here singing while Sultan Idris II plays the alto sax with Orkes RIShah. On the right photo, Ku Tam is seen playing the tenor sax. (Source: Raja Khairul Annuar Siffudin)

Tuanku also loved music, and was an accomplished singer and a keen musician, with the saxophone remaining his favorite instrument. With the Orkes RiShah (a band formed by Sultan Idris Shah II), Tuanku would either sing or play the baritone or tenor sax together with Sultan Idris, who played either the tenor or alto sax. Kalau Rindu was a song composed by Sultan Idris (later sung by the late Datin Rafeah Buang) which became part of the Orkes’ repertoire , and Raja Ahmad Siffudin’s saxophone playing was usually a crowd pleaser!

Tuanku was firstly married to his cousin, Raja Nor Izan binti Raja Abdul Rashid (later fashioned Raja Puan Besar) and was blessed with eight children – three sons and five daughters. He later married Raja Fatimah binti Raja Muhammad, with whom he had four sons and three daughters.

Raja Ahmed Sifuddin and his family. From left - Raja Izzatul, Raja Khairul Annuar, Raja Fatimah Raja Muhammad (Raja Ahmed Sifuddin's second wife), Raja Ahmed Sifuddin carrying Raja Royani, and Raja Muhammad Alwi. (Source: Raja Khairul Annuar Raja Muda Ahmed Sifuddin)

Tuanku suffered a heart attack whilst on holiday at Pulau Redang, Terengganu in early April 1987.  After a few resuscitation attempts, Tuanku mangkat at the General Hospital, Kuala Terengganu on 12 April 1987 at the age of 57. Tuanku was interred at Makam DiRaja Al-Gufran, Bukit Chandan, Kuala Kangsar.

_____________________________

Reference:
1. Arkib Negara Malaysia (Please note that this reference contains an error on the year Tuanku mangkat)
2. YAM Raja Shahruzzaman ibni Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah
3. YM Raja Khairul Annuar bin Raja Ahmed Siffudin
4. YM Raja Kamar Azhar bin Raja Ahmed Siffudin

16 thoughts on “DYTM Raja Ahmed Sifuddin ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Shah (Raja Muda: 1984-1987)

  1. Salams,

    He was Ayah Chik Ku Tam to me and Yong Ku Tam to my mother, who is his sister-in-law.

    Ayah Chik Ku Tam paid us a surprise visit to our humble home in a quiet residential area in the suburb of Ipoh one day. What made this visit special was, he came on the day he was proclaimed the Raja Muda of Perak, complete with outriders and all! And my Chinese neighbour thought the ‘Agong’ had come!

    My mother served him whatever she had cooked for lunch that day, which he ‘santap’ with much relish. Then he suddenly announced his craving for ‘gulai lemak rebung’, which was promptly purchased and with that, he was responsible for my mother’s penchant for the dish till this day!

    Even as the Raja Muda of Perak, he continued with his unassuming, friendly and simple ways, without much fuss, and much less pomp or pageantry.

    I did not have the kind of relationship as my brothers had with him, but I had much affection for him as an uncle. As the Raja Muda, twice he came, unannounced, to the bank where I worked, for his banking needs as well as to give his niece a surprise visit (more of a shock!). He had no airs about him that many of the staff of the bank didn’t even realize the Raja Muda of Perak had come and gone! And oh boy, did he enjoy giving that surprise, grinning when he noticed how hard I tried to remain calm!

    My last memory of him was bantering with fondness with each other, as we walked side by side on his way out of the bank on his second visit. That was the only time in my life that I could feel what having a father would have been like.

    Al-fatihah for you, Ayah Chik Ku Tam.

  2. A message received from YM Raja Kamar Azhar Raja Ahmed Siffudin.
    “….ketika jenazah almarhum mendarat dari heli[kawasan lapang bertar ditepi sungai], baginda diusung oleh rakyat sehingga ke makam. Suatu keadaan yg jarang2 terjadi dan sukar utk saya gambarkan cuma saya dpt melihat dan merasai bahang kesedihan dihati rakyat yg menyebabkan saya menitiskan airmata sepanjang berjalan ke makam bukan hanya kerana almarhum adalah bapa saya..tetapi apabila melihat beratus mungkin beribu org2 kampung yg saya tidak kenali bersama kerabat2 diraja mengusung jenazah sambil menitiskan airmata mereka. seolah2 suatu kehilangan yg besar bg mereka… sememangnya ditugaskan regimen askar melayu kita utk mengusung jenazah almarhum tetapi tanpa dirancang atau disuruh beratus2 org/rakyat mengambil alih bergilir2 mengusung jenazah perlahan2 sehingga sampai ke makam..”

  3. Salam,

    Sungguh terharu membacanya. Gambaran yang jelas bahawa baginda berada dekat di hati rakyat, sebagaimana juga dengan kekanda baginda, Almarhum Sultan Idris II.

  4. A story relayed by my brother:

    Masa Yong Kutam jadi Raja Muda, satu hari Jumaat tu, AJK masjid kelam kabut dengo Raja Muda nak dtg solat…sebok deme nak cari karpet nak bentang kat tangga, nak nyambut…rupa2nye Kutam dah sampe dan tengah ambik wudhu kat kolah belakang.. I was there, kat kolah tu…sape pun tak sedor… bila deme sedor, kelam kabut le pulak nak ngiring dia ke depan…dia kata ‘takpe2…bior awak semayang belakang je’…

    Note:
    1) moral of the story: self expalanatory
    2) In Perak, “awak” means saya or myself

  5. Saya tidak sempat melihat jenazah ayahanda kerana berada di US ketika itu. Tetapi pada hari ayahanda saya mangkat, saya dalam perjalanan ke Los Angeles (cuti ‘summer’) bersama 3 rakan Universiti. Waktu itu giliran saya untuk rehat (kami bergilir memandu kereta untuk ke Texas).Saya tertidur dan bermimpi-dalam mimpi tu emak dan semua adik beradik serta orang ramai mencari saya. Sehingga saya tersentak dari tidur. Seminggu selepas itu baru kami pulang (Fresno) dan setibanya saya di rumah pada pagi hari tersebut, satu panggilan telefon dari seorang kawan (yg sememangnya jarang sangat bangun pagi). Dia menyuruh saya hubungi segera keluarga di Malaysia. Hati saya mula tidak sedap dan teringat kembali mimpi tempuh hari. Terdengar sahaja suara saya di telefon, emak terus menangis dan memberitahu apa yg terjadi. Hati saya sebak-sesebak nya, kaki rasa tersangat lemah. Namun kerana tidak mahu emak lagi berduka, saya kuatkan diri dan bercakap dengan emak dengan nada yg tenang.
    Saya hanya dapat menziarahi makam ayahanda pada awal tahun 1988. Al-Fatihah…..

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  8. Salam,

    Sepupu saya ada berkahwin dengan anak Almarhum DYTM Raja Ahmed Sifuddin ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Shah, tetapi saya tak tahu pula nama penuh beliau kerana hanya panggil nama pendek saja. Beliau juga ada menunjukkan keratan akhbar mengenai perkahwinan beliau semasa di Istana Kenangan, kalau tak salah saya, tahun 1984 kot. Saya ada juga berkesempatan bertemu dengan beberapa org anakanda Almarhum masa jamuan raya di rumah beliau,tetapi hanya menyapa dari jauh sahaja.

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  10. Glad to see Raja Izzatul Sofiah masa kecik kecik. I am her classmate masa kat sekolah Raja Perempuan Kelsom. Wonder where is she now?

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  13. Saya mengenali keluarga Almarhum sejak dari kecil lagi. Saya msh ingat arwahnya Wan Meda yang masakan ‘first class’. Saya mengenali Ku Lowe, Ku Izza, Ku Ita, Ku Kandar and paling saya kenali Ku Royani yang sebaya dgn saya. Sering saya dan ibu saya dijemput datang jika ada apa2 kenduri, BBQ or Hari Raya, takkan saya lupa betapa seorang Raja yang berkedudukan tinggi tapi tak pernah membangga diri, melayan setiap orang sama saja. Masih saya ingat pada satu hari ketika saya pulang dari melihat ayah (Raja Alias) di hospital Kuala Kangsar, saya berjalan kaki pulang kerana trtinggal duit di rumah. Sewaktu melintas di depan rumah Almarhum Raja Fatimah yg ketika itu sedang menjirus bunga, dia memanggil saya masuk ke rumah dan menjamu saya segelas susu dan roti bakar. Takkan saya lupakan budi baiknya sehingga ke akhir hayat saya, dalam setiap doa saya selepas sembahyang saya hadiahkn dia Alfatihah. Semoga rohnya dicucuri rahmat dan ditempatkan d kalangan orang2 yang beriman.

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