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 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.
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.
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.
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