The installation ceremony of the DYMM Sultan Idris Shah II, 1963

The following is a translated excerpt from the Buku Chenderamata Pertabalan Sultan Idris Shah regarding the installation of DYMM Sultan Idris Al-Mutawakkil Alallahi Shah at Istana Iskandariah on 26 October 1963.

The installation ceremony is also known as the Tabal Adat which was held on Saturday, 26 October 1963. The installation was preceded by the playing of the nobat for four days from 22 October. The nobat Raja Berangkat was played at 10.35am. DYMM Sultan Idris Shah was dressed with the Mahkota (aigrette) adorning the tengkolok, as well as the Pontoh Bernaga and Rantai Bunga Nyior, and would proceed towards the Balai Rong Seri accompanied by the Panglima Besar, DYTM Raja Muda Musa ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Aziz, DYAM Raja Di-Hilir Ekram ibni Almarhum Sultan Yussuf Izzudin and other royal retainers. On arrival at the Balai Rong Seri, DYMM Sultan Idris took his seat on the singgahsana.

DYMM Sultan Idris Shah II kissing the blade of Chura Si-Manjakini during the tabal adat at the Balai Rong Seri, Istana Iskandariah. Standing on his right is his military ADC, Raja Dato Amir Raja Razman. (Image courtesy of Raja Annuar Raja Ahmed Sifuddin)

The sword Chura Si-Manjakini was brought forward by the YM Raja Chik Muda Pawang Di-Raja flanked by the Panglima Perang Kanan and Kiri. Following suit were the bentaras wielding the other articles of the Perak regalia. All these articles were then placed before the singgahsana, except for the Chap Halilintar and the Mestika Embun. The Panglima Besar then presented Chura Si-Manjakini to the Pawang Di-Raja, who in turn then presented the sword to DYMM Sultan Idris. On receiving the Chura Si-Manjakini, DYMM Sultan Idris unsheathed the sword and placed the blade to his lips. The Chura Si-Manjakini was then resheathed and placed on Tuanku’s right shoulder[1].

The Chap Halilintar, seen placed on the right ear of DYMM Sultan Idris Shah II.

The Toh Seri Nara Di-Raja would then come forward to the singgahsana and, without performing the mengangkat sembah, presented DYMM Sultan Idris the Mestika Embun. The Chap Halilintar was placed on Tuanku’s right ear following which the Toh Seri Nara whispered the Rahsia Nasab Sultani[2]. Only then would the Toh Seri Nara mengangkat sembah and retreat from the singgahsana to his own seat. At that moment, the installation of Tuanku as the Sultan of Perak was officially complete.

The YAB Orang Kaya Seri Maharaja then stood to proclaim “Daulat Tuanku!” three times, reciprocated by those present in the Balai Rong Seri. The newly installed DYMM Sultan Idris Shah II then took his seat on the singgahsana accompanied by the nobat and the sounds of a 21-gun salute. A doa selamat was then made by the Perak mufti to bring the installation ceremony to a close.

Portrait of DYMM Sultan Idris Shah II and DYMM Raja Perempuan Muzwin at the tabal adat. Note the Pontoh Bernaga armlet around Tuanku Sultan Idris' right upper arm, and the Pontoh Ular Lidi armlets around Tuanku Raja Perempuan Muzwin's upper arms.

Footnote:
[1]Chura Si-Manjakini was carried by Sang Sapurba in this manner when he made the promise with Demang Lebar Daun, the Raja of Palembang.
[2]Nasab (نسب) is a series of patronymics (personal name based on the name of one’s father) in genealogy indicating a person’s heritage by the word ibn (or bin) meaning ‘the son of’. Several nasab can follow in a chain, to trace a person’s ancestry backwards in time, and this instance the nasab sultani traces the Perak Sultan’s heritage to Raja Iskandar Zulqarnain of Makaduniah.

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Reference:
1. Isti’adat pertabalan. Buku Chenderamata Pertabalan Sultan Idris Shah. 1963. p16.
2. Wikipedia. Nasab.

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.

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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

My dad: Allahyarham Raja Mohamed ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar

by Raja Mariam Raja Mohamed

My father had long left us. Too long, really. And even as I struggle to pen this, I realize that this is one way for me to keep his memory alive.

Allahyarham Raja Mohamed (Yong Namad) ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar (1928 – 1961).

It was a clear star spangled night, I was told, on the 1st day of April, 1961 and Bapak was on his way home to cook the mee goreng he had promised his expecting wife, my mother, who was then in the early stage of pregnancy. He had almost reached home, which was the Istana Kenangan (now the Muzium Kuala Kangsar) when it happened.

The aftermath. What was left of the MG.

The already malfunctioning MG Sports car, belonging to his elder brother Almarhum Sultan Idris II (then the Raja Muda of Perak) suddenly swerved violently and Bapak failed to control it. Instead of hitting the brakes, Bapak hit the gas pedal. The car hit a lamp post, which sent it somersaulting a few times into the air. The hood was down, and Bapak was flung out of the car onto the tarred road. Bukit Chandan was sent into darkness from the impact.

The cigarette dropped from his mouth when he heard the crash, and as he reached the scene of the accident, the good neighbour found a seriously injured Bapak on the tarmac, lying on his back. He taught Bapak the syahadah, and after repeating it the best he could, Bapak turned over and passed away.

Bapak and my mom, Tengku Khillah (Tengku June) Tengku Yahya.

My mother was waiting at the head of the steps at home. She instinctively cried his name out, jumped down the stairs and wanted to rush to him. She knew that Bapak was involved in that horrible sounding crash.

And so, on that fateful night, at the age of 33, Bapak left us.

Pallbearers bringing Allahyarham Bapak to his final resting place.

Sadly, I have no recollection of my father. I was too young. What I know are just snippets of the kind of person he was. My mother described Bapak as a jovial and generous person who hardly ever lose his temper. He was fiercely devoted to his mother, siblings and even friends. He could never say ‘no’ to them, especially to his dear mother, Almarhum Raja Perempuan Kelsom. My mother recalled that once, while having lunch, his mother sent word for him to meet her. Without a word of complaint, he stopped his lunch immediately, and went over to see to her needs.

Winning my mother’s heart was no easy task. And it was not much help that my mother happened to be an acutely shy homebody with a very strict father watching over her. Even to catch glimpses of her required some elaborate planning and strategizing, not unlike the plots of a P. Ramlee movie! With the help of his sisters, his ‘partners in crime’, they would ‘lure’ my mother out of the house in the pretext of attending a function or the other, and oblivious to her, Bapak would steal some looks from behind doors or walls! It took a while for my mother to warm up to Bapak, but when she did, it was for a lifetime. She remained loyal to him to this day and refused to remarry when she became a widow at the age of 26.

That's me on my mom's lap, together with my brothers, Raja Jamil (left) and Raja Hishamuddin.

Bapak adored his children. He would always have them, my elder brothers, around him on his outings, be it kite/wau flying, fishing, swimming in Sungai Perak or even playing the gasing/top . And then I came along, the first girl after a string of three boys, and the baby of the family. Naturally, I fast became his favourite little girl. As a person who had always managed to rein in his temper, he would, however, lose it on my account, reminisced my mother. Once, after bumping my head against the sewing machine, Bapak gave the poor machine such a kick that the noise had startled the people on the grounds of the Istana Kenangan! The top pockets of Bapak’s shirts would always have a little tear at the corner because that’s where I would hang my hand whenever he carried me around.

During his days, Bapak was an unbeatable speed boat champion, with his boat called Damak. The speed boat race would always be held at Lumut, drawing boat racers as far as Singapore. His closest rival was his brother, Almarhum Raja Ahmad Siffudin, who never managed to beat him, remembered my mother. Unlike his brothers, Bapak was not musically inclined and much preferred to feel the wind against his face in his speed boat.

Bapak receiving a trophy from Raja Perempuan Taayah at one of the speed boat events in Lumut.

I never knew my late Bapak, but I love him all the same as any daughter would. And for those kind visitors of SembangKuala who had known my late Dad, it would be nice to hear your stories about him. And perhaps, I will get to know him a little better.

Al-Fatihah for you, Bapak. May Allah keep your soul safe. Amin.

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Raja Mariam Raja Mohamed lives in Rapat Setia, Ipoh. All photos are provided courtesy of the author.