KUALA LUMPUR: “Kedah and Malaysia have lost one of their greatest kings,” wrote
the granddaughter of the late Kedah Sultan, Raja Sarina Iskandar on Instagram, on the passing of her grandfather Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah.
Tuanku Abdul Halim, 89, passed away at 2.30pm today at the Istana Anak Bukit in Kedah.
Raja Sarina is the daughter of Tunku Soraya Tuanku Abdul Halim.
In an emotional tribute accompanied with a black and white photograph of her and her grandfather, Raja Sarina said Tuanku Abdul Halim’s dedication to his state and country inspired her growing up.
“When you were Agong for the second time at the age of 83, I moved in with you at Istana Negara. It was then that I saw for the first time the behind the scenes of your life,” one of the lines read.
She related how she saw her grandfather skip meals to practise his speeches or to be in the office.
“Which 80-something man would do that? Most of us dream of retiring at 50 if we can! But you never could even if you wanted to. And there were times, more often than people knew, when you were ill but still continued with your Agong and Sultan duties,” she said.
She recalled how Tuanku Abdul Halim, even when he was warded in the hospital would sometimes leave to attend official functions.
“In between functions you would be in the hospital ward. When you would leave the ward, I would watch you on TV looking normal as you greet the PM, government ministers and the rakyat. But as soon as the event was over, you would return to the hospital ward with tubes connected to your body. Even on your sickest day, you would be ON TIME. You would never make anyone wait,” the journalism graduate wrote, describing her grandfather’s dedication as the side of a king no one knows.
“You don’t simply sit on a throne and enjoy your riches despite what many ignorantly think.
“There are sacrifices because you can’t have a normal life. There is no privacy and no normal schedule. Your status is an amanah (trust) from Allah,” wrote Raja Sarina.
She went on to say how some people could be unforgiving when leaders make mistakes but her “Tok” would remain steadfast and made sure he gave his best.
“When I told him this blog or that person insulted him, he was never angry. He was calm and would simply say: I did my best.
“You did the very best and more your WHOLE life Tok. The reason I know how to be a good princess is because you taught me how. I love you so much Tok; you’re forever my Sultan. Al-Fatihah.”
Tuanku Abdul Halim was the only Sultan to become Agong twice; the first time in 1970 and the second time in 2011. He also reigned as the Sultan of Kedah for more than 50 years, after ascending the throne in 1958. – MO