KUALA LUMPUR: The granddaughter of the late Sultan of Kedah, Raja Sarina Iskandar, described her grandfather, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mua’dzam Shah, as someone who always put his responsibilities to the people first.
Raja Sarina said the late Tuanku Abdul Halim, who she referred to as Tok (grandpa), always tried his best to fulfil his royal duties despite feeling ill and weak sometimes, because he did not want to disappoint anybody.
“So much so that we as a family felt the need to advise Tok not to harm himself, especially when Tok held the throne (as Yang di-Pertuan) Agong.
“Even after trying to convince him that the other party would understand his limitations as an aged person, Tok was still firm in his stand, saying, ‘No. It’s Tok’s responsibility’,” said Raja Sarina via her Instagram page, @sarinaiskandar, yesterday.
According to Raja Sarina, the late Sultan Abdul Halim’s love for Kedah could be likened to the love of a dedicated father because for him, Kedah was like a child who needed to be protected and nurtured to be self-sufficient and independent.
Quoting a Malay adage, “Ke mana tumpahnya kuah kalau tak ke nasi?” (If the gravy does not fall on the rice, where else?) Raja Sarina said like his father (Sultan Badlishah), Tok believed that being a sultan was a great responsibility.
“His generosity was not limited to what we saw in the media because, quietly, Tok also sponsored several youths up to university level. Seeing his people succeed brought him great joy.
“Something I learned from Tok, is not to let life be controlled by accusations and insults from external elements.
“If we live with integrity, why should we be afraid? That feeling is for Allah alone. Al-Fatihah,” she said.
Sultan Abdul Halim passed away at 2.30pm on Monday at Istana Anak Bukit, at the age of 89. He had been sultan for 59 years. – Bernama