Ismail Nasiruddin of Terengganu

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Ismail Nasiruddin
Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia
Reign 21 September 1965 – 20 September 1970
Predecessor Putra of Perlis
Successor Abdul Halim of Kedah
Sultan of Terengganu
Reign 6 Jun 1945 - 29 September 1979
Predecessor Sultan Ali Shah
Successor Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah
Spouse Tengku Intan Zaharah
Issue Mahmud of Terengganu
House Terengganu
Father Sultan Zainal Abidin III
Mother Cik Maimunah binti Abdullah
Born (1907-01-24)24 January 1907
Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia
Died 29 September 1979(1979-09-29) (aged 72)
Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia
Burial 30 September 1979
Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia

Almarhum Sultan Sir Ismail Nasiruddin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Zainal Abidin III KCMG (21 September 1965 - 20 September 1970) was the fourth Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia (roughly equivalent to King) of Malaysia, and the fifteenth Sultan of Terengganu.

Early career[edit]

The date of his birth has been given as either March 16, 1906[1] or as January 24, 1907,[2] the latter being the one more often used. Born in Kuala Terengganu, he was the fifth, but third surviving, son of Sultan Zainal Abidin III ibni Almarhum Sultan Ahmad II (reigned 1881–1918). His mother was a Thai Muslim convert, Cik Maimunah binti Abdullah, who died in 1918.[3]

Educated at the Kuala Terengganu Malay School, he then went to the Malay College.[4] In 1929, he entered the Terengganu administrative service. In 1934, he was appointed Assistant Collector of Land Revenue in Kuala Terengganu.

In 1935, he became aide-de-camp to his elder half brother Sultan Sulaiman, accompanying him to the coronation of King George VI on May 12, 1937. In 1939, he became Registrar of the High Court and the Court of Appeal. He also served as the Land Court Registrar. In 1940, he was appointed a minister of the Terengganu state cabinet, having been made Tengku Paduka Raja. In 1941, he became First Class Magistrate and was promoted Terengganu State Secretary on November 15, 1941.[5]

Succession dispute[edit]

Sultan Sulaiman Badrul Alam Shah of Terengganu died on September 25, 1942 of blood poisoning. The Japanese Military Administration, which occupied Malaya at that time, proclaimed his son as the fourteenth Sultan of Terengganu bearing the title Sultan Ali Shah. On October 18, 1943, the Thai government under prime minister Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsonggram took over the administration of Terengganu from the Japanese and continued to recognise Sultan Ali Shah.[6]

When the British returned after the end of World War II, they declined to recognise Sultan Ali Shah. Allegedly, Sultan Ali was too much in debt and had been too close to the Japanese during their occupation.[7] According to Sultan Ali, the British Military Administration wanted him removed for his refusal to sign the Malayan Union treaty.[8]

The British Military Administration also disapproved of Sultan Ali's character, where he was said to have repudiated his official consort, Tengku Seri Nila Utama Pahang (the daughter of Sultan Abu Bakar of Pahang) and had contracted an unsuitable second marriage to a former prostitute.[9]

On November 5, 1945 the Terengganu State Council of thirteen members announced the dismissal of Sultan Ali and the appointment of Tengku Ismail as the fifteenth Sultan of Terengganu. Tengku Ismail became known as Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah and was installed on June 6, 1949 at Istana Maziah, Kuala Terengganu.[10] Sultan Ismail's descendants have since ruled Terengganu.

Sultan Ali continued to dispute his dismissal until his death on May 17, 1996.[11]

Election as Deputy King[edit]

Sultan Ismail served as Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong between September 21, 1960 to September 20, 1965.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong[edit]

Sultan Ismail was elected the fourth Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia and served in that office from September 21, 1965 until September 20, 1970.

Sultan Ismail's reign was at a time when Malaysia began to be active in making its presence felt in the international arena, having secured a more solid foundation and confidence as a Federation of Malay States, Sabah and Sarawak. There were many visits by important world and South East Asian leaders, including US President Lyndon B Johnson, West German President Lubke, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, Shah of Iran, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, General Ne Win of Burma and Prime Minister Nguyen Cao Ky of South Vietnam. The security of the country was more secure during his reign as the Konfrontasi with Indonesia ended and the Philippines sought normal relations (after its claim of Sabah) with Malaysia. Due to health reasons he wanted to resign as Yang di-Pertuan Agong in 1969, but was persuaded by Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman not to do so as the next Yang di-Pertuan Agong would be Tunku Abdul Rahman's nephew (Tuanku Abdul Halim of Kedah) and the Tunku felt it was not right for him to continue in office during that time.[12] In his farewell speech at the end of his and Sultan Ismail's term as Yang Di Pertuan Agong, Tunku Abdul Rahman declared that the event signified "the end of the first chapter of Malaysia's history".[13]

Sultan Ismail was reigning as Yang di-Pertuan Agong when the May 13 incident sparked racial riots in Kuala Lumpur and parliament was suspended. Despite this unfortunate event Tunku Abdul Rahman described Sultan Ismail's reign as "a most eventful and glorious one".[14] Sultan Ismail launched the Rukun Negara, the Malaysian declaration of national philosophy on 31 August 1970.

Death and funeral[edit]

Sultan Ismail died in Kuala Terengganu on September 20, 1979 and was buried a day later at the Royal Mausoleum near Abidin Mosque, Kuala Terengganu.[15] He was succeeded by Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah, his eldest son.

Family life[edit]

Sultan Ismail married four times:

  1. Che Wan Aminah binti Che Wan Chik, by whom he had two daughters
  2. in 1929 to Tengku Tengah Zaharah binti Tengku Setia Raja Pahang Tengku Umar bin Sultan Ahmad Pahang (1911–1979; divorced) by whom he had seven children including his successor as sultan of Terengganu, Sultan Mahmud
  3. Che Jarah binti Abdullah, by whom he had one daughter
  4. in 1944 to Tengku Intan Zaharah binti Tengku Setia Raja Terengganu Tengku Hitam Umar (1928- ) sometime Tengku Ampuan Besar of Terengganu, Raja Permaisuri Agong and currently Tengku Tua of Terengganu[16]

Honours[edit]

National and Sultanal Honours[edit]

Foreign Honours[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  1. Sultan Ismail was an accomplished amateur photographer and is the father of Modern Malaysian Photography [1]. His photographic works date from 1921 to 1979. An authoritative essay of his life as photographer is being written by his grandson and custodian of his photographs, Raja Mohd Zainol Ihsan Shah.
  2. His two royal consorts had exactly the same name (Zaharah Umar)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Finestone, Jeffrey and Shaharil Talib (1994) The Royal Families of South-East Asia Shahindera Sdn Bhd
  2. ^ Buyong Adil (1974) Sejarah Terengganu p 205 DBP
  3. ^ Buyong Adil Op Cit p 140
  4. ^ http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography//portfolio/sultan/SultanIsmail.pdf
  5. ^ Buyong Adil, op cit, p. 205
  6. ^ Willan, HC (1945) Interviews with the Malay rulers CAB101/69, CAB/HIST/B/4/7
  7. ^ Willan, op cit
  8. ^ Wan Ramli Wan Mohamad (1993) Pengakuan Tengku Ali Mengapa Saya Diturunkan Dari Takhta Terengganu Fajar Bakti, Kuala Lumpur
  9. ^ Willan, op cit
  10. ^ Buyong Adil Op Cit p205
  11. ^ Wan Ramli Wan Mohamad (1993) Op Cit
  12. ^ Tunku Abdul Rahman (1977) Looking Back pp 343-344 Pustaka Antara, kuala Lumpur
  13. ^ The Straits Times, 4th September 1970
  14. ^ The Star - Reviews of the First Five Kings (1975)
  15. ^ (September 22, 1979) New Straits Times
  16. ^ Finestone, Jeffrey and Shaharil Talib (1994) Op Cit
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Tuanku Syed Putra
(Raja of Perlis)
Yang di-Pertuan Agong
(King of Malaysia)
Succeeded by
Tuanku Abdul Halim
(Sultan of Kedah)
Preceded by
Sultan Ali Shah
Sultan of Terengganu
1945-1979
Succeeded by
Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah