Yahya Petra of Kelantan

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Raja Yahya Petra
Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia
Reign 21 September 1975 – 29 March 1979
Predecessor Abdul Halim of Kedah
Successor Ahmad of Pahang
Raja of Kelantan
Reign 1960 – 29 March 1979
Predecessor Ibrahim IV of Kelantan
Successor Raja Ismail Petra
Spouse Tengku Zainab
Issue Tengku Ismail Petra
House Kelantan
Father Raja Ibrahim Petra
Born (1917-12-10)December 10, 1917
Kota Bharu, Kelantan
Died March 29, 1979(1979-03-29) (aged 61)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Burial Kota Bharu, Kelantan

Yahya Petra ibni Ibrahim, GCMG, (December 10, 1917– March 29, 1979) was the sixth Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) of Malaysia from September 21, 1975 to his death, and twelfth (by some reckoning tenth) Raja of modern Kelantan (1960–1979).

Early career[edit]

He was born Tengku Yahya Petra at Istana Balai Besar in Kota Bharu. He was the second son of Raja Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Raja Muhammad IV (b. 1897; reigned 1944–1960) but the first by his commoner wife, Embong binti Daud (1899–1971), who was later promoted to the style Che Ampuan Besar by her son.[1]

The young Tengku Yahya Petra was raised by his childless uncle, Tengku Ismail, later Raja Ismail ibni Almarhum Raja Muhammad IV. He was sent to the Francis Light School in Penang before continuing his studies in England. His uncle, Raja Ismail, appointed him Tengku Temenggong on July 21, 1939. He was later promoted to Tengku Bendahara on February 6, 1945 by his father, then Raja Ibrahim. He served in various Kelantan civil service posts from 1941 to 1948.[2]

The Kelantan Succession Dispute[edit]

Tengku Indra Petra was the eldest son of Raja Ibrahim, who had been appointed heir apparent with the title of Raja Muda on October 25, 1944. However due to conflict with his father, he was dismissed from the post and removed from the line of succession by his father's decree on February 1, 1948. On the same day, Tengku Yahya Petra replaced his brother as heir apparent with the new title of Tengku Mahkota.

Tengku Indra Petra became a politician and was elected a Member of Parliament (MP) in the first federal legislative election of 1955. Tengku Indra's descendants have since disputed their family's exclusion from the line succession of the Kelantan throne.[3]

Tengku Indra Petra did not preside over the installation of Raja Yahya Petra's successor, Raja Ismail Petra, It was Tengku Panglima Raja Tengku Ahmad who presided over both installations of Raja Yahya Petra and Raja Ismail Petra. Tengku Panglima Raja is the father of the former Rajaah of Johor, Rajaah Zanariah binti Tengku Ahmad.


Raja Yahya Petra (as he became) succeeded his father a day after the latter's death on July 9, 1960. He was crowned on July 17, 1961 at Istana Balai Besar in Kota Bharu.

Election as Deputy King[edit]

Raja Yahya Petra served as Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong between September 21, 1970 until September 20, 1975.

Election as King[edit]

During the election of the sixth Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the most senior rulers Raja Abu Bakar of Pahang and Raja Ismail of Johor both declined to be considered. Raja Yahya Petra also declined nomination at first due to having suffered a serious stroke, but changed his mind and was duly elected.[4] His term began from September 21, 1975.

Events During Kingship[edit]

Malaysia's second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak died on January 14, 1976 less than four months into Raja Yahya Petra's reign as Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Death and Funeral[edit]

Raja Yahya Petra died in his sleep of an apparent heart attack at Istana Negara on March 29, 1979. His coffin lay in state at Istana Negara for a day and was then taken by plane to Kota Bharu where it was buried at the Langgar Royal Mausoleum.[5]

Family life[edit]

He was married to Tengku Zainab binti Tengku Sri Utama Raja Tengku Muhammad Petra (1917–1983), who was styled Raja Perempuan Zainab II (her stepmother-in-law was Raja Perempuan Zainab I, consort of Raja Ibrahim) and Raja Permaisuri Agong. Raja Yahya Petra and Raja Perempuan Zainab II had one son and six daughters.[6]


Raja Yahya Petra held the rank of Marshal of the Royal Malaysian Air Force.[1]. He received:

National and Sultanal Honours[edit]

Foreign Honours[edit]


  1. Raja Yahya Petra Bridge in Kelantan was named after him.
  2. Petra Jaya, a suburb in Kuching, Sarawak was named after him.


  1. ^ Finestone, Jeffrey and Shaharil Talib (1994) The Royal Families of South-East Asia Shahindera Sdn Bhd
  2. ^ Risalah Pertabalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong VI Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia
  3. ^ (November 19, 2005) Harakah
  4. ^ Tunku Abdul Rahman (1978) Viewpoints p 74 Heinemann, Kuala Lumpur
  5. ^ (April 1, 1979) New Straits Times
  6. ^ Finestone, Jeffrey and Shaharil Talib (1994) Op Cit
  7. ^ List of recipients of DK I & DK II of Selangor (in Malay)
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Tuanku Abdul Halim
(Raja of Kedah)
Yang di-Pertuan Agong
(King of Malaysia)

Succeeded by
Raja Ahmad Shah
(Raja of Pahang)
Preceded by
Ibrahim IV of Kelantan
Raja of Kelantan
Succeeded by
Ismail II Petra of Kelantan