Raja Zarith Sofiah

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Zarith Sofiah
Permaisuri of Johor
Tenure 23 January 2010 – present
Coronation 23 March 2015
Predecessor Tunku Puan Zanariah
Born (1959-08-14) 14 August 1959 (age 57)
Batu Gajah Hospital, Batu Gajah, Perak, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Spouse Sultan Ibrahim Ismail
Issue Tunku Ismail Idris
Tunku Aminah
Tunku Idris
Tunku Abdul Jalil (Deceased 5 December 2015)
Tunku Abdul Rahman
Tunku Abu Bakar
Full name
Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Raja Idris (as birth)
House House of Perak (by birth)
House of Temenggong (by marriage)
Father Sultan Idris Shah II of Perak
Mother Raja Muzwin binti Raja Arif Shah
Religion Sunni Islam

Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah (born 14 August 1959) is the Permaisuri (Queen) of Johor. She was born as a member of the Perak Royal Family. While still attending Oxford, she married the then-heir to the throne of Johor. Now a mother of six, she participates in the work of non-governmental organisations and universities, and writes a periodical column for a newspaper.

Early life and education[edit]

Raja Zarith Sofiah was born in Batu Gajah Hospital, Batu Gajah, on 14 August 1959 as the third child and second daughter of Sultan Idris Shah II of Perak and Raja Mazwin Raja Arif Shah.[1][2] Her parents were first step-cousins once removed. She is a second step-cousin of Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak. Sultan Azlan's paternal grandfather, her paternal grandfather and her mother's paternal grandfather were children of Sultan Idris Shah I of Perak, all with different mothers.[3]

She attended Datin Khadijah Primary School and then Raja Perempuan Kalsom School in Kuala Kangsar, before moving on to Cheltenham Ladies' College to complete her secondary education. She attended Somerville College, Oxford and obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Chinese studies from the University of Oxford in 1983 and her Master of Arts in 1986.[1][2][4]

Current activities[edit]

Raja Zarith Sofiah is the chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru.[5] She is also a Fellow of the School of Language Studies and Linguistics, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).[6] She delivered the keynote address at the 2011 UKM International Language Conference.[7] She is the Royal Patron of Oxford University Malaysia Club (beginning Michaelmas 2011).[8]

Raja Zarith is a strong advocate of improving the use of English in Malaysia.[9][10] In addition to Malay and English, she speaks Mandarin Chinese, Italian and French.[4]

She has authored several children's books, including Puteri Gunung Ledang, and writes for the The Star's "Mind Matters" column.[4]

Raja Zarith supports various charitable and non-governmental organisations. She is a patron of the Johor Spastic Children's Association, Rotary Club of Tebrau Heart Fund and the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association.[1][10] She is also the Chair of the Community Services Committee of the Malaysian Red Crescent Society.[6]

Raja Zarith Sofiah is also active in religious activities. There is a foundation which is named after her which is called Yayasan Raja Zarith Sofiah Negeri Johor. It was launched on 28 November 2012 at the Kuala Lumpur campus of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia[11] The foundation's purpose is to generate funds for various educational programmes.[12] The foundation was set up after the Sultan of Johor and she agreed with the proposal by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, in line with the Royal Johor Institution, in developing the teachings of Islam.[12]

Marriage and children[edit]

In 1982, Raja Zarith married the (then) Tunku Mahkota (Crown Prince) of Johor, Tunku Ibrahim Ismail.[13] Ibrahim Ismail was proclaimed the 25th Sultan of Johor after the death of his father in January 2010. However, Raja Zarith has not been crowned Sultanah and is simply referred to as consort of the Sultan of Johor before the coronation but after her coronation, she is known as the Permaisuri of Johor.[14][15]

She and Sultan Ibrahim have six children:[16]

Titles and styles[edit]

Styles of
Permaisuri Raja Zarith
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am
  • 14 August 1959 - 22 September 1982: Her Highness (Yang Amat Mulia) Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Raja Muda Idris Shah
  • 5 January 1963 - 22 September 1982 Her Highness (Yang Amat Mulia) Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Sultan Idris Iskandar Al-Mutawakkil Alallahi Shah
  • 22 September 1982 – 31 January 1984: Her Highness (Yang Amat Mulia) Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Sultan Idris Iskandar Al-Mutawakkil Alallahi Shah, The Consort of the Tunku Mahkota
  • 31 January 1984 – 23 January 2010: Her Highness (Yang Amat Mulia) Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Iskandar Al-Mutawakkil Alallahi Shah, The Consort of the Tunku Mahkota
  • 23 January 2010 - 23 March 2015: Her Royal Highness (Duli Yang Maha Mulia) Tuanku Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Iskandar Al-Mutawakkil Alallahi Shah, The Consort of the Sultan of Johor
  • 23 March 2015 – Present: Her Royal Highness (Duli Yang Maha Mulia) Permaisuri Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Iskandar Al-Mutawakkil Alallahi Shah, The Permaisuri of Johor

Honours[edit]

She has been awarded :[18]

Honours of Johor[edit]

Honours of Perak[edit]

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Biography for Raja Zarith Sofiah Ibni Sultan Idris Al Mutawakkil Alallahi Shah". SiloBreaker. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "D.Y.M.M Sultan Johor". Government of Johor. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "Perak". Genealogical Gleanings. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c Lim, Teck Ghee (18 November 2010). "Royalty Extraordinaire". Centre of Policy Initiatives. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "The Chancellor". Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Raja Zarith Idris (8 November 2009). "A world of disunited nations". The Star (Malaysia). Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  7. ^ Raja Zarith Idris (15 March 2011). "A dire need to listen". The Star (Malaysia). Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "OUMC Patron". 
  9. ^ "Using English Doesn't Make One Less Patriotic, Says Raja Zarith". Bernama. 8 January 2008. 
  10. ^ a b "Royal Patron: H.R.H. Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah". Malaysian English Language Teaching Association. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  11. ^ "Majlis Pelancaran Yayasan Raja Zarith Sofiah Negeri Johor (photo album)". Professor Datuk Ir. Dr. Zaini bin Ujang, Office of Vice Chancellor. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Yayasan Raja Zarith Sofiah Negeri Johor in need of RM60 million endowment". Bernama via New Straits Times. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "Sultan Ibrahim Ismail of Johor". JBDirectory.com. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  14. ^ "No 'sultanah' title or special perks for 2 Johor consorts". New Straits Times. 17 February 2011. Archived from the original on 19 February 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  15. ^ Benjamin, Nelson (17 March 2010). "Johor Sultan graces RJCC lunar new year dinner". The Star (Malaysia). Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  16. ^ "Johor". Genealogical Gleanings. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  17. ^ Azimi Mustapha (2008). "Impian puteri raja" (in Malay). Kosmo!. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  18. ^ Royal Ark, Johor genealogy details - p.15 - Photo
  19. ^ List of consorts of Malay rulers (as of February 2013) with details of orders
  20. ^ Articles evoking reception of Dk Perak by Zarith Sofia : in English - in Malay

External links[edit]