Ibrahim Ismail of Johor

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Ibrahim Ismail
Sultan of Johor
Sultan of Johor
Reign 23 January 2010 – present
Coronation 23 March 2015
Predecessor Sultan Iskandar
Heir apparent Tunku Ismail
Born (1958-11-22) 22 November 1958 (age 58)
Sultanah Aminah Hospital, Johor Bahru, Johor
Spouse Permaisuri Raja Zarith Sofiah
Issue 1. Tunku Ismail Idris
2. Tunku Tun Aminah
3. Tunku Idris Iskandar
4. Tunku Abdul Jalil (Deceased 5 December 2015)
5. Tunku Abdul Rahman
6. Tunku Abu Bakar Iman
Full name
Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj
House House of Temenggong
Father Iskandar of Johor
Mother Enche' Besar Kalsum Abdullah
Religion Sunni Islam
Styles of
The Sultanate of Johor
Reference style His Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Tuanku

Sultan Ibrahim Ismail ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj (born 22 November 1958) is the 25th Sultan of Johor and the 5th Sultan of modern Johor. He is the son of Sultan Iskandar. A motorcycle enthusiast, Sultan Ibrahim is well known as the founder of the annual motorcycling tour event, Kembara Mahkota Johor.[1]


Early life[edit]

Sultan Ibrahim Ismail was born on 22 November 1958 during the reign of his great grandfather, Sultan Ibrahim. He was the eldest son of Sultan Iskandar by his first wife Josephine Ruby Trevorrow, of English ethnicity from Torquay,[2][3] whom Sultan Iskandar (then Tunku Mahmud) met while he was studying in England.[4][5] Trevorrow, a proprietor by profession, took on the name of "Kalsom binti Abdullah" for a time following her marriage to Tunku Iskandar.[6] His mother has since remarried and lives in England.[7]

His great-grandfather, Sultan Ibrahim died in London on 8 May 1959, thus, Tunku Ibrahim Ismail's grandfather, Ismail of Johor succeeded him as Sultan of Johor. Ibrahim Ismail moved up to second in line to the throne, after his father.

The late Sultan Iskandar sent him to study at Trinity Grammar School in Sydney, Australia from 1968 until 1970. After finishing his studies, he was sent to Pusat Latihan Tentera Darat (PULADA) in Kota Tinggi for basic military training. He also received military training in the US–at Fort Benning, Georgia and later at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.[8]

Tunku Ibrahim Ismail was appointed as the Tunku Mahkota of Johor on 4 July 1981,[8] and had been primarily residing at Istana Pasir Pelangi since then.[9][10] Tunku Ibrahim was the regent of Johor between 26 April 1984 and 25 April 1989 when his father served his term as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.[8] In recent years, Tunku Ibrahim gradually took over some of the state duties and functions from his aging father;[11] these included the 211th Conference of Rulers, whereby Tunku Ibrahim and Tengku Abdullah, the Tengku Mahkota of Pahang represented their fathers in the meetings,[12] among some other state functions.[13]

Sultan of Johor[edit]

A few hours before his father's demise on 22 January 2010, Tunku Ibrahim was appointed as the Regent of Johor, following medical reports that suggested of Sultan Iskandar's pending demise.[14] Sultan Iskandar died on the same night, and Tunku Ibrahim was installed as the Sultan of Johor the following morning.[15] The Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of Johor, Abdul Ghani Othman cited that Sultan Ibrahim and immediate members of the royal family will undertake a mourning period of 40 days.[16] During the mourning season, Sultan Ibrahim made his inaugural presence at the Conference of Rulers in February 2010 as the Sultan of Johor.[17]

On 30 June 2011, Sultan Ibrahim drove the last train from Tanjong Pagar railway station, having received tuition from Chief Locomotive Inspector Hasnol Azahari Aman of Keretapi Tanah Melayu to enable him to do this. He stated that he wished to do this as his grandfather, Ismail of Johor had opened the causeway between Singapore and Malaya in 1923, and that it was appropriate that he should drive the last train out of the station.[18]

He also declares Muar, the town which lies in the northwesternmost border of Johor replacing Johor Bahru as the new royal capital of Johor on 5 February 2012, coinciding with the Maulidur Rasul celebrations.

Sultan Ibrahim became the first Johor Ruler to celebrate his birthday celebration in Muar on 22 November 2012 as it is his beloved town. He picks the town because it is "rich in history and tradition besides being peaceful, beautiful and progressive". He wanted the state government to gazette all the old buildings in the town as a state heritage. He also wants the local authorities to preserve the cleaniness of Sungai Muar which could be done by relocating the bus and taxi terminals elsewhere.[19]

He was crowned as the Sultan of Johor on 23 March 2015.[20] The last coronation was that of his grandfather Sultan Ismail on 10 February 1960.[21] From 2015 onwards, 23 March is made an annual state public holiday as the Sultan's official birthday, replacing the public holiday on 22 November, the Sultan's actual birthday.[22]

He is noted for his religious moderation and has condemned the creeping Arabisation of Malaysian Muslim culture.[23]

Marriage and Issue[edit]

Sultan Ibrahim married Permaisuri Raja Zarith Sofia, the daughter of Sultan Idris Shah II of Perak, in 1982.[24][25] They have six children:

  • Tunku Ismail Idris Abdul Majid Abu Bakar (born 30 June 1984). He was appointed the Raja Muda in April 2006 by Sultan Iskandar,[26] and became the Tunku Mahkota upon Sultan Ibrahim's accession.
  • Tunku Tun Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah (born c. 1986)[27]
  • Tunku Idris Iskandar (born c. 1987)[28] The Tunku Temenggong of Johor. He was appointed as the Regent of Johor during the absence of his father and the Tunku Mahkota on 29 September 2012.[29]
  • Late Tunku Abdul Jalil (born 5 Jul 1990, died 5 Dec 2015) The Tunku Laksamana of Johor[30]
  • Tunku Abdul Rahman (born c. 1993)[31] The Tunku Panglima of Johor[30]
  • Tunku Abu Bakar (born c. 2001) The Tunku Putera of Johor[30]


Sultan Ibrahim had issued a few decrees to the state to date.

Public Weekend From Saturday/Sunday to Friday/Saturday[edit]

Johor, as with the former standalone British protectorates of Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, used to rest on Fridays and Saturdays, in contrast with the former Federated Malay States as well as Malacca, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak and the Federal Territory which observe their weekends on Saturdays and Sundays. Johor, together with Perlis, moved their weekend to Saturday and Sunday on 1 January 1994 to synchronise with Singapore next door as well as with Kuala Lumpur, as Johor by then was a quickly industrialising state.

However on 22 November 2013, on Sultan Ibrahim's birthday celebrations, he decreed that Johor will move back its weekend to Friday and Saturday, to enable Muslims in the state to attend their Friday prayers, effective 1 January 2014. This move was not without certain controversy, as this has caused disruptions, particularly for private businesses dealing with Singapore. The private sector nevertheless continues to rest on Saturdays and Sundays.[32]

District Name Changes[edit]

In August 2015, Sultan Ibrahim decreed that the name of Kulaijaya district be reverted to its former name of Kulai.[33] He also decreed that Nusajaya be renamed to Iskandar Puteri, as well as renaming Ledang District to Tangkak District.[34][35]

Ban on Vape[edit]

Sultan Ibrahim issued a decree banning vape in Johor effective 1 January 2016. The purposes of the ban is for the sake of the health of the Johor state residents. Kelantan and Terengganu followed soon after.[36]

Ban on oversize signboards[edit]

In January 2016, Sultan Ibrahim also decreed that the signboard for business cannot exceed more than 6.1m x 1.2m as to prevent any dangers to the public as well as reduces the unsightly signboard which will mar the city beauty.[37]


Allegations of criminal misconduct[edit]

Occasional reports of alleged criminal misconduct from the 1980s onwards marred Tunku Ibrahim's reputation somewhat, albeit to a much lesser extent than his father, Sultan Iskandar, whose past actions had received considerable attention from mainstream media.[38] In the 1980s, he was convicted of shooting dead a man in a nightclub during a feud, but was quickly pardoned.[39][40]

In late 1992 to early 1993, Tunku Ibrahim also experienced fallouts of the Gomez Incident–in which his father and younger brother, Tunku Majid were accused of two separate but related incidences of assault which provoked a moral outrage nationwide and ultimately resulting in constitutional amendments allowing members of the royalty to be prosecuted for criminal wrongdoings. During that period of time, the press, which was supported by the Malaysian government, launched a series of vociferous press reports on the history of alleged incidences of royal wrongdoings,[41] of which parliamentarians highlighted that Tunku Ibrahim had been convicted in at least two cases of assault in the 1980s.[42] This included a victim who was allegedly assaulted by Tunku Ibrahim, Rahim Mohd Nor, who went so far as to describe his assault experience as an act of sadism by Tunku Ibrahim.[43]

In March 2005, a member of the Malaysian royalty allegedly assaulted a young woman by the name of Yasmin with whom he accused of two-timing him with another policeman.[44] The victim's father, Mohd Yasin, later lodged a police report which claimed that the assault culprit was Tunku Ibrahim, the Tunku Mahkota of Johor.[45]

Other incidents[edit]

Shortly before Filipino politician Benigno Aquino's assassination in August 1983, Tunku Ibrahim met Aquino upon his arrival in Singapore and later brought him to meet other Malaysian leaders across the Causeway.[46] Once in Johor, Aquino met Ibrahim's father, Sultan Iskandar, who was a close friend of Aquino's.[47]

In October 2005, a brawl occurred on Pulau Rawa after a Johor prince allegedly gatecrashed a wedding party. The prince ordered some guests off the island after a fight broke out when a woman refused to dance with one of the gatecrashers. The locals, who felt offended by the woman's attitude, went off but soon returned with golf clubs and weapons and started a fight. In the process, several people were injured and sent to hospital, while five others were arrested, including a 20-year-old prince from the Johor royal family. The names of the culprits were not released by the police, who chose to retain the confidentiality of the attackers.[48] The Tunku Mahkota issued a press statement to urge the culprits to apologise to the affected guests.[49]

The following June, press reports leaked that Tunku Ibrahim had chalked RM 26,700 worth of unpaid traffic fines since 2000, causing much embarrassment to the crown prince.[50][51] A later report quoted him settling all the past fines with the traffic police.[52]

Tunku Ibrahim also spend lavishly on the unusual car number plate number. For example, in May 2012, he spent RM520,000 to successfully bid for the car number plate WWW 1 [53] for his red orange Satria Neo.[54][55] In Jan 2014, he also spent a record breaking RM748,000 on the car plate number W1N for [56] his blue Suprima S [57]

Tunku Ibrahim also declare decree that the Kulaijaya name to be revert back to Kulai to reflect the original names of the places.[33] In addition, two more places also follow suit such as Nusajaya changed to Iskandar Putri as well as Ledang changed to Tangkak.[58]

Business dealings[edit]

Although given an allowance monthly allowance of RM27,000,[59] Sultan Ibrahim had done some business dealings such as

  • Investment in Redtone (20% stakes)[60]
  • Investment in MOL AccessPortal (15% stakes) [61]
  • Investment in Umobile (15% stakes) [62]
  • Investment in Berjaya Time Square (20% stakes) [63]
  • Selling 116 hectares of lands to Guangzhou R&F for $4.5 billions [64]
  • Benalec Holdings reclamation sites in Pengarang
  • Tanjung Piai for petroleum facilities and a maritime industrial park
  • Country Garden's reclamation off Tanjung Kupang for Forest City [65]

Titles and styles[edit]

Styles of
Sultan Ibrahim Ismail
Reference style His Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Sir
  • 22 November 1958 - 4 July 1981: His Highness (Yang Amat Mulia) Tunku Ibrahim Ismail ibni Tunku Mahmood Iskandar.
  • 4 July 1981 – 26 April 1984: His Royal Highness (Duli Yang Amat Mulia) Tunku Ibrahim Ismail ibni Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj, The Tunku Mahkota.
  • 26 April 1984 - 25 April 1989: His Royal Highness (Duli Yang Amat Mulia) Tunku Ibrahim Ismail ibni Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj, The Tunku Mahkota, Regent of Johor.
  • 25 April 1989 – 23 January 2010: His Royal Highness (Duli Yang Amat Mulia) Tunku Ibrahim Ismail ibni Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj, The Tunku Mahkota.
  • 23 January 2010 - Present: His Royal Highness (Duli Yang Maha Mulia) Sultan Ibrahim Ismail ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj, The Sultan of Johor.

Sultan Ibrahim's full style and title is: Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan Ibrahim Ismail ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj, Sultan dan Yang di-Pertuan bagi Negeri dan Jajahan Takluk Johor Darul Ta'zim.

In English: His Royal Highness Sultan Ibrahim Ismail ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj, The Sultan and Yang di-Pertuan of the State of Johor Darul Ta'zim and its dependencies.

As Sultan of Johor he is the Colonel-in-Chief of the Malaysian Army's Grup Gerak Khas and also the Commandant of the only state defense force in Malaysia, the Royal Johor Military Force with the rank of Major-General.


He was awarded :

Johor Honours[edit]

Honours of Malaysia[edit]

Foreign Honours[edit]



  1. ^ Tunku Mahkota to lead tour for 10th year, 16 July 2008, The Star (Malaysia)
  2. ^ Facts on File Yearbook, Published by Facts on File, inc., 1957, Phrase: "Married: Prince Tengku Mahmud, 24, grandson of the Sultan of Johore, & Josephine Ruby Trevorrow, 21, daughter of an English textile..."
  3. ^ Morris (1958), pg 244
  4. ^ Information Malaysia: 1985
  5. ^ The International Who's Who 2004, pp. 827
  6. ^ Morais (1967), pg 198
  7. ^ Rahman, Solomon (1985), pg 21
  8. ^ a b c Karim, Tate (1989), pp. 572
  9. ^ Magnificent abode for royals, Fauziah Ismail, JohorBuzz, New Straits Times
  10. ^ Day of fun and feasting, TEH ENG HOCK and MEERA VIJAYAN, 15 October 2007, The Star (Malaysia)
  11. ^ Thanam Visvanathan, Ruler with deep concern for people–Sultan Iskandar revered as protective guardian and helpful to all his subjects, pg 1, 8 April 2001, New Sunday Times Special (Sultan of Johor's Birthday)
  12. ^ Conference of Rulers meeting begins, 26 July 2007, The Star (Malaysia)
  13. ^ Official Launching and Opening Ceremony of the APH Multi Purpose Complex Fabrication and Supply Base - 12th June 2008, Press Release, KIC Group of companies
  14. ^ Tunku Mahkota Johor Appointed Regent Effective Today, January 22, 2010, Bernama
  15. ^ Tunku Ibrahim Ismail Proclaimed As Sultan Of Johor January 22, 2010, Bernama
  16. ^ Sultan of Johor dies, 23 January 2010, Teo Cheng Wee, The Straits Times
  17. ^ Conference of Rulers meets today, February 10, 2010, The Star (Malaysia)
  18. ^ "Why I drove the last train out". Straits Times. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  19. ^ RAJA ABDULLAH, HAMDAN (22 November 2012). "Johor Ruler wants old buildings in Muar gazetted". thestar.com.my. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "Coronation of Johor Sultan". The Star (Malaysia). 23 March 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  21. ^ Ismail, Fauziah (17 August 2012). "Ruler close to the people's heart". New Straits Times. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  22. ^ "Johor declares March 23 public holiday replacing Nov 22". The Star (Malaysia). 19 March 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  23. ^ "Malaysian democrats pin their hopes on the country’s royals". The Economist. 28 January 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  24. ^ Tribute to mothers’ caring nature, 14 May 2008, The Star (Malaysia)
  25. ^ Raja Zarith: Education more important than popularity, BEH YUEN HUI, 29 August 2008, The Star (Malaysia)
  26. ^ Tunku Mahkota’s son named Raja Muda of Johor, The Star online, Star Publications, 9 April 2006.
  27. ^ Raja Zarith Sofiah is new Pro-Chancellor, 03-16-2003, New Sunday Times; pg 2, Section: Nation
  28. ^ Royals visit special people, JohorBuzz, New Straits Times
  29. ^ "Tunku Temenggong Johor appointed as regent". Bernama via New Straits Times. 29 September 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  30. ^ a b c "Johor Ruler honours his children". thestar.com.my. 22 November 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  31. ^ Impian puteri raja, AZIMI MUSTAPHA, Rencana Utama, 13 November 2008, KOSMO!
  32. ^ "Johor's Friday-Saturday weekend - good and bad". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 14 January 2016. 
  33. ^ a b [1]
  34. ^ [2]
  35. ^ [3]
  36. ^ [4]
  37. ^ [5]
  38. ^ Kershaw (2001), pg 111
  39. ^ Ledesma, Lewis, Savage (2003), pg 366
  40. ^ Malaysia Prepares To Strip Sultans Of Their Immunity, Michael Richardson, 15 December 1992, International Herald Tribune
  41. ^ Monarchy in South-East Asia: The Faces of Tradition in Transition, Kershaw, pg 110-1
  42. ^ "List of criminal acts done by the Johor Sultan" (PDF). New Straits Times. Jan 20, 1993. p. 4. 
  43. ^ Tengku Mahkota 'Sadistic': Rahim", Berita Harian, 3 February 1993
  44. ^ Prince probed for assaulting woman friend, 25 March 2007, The Star (Malaysia)
  45. ^ Kerabat diraja disiasat kes pukol kekasih Fathi Aris Omar, 24 March 2007, mStar; editor's blog post Kerabat, 25 March 2007
  46. ^ AQUINO'S FINAL JOURNEY, KEN KASHIWAHARA, 16 October 1983, The New York Times
  47. ^ Towards Relevant Education: A General Sourcebook for Teachers (1986), Education Forum, pg 305
  48. ^ Johor royal gatecrashes wedding Jonathan Kent, 18 October 2005, BBC news
  49. ^ SAY SORRY–It shouldn't have happened, says Tunku Mahkota, pp 1-3, Aishah Ali, Oct 23, 2005, New Straits Times
  50. ^ Another VIP with outstanding traffic fines 20 June 2006, Malaysiakini
  51. ^ 又一名大人物没缴还交通传票 20 June 2006, Malaysiakini (Chinese)
  52. ^ Tunku Ibrahim settles fines 21 June 2006, Malaysiakini
  53. ^ Johor sultan clinches WWW1 plate at RM0.5mil
  55. ^ Johor Sultan unveils car with WWW 1 number plate
  56. ^ Sultan of Johor wins 'W1N' plate
  58. ^ [6]
  59. ^ http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/10-things-to-know-about-the-sultan-of-johor
  60. ^ http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2015/03/17/johor-sultan-ups-stake-in-redtone/
  61. ^ https://www.techinasia.com/sultan-ibrahim-johor-invests-mol
  62. ^ http://www.therakyatpost.com/business/2015/12/19/johor-sultan-raises-stake-in-u-mobile/
  63. ^ http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2013/12/11/johor-sultan-buying-stake-for-rm250m-cash/
  64. ^ http://www.kinibiz.com/story/issues/90213/sultan-of-johor%E2%80%99s-rm4.5-billion-backlash.html
  65. ^ https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/269133
  66. ^ a b c d e f Royal Ark, Johor genealogy details - p.15 - Photo
  67. ^ See photo
  68. ^ List of Malay rulers (as of January 2013) with details of orders
  69. ^ "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang, dan Pingat Persekutuan.". 
  70. ^ "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan Tahun 1987." (PDF). 
  71. ^ DKNS - Articles in Malay 1 : 1, 2. Maharum Bugis Syah, 3. Utusan (with photo)
  72. ^ Federal Datukship data 2011, p.4
  73. ^ DK I (Pahang) - Maharum Bugis Syah, Article in Malay
  74. ^ Article in Malay mentioning the award
  75. ^ DK (Perlis) - Article in Malay : 1
  76. ^ List of recipients of DK I & DK II of Selangor (in Malay)
  77. ^ DK (Terengganu) - Maharum Bugis Syah, Article in Malay
  78. ^ 柔佛苏丹依布拉欣 获陛下颁赠DKMB勋章, Article in Chinese


  • Ali, Abdullah, Malaysian Protocol and Correct Forms of Address, published by Times Books International, 1986, ISBN 9971-65-370-2
  • Cheong, Mei Sui, Information Malaysia: 1985 Year Book,published by Berita Publishing, 1985
  • De Ledesma, Charles; Lewis, Mark; Savage, Pauline, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, published by Rough Guides, 2003, ISBN 1-84353-094-5
  • Karim, Gulrose; Tate, Desmond Muzaffar, Information Malaysia, published by Berita Publ. Sdn. Bhd., 1989
  • Kershaw, Roger, Monarchy in South-East Asia: The Faces of Tradition in Transition, published by Routledge, 2001, ISBN 0-415-18531-9
  • Morais, John Victor, The Who's who in Malaysia, published by Solai Press., 1967
  • Morris, Ira J., My East was Gorgeous, by Ira J. Morris, published by Travel Book Club, 1958
  • Nadarajah, K. N, Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen: His Story, Pelanduk Publications, 2000, ISBN 967-978-709-5
  • Nadarajah, Nesalamar, Johore and the Origins of British Control, 1895-1914, published by Arenabuku, 2000, ISBN 967-970-318-5
  • Rahman, Abdul; Solomon, J. S., Challenging Times, published by Pelanduk Publications, 1985, ISBN 967-978-094-5
  • The International Who's Who 2004: Book with Single-User Online Access, by Elizabeth Sleeman, published by Europa Publications, Published by Routledge, 2003, ISBN 1-85743-217-7
  • Towards Relevant Education: A General Sourcebook for Teachers, published by Education Forum (Philippines), Alternative Instructional Materials Project, Education Forum, 1986, ISBN 971-91006-0-5

External links[edit]

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Sultan Iskandar
Sultan of Johor
Heir apparent:
Tunku Ismail Idris