Abdul Halim of Kedah

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Abdul Halim
King of Malaysia
Sultan of Kedah
Abdul Halim of Kedah.jpg
Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia
Reign 13 December 2011 – present
Installation 11 April 2012
Predecessor Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu
Prime Ministers
Reign 21 September 1970 – 20 September 1975
Installation 20 February 1971
Predecessor Ismail Nasiruddin of Terengganu
Successor Yahya Petra of Kelantan
Prime Ministers
Sultan of Kedah
Reign 15 July 1958 – present
Installation 20 February 1959
Predecessor Badlishah
Chief Ministers
Born (1927-11-28) 28 November 1927 (age 88)
Anak Bukit, Malaya
(now Malaysia)
Spouse Bahiyah (1956–2003)
Haminah (1975–present)
Tunku Putri Intan Safinaz
Full name
Tunku Abdul Halim ibni Tunku Badlishah
Father Badlishah
Mother Almarhumah Tunku Sofia binti Almarhum Tunku Mahmud
Religion Sunni Islam

Almu'tasimu Billahi Muhibbuddin Tuanku Alhaj Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah, GCB KStJ (born 28 November 1927) is the 14th and current Yang di-Pertuan Agong (supreme King of Malaysia), as well as the 27th and current Sultan of Kedah. He previously served as the fifth Yang di-Pertuan Agong from 1970 to 1975. He is the first person to hold the position twice, as well as the oldest elected to the office. He is a week older than the world's longest reigning monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand. He is currently the third longest-reigning living monarch in the world after King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand and Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland


Early career[edit]

Born at Istana Anak Bukit near Alor Star as Tunku Abdul Halim, he was the second, but eldest surviving son, of Sultan Badlishah (born 1894; reigned 1943–1958), who later became the 27th Sultan of Kedah. He is of Malay and Siamese descent. His mother was a Kedah-born Princess named Tunku Sofiah binti Tunku Mahmud (born 1910), who died in an automobile accident on 28 February 1935. Abdul Halim's maternal grandfather, Tunku Mahmud, was once Raja Muda or heir presumptive to the throne of Kedah.[1]

He was educated at Alor Merah and Titi Gajah Malay schools and Sultan Abdul Hamid College in Alor Star between 1946 and 1948. He went on to Wadham College, Oxford and obtained a Diploma in Social Science and Public Administration. He subsequently joined the Kedah Administrative Service, serving in the Alor Star district office and later, the state treasury.[2]

On 6 August 1949 Abdul Halim was appointed Raja Muda or heir apparent and succeeded as twenty-seventh Sultan of Kedah on his father's death on 15 July 1958.[3] He was installed at the Balai Besar, Kota Star Palace in Alor Star on 20 February 1959 (in a ceremony held for the first time since 1710).[4]

First election as Deputy King[edit]

Tuanku Abdul Halim (as he became), served as Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong between 21 September 1965 and 20 September 1970.

First election as King[edit]

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong in a carriage with Elizabeth II on a state visit to London, 1974.

Tuanku Abdul Halim was elected as the fifth Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia and served his term in office from 21 Sep 1970 – 20 Sep 1975.

He is the third youngest monarch to ascend the throne of Yang di-Pertuan Agong after Tuanku Syed Putra of Perlis and Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu.

During his kingship, Tuanku Abdul Halim presided over the first transfer of power of the civilian government when his uncle, Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman resigned in favour of his deputy Tun Abdul Razak. Tunku Abdul Rahman had felt that he should not serve under a nephew, given strict Malay royal protocol, but agreed to stay on as prime minister for one day of Tuanku Abdul Halim's reign.[5]

Second election as Deputy King[edit]

On 2 November 2006, Tuanku Abdul Halim was for the second time elected Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong to serve a five-year term. He is the first person to have been elected twice to this office.

Second election as King[edit]

In October 2011, Abdul Halim was elected to serve a second term as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong which commenced on 13 December 2011. He is the first person to hold the position twice.[6] He is also the oldest Malay Ruler to be installed Yang di-Pertuan Agong at 84 years and 15 days old, surpassing the previous record holder, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz of Selangor, who was installed at 73 years and 49 days old.

A Council of Regency consisting of his brothers Tunku Annuar (d. May 2014), Tunku Sallehuddin, Tunku Abdul Hamid Thani, and daughter Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz was assigned to discharge Abdul Halim's duties as Sultan of Kedah while he served his second term as King.[7] The official installation took place on April 11, 2012 at Istana Negara, attended by the Malay rulers including the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Brunei as well.

Family life[edit]

Tuanku Abdul Halim had two wives:

1. Tuanku Bahiyah, daughter of Tuanku Abdul Rahman of Negeri Sembilan, married 1956. She served as Sultanah of Kedah (1958-2003) and Raja Permaisuri Agong (1970-1975). She died on 26 August 2003 at Istana Kuala Cegar in Alor Star.[8] They had three daughters:

  • Yang Teramat Mulia (Her Highness) Tunku Soraya (born 30 April 1960), now known as Duli Yang Amat Mulia, Raja Puan Muda Perak.
  • Yang Teramat Mulia (Her Highness) Tunku Sarina (30 April 1960 - 31 August 1991)
  • Yang Teramat Mulia (Her Highness) Brigadier-General Tunku Puteri Dato' Seri Diraja Intan Safinaz binti Tuanku AlHaj Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah, Tunku Panglima Besar Kedah and Member of the Kedah Regency Council (born 22 July 1966). She is the Tunku Panglima Besar of Kedah.[9]

Through Tunku Soraya, who married Duli Yang Amat Mulia Raja Iskandar Zulkarnain, son of Sultan Idris Shah II of Perak and current Raja di-Hilir Perak (the Heir Presumptive of Perak), they have three grandsons and two granddaughters:

  • Yang Amat Mulia (His Highness) Raja Nabil Imran Aziz (born 1987)
  • Yang Amat Mulia (His Highness) Raja Idris Shah (born 1989)
  • Yang Amat Mulia (Her Highness) Raja Sarina Intan Bahiyah (born 1992)
  • Yang Amat Mulia (Her Highness) Raja Safia Azizah (born 1996)
  • Yang Amat Mulia (His Highness) Raja Siffudin Muadzam' Shah (born 2000)

2. Tuanku Haminah binti Hamidun, married 1975. A commoner from Perak, she was titled Che Puan Kedah until 9 January 2004 when she was crowned as Sultanah.[10] She is serving as Raja Permaisuri Agong during his second term as Yang di-Pertuan Agong. She has no children.


Golden Jubilee celebrations[edit]

On 15 July 2008, Tuanku Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah celebrated his Golden Jubilee as the Sultan of Kedah. He is only the fourth Sultan in a line of 28 Sultans who have celebrated 50 years of reign in Kedah.[11]

In conjunction with the Golden Jubilee, 15 July 2008 was declared as a public holiday for the whole state of Kedah.[12] A ceremony of handing over the contributions in conjunction with the Golden Jubilee was held at the Istana Anak Bukit on 6 July 2008 by Kedah Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak. Throughout the whole week of the Golden Jubilee, various events were held to commemorate the Sultan.

Titles and styles[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

Styles of
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong
Flag of the Supreme Head of Malaysia.svg
Reference style His Majesty
Spoken style Your Majesty
Alternative style Tuanku
  • 28 November 1927 – 6 August 1949: Yang Mulia Tunku Abdul Halim ibni Tunku Badlishah
  • 6 August 1949 – 15 July 1958: Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Raja Muda Kedah Tunku Abdul Halim ibni Sultan Badlishah
  • From 15 July 1958: Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah ibni Sultan Badlishah
  • 21 September 1970 – 20 September 1975: Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah ibni Sultan Badlishah
  • From 13 December 2011: Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah ibni Sultan Badlishah

His style and title in full on 13 December 2011 became: Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Sir Almu'tasimu Billahi Muhibbudin Tuanku Alhaj Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah (His Majesty the Supreme Ruler of Malaysia Al-Sultan Sir Almu'tasimu Billahi Muhibbudin Tuanku Alhaj Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah).

Military grades[edit]

Tuanku Abdul Halim holds the rank of Marshal of the Royal Malaysian Air Force[13] in his full constitutional duties as Commander-in-Chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces as well as the ranks of Field Marshal of the Malaysian Army and Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal Malaysian Navy. Since 1972 he is the Royal Malay Regiment's Colonel-in-Chief, and also performs the same functions for the Malaysian Army's Royal Service Corps.


See also List of honours of the Kedah Royal Family by country See also List of Honours of Kedah awarded to Heads of State and Royals

National and Sultanal Honours[edit]

Foreign Honours[edit]

Structures, buildings and institutions[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Finestone, Jeffrey and Shaharil Talib (1994) The Royal Families of South-East Asia Shahindera Sdn Bhd
  2. ^ Ibrahim Ismail (1987) Sejarah Kedah Sepintas Lalu p209 Penerbit UUM
  3. ^ (3 November 2006) Bernama Online
  4. ^ Ibrahim Ismail (1987) Op Cit pp 214–218
  5. ^ Tunku Abdul Rahman (1977) Looking Back p346 Pustaka Antara, Kuala Lumpur
  6. ^ "Sultan of Kedah to be next Yang di-Pertuan Agong, for second time", The Malaysian Insider, October 14, 2011
  7. ^ "Kedah Sultan Reminds Council of Regency To Carry Out Duties With Honesty". Bernama. 2011-12-12. Archived from the original on 2011-12-12. 
  8. ^ ( 26 August 2003) Utusan Malaysia
  9. ^ a b Royal Ark
  10. ^ (10 January 2004) Bernama Online
  11. ^ (July 14, 2008) Bernama Online
  12. ^ (July 6, 2008) Bernama Online
  13. ^ "Photographs of Tuanku Abdul Halim, Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia". Janus. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  14. ^ Photo of Sultan Abdul Halim and Sultanah Haminah
  15. ^ "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan Tahun 1959." (PDF). 
  16. ^ a b List of Malay rulers (as of January 2013) with details of orders
  17. ^ Badraie
  18. ^ Article (in Malay) evoking the awarding of decorations

External links[edit]

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Sultan of Kedah
Succeeded by
Sallih huddin
Preceded by
Ismail Nasiruddin
Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia
Succeeded by
Yahya Petra
Preceded by
Mizan Zainal Abidin
Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia
Succeeded by
Muhammad V