Tunku Abdul Rahman (1933–1989)

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Tunku Abdul Rahman
BornTunku Abdul Rahman ibni Tunku Ismail
(1933-11-25)25 November 1933
Istana Semayam, Johor Bahru, Johor, Unfederated Malay States, British Malaya
Died12 July 1989(1989-07-12) (aged 55)
Istana Pasir Pelangi, Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Burial13 July 1989
Tunku Hajjah Shahariah binti al-Marhum Tuanku ‘Abdu’l Rahman
(m. 1956⁠–⁠1989)
[citation needed]
IssueTunku Abu Bakar[citation needed]
Tunku Abdul Rahman ibni Tunku Ismail (at birth)
HouseHouse of Temenggong[1]
FatherSultan Ismail of Johor
MotherUngku Tun Aminah[2]

Tunku Abdul Rahman ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Ismail Al-Khalidi (25 November 1933 – 12 July 1989) was the younger son of Sultan Ismail of Johor as well as the younger brother of Sultan Iskandar of Johor.[citation needed] Abdul Rahman held the post of Tunku Mahkota[3] (or Crown Prince) for twenty years until shortly before his father's death in 1981. His termination of his post generated considerable controversy for a brief period of time.[4]

Succession crisis[edit]

Abdul Rahman was appointed Tunku Mahkota of Johor by his father, Sultan Ismail on 10 August 1961, after his brother, Tunku Iskandar (later Sultan Iskandar) was disinherited from the post on grounds of alleged misbehaviour.[5] Five years later in December 1966, Tunku Iskandar was appointed as the Raja Muda at the request of their Sultan Ismail and was approved by the Council of Royal Court, and placing him second in line to the royal throne behind Tunku Abdul Rahman.[6] On 29 April 1981, as Sultan Ismail lay ill on his deathbed, Tunku Iskandar was appointed Tunku Mahkota in favour of him.[7]

The decision took many people by surprise, including the then-Menteri Besar of Johor, Othman Saat who promptly criticised the Sultan's actions, and earning the wrath of Tunku Iskandar at the same time.[4] Abdul Rahman, on the other hand, decided to remain silent initially but later took his grievances to his press and expressed his shock and disappointment over his father's decision, suggesting that he had done nothing wrong in the twenty years as the Tunku Mahkota and also cited some of his significant contributions to the state during his tenure.[8]

Later life[edit]

After the succession crisis, Abdul Rahman reverted to his old post of Tunku Bendahara, a post which he once briefly held from 1959-1961. Abdul Rahman, by now in ailing health, held that post until his death in 1989.[9] In his later years, his health, already plagued by diabetes, worsened, which ultimately saw one of his legs being amputated.[10]

After his death, the post of Tunku Bendahara was passed down to Sultan Iskandar's younger son, Tunku Abdul Majid.[11]


  1. ^ Nesalamar Nadarajah. p. 44.
  2. ^ Morais (1967). Who's who in Malaysia ... & Profiles of Singapore. p. xxii – via Selamat Johor Tanda Kenangan.
  3. ^ Tengku is spelled as Tunku in Johor. Malaysian Politics Under Mahathir. p. xv.
  4. ^ a b K. K. Thomas (1981). Asian Recorder. Recorder Press. p. 16108.
  5. ^ K. K. Thomas (1981). Asian Recorder. Recorder Press. p. 22904.
  6. ^ Malaysia. 1966. ...[F]ormer Tengku Mahkota of Johore, Tengku Mahmood Iskandar, was in December appointed Raja Muda. ...[A]t the request of the Sultan, the appointment has been approved by the new Council of Royal Court. Appointment of Tengku Mahmood as Raja will not affect the position of his younger brother, Tengku Abdul Rahman, who is the pre-sent Tengku Mahkota. The title is one rank below that of Tengku Mahkota, but both brothers are eligible to succeed their father on the approval of the Council of Royal Court.
  7. ^ Information Malaysia. 1985. p. 58.
  8. ^ Tunku Putra Al-Haj Abdul Rahman. Lest We Forget: Further Candid Reminiscences. p. 175.
  9. ^ Morais (1982). Who's who in Malaysia ... & Profiles of Singapore. p. 429.
  10. ^ Wariya. Krisis Sultan-Menteri Besar. p. 105-110.
  11. ^ Massa: majalah berita mingguan. 2003. p. 30.


  • Nesalamar Nadarajah (2000). Johore and the Origins of British Control, 1895-1914. Published by Arenabuku. ISBN 967-970-318-5.
  • Chamil Wariya (1992). Krisis Sultan-Menteri Besar. Media Indah.
  • Abdul Rahman, Tunku Putra Al-Haj Abdul Rahman (1983). Lest We Forget: Further Candid Reminiscences. Eastern Universities Press (M). ISBN 967-908-000-5.
  • British Association of Malaysia, British Association of Malaysia and Singapore (1966). Malaysia.
  • Robert Stephen Milne; Diane K. Mauzy (1999). Malaysian Politics Under Mahathir. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-17143-1.
  • Massa: Majalah Berita Mingguan. Published by Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Berhad. 2003.
  • John Victor Morais (1967). Who's who in Malaysia ... & Profiles of Singapore (first ed.). Who's Who Publications.
  • John Victor Morais (1982). Who's who in Malaysia ... & Profiles of Singapore (second ed.). Who's Who Publications.