Yang di-Pertuan Negara

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Further information: Malay styles and titles

Yang di-Pertuan Negara, translated from Malay as "(he) who is Lord", is a title for the Head of State, and has been used as an official title at various times in Singapore and Brunei.


In 1959, following revisions to the Constitution which granted Singapore internal self-government, the ceremonial post of Yang di-Pertuan Negara replaced the British colonial Governor of Singapore as the representative of the British monarch in Singapore. Although the title had the literal meaning of head of state, the Yang di-Pertuan Negara was constitutionally only acting (de facto) head of state as the vice-regal representative of the British monarch in Singapore,[1] similar to Governors-General of Commonwealth realms. The Queen remained de jure head of state of Singapore until September 16, 1963.

Under a transitional arrangement, the last Governor of Singapore, Sir William Allmond Codrington Goode, served as the first Yang di-Pertuan Negara from June 3, 1959, to December 3, 1959. He was succeeded by Yusof bin Ishak, who was sworn into office on the same day as the country's national flag, coat of arms, and national anthem were adopted.

The title was retained when Singapore became the fourteenth state of Malaysia in 1963. The office holder then acted as the vice-regal representative of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.

On August 9, 1965, Singapore was separated from the federation to become a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations. On December 22 of that year, the Constitution was amended, changing the title to President with retroactive effect from the date of independence.

  • William Goode - June 3, 1959 to December 3, 1959 (previously Governor of Singapore from 1957)
  • Yusof bin Ishak - December 3, 1959 to August 9, 1965 (then President of Singapore to 1970)


In Brunei, the Sultan of Brunei is also known as the Yang di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam.

The full title for the head of state and head of government of Brunei is Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia (KDYMM) Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan dan Yang di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam.

Due to the nation nature of absolute monarchy, KDYMM is referring to the title of the monarch as the sovereign ruler of the government and the title Yang Di-Pertuan is referring the power of the ruler as the Head of State.

The Sultan of Brunei simply being called as Kebawah Duli by the rakyat (the subjects).


In the Malaysian state of Sabah, the Governor of Sabah was known by the formal title of Yang di-Pertuan Negara from 1963 until 1976 when the office was retitled Yang di-Pertua Negeri.

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