Kedah Sultan Tuanku Abdul Halim dies at 89

Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah became Malaysia's King for the second time in 2012, after having served as King for the first time in 1970.
Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah became Malaysia's King for the second time in 2012, after having served as King for the first time in 1970.

PETALING JAYA • The Sultan of Kedah, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, died in Alor Setar yesterday. He was 89.

The ruler of northern state Kedah made history when he became Malaysia's King for the second time in 2012, after having served as King for the first time in 1970 under the country's rotational system for appointing its ruler.

Tuanku Abdul Halim ended his term as the 14th King, or Yang di-Pertuan Agong, last December and was replaced by the Kelantan ruler, Sultan Muhammad V.

Tuanku Abdul Halim was born on Nov 28, 1927. On July 14, 1958, he ascended the throne of Kedah after the demise of his father, Sultan Badlishah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah.

He received his early education at Sekolah Melayu Titi Gajah and then went to the Sultan Abdul Hamid College in Alor Setar.

In 1952, when he was the Raja Muda of Kedah, Tuanku Abdul Halim attended Wadham College, Oxford, in England, graduating in social science and public administration.

Tuanku Abdul Halim married Tuanku Hajah Bahiyah Tuanku Abdul Rahman on March 10, 1956, and they had three princesses, Tunku Soraya, Tunku Salina and Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz. Tunku Salina has since passed away.

Sultanah Bahiyah died in 2003. Tuanku Abdul Halim married Che Puan Hajah Haminah Hamidun on Dec 25, 1975, and she was proclaimed the new Sultanah of Kedah on Jan 9, 2004, with the title of Tuanku Sultanah Hajah Haminah.

The late ruler was amiable, humble and caring, traits that endeared him to his subjects. His love of sports, especially football and golf, was legendary. He was also fond of animals, rearing birds and carp at a mini-zoo in the palace, and was a fan of the music of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Nat King Cole.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2017, with the headline 'Kedah Sultan Tuanku Abdul Halim dies at 89'. Print Edition | Subscribe