Thursday, January 28, 2010

Last week we lost two prominent Malays, one is feared for his temper while one is respected for his abilities. 2 contrasting characters, yet, both are I would consider, Malay Eccentrics or Melayu Lolak. My condolences to their family and my fatihah goes to them and May God almighty keep them with his loyal servants, Amen

No-nonsense Ghazali feared, respected

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 — Former Home Minister Tun Muhammad Ghazali Shafie who died at his home in Subang Jaya yesterday was known to be so strict in his work that it earned him the nickname, “King Ghaz”.

Those who knew him, including media reporters who interviewed him, were expected to have enough knowledge when they asked a question on an issue or subject so as not to incur his wrath or displeasure.

This gave many reporters the jitters when interviewing him during their assignments. The late Ghazali had served under four prime ministers beginning with Tunku Abdul Rahman until Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s time.

He was also known internationally when he was foreign minister, besides serving with various international bodies and missions. He famously escaped death in a plane crash in Kampung Janda Baik on Jan 10, 1982 which killed his personal bodyguard and the co-pilot. The incident shocked the nation at the time.

Born in Kuala Lipis on March 22, he received his early education at a number of Malay and English schools in Raub, Kuala Lipis, Bentong and Penjum before studying at Clifford School, Kuala Lipis from 1939 to 1940.

In 1941, he furthered his studies at Raffles College in Singapore before obtaining his LLB (Honours) at University College of Wales and then a degree in international relations from the London School of Economics in 1954.

From 1941 to 1946, he served in several defence forces including the Malayan Volunteer Force and Anti-Japanese Movement.

Ghazali who had worked as a clerk with the Selangor Council, was appointed as Malaya’s High Commissioner to India in 1957 and two years later, was made the secretary-general of the Foreign Ministry.

He was foreign minister from July 1981 to July 1984 and resigned from the post the same month. A highly important task held by Ghazali was as a member of the Cobbold Commission on the formation of Malaysia.

His long service in the Cabinet started in 1970 when he was appointed minister with special functions and a year later was given the additional information portfolio. Sixteen months later, he was made home and information minister and in July 1981, was appointed foreign minister.

After resigning from the Cabinet in 1984, Ghazali held various important positions in the corporate sector and international organisations.

He was chairman of Paremba, Landmark Holdings Bhd, Westmont Bank Manila, the Philippines and Intermega Energy NL, Australia, among others. In the political arena, Ghazali was Kuala Lipis member of parliament, Kuala Lipis Umno division head and Umno Supreme Council member.

He lost in the contest for a party vice-president post in 1972 and 1975. However, he won the post in 1981.

His contributions in other fields included being the founder and president of the National Art Gallery, University of Malaya Governing Council member, National Security Council member, chairman of Institut Teknologi Mara Governing Council, and founding member of the Malayan Forum, United Kingdom.

In sports, he held various important posts including honorary life president of the Royal Selangor Flying Club and president of the Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (1962-1988). For his contribution in sports, he received the “Tokoh Sukan” Award in 2002.

He was also a respected figure at the international level where he was president of the Asia Conference on the Question of Palestine in 1983, member of the South Commission and chairman of the commission set up to revamp and strengthen the Asean mechanism.

He was also appointed to the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group on South Africa in 1981, member of the Commonwealth Observer Group for South Africa’s general election, member of the observer groups for the general elections in Sri Lanka and Bosnia Herzegovina, as well as chairman of the observer group for the general election in Bangladesh.

The late Ghazali had also been special advisor to the prime minister on foreign affairs and consultant to the World Bank Economic Development Institute.

He received awards from several foreign countries including Singapore, France, South Korea, Iran, the Philippines, Japan, Tunisia, Thailand, Austria and North Korea. — Bernama

'King' Ghaz dies


KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 — Former Home Minister Tun Ghazali Shafie died at his residence in Subang Jaya this evening.

Aged 88, his death at 7.45pm was confirmed by his granddaughter Farah, when contacted.

Ghazali, who was born in Kuala Lipis, Pahang, leaves behind two sons, Bachtiaer and Sheriffudin.

His wife, Toh Puan Khatijah Abdul Majid, passed away in April 2008.

He has been described as having been one of the most powerful men in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak in the early seventies.

He exercised considerable influence in determining Malaysia’s socio-economic development especially in the post May 13 era. As Minister with Special Functions he was responsible for the formulation of the New Economic Policy and Second Malaysia Plan.

In the context of nation-building his central belief was that power sharing is the key to ensuring the stability of Malaysia.

Ghazali also played a pivotal role in charting the course of Malaysia’s foreign policy, first as a senior official at the Foreign Service and later as Foreign Minister — serving between 1970 and 1984.

Even after retiring from active politics, Ghazali continued to engage with the world of international diplomacy.

He presented his ideas and ideals at various gatherings — both local and international — on issues as diverse as global economic challenges, conflict resolution, Asean and the New World Order.

He graduated from the University College of Wales and the London School of Economics.

Singapore leaders praise late Sultan Iskandar


SINGAPORE: Singapore President S R Nathan said the late Johor Sultan Iskandar ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail was a wise ruler and a patriot of Malaysia.
He said the late Sultan’s warm and personal ties with Singapore and its leaders had helped to promote stability, security and growth for both Johor and Singapore as well as for Malaysia and its people.

In his condolence message on the passing of Sultan Iskandar to Tunku Ibrahim Ismail, the late Sultan’s son who was proclaimed the new Johor Sultan today, Nathan said his father’s longstanding friendship helped to foster and nurture good relations with Singapore leaders and its people and that Sultan Iskandar would always be fondly remembered.

The President said Sultan Iskandar was well known for the care and patronage he bestowed on his people in Johor and in Malaysia as a whole.

In a similar message to the late Sultan’s wife Sultanah Zanariah binti Almarhum Tunku Ahmad, Nathan said Sultan Iskandar’s patronage of many voluntary organisations in Malaysia and his devotion to the people had earned him a place in Johor's and Malaysia's history.

“His encouragement, contributions and passion for his people and his country will always be remembered,” Nathan said.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who also conveyed his condolence message to Zanariah today, said during his reign, the late Sultan played a key role in the development and prosperity of Johor for the benefit of his people.

He said Sultan Iskandar's lifelong devotion to Johoreans was repaid by their affection and respect, and as the 8th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the King discharged his royal duties in the same spirit.

Lee said Sultan Iskandar also played a pivotal role in fostering good relations between Singapore and Malaysia.

“My wife and I personally remember well the many times we received his warm and generous hospitality at Istana Bukit Serene,” Lee said.

As the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Iskandar made a state visit to Singapore in 1988, and his last visit to the city-state was in April 2007 when he received an honorary degree from the National University of Singapore in recognition of his contributions to bilateral ties.

To the new Sultan, Lee said under his father's guidance and attention, Johor's economy had steadily developed, bringing prosperity to the state and improving the lives of his people.

Lee said Sultan Iskandar's dedication and vision had enabled Johor to become the vibrant state that it was today.

The Prime Minister also said the late Sultan also extended a warm hand of friendship to Singapore.
“He believed that as two neighbours, both sides would gain from strong ties and close cooperation,” Lee said.

He said Singapore valued the late Sultan’s efforts to improve their bilateral relationship, and added that Sultan Iskandar would always be remembered fondly as a friend of Singapore. - Bernama

Sultan Iskandar laid to rest (Update)


Photo Gallery

JOHOR BARU: Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail was laid to rest at the Mahmoodiah Royal Mausoleum here Saturday.

His body was taken to the mausoleum from Istana Besar in a funeral procession after his son Tunku Ibrahim Ismail was officially proclaimed as the new Sultan of Johor at the steps of the palace.

People from all walks of life paid their last respects to Almarhum Sultan Iskandar from early Saturday morning.

Tunku Ibrahim Ismail and his consort Raja Zarith Sofiah arrived at the Istana Besar at 9.13am.

The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah paying their last respects to Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.

Streams of VIPs started arriving from 11am to pay their last respects.

Among the first VIPs to arrive at Istana Besar were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor as well as former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.

The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah and Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah also paid their last respects to Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.

Also paying their last respects were Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (third from left) paying his last respects to Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.

Earlier, members of the Johor royal family including Tunku Ibrahim Ismail, carried the Sultan’s body to a dais at the palace at 9.34am.

Tunku Ibrahim Ismail then placed a crown and sword on Almarhum Sultan Iskandar’s coffin followed by a prayer recital (doa jenazah) by Johor mufti Datuk Nooh Gadut.

Johor police chief DCP Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff said 500 policemen were deployed to control traffic and to provide security for the VIPs.

The Sultan passed away at the Puteri Specialist Hospital here at 7.15pm Friday.

Johor will observe a mourning period of seven days from Friday with all flags in the state flown at half-mast.

Sultan Iskandar

(Redirected from Baginda Almutawakkil Alallah Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail)

In full, Baginda Al-Mutawakkil Alallah Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail (born April 8, 1932) in Johor Bahru was the eighth Yang di-Pertuan Agong (roughly equivalent to King) of Malaysia from April 26, 1984 to April 25, 1989, and Sultan of Johor.

The eldest son of Sultan Ismail ibni Almarhum Sultan Ibrahim by Sultanah Ungku Tun Aminah binti Ungku Paduka Bena Sri Maharaja Utama Ahmad, the prince was named Tunku Mahmood Iskandar. However, as all other Sultans of Johor with the name "Mahmood" met with an uneasy end, he dropped his first name upon succeeding his father on May 10, 1981.

A controversial figure in Malaysia, Sultan Iskandar has led a chequered life. Appointed Tunku Mahkota or Crown Prince in 1959, he was dismissed from that post in 1961 by his father after being found guilty of assault in the Malaysian courts and sentenced to imprisonment. However, Sultan Ismail relented on his deathbed and restored Tunku Mahmood Iskandar to the succession ten days before the former passed away.

A keen soldier, Sultan Iskandar was often at loggerheads with Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad while he was Sultan of Johor. However, in 1984, upon election as Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Iskandar warmed to his Prime Minister and relationships between the two reached dizzying heights when Mahathir was invested with the first class family order of the crown of Johor, a previously unheard of honour for a commoner.

While Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Iskandar created further controversy by assaulting a golf caddy. A soldier, the brother of the caddy who was badly injured, subsequently ran amok in Kuala Lumpur causing a security scare. The soldier was later arrested and sent to a mental hospital.

His assault on a hockey coach and teacher, Mr Douglas Gomez (d.1999) sparked a constitutional crisis between the government and the Malay Rulers which culminated in the removal of the legal immunity from prosecution of all the rulers in March 1993.

Sultan Iskandar divorced the mother of his Crown Prince, a Cornish lady by the name of Josephine Trevorrow, to marry Tengku Zanariah binti Tengku Panglima Raja Ahmad of the Kelantan royal family. She served as his Raja Permaisuri Agong and is the current Sultanah of Johor.

Sultan Iskandar of Johor dies

JOHOR BAHARU, Jan 22 — The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Iskandar ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail, 77, died tonight after ruling the state for almost three decades.

The Sultan breathed his last at 7.15pm at the Puteri Specialist Hospital after he was admitted to the hospital earlier following an illness.

The death of the sultan was announced by Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, here tonight.

The ruler left behind his wife, the Sultanah of Johor Sultanah Zanariah and 10 children.

Sultan Iskandar was born in Istana Semayam, Johor Baharu on April 8, 1932, and was made the Sultan of Johor on May 11, 1981.

On Nov 15 1984, he was installed as the 8th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Nov 15, 1984.

Earlier today, his eldest son, Tunku Mahkota of Johor Tunku Ibrahim Ismail was appointed the Regent of Johor and the sworn-in ceremony was held at the Istana Besar Johor Baharu.

The Head of the Johor Council of the Royal Court, Tunku Osman Temenggong Ahmad, announced that Sultan Iskandar had been admitted to the Puteri Specialists Hospital at 5pm today.

Sultan Iskandar was the third son of the late Sultan Ismail Sultan Ibrahim and the great grandson of the Father of Modern Johor, the late Sultan Abu Bakar.

He received his early education in Johor Baharu, before pursuing his studies in Australia and united Kingdom.

He was also the Colonel-in-Chief of the Malaysian Special Service Regiment (Commando) and was always seen clad in a military uniform during official events due to his passion for military service.

His name was associated with many schools in Johor, as well as sports events like the Iskandar Johor Open Golf Tournament and southern Johor development corridor, the Iskandar Malaysia. — Bernama


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