Saturday, October 31, 2009



After 2 years in Kuching, 3 years in Kuantan, 3 years in ITM and 2 years in MPPU.

My past 10 years service was not encouraging. Very low profile. My frustration of being 'lost my seniority' still annoying my mind. 4 years as a Lieutenant? Seeing my super-super juniors overtaken me getting their Captain rank. By the time I got my 'sub Capt' on 1 Aug 1989, it was already 7 months late. It was really demoralised me. My substantive Capt supposed to be on 24 Jan 1989. I lost my 7 months seniority (in Capt) unnecessarily. I thought the 'planner' already put me aside from the lane.

Upon graduating from ITM Shah Alam in Mei 1989, I was posted to Markas Pemerintahan Pertahanan Udara or MPPU (Air Defence Command HQ), which was located in KL Base. At that time, MPPU was the 'hottest plate' in the RMAF. Not because of the toughness of the works there but because of the Commander. The Commander (also the founder of MPPU) then was Brig Jen Datuk Abdul Ghani Aziz, the sit hot general and among the youngest general at that time. He was very 'up-to-date', sharp, intelligent, knowledgeable, tough, fit and active in rough outdoor sport (big bike, golf, marathon, equestrian, polo, mountain bike etc).

Abdul Ghani Aziz (1st Air Defence Commander)

The most hazardous time in MPPU was Friday morning briefing. Each desk officer will present their aircraft statistic and explain each problem of the aircraft, especially aircraft on ground (AOG). The briefers must be tip top. Otherwise, if they could not answer any question from him (Panglima) they will get barbequed or wacked there and then. The things that 'people' could not stand with Datuk Ghani was his 'cursing words'. He would make you become the most dumb person in the world. And he did not care either you are junior or senior officers. Among the senior officers working in MPPU (1989-1992) who I can remember were Kol Danny Loh Cheng Kwee, Lt Kol Rajaratnam, Mej Tan Teck Ee, Mej Mohd Selamat (retired Kol- now CEO ATSC), Mej Rosdi Mahmud (retired Kol- now Datuk- CEO CTRM), Mej Mohd Saifullah, Mej Yusof Idris, Mej Ithnain Hussein (deceased), Mej Zaki (now Kol)......

The legacy of Datuk Ghani (during his tenure as Panglima Pertahanan Udara) was the establishment of MPPU itself and he got his two star . However, he burried his own legacy in 1994 when he reorganised the whole RMAF structure. MPPU became No 1 Air Division HQ. His another legacy was 'Annual 10km Run'. Every year MPPU organised 'Jaguh Exercise' which involved all the fighter squadrons and air defence units. One of the events in this programme was 10km run. All officers were compulsoried to take part in this run. The entrance fees was RM100 (actually not a fee but a deposit). All must complete the 10km within 60 minutes. Every extra minute from 60 will be fined RM10. If you completed the run within one hour, you will get back your RM100, If you late 3 minute, you will get back your RM70. If you late by 10minutes, you will lose all. And after his retirement, this 10km run was also extinct.

I was officially posted out from Markas HANUD on 15 Dec 1991.

How I got to be working in MINDEF?

My tour in MPPU was about 2 and half years, before being called (interviewed) by Lt Col Ahmad Haidir (then SO1 SISLOG). He was looking for somebody to replace 'Mej Ahmad Zaini' (also my intake) as SO2 Training Finance in Training Directorate. Ahmad Zaini (nickname 'Short Neck') was posted to ITU Kinrara to assume 'Ketua Cawang Logistik' office and promoted to Major. He was among the TJP37 (my intake) got the rank of Major early. He deserved it.

After reviewing my profile and achievement, Col Haidir offered me to take over the SO2 Training/Finance without promotion (SO2 but Captain appointment). I accepted the challenge and by Dec 1991 I received the signal to report to MINDEF. Well, thank you Col Haidir, Sir. You found me in the mud, at last. I believe you did not regret with your choice and I am very sure, today, I will be proud with my achievement. I was oficially posted in to DTU-Latih on 15 Dec 91 but my reporting day was about 2 weeks after that.

In Training Directorate (LATIH), my Director of Training was Lt Col Mohd Yusof Abdul Kadir, an Engineering Officer. His face looked like a serious worker but he had a 'gentleman smile'. Handsome guy, supposed he has a 'mamak' blood.

Handling UK Training

Besides performing a duty of Budget and Financial roles in 'Latih', I had been given a task as a desk officer' for RMAF training programmes in UK and Jordan. Between 1992 to 1994, the activity of training in UK was very aggressive due to the implementation of 'MOU Project'. The MOU Project consist of the procurement package for 28 Hawk aircraft, Martello and MARDIS Radar System and Hawk Simulator System. Almost every month will be a group of RMAF officers and other ranks were going to UK either for long or short courses in various places in UK. I was really hectic dealing with MOU Project Office and also British High Comm from time to time. The most challenging works were late submission of candidates to the British due to English Test and also approval from 'Air Force Board'. The DA Office in British High Comm was always chasing me for the nomination. At that time, no hand phone and no email. Everything by facsimile or telephone.

My problems were actually RMAF problems. Another problem faced by this project was the 'perks' received by the trainee. I couldn't remember the amount of their substantive allowance in UK, but as low as they can only survive for a week in UK. The students/trainees were crying for shortage of money especially who ad married and left their family behind. Worst enough, some of them couldn't take the suffer/pressure and decided to give up the course and came back half way. My comment (today) is all those things showed the failure of the project team who did not thoroughly looked into this matter.

The Hawk project trainees were suffered. The problems were later brought up to the highest level in MINDEF and a new allowances were approved. The next group (Martelloo Course) were happier to stay in UK.

However, handling UK training gave me the opportunity to meet 'closer' the 'potential Chief of Air Force' , Kapt Ackbal Abdul Samad'. He was selected to go to UK for one year Test Pilot Course in ITPS, UK. The cost of the programme was very expensive, more than a million RM (in 1993). The allowance entitlement according to 'PMAT' (AFCI) was comparatively low because this course was not in the UKMTS (UK Military Training Scheme). Again, the Captain (SO 2) was given a task by the Director to deal with the ITPS to fight for some allowances for Ackbal. After number of negotiations, finally Ackbal would get additional 'perks' including house, car and some subsidiary above the alllowances from the official entitlements.

Eventhough I met Ackbal when I was in Pulatibang 3 Kuantan in 1984/85, we were not so closed because of his student life at that time. I had married, stayed in Quarters, and he was still bachelor, stayed in the Mess. After I left Kuantan in 1986, we lost contact.

Being so happy with the extra 'perks', before he left for UK, Ackbal came to me and made a promise "Toha, thank you very much for your efforts and assistance, I will never forget you, I will buy something for you when I come back from UK". I was not really 'taking note' of his promising words at that time. My principle of work (until today) is 'do your job, do not look for the rewards, if you are good, people will look for you'. So, we went to Ampang Park (he invited me to accompany him) to look for the luggage bag (the compliment from the travel agency). He got his Major in UK.

I knew the actual Ackbal one year later. The first day reporting to MINDEF upon completion of his course in ITPS, he ran to my office. I was doing the SO2 Personnel (SISMAT C) in Materiel Division (already a Major). Suddenly he appeared standing infront of me with a plastic bag and he said "Toha, as I promise to you, this is for you". A 'black leather jacket' which definitely I couldn't afford to buy at that time.

Who is Ackbal? He is now (1 Nov 2009) a Major General Ackbal. My PANGLIMA. See topic 'MLU and Tsunami)

Handling Jordan Training

Jordan was a newest country establishing a reciprocal training programme with the RMAF. That happened in 1992. It was started with the visit of 2 Colonels from RJAF to Malaysia. I had been given a task to present a briefing to them. The first programme was the exchange of Staff College student. Maj Syed Salim was selected as the first RMAF offices to go to Jordan.

However the RMAF was not really ready to receive the Jordanian counterpart (what I could remember, the name was Maj Mohammed Swaish al Sarhan. We supposed to provide a fully furnished quarters. In our entitlement, fully furnished is not included the TV, aircondition, carpet and refrigerator. So, just imagine, when he arrived, he claim all those items. So, as a desk officer, i got to rock every body to find this things.

The second programme was they offered RMAF for Fighter Weapon Instructor and we offered them F5 fighter conversion. The candidate from Jordan was Lt Feda'ee Khleif Ali. I could remember his name well because I was the one who taking care of his arrival, fetched him at the Subang Airport terminal. I brought him to my house in Shah Alam before sending him to Officers' Mess Subang because the next morning he got to have a courtesy call to my Director. He, the went to Kuantan for fighter conversion course (MB339A) before moved to Butterworth to fly F5.

Our candidate to Jordan was Kapt Amran Sulaiman TUDM from 12 Sqn, Butterworth. He went for Fighter Weapon Instructor Course in Jordan. The issue of Amran was, there was no allowances scale for Jordan in AFCI. So, we have to use the nearest rate, that was UK (based on the currency exchange rate: GBP1 = RM4). But the rate for short course was too small as what was faced by the trainees in UK. So, Amran was facing financial problem over there
. We, in 'Latih' were not keeping quite. We work with our MINDEF and Treasury for the special rate for Amran. Finally, Treasury approved the special 'interim' rate for Jordan course, that was RM50 per day beside free accommodation and meal provided by the RJAF.

My short tenure in Training Directorate gave me really a great experience. Lt Col Yusof was also the one who guided me and gave me a trust to carry my job and recognised my performance. Later, i made to know that, he is a good friend to Lt Col Haidir. All my achievement was conveyed to Lt Col Haidir and by Mac 1993 I was recommended to get my Pay of Higher Rank (Major pay).

Dealing with financial control, I was assisted by one lady EO named Puan Wan Rokiah Wan Idris and my financial clerk was Puan Salina Yoong bt Abdullah. My SNCO was FSjn Sazali bin Abd Rahman.

Besides taking charge of Budget, Finance and Training Programme, I was also handling the ticketing office for training. The nice part of this job was, I had the opportunity to deal direct with all the Travel Agents. Just imagine, 95% of the the Marketing personnel for the agencies were female. So, almost every week I received a lady guesses. Actually, I got a lot more stories about this. Reserved.
On 1 Mac 1993 I was posted to the appointment of PS2 Beli C (but remain attached to DTU-Latih) and drawing Pay of Higher Rank until I got posted to PS2 Anggota C on 1 Jun 1993.
In the process of major organizational structure by the PTU then, Lt Gen Dato' Seri Ghani, I was transferred to new department namely Sistem Materiel (SISMAT) to hold the appointment of PS2 SISMAT C. This appointment was formerly known as PS2 Anggota C. I got my promotion of Major with effective on 1 Jun 1993.


The Paramount King of Malaysia or 'Yang Di Pertuan Agong'

I would like to repeat my statement in other page earlier that Malaysia is a unique country. We live in multi-racial community peacefully (except 13 May 1969 tragedy), we pledge our loyalty to the Constitutional Supreme Head of State of Malaysia, known as (with the full title) 'Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong'

In the Malaysian constitutional monarchy system, the role of the YDPA is largely ceremonial. The constitution clearly stated that the executive power is executed by the Cabinet Minister, headed by the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

The selection and appointment

As mentioned earlier, Malaysia is a unique monarchial country. The appointment of YDPA is rotated every five year among the nine Malay States Rulers in Malaysia (Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Selangor and Terengganu. The basis of selection of YDPA was iniatialy based on the seniority order or length of reigning the State at the date of 31 Agust 1957. The terms of reference of the appointment were set by the Malay Rulers Council or Majlis Raja-raja Melayu. Each of them has the 'individual' right to vote either to appoint or to relinquish the candidate. The minor King are not qualified to be nominated as a candidate. When the State Ruler being appointed as YDPA, he will appoint a Regent among his 'royal family', normally his eldest son or younger brother.

The YDPA has the constitutional power to appoint the following:
  • Prime Minister and the Cabinet Ministers.
  • Lord President, Chief of Justice of Malaya, Chief Justice of Borneo, Judges of Federal Court, President and Judges of Appeal Court and Hugh Court Judges and Judicial Commissioner.
  • Chief of Defence Forces, Chief of Army, Navy and Air Force.
  • Inspector General of Police.
  • 44 Senate Members (Senators).
  • Members of Islamic Affairs Council for Malacca, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak (on his capacity of the Head of Islamic affairs in these States).
The YDPA is also the Supreme Commander of the Malaysian Armed Forces with the rank of Field Marshall for the Army, Admiral of the Fleet for the Navy and Marshall of the Air Force.

Election of 1st Agong

In August 1957, the 9 Rulers were met to select and vote for the first holder of the throne. According to the seniority order, the Sultan of Johor (Major General Sultan Sir Ibrahim) was the most senior Ruler. However he rejected the appointment due to his age factor (he was 84).

The position of Malay Rulers according to seniority order on 31 August 1957 was:
  • DYMM Sultan Major General Sir Ibrahim ibni almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar (Sultan of Johor since1985) - he declined the nomination.
  • DYMM Sultan Sir Abu Bakar Ri'ayatuddin alMuadzam Shah ibni almarhum Sultan Abdullah alMustain Billah Shah (Sultan of Pahang since 1933) - he received insufficient vote.
  • DYMM Tuanku Sir Abdul Rahman ibni almarhum Tuanku Muhammad (The Yang Di Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan since 1933)- elected as YDPA
  • DYMM Sultan Sir Hishamuddin Alam Shah ibni almarhum Sultan Alauddin Sulaiman Shah (Sultan of Selangor since 1939) - elected as Deputy
  • DYMM Sultan Sir Badlishah ibni almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah (Sultan of Kedah since 1943)
  • DYMM Tuanku Sir Syed Harun Putra ibni almarhum Syed Hassan Jamalullail (Raja of Perlis since 1945)
  • DYMM Sultan Sir Ibrahim Petra ibni almarhum Sultan Mohammad IV (Sultan of Kelantan since 1945)
  • DYMM Sultan Sir Ismail Nasiruddin Shah ibni almarhum Sultan Zainal Abidin II (Sultan of Terengganu since 1945); and
  • DYMM Sultan Sir Yusuf Izzuddin Redhaullah Ghafarallahu lahu Shah ibni almarhum Sultan Abdul Jalil Riayatuddin alMuhtaram Shah (Sultan of Perak since 1948)

Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman ibni Almarhum Tuanku Muhammad

(Almarhum Tuanku Hajjah Khursiah binti almarhum Tengku Besar Burhanuddin)

(31 Ogos 1957 - 1 Apr 1960)

Events after the elections:
  • Sultan Kedah died on 15 July 1958 and his son Sultan Abdul Halim alMuadzam Shah (Raja Muda) was proclaimed as a new Sultan.
  • Sultan of Johor died on 8 May 1959 and his son, Sultan Ismail (Tengku Mahkota) was proclaimed as a new Sultan.
  • YDP I died on 1 Apr 1960, and his son Tuanku Munawir (Tunku Besar Seri Menanti) was proclaimed as new YDP Besar Negeri Sembilan.

Almarhum Tuanku Hisamuddin Alam Shah Alhaj ibni Almarhum Tuanku Alaeddin Sulaiman Shah

(Almarhum Raja Jemaah binti almarhum Raja Ahmad)

(14 Apr 1960 - 1 Sep 1960)

Events after the elections:
  • Sultan of Kelantan died on 10 July 1960 and his son Sultan Yahya Petra ibni almarhum Sultan Sir Ibrahim (Tengku Mahkota) was proclaimed as a new sultan of Kelantan.
  • The YDPA II died on 1 Sep 1960 while in office. His son, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah ibni almarhum Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah (Raja Muda) was proclaimed as new Sultan of Selangor.
Election of 3rd Agong

Seniority order list on 21 Sep 1960.

  • Sultan of Pahang (declined the nomination)
  • Raja of Perlis (elected as YDPA)
  • Sultan of Terengganu (elected as Deputy)
  • Sultan of Perak
  • Sultan of Kedah
  • Sultan of Johore
  • Sultan of Kelantan
  • YDPB Negeri Sembilan (completed the turn)
  • Sultan of Selangor (completed the turn)

Almarhum Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail ibni Almarhum Syed Hassan Jamalullail

(Tuanku Budriah binti amarhum Tengku Ismail)

(21 Sep 1960 - 20 Sep1965)

Events after the elections:

  • Sultan of Perak died in 4 Jan 1963 and Sultan Idris al Mutawakil Alallahi Shah ibni almarhum Sultan Iskandar Shah Kadasallah (Raja Muda) was proclaimed as a new Sultan.

Almarhum Tuanku Ismail Nasiruddin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Zainal Abidin
(Tuanku Intan Zaharah binti almarhum Tengku Omar)

(21 Sep 1965 - 20 Sep 1970)

Events after the election:

  • YDP Besar of NS died on 18 Apr 1967 and his brother Tuanku Jaafar ibni almarhum Tuanku Abd Rahman was proclaimed as a new YDP Besar NS.

Tuanku Haji Abdul Halim al Muadzam Shah ibni almarhum Sultan Badlishah

(Tuanku Bahyah binti almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman)

(21 Sep 1970 - 20 Sep 1975)

Events after the election:

  • Sultan of Pahang died on 5 May 1974 and his son Sultan Hj Ahmad Shah Almustain Billah (Tengku Mahkota) was proclaimed as new Sultan of Pahang.

Election of 6th Agong

Seniority order on 21 Sep 1975:

  • Sultan of Johore (decline the nomination)
  • Sultan of Kelantan (elected as YDPA)
  • Sultan of Perak (declined the nomination as Deputy)
  • Sultan of Pahang (elected as Deputy)
  • YDPB of Negeri Sembilan (c/t)
  • Sultan of Selangor (c/t)
  • Raja of Perlis (c/t)
  • Sultan of Terengganu (c/t)
  • Sultan of Kedah (c/t)

Tuanku Al Sultan Yahya Petra ibni almarhum Tuanku Ibrahim Petra

(Tuanku Zainab binti Tunku Mohammed Petra)

(21 Sep 1975 - 29 March 1979)

Events after the election:

  • The YDPA died on 29 March 1979 while in office (his son, Tuanku Ismail Petra was proclaimed as a new Sultan of Kelantan on 29 March 1979).

Election of 7th Agong

Seniority order on 26 Apr 1979:

  • Sultan of Johor (declined the nomination)
  • Sultan of Perak (declined the nomination)
  • Sultan of Pahang (elected as YDPA)
  • YDPB Negeri Sembilan (c/t) (elected as Deputy YDPA)
  • Sultan of Selangor (c/t)
  • Raja of Perlis (c/t)
  • Sultan of Terengganu (c/t)
  • Sultan of Kedah (c/t)
  • Sultan of Kelantan (c/t)

Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mu’Adzam Shah
(Tuanku Hajjah Afzan binti Tengku Mohammad)

(26 Apr 1979 - 25 Apr 1984)


  • Sultan Terengganu died on 20 Sep 1979 and his son Sultan Mahmud alMuktafi Billah Shah (Yang diPertuan Muda was proclaimed as a new Sultan)
  • Sultan of Johore died on 11 May 1981 and his son Sultan Mahmood Iskandar (Tunku Mahkota) was proclaimed as a new Sultan)
  • Sultan of Perak died on 7 Feb 1984 and Sultan Azlan Muhibuddin Shah ibni almarhum Sultan Yusuf Izzuddin Shah (Raja Muda) was proclaimed as a new Sultan)

Election of 8th Agong

Seniority order on 25 Apr 1984:

  • Sultan of Johore (elected as a YDPA)
  • Sultan of Perak (elected as a Deputy)
  • YDPA of Negeri Sembilan
  • Sultan of Selangor
  • Raja of Perlis
  • Sultan of Terengganu
  • Sultan of Kedah
  • Sultan of Kelantan
  • Sultan of Pahang

Almutawakkil Alallah Sultan Iskandar Alhaj ibni almarhum Sultan Ismail

(Tuanku Hajjah Zanariah binti Tengku Ahmad)

(26 Apr 1984 - 25 Apr 1989)

Election of 9th Agong

Seniority order on 25 Apr 1989:
  • Sultan of Perak (elected as YDPA)
  • YDPB Negeri Sembilan (elected as Deputy for the second time)
  • Sultan of Selangor
  • Raja of Perlis
  • Sultan of Terengganu
  • Sultan of Kedah
  • Sultan of Kelantan
  • Sultan of Pahang
  • Sultan of Johor

Tuanku Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah ibni almarhum Sultan Yusuf Izzuddin Shah Rithauddin Ghafarallahu lahu Shah

(Tuanku Permaisuri Bainun binti Mohammad Ali)

(26 Apr 1989 - 25 Apr 1994)

Election of 10th Agong

After the end of the term of Sultan Azlan Shah, the rotation of all the States Rulers was completed. The next rotation will follow the list below:

  • Negeri Sembilan (elected as YDPA)
  • Selangor (elected as Deputy)
  • Perlis (second time)
  • Terengganu
  • Kedah (second time)
  • Kelantan
  • Pahang (second time )
  • Johor (second time)
  • Perak (second time)
Almarhum Tuanku Ja’afar Alhaj ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman

(Tuanku Najihah binti Tengku Besar Burhanuddin)

(26 Apr 1994 - 25 Apr 1999)


  • Sultan of Terengganu died on 15 March 1998 and his son Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin (Yang diPertuan Muda) was proclaimed as the new Sultan.
Election of 11th Agong

Seniority order on 21 Sep 1975:

  • Selangor (elected as the YDPA)
  • Perlis (second time) (declined to be nominated for Deputy)
  • Terengganu (elected as Deputy)
  • Kedah (second time)
  • Kelantan
  • Pahang (second time )
  • Johor (second time)
  • Perak (second time)
  • Negeri Sembilan

Tuanku Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Alhaj ibni Almarhum Sultan Hisamuddin

Alam Shah Alhaj

(Tuanku Permaisuri Siti Aishah binti Dato’ Seri Abdul Rahman)

(26 Apr 1999 - 21 Nov 2001)


  • Raja Perlis died in 7 May 2001 and his son, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin ibni almarhum Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail (Raja Muda) was proclaimed as a new Raja of Perlis.
  • The YDPA died on 21 Nov 2001 while in office. his son, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah ibni almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah was proclaimed as a new Sultan.

Election of 12th Agong

Seniority order on 13 Dec 2001:

  • Perlis (elected as the YDPA)
  • Terengganu (elected as Deputy for the second time)
  • Kedah (second time)
  • Kelantan
  • Pahang (second time )
  • Johor (second time)
  • Perak (second time)
  • Negeri Sembilan
  • Selangor

Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin ibni almarhun Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail
(Tuanku Fauziah binti almarhum Tengku Abdul Rashid)

(13 DEC 2001 - 12 DEC 2006)

Election of 13th Agong

Seniority order on 21 Sep 1975:

  • Terengganu (elected as the YDPA)
  • Kedah* (elected as a Deputy for the second time)
  • Kelantan
  • Pahang (second time )
  • Johor (second time)
  • Perak (second time)
  • Negeri Sembilan
  • Selangor
  • Perlis (second time)

Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin ibni Almarhum Sultan Mahmud Al Muktafi Billah

(Tuanku Permaisuri Nur Zahirah)

(13 Dec 2006 - in office)

Events after the election:

  • Yang di Pertuan Besar N.Sembilan died in 26 Dec 2009. Tuanku Muhriz ibni almarhum Tuanku Munawir was proclaimed as a new YDPB on 28 Dec 2009.
  • Sultan of Johore died on 21 Jan 2010. Sultan Ibrahim ibni almarhum Sultan Iskandar was proclaimed as a new Sultan of Johore on 22 Jan 2010.

Seniority order 'of the day' for the next YDPA selection:

  • Kedah (second time)
  • Kelantan
  • Pahang (second time )
  • Johor
  • Perak (second time)
  • Negeri Sembilan
  • Selangor
  • Perlis (second time)



Federation of Malaysia is the only country in the world that has NINE Kings (Rulers) inside. Each King (known as Sultan, Raja or Yang diPertuan besar) rules his own State with his own 'constitutional' power and prerogatives. They perform their duty under the advice of their Menteri Besar. These Rulers forms an official forum body called 'Majlis Raja-raja' or 'Durbar'. The Head of State or 'Yang diPertua Negeri of Melaka, Pulau Pinang, Sabah and Sarawak are also the member of this Council but with limited right; example; they are not entitle to vote for the election of Yang diPertuan Agong. These Head of State were appointed by the Yang diPertuan Agong.

Majlis Raja-raja was formed under the 'Perkara 38' of Malaysian Constitution.This council is a platform for the Malay Rulers and Head of States to meet and discuss matters related to Malay Customaries, and Islamic Affairs and other items that require their views and advices. In some matters, Malaysian Constitution is also provisioned that the Government should seek the advice from this Council. The selection and appointment of the Yang diPertuan Agong is also the responsibility of this Council. Majlis Raja-raja is also the highest authority in terms of Islamic Affairs in Malaysia.

The members of this Council are all the 9 Malay Rulers and 4 Head of States (formerly Governor) in Malaysia. According to the procedures, only the 9 Malay Rulers are qualified to chair the meeting (Durbar) based on the rotation basis (agreed by the Council). The Menteri Besar or Chief Minister attend the Council meeting as an advisor to the Rulers and Head of States.

The Keeper Malay Rulers' Seal (Penyimpan Mohor Besar Raja-raja Melayu) is the Secretary of the Majlis.

The History of 'Majlis Raja-raja' started with the establishment of 'Majlis Raja-Raja Melayu" for the Federated Malay States (FMS). The FMS consist of Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Pahang was establisshed on 1st July 1896. The first meeting (called Durbar) was carried out on 13 to 17 July 1897 at Istana Negara Bukit Chandan, Kuala Kangsar, Perak (the palace of the Sultan of Perak). 'Durbar' is a Urdu-Persia word, means 'king palace' and also a meeting or conference of the kings, governors or viceroys (in India). The Malay Rulers attended the first conference were:
  • DYMM Sultan Idris Murshidul Azzam Shah (Sultan of Perak)
  • DYMM Sultan Abdul Samad (Sultan of Selangor)
  • DYMM Tuanku Muhammad (Yang diPertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan); and
  • DYMM Sultan Ahmad Shah (Sultan of Pahang).
The British Government was represented by:
  • Sir Frank Swettenham (British High Commisiion for the Federated Malay States (Chairman)
  • Sir Charles Mitchell (Governor of Straits States)
  • Sir Hugh Clifford (Resident General for Pahang)
  • J.P. Rodgers (Resident General for Selangor)
  • W.H. Treacher (Resident General for Perak)
Until 1939 the Majlis was sitting for 9 times.

When the Federation of Malaya (Persekutuan Tanah Melayu) established in 1948, the Rulers of Non-Federated Malay States (Johor, Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu) became a member of 'Majlis Raja-Raja'. And, the name was changed to 'Majlis Raja-Raja'. The first conference was on 18 February 1948 and chaired by the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Major General Sir Ibrahim as he was the most senior Ruler. Between February 1948 till August 1957, there were 50 conferences were conducted.

Sultan Ibrahim, Sultan of Johore

After the Federation of Malay States became independence on 31st August 1957, the membership was inluded the states of Malacca and Pulau Pinang and later followed by Sabah and Sarawak after the formation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963. The first conference after independence was on 30 and 31st Oct 1957, chaired by Tuan Syed Putra Jamalullail, Raja of Perlis.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong

The title of 'Yang di-Pertuan Agong' is the official title of the Head of Malaysia. The full title is 'Seri Paduka Baginda Yang diPertuan Agong.

Since, Malaysia practices "Constitutional Monarchy System' the roles of "Yang di-Pertuan Agong' are mostly on ceremonial. The Constitution stated clearly that the "Executive" power is theoritically under the Head of States and executed by the 'Cabinet Minister' headed by the Prime Minister.

(I will write more about the selection of Yang diPertuan Agong in the next topic: Monarchy System in Malaysia Part II)

The Malay Rulers attended in the Proclaimation of the first Yang di Pertuan Agong were:

Sultan Sir Abu Bakar Riayatuddin Al-Muadzam Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdullah Al-Mutassim Billah Shah (Sultan Pahang; 1932-1974)

Tuanku Abdul Rahman ibni Almarhum Tuanku Muhammad (Yang di-Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan (1933-1960)

Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Alaeddin Sulaiman Shah (Sultan Selangor; 1938-1942, 1945-1960)

Sultan Badlishah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah (Sultan Kedah; 1943-1958)

Sultan Ibrahim Petra ibni Almarhum Sultan Muhammad IV (Al-Sultan Kelantan; 1944-1960)

Tuanku Syed Putra ibni Almarhum Syed Hassan Jamalullail (Raja Perlis; 1945-2000)

Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Zainal Abidin III (Sultan Terengganu; 1945-1979)

Sultan Yusuf Izzudin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Jalil Nasruddin Shah (Sultan Perak; 1948-1963)

Tunku Ismail ibni Sultan Sir Ibrahim (Tunku Mahkota Johor; then became a Sultan 1959-1981)