My Uncle, may he rest in peace

I’ve just received a SMS from my brother to advise me of the passing of my uncle, HRH Tuanku Ja’afar. It is a sad day for us.

My uncle has been the Yamtuan of Negri Sembilan since I was a boy and so for me he has always been Ruler.

With my uncle’s passing, all the male children of Tuanku Abdul Rahman (the first King of Malaya) are gone. His eldest son, Tuanku Munawir passed away in 1967. My father, his youngest son, Tunku Abdullah, passed away only four months ago. And now Tuanku Ja’afar is gone. It is the end of an era.


Tuanku Ja’afar has always been good and kind. He was a sportsman and loved golf. He was a family man. Though I have not seen much of him these past years, I will miss him dearly.

Before becoming the Ruler, he was a Malaysian diplomat and was about to take up his post as the Ambassador of Japan when fate stepped in and he became the 10th Yang DiPertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan.

I remember visiting the Istana with my mother when I was 9 or 10 and played the electric organ. He praised my playing as any good diplomat would. He also said that I looked a bit like him when he was a boy!

Thoughts will undoubtedly turn to who will be the next Yamtuan of Negri Sembilan. Unlike other states, in Negri Sembilan the eldest son does not automatically become the ruler. The Undangs have to elect from the Four Royal Princes.

My thoughts turn to his immediate family, to Tunku Ampuan Najihah, his six children and many grandchildren.

23 responses to “My Uncle, may he rest in peace

  1. Dear Tunku Halim,

    Please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of your uncle, HRH Tuanku Ja’afar. It was a strangely subdued year for you, wasn’t it. Your writing excelled with your intriguing talent, marvellous energy and creative zest for horror; but at the same time you had to seek inner strength for contending with the loss of loved ones.
    I just saw the newsflash blurb on the NST website this early morning here in Dublin, Ireland and immediately thought of you. I came straightaway to your blog.
    Indeed, your uncle surrounded himself as a Malay royal with a significantly notable family. He also made his presence felt in a remarkable way.
    I remember his down-to-earth-manner in speeches from time to time and his no-nonsense attitude towards many things. He always struck me as being an extremely fair-minded ruler from afar.
    I also remember something girlish and this from a wonderful interview, his wife, your aunt, gave the NST many years ago on how happy she was to have married him. She said that as a young bride, she had hidden behind the curtain to have a shy look at him, when her hand was proposed in marriage and that she had giggled a lot. As a woman, I endeared to her feelings. She offered many quirky anecdotes of a happy life with him.
    I do feel sad for her at this moment in time.
    I also sense the closing of a romantic nostalgic era that summed up Malaysian royalty with the passing of your dear uncle.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to your and your family today, Tunku and here too, is wishing you a blessed and peaceful New Year.

    yours sincerely,

  2. Salam Tunku,
    Al Fatehah dan semoga rohnya ditempatkan di sisi mereka yang beriman. Salam takziah to you and family.

    He was indeed a kind man. I met him during his visit to London.
    Al Fatehah.

  3. My heartfelt condolences to you and your family at this sad time. We mourn the passing of an admired, popular and kind ruler.

  4. Al-Fatihah!

    condolences on the passing your beloved uncle, TH.

  5. Our heartfelt condolences to you and your family. I remember the first time I met HRH Tuanku Ja’afar. It was at the “Royal Inspirations” Exhibition which featured his beautiful paintings way back in 1999. May his soul rest in peace.

  6. So sorry, TH, deepest condolences. He’s in heaven now, rest assured.

  7. Salam Takziah to you and the Royal Family, Tunku Halim.

    I also heard that AlMarhum had a very good sense of humour! Once a friend of mine was chided by HRH for not taking a piece of a durian presented to him by HRH, and HRH said to him “Apa ni, tak makan durian, nak jadi orang putih ke?!”..

    Al Fatihah

  8. I met him once him when he came to my school for our 10th year celebration 18 years back. How can I forget the soft spoken Yamtuan..

    My deepest condolences to you and the family. Al-Fatihah to Almarhum.

  9. dear Tunku Halim,

    My deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to you and the all the members of Negeri Sembilan’s Royal Household. He’s been one of my favourite Yang Di-Pertuan Agongs. His passing will definitely be missed.

    May his soul be blessed. Al-Fatihah.

  10. Innalillahiwainnailaihirajiun.

    My deepest condolences, Tunku Halim. May he be placed amongst the blessed ones.


  11. Salam Takziah dari kami sekeluarga.

  12. Dear Tunku

    My heartfelt condolences to you and everyone in the family on the demise of your dear uncle. May he rest in peace.

  13. Salam Takziah.

  14. Dear TH, condolences on the passing of your uncle. I’m so used to seeing his face in the press that it seemed like he had been around forever.

  15. takziah Tunku.

    May his soul rest in peace.

  16. Dear TH,
    Al Fatihah. I was in Port Dickson when I learned about the sad news. Everybody’s grieving.

  17. Dear Tunku Halim,
    My sister, brother & I offer our condolences to the royal family of Negri Sembilan. Our thoughts are with you.
    I have been trying to get some information on a member of your royal family. Her name is Tengku Mushina (brother Tunku Munizar? was my brother’s classmate). They were studying at the English College, Johor Bahru in the late 50s. Tengku Mushina was my sister’s classmate, and she told me that she went to Australia and she lost contact with her.
    You could reply to my email
    Kind regards

  18. I forgot to mention the irony that my husband, an expat, is also a friend of Tunku Nquiyuddin, Tunku Dara Naquiah, etc. when he was based in Kuala Lumpur. What a small world!!

  19. My deepest condolences to you & family, TH.

    I felt connected to Almarhum, of course in a very indirect way, as we belong to the same alma mater, the University of Nottingham, & Almarhum was one of the Royal Patrons.


  20. oh, he is your uncle. my condolence.

  21. Dear Tunku Halim,

    Saya disini ingin mengucap takziah untuk semua kerabat diraja Negeri Sembilan diatas kemangkatan Tunku Jaafar Yang Di Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan. Semoga rohnya dicucuri rahmat. Sampaikan salam saya kepada Tunku Mukriz

  22. Dear TH, I am lokking for a long lost friend of mine Tengku Akram…we were college mates at TAFE..please pass on my contact number 012 4070404. If you can reach him, please. We use to drive in his dad car NY 5 and his NAB 558

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