Tengku Abdullah is new Pahang Sultan

Tears rolled freely down her cheeks as Tunku Azizah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan Iskandar embraced her husband Tengku Abdullah Shah.

Tunku Azizah was comforted by her children as they pecked her cheeks while Tengku Abdullah remained cool and composed. 

In between wiping her tears, she broke into a smile or two – infectious smiles that etched in the hearts and minds of those around her.  

Such were the emotional scenes right after the three-and-a-half-hour Pahang Royal Council meeting at Pullman Hotel in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

And it was clear a decision had been made – that Tengku Abdullah would take over the Pahang throne from his father Sultan Ahmad Shah. 

The 88-year-old Sultan Ahmad Shah, who has been the ruler of Pahang since May 7, 1974, is said to be unwell.

The announcement was finally made this afternoon by Tengku Muda Tengku Abdul Rahman Shah.

The proclamation will be on Jan 15.

Twentytwo13 was the first to break the story on Jan 7 that efforts were under way to make Tengku Abdullah the Pahang Sultan, en route to him becoming the 16th Agong.  

The move will also see Tengku Abdullah as the most likely choice to become Malaysia’s new King, after Sultan Muhammad V abdicated on Jan 6.

Following the rotation system, the next in line to become Agong is Sultan Pahang, followed by Sultan Johor and Sultan Perak.

The Malay rulers are scheduled to meet on Jan 24 to discuss and decide on the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The new King will take his oath on Jan 31.  

It is learnt “several Sultans” are backing the move to make Tengku Abdullah King.

However, those close to him said becoming Agong “is not in Tengku Abdullah’s mind at the moment”. 

Tengku Abdullah was appointed Crown Prince of Pahang on July 1, 1975 and formally installed on Oct 23, 1977 at Istana Abu Bakar in Pekan. He was appointed as the Regent of Pahang in 2016, carrying out his father’s day-to-day duties.

Turning 60 on July 30, Tengku Abdullah is a familiar face in the domestic and international sports scene, having served as president of the FA of Malaysia and Malaysian Hockey Confederation in the past and was the former Asian Football Confederation vice-president.

He is currently president of the Asian Hockey Federation and a FIFA Council member.

Tengku Abdullah has nine children – Tengku Amir Nasser, Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan, Tengku Puteri Ilisha Ameera, Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah, Tengku Puteri Ilyana, Tengku Muhammad Iskandar Ri’ayatuddin Shah, Tengku Ahmad Ismail Muadzam Shah, Tengku Puteri Afzan Aminah Hafizatullah and Tengku Puteri Jihan Azizah ‘Athiyatullah.

Tunku Azizah, who will become Tengku Ampuan Pahang, is the sister of Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar. Born on August 5, 1960, she is passionate about cooking and fine arts.

Tengku Abdullah and Tunku Azizah
Tengku Abdullah and Tunku Azizah during Tengku Iman’s wedding reception. Image from Instagram (@imanabdullah)

She appreciates the art of songket and often holds activities and workshops for inmates, believing they deserve a second chance in life.

She is also involved in several organisations, including as founder and life president of Tunku Azizah Fertility Foundation and is the first Royal Patron of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts’ fundraising arm, Friends of Asia Pacific.