ALOR SETAR: The people of Kedah are mourning the loss of a Ruler who was close to their hearts and who always held them close to his own.
Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, who passed away at age 89 at the Anak Bukit palace yesterday, has been described by many as a Ruler who always thought about the people and always wanted to see peace and development in the state.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah remembered meeting Tuanku Abdul Halim shortly before leaving for Mecca to perform the haj.
“We met two or three days before I left for Mecca and Tuanku, being the ‘King of Hearts’ that he is, reminded me that apart from looking at ways to develop the state, the state government should at all times think of the welfare of the people,” he said.
“In our meetings, Tuanku would always talk about the rakyat and ask what the state government was doing for them. He would also give his ideas on how to develop Langkawi.
“It’s been 25 years that I have known the late Tuanku. He was always a very simple person despite being Ruler. He did not get involved in politics.
“He was always a very easy man to approach.
“It is a very sad day today for many, including all Kedahans.
“I got the news when I touched down at Sultan Abdul Halim Airport (in Alor Setar). I had been praying for Tuanku’s health and long life. For me, despite Tuanku’s age, his passing was sudden and a shock to many,” he told reporters after making the official announcement of Tuanku Abdul Halim’s death yesterday.
Ahmad Bashah made the announcement at Wisma Darul Aman at about 6.30pm yesterday.
State MCA deputy chairman and executive councillor Datuk Leong Yong Kong said Tuanku Abdul Halim was deeply and fondly loved by Kedahans and many Malaysians.
“He was very caring and always ensured that the sovereignty of the state and nation were always protected.
“He also upheld the principle of democratic governance while safeguarding Islamic values. We will really feel the loss,” he said.
State Education Committee chairman Datuk Tajul Urus said Tuanku Abdul Halim was a very humble Ruler who never raised his voice, was punctual at all events whether big or small affairs, and was a big fan of football and golf.
“He was a great advisor to the state government and public servants,” said Kedah exco Datuk Badrul Hisham Hashim.
“Tuanku always wanted to see the best for the people and the state taken to greater heights.”
In making the official announcement earlier, Ahmad Bashah also said the state government would observe a seven-day mourning period from yesterday while flags would be flown at half mast for three days.
He said the paying of last respects will be done from 11am today before Tuanku Abdul Halim is laid to rest at the Langgar royal burial ground at 4pm.
Asked who would be the successor, Ahmad Bashah said the matter had not been discussed yet.
The current Raja Muda of Kedah, Tan Sri Tunku Sallehuddin Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah, the brother of the late Sultan, is expected to be the successor.
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