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Published: Friday January 22, 2010 MYT 5:26:00 PMUpdated: Sunday January 24, 2010 MYT 2:45:29 PM
By NELSON BENJAMIN, FARIK ZOLKEPLI, DESIREE THERESA GASPER and MOHD FARHAN SHAH
JOHOR BARU: The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Iskandar Ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail, passed away at the Puteri Specialist Hospital here at 7.08pm on Friday. He was 77 years old.
He will be laid to rest at the Royal Mausoleum at 2pm on Saturday. Members of the public can pay their respects at the Istana Besar from 9am 10.30am, while dignitaries can do so from 11am to noon.
He was admitted earlier Friday due to an unspecified illness.
Sultan Iskandar was born on April 8, 1932 in Johor Baru and became Sultan on May 11, 1981. He was also the eighth Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, from April 26, 1984 until April 25, 1989.
Two hours before his death, the Tengku Mahkota of Johor Tunku Ibrahim Ismail was appointed the Regent.
News about the Sultan not being well had surfaced Thursday night. Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman cut short his trip to India with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and returned by 6pm on Friday.
The first to visit the Sultan in the morning was the Sultan and Tengku Mahkota of Pahang, who arrived by helicopter, while former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi visited him at about 3.40pm.
By then, the press and a large group of members of the public were waiting at the lobby of the hospital. Media offices were inundated with calls from people who wanted to know about the sultan’s condition.
Tunku Ibrahim Ismail and the Raja Muda of Johor Tunku Ismail Idris Tunku Ibrahim Ismail left the hospital at 4.40pm.
The swearing-in of the regent was held soon after at the Istana Besar here.
In the ceremony, Johor Council of Royal Court Yang DiPertua Tunku Osman Tunku Temenggong Ahmad declared that Tunku Ibrahim Ismail will perform the duties of the Sultan of Johor as required under Section 9(1)(b) and 9(2) of the Johor State Constitution 1895.
During his declaration of oath as acting ruler, Tunku Ibrahim Ismail said that he would rule fairly for all the rakyat (people).
“I also swear to guard and respect Islam as well as the Malay tradition under the state constitution,” he said.
Among the dignitaries in attendance were the Raja Muda Tunku Ismail Ibrahim, Tengku Bendahara Tunku Majid Idris, Johor State assembly speaker Datuk Ali Hassan, Johor Mufti Datuk Tahrir Shamsuddin, Johor Islamic Council adviser Datuk Nooh Gadut, several state executive council members and state police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff.
Sultan Iskandar is survived by his wife Sultanah Zanariah Almarhum Tunku Ahmad and 10 children, including Tunku Ibrahim Ismail and Tengku Bendahara Tunku Majid Idris.
He received his early education at Ngee Heng Primary School in Johor Baru before furthering his studies at English College, now known as Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar.
He later furthered his studies at the Trinity Grammar School in Australia and then to United Kingdom.
Upon completing his studies in 1956, Sultan Iskandar returned to Johor and served as a cadet officer with the Johor Civil Service. He was formally appointed the Tengku Mahkota (Crown Prince) on April 29, 1981. On May 11, 1981, he was proclaimed the fourth Sultan of Johor following his father’s death.
He also received basic military training with the Johor Military Forces founded by his great-grandfather Almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar in 1885. He was the commander of the military before he passed away.
In his younger days, his hobbies including horse-riding, fast cars, go-carts, race boats, hunting, tennis, golf, boxing, swimming and polo.
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