SELANGOR Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah is known for not mincing his words when speaking up on issues that affect the state. Over the years, the monarch has voiced his displeasure over various matters and spoken up against instances of injustice.
Earlier this year, Sultan Sharafuddin took to task individuals and groups which disrespected the royal institution. He said it saddened him that there were people openly insulting and belittling the royal institution, as well as instigating others to hate the Malay Rulers.
“What is truly saddening is that the instigation to hate the Malay Rulers was carried out by some Malays.
“I would like to emphasise that the royal institution has a place in the constitutional monarchy system practised in this country and upholds the provisions enshrined in the Federal Constitution,” Sultan Sharafuddin said at the time.
The Ruler also stated that he was disturbed that the Malay community stood divided due to differing political ideologies.
“I sincerely hope and pray that the Malay Muslim community can unite again for the sake of religion, race and country.
“Buang yang keruh dan ambil yang jernih (discard the bad and take only what is good),” Sultan Sharafuddin said in his address at the swearing-in ceremony of the state’s new executive councillors on May 14.
Sultan Sharafuddin also cautioned the state government that he would take necessary action if the state administration ever had any issues.
“In the event that the people’s interests are not taken care of, the environment is not protected and development is imbalanced, I will use the power vested in me to reprimand the state administration to rectify itself,” he said.
The Ruler’s long-time friend Tan Sri Razman Hashim says Sultan Sharafuddin also abhors racially stoked issues.
“He gets especially upset whenever racial issues crop up in Selangor. Tuanku sees Selangor as a place where people all get along regardless of race and religion,” said Razman.
He added that Sultan Sharafuddin encourages close relationships amongst all races and that the recent riots at the Seafield Sri Mahamariaman temple grounds had upset the Ruler greatly.
“Tuanku asked why people were behaving in such a way and said there was no place for anyone to be racist in this country since we have all been living together for so long,” said Razman.
Sultan Sharafuddin was also instrumental in raising the permissible age for marriage for Muslims from 16 to 18 in Selangor. By doing so, he put a stop to child marriage, making Selangor the first state in Malaysia to do so.
“I view such cases seriously because of the negative impact on the couple’s future, as well as its implication on society,” Sultan Sharafuddin had said in his Royal Address at the opening of the second session of the 14th Selangor Legislative Assembly meeting on Sept 3.
Sultan Sharafuddin is also known to be a loyal friend to those close to him, including Razman.
Razman also said Sultan Sharafuddin never talks down to anyone and that his friends are welcome to hold discussions as well as disagree with him.
“He listens to the views of others and gives his own as well during discussions,” he said.
The extent to which Sultan Sharafuddin values his friends is best reflected through his long friendship with the late artist Datuk Ibrahim Hussein, whom he met when he was just 15.
Ibrahim was 24 at the time, and the two remained fast friends until the artist’s passing in 2009.
Another heartwarming friendship the Sultan had was with the late entrepreneur Datuk Francis Huang, whose dream was to restore SK Convent Klang to its past glory.
Unfortunately, Huang died of cancer in 2007 before refurbishment work at the school was completed.
When it was finished and launched in 2009, Sultan Sharafuddin attended the event and paid tribute to Huang’s contribution to the school’s structural upgrading.
Sultan Sharafuddin was born on Dec 24, 1945, at Istana Jemaah in Klang when his father, the late Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, was the Selangor Crown Prince.
The Ruler, whose birth name is Tengku Idris Shah, became the Raja Muda of Selangor at the age of 15 in 1960, when his father was installed as the Sultan of Selangor. He ascended the throne in 2001 after Sultan Salahuddin’s passing.
In August 2016, Sultan Sharafuddin married television newsreader Norashikin Abdul Rahman, who was later proclaimed Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin.
The Ruler had previously spent many years as a singleton after his divorce from his second wife, Che Puan Nur Lisa Idris Abdullah, in 1997.
“Tuanku has finally found his true love. I’m very pleased to see him so happy and settled after being a bachelor for a long time,” said Razman.
On the occasion of the Ruler’s 73rd birthday, the people of Selangor wish Sultan Sharafuddin good health and many more blessed years ahead.