ALOR STAR: Tuanku Hajjah Bahiyah Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman was born on Aug 24, 1930, in Sri Menanti, Negri Sembilan.
She was the eldest daughter of Tuanku Abdul Rahman Almarhum Yamtuan Muhammad and Tunku Kurshiah Almarhum Tunku Besar Tunku Burhanudin, who were the Yang di-Pertuan Besar and Tuanku Ampuan of Negri Sembilan.
The royal couple were later installed as the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong for the Federation of Malaya on Aug 31, 1957.
Sultanah Bahiyah married the Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, on March 3, 1956, in Sri Menanti and was installed as the Sultanah of Kedah on Feb 20, 1959.
They have three daughters – Tunku Datuk Seri Soraya, Tunku Sarina (deceased) and Tunku Datuk Seri Puteri Intan Safinaz.
She has five grandchildren from Tunku Soraya’s marriage to Raja Datuk Seri Iskandar Dzulkarnain Almarhum Raja Idris A’fifullah Shah (Raja Kecil Sulong of Perak).
Sultanah Bahiyah received her early education at Sekolah Melayu Sri Menanti and Sekolah Convent Seremban. She furthered her studies in Social Science at Nottingham University, England, from 1951 to 1954.
On Sept 21, 1970, Sultanah Bahiyah became the Raja Permaisuri Agong when Sultan Abdul Halim was installed as the fifth Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
She was appointed Chancellor of Universiti Malaya from 1972 to 1986, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Education by the university in 1979.
Sultanah Bahiyah had captured the hearts of the people with her smile and various charity and voluntary work she was involved in.
She was the brains behind the setting up of the Sultanah Bahiyah Foundation in 1997 to help the less fortunate and was the royal patron of the foundation.
She was also the patron of, among others, the Malaysian Children’s Aid Society, the Kedah Netball Association, the Kedah Orchid Association, the Kedah Blood Donation Association, the Kedah Family Planning Association, the Kedah Girl Guides Association, the Kedah Children’s Welfare Association and the Kedah Women’s Welfare Association.
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