SEREMBAN: The Yang Di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan Tuanku Jaafar Tuanku Abdul Rahman, the state’s longest serving ruler, died at the Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital at about 11.45am yesterday. He was 86.
State Secretary Datuk Norzam Mohd Nor said the ruler breathed his last at the hospital where he was brought in earlier for treatment.
Tuanku Jaafar, who ruled the state for 41 years and was the son of the country’s first King, had earlier complained of dizziness and chest discomfort while resting at the Istana Hinggap near here.
Norzam said two senior consultants, Datuk Dr Tarmizi Thayaparan and Datuk Dr K. Sree Raman were rushed to the palace to treat Tuanku Ja’afar, who was also the country’s 10th King.
He said when the two doctors reached the palace, they recommended that the ruler be immediately moved to the hospital as he looked weak.
“Tuanku Jaafar was still conscious when the two doctors reached the palace. He was rushed to the hospital’s intensive care unit,” he said.
The ruler was given emergency treatment and several attempts were made to revive him, but he was pronounced dead about three hours later.
Tuanku Jaafar, who took over the state throne after his brother Tuanku Munawir’s death in 1967, leaves behind consort Tuanku Najihah Tunku Besar Burhanuddin, three sons and three daughters.
Also present at the hospital were members of the royal family and state exco members, police chief Datuk Osman Salleh, state health director Dr Zainal Arifin Omar.
Perak ruler Sultan Azlan Shah and his consort Tuanku Bainun paid their respects at 4.50pm and spent some 30 minutes at the hospital.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan is away in London and is expected back today.
Tuanku Jaafar’s remains were taken to the Istana Besar Seri Menanti in Kuala Pilah at 6.55pm for the lying-in-state ceremony before being laid to rest after the asar prayers on Monday.
The state government has also declared a 40-day mourning period from yesterday and no official events will be held for the next seven days.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi asked for flags to be flown at half mast.
“On behalf of the Government and the people, I express my sadness and offer condolences to Tuanku Ampuan, Tunku Najihah, their children and family over their loss,” Abdullah said in a statement.
Norzam said, “The ruler’s subjects will be required to wear a white armband during the period while Muslim males must wear the band around their songkok.
“Entertainment outlets must also halt all activities over the next seven days,” he said.
Tuanku Jaafar would be placed in the palace’s Balairong Seri (Throne Room) to enable the people to pay their last respects from between 11am to 5pm today, and 11am to 2pm tomorrow.
Later, Norzam said the state’s four chieftains ‑ the Undangs of Sg Ujong, Rembau, Jelebu and Johol ‑ will meet at the palace in Seri Menanti today to pick the new ruler which will be made known on Monday.