Tunku Abdul Rahman’s eldest daughter passes away


Big heart: Like her father, Tunku Khadijah loved animals, especially horses.

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Paduka Tunku Khadijah, the eldest daughter of the country’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, was known as a strong, compassionate and generous pillar to all those around her, say her daughters.

Tunku Khadijah passed away from lung cancer at about 7pm on Monday. She was 89.

Datin Seri Sharifah Menyalara Hussein paid a heartfelt tribute to her mother, saying that she was a people person and had treated everyone from all walks of life “compassionately, fairly and respectfully”.

“We really wanted to celebrate her upcoming 90th birthday on Oct 8 this year. She fought until the end,” she said when contacted yesterday.

Born in 1932, Tunku Khadijah was Tunku Abdul Rahman’s firstborn with his Chinese wife, Cik Meriam Chong Abdullah. The Tunku had two other daughters.

Tunku Khadijah’s remains were brought to the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory mosque to be bathed and shrouded before burial at the Bukit Kiara Muslim cemetery.

Sharifah Menyalara said her mother was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer early this year.

“It all happened so fast. She passed away mere hours after being hospitalised,” said Sharifah Menyalara, fondly known as Lara.

Like her father, Tunku Khadjah had a great love for animals, especially horses.

Sharifah Menyalara also noted that her mother shared the same noble values as Tunku, including the importance of having integrity.

“She had the same sense of humour, the same streak of independence and a love for driving fast,” she recalled.

Tunku Khadijah’s other daughter, Sharifah Intan Syed Hussein, described her mother as a “strong and fearless woman”.

“She would have turned 90 in October. Prior to this, she was still active and could drive around. She had an indomitable spirit,” added Sharifah Intan.Tunku Khadijah leaves behind three daughters, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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