KUANTAN: Sultan Ahmad Shah Al Musta’in Billah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar (pix), reigned as the fifth Sultan of Pahang for almost 45 years.
His eldest son Tengku Abdullah was announced as his successor yesterday.
The announcement to make Tengku Abdullah as the new Sultan of Pahang was read out by Deputy Chairman of the Pahang Royal Council Tengku Muda Pahang State Tengku Abdul Rahman Sultan Ahmad Shah in a special ceremony held at Istana Abu Bakar in Pekan yesterday. Tengku Abdullah’s proclamation as the new Sultan of Pahang will be held on Jan 15.
The proposal to make Tengku Abdullah the new Sultan was made because his father, Sultan Ahmad Shah, is gravely ill.
Sultan Ahmad Shah, 88, was proclaimed as the fifth Sultan of Pahang on May 7, 1974, following the death of his father, Sultan Abu Bakar and the coronation ceremony was held at Balairong Seri, Istana Abu Bakar, Pekan on May 8, 1975.
Born at Istana Mangga Tunggal in Pekan on Oct 24, 1930, Sultan Ahmad Shah was the third child and only son of Sultan Abu Bakar and his consort Raja Ampuan Fatimah Sultan Iskandar Shah. He was appointed Tengku Mahkota ( Crown Prince) Pahang in 1944, when he was 14 years old.
Sultan Ahmad Shah was elected as Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Sept 21, 1975, and later became the head of state when elected to be the seventh Yang di Pertuan Agong from April 26, 1979, to April 25, 1984.
After his tenure as head of state, he returned to Pahang, and as his health declined, he appointed Tengku Abdullah as the Regent of Pahang on Dec 28, 2016.
Sultan Ahmad Shah received his early education at the Malay School in Pekan and continued his secondary education at Malay College Kuala Kangsar in Perak.
There was a temporary disruption in his formal education during the Second World War, but he took the opportunity to learn Japanese during the occupation of the Japanese army in Malaya.
When the Second World War ended, he continued his studies at the Clifford School in Kuala Lipis and lived with other students at the school’s hostel.
In 1948, Sultan Ahmad Shah pursued his higher education in public administration at Worcester College, Oxford University, and Exeter University, Devon, in the United Kingdom.
He also underwent practical training at the Sidmouth Urban District Council for three years. At age 35, he served as Chief of Staff of the Federal Army’s Infantry Battalion based at the Batu 5 Camp, in Mentakab, Pahang.
Sultan Ahmad Shah married Tengku Hajah Afzan Tengku Muhammad on April 22, 1954 and was blessed with two sons and five daughters, namely, Tengku Tan Sri Meriam, Tengku Datuk Seri Muhaini, Tengku Datuk Seri Aishah Marcella, Tengku Abdullah, Tengku Abdul Rahman, Tengku Datuk Nong Fatimah and Tengku Datuk Shahariah.
After the death of Tengku Afzan on June 29, 1988, Sultan Ahmad Shah married Sultanah Hajah Kalsom on March 14, 1991, and was blessed with another son, Tengku Fahd Mu’adzam Shah.
The sultan has been the Constitutional Head of the International Islamic University (IIUM) since July 1, 1983, and the president of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) since 2011. He has also held posts as the president of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) from 1984 to 2014, and president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) from 1994 to 2002.
Sultan Ahmad Shah has always been the people’s ruler, with a down to earth personality, often ignoring protocol during his visits to the districts of Pahang, especially during floods, to help his subjects.
His main concern is the wellbeing of the people in the state, and he has not shied away from voicing out his views when a certain project is deemed to be detrimental to the public.
This was evident when he expressed his anger and sorrow over illegal land clearing for agricultural purposes in Cameron Highlands in November 2014.
Similarly, during the landslide incident at Km52.4 of the East Coast Highway in November 2015, despite his illness, he went down to the ground to observe the situation for himself and directed the relevant bodies to ensure such incidents did not recur.
He was also loved by the media due to his casual nature, and never declined an interview when met during events. — Bernama