- Tuanku Syed Putra
name =Tuanku Syed Putra
title =Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia (King of Malaysia) and Raja of Perlis
caption =Almarhum Tuanku Syed Putra ibni Almarhum Syed Hassan Jamalulail
reign =1945 - 2000
Tuanku Syed Hamzah
Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin
suc-type =Raja Muda
Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin
Tunku Syed Sirajuddin
royal house =
royal anthem =
Tuanku Syed Hassan Jamalulail
date of birth =1920
place of birth =
date of death =2000
place of death =
In full, Almarhum Tuanku
SayyidPutra ibni Almarhum SirSyed Hassan Jamalullail, KCMG( November 25, 1920– April 16, 2000) was the third Yang di-Pertuan Agong(a constitutional monarch with a five-year term) of Malaya and later of Malaysia( September 21, 1960– September 20, 1965), and sixth Rajaof Perlisfrom 1945 to 2000.
He was the son of Syed Hassan bin Syed Mahmud Jamalullail (1897–1935), sometime "Bakal Raja" or heir presumptive to the throne of
Perlis, by his commoner wife Wan Teh binti Wan Endut (d. 1952). [ Finestone, Jeffrey and Shaharil Talib (1994) "The Royal Families of South-East Asia" Shahindera Sdn Bhd] Born in Arau, he was educated at the Arau Malay School and later at Penang Free Schoolbetween 1937 and 1939. [ ( December 27, 2002) "Penang Free School newsletter" ] At the age of 18, he joined the Perlis administrative service, becoming a magistrate and in 1940, was transferred to Kuala Lumpurto serve as Second Magistrate in the Criminal Court. [ Willan, HC (1945) Interviews with the Malay rulers CAB101/69, CAB/HIST/B/4/7]
The Perlis Succession Dispute
The fourth Raja of Perlis,
Tuanku Syed Alwiibni Almarhum Tuanku Syed Safi Jamalullail (born 1881; reigned 1905–1943) was childless. However, he had several half-brothers who were competing for the role of heir presumptive. [ Buyong Adil (1981) "Sejarah Perlis" pp 34–35 DBP ] The succession to the Perlis throne was not automatic and an heir presumptive had to be confirmed in that post by the State Council comprising the Raja and several others. [ Tang Su Chin, Julie (2002) "Sejarah Kerajaan Perlis 1841–1957" p 231 MBRAS ]
Syed Putra's paternal grandfather Syed Mahmud, was the oldest son of Raja
Syed Safiibni Almarhum Syed Alwi Jamalullail (the third Raja). He was also a half brother of Raja Syed Alwi. [ Tang Su Chin, Julie (2002) Op Cit p 232 ] He served as Raja Muda until 1912 [ "Perlis State Council minutes" ( April 15, 1912) CO273 1098a.386/22831 ] when he was convicted and jailed in Alor Star, Kedahuntil 1917. Two years later, he died in Alor Star. [ "Secret Memorandum Howitt to Shenton Thomas" ( March 25, 1937) "Papers of John Hamer" MSS ind. Ocn. s 316 Box 1 File 1] On December 6, 1934, Syed Mahmud's son Syed Hassan was, by a three to one vote, selected by the State Council as "Bakal Raja" or heir presumptive. However, Syed Hassan died on October 18, 1935. [ Tang Su Chin, Julie (2002) Op Cit p 232 ]
April 30, 1938, again by a three to one vote, the State Council chose Syed Putra (son of Syed Hassan) as the "Bakal Raja". This choice was opposed by Syed Hamzah, the younger half-brother of Raja Syed Alwi and himself Vice-President of the State Council on the grounds that Syed Putra was too far removed from the throne under the Islamic inheritance laws (primogeniture did not then apply in Perlis). However, the British colonial rulers supported Syed Putra. [ Tang Su Chin, Julie (2002) Op Cit p 262 ]
On the outbreak of the
World War II, Raja Syed Alwi retreated to Kuala Kangsar, Perak. He returned to Perlis on December 28, 1941but was already very ill and state affairs were exercised by Syed Hamzah. [ Tang Su Chin, Julie (2002) Op Cit p 266 ] Syed Putra was at the time serving in the judiciary in Kuala Kumpurand had been advised by Sultan Musa Ghiatuddin Riayat Shahof Selangorto remain there. In May 1942, Syed Hamzah persuaded Raja Syed Alwi to withdraw Syed Putra's appointment as "Bakal Raja" and instead Syed Hamzah himself was appointed to that post. Raja Syed Alwi died in Arau on February 1, 1943and a day later, before the funeral, Syed Hamzah was proclaimed fifth Raja of Perlis, by the consent of the Japanese Military Governor of Kedahand Perlis. [ Tang Su Chin, Julie (2002) Op Cit pp 267–268 ]
Syed Putra and his family stayed in
Klanguntil May 15, 1942when he returned to Perlis. He lived in a hut near the Araurailway station and received a $90 a month allowance from Raja Syed Alwi but this ceased on the latter's death. [ Willan, HC (1945) Op Cit ] On March 29, 1945he left for Kelantan, the home state of his consort Tengku Budriah, where he sold cakes and sundry goods for a living. [ Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail "My Personal Experience Just Before and After the Japanese Occupation of Malaya" in "Papers of John Hamer" MSS ind. Ocn. s 316 Box 1 File 1]
Return of the British
British Military Administration(BMA) under Lord Louis Mountbattenrefused to recognise Syed Hamzah as Raja. On September 18, 1945, Syed Hamzah abdicated. [ Willan, HC (1945) Op Cit ] He went into exile in Thailandand died in Arauon February 20, 1958. [ Finestone, Jeffrey and Shaharil Talib (1994) Op Cit ]
December 4, 1945the British proclaimed Syed Putra as sixth Raja of Perlis. He returned to Perlis from Kelantan, via Padang Besar. He was installed on March 12, 1949. [ Che Puan Temenggung Perlis (1995) "Putra: Biografi yang diperkenankan tentang riwayat hidup DYMM Raja Perlis, Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail" pp 53 and 56 ]
The Malayan Union experiment
Raja Syed Putra objected to the
Malayan Uniontreaty on the grounds that it contravened the 1930 British-Perlis Treaty giving governing power to the Raja-in-council. However, his protests that he signed under duress was rejected by the British. Subsequently, like all other Malay rulers, Raja Syed Putra repudiated the Malayan Union treaty. [ Tang Su Chin, Julie (2002) Op Cit pp 279–297 ]
Election as Deputy King
Raja Syed Putra was elected Deputy
Yang di-Pertuan Agongby the Malay rulers and served in that office from April 14, 1960until the death of Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shahon September 1, 1960.
Election as King
Raja Syed Putra was elected third
Yang di-Pertuan Agongof independent Malaya and served in that office from September 21, 1960. He was installed at Istana Negara on January 4, 1961. On September 16, 1963upon the proclamation of the Malaysian Federation comprising Malaya, British Borneo, Sarawakand Singapore, he became Yang di-Pertuan Agongof Malaysia. He completed his term of office on September 20, 1965.
Role as King
In September 1963,
Malaysiawas formed and Almarhum Tuanku Syed Putra became known as the last King of Malaya, the first King of Malaysia and the only King that Singaporehas ever had in modern history.
Raja Syed Putra's term of office as
Yang di-Pertuan Agongwas marked by the Indonesian Confrontationbetween newly-created Malaysia and its larger neighbour, Indonesia. He offered to stay on as Yang di-Pertuan Agongat the end of his term, to see out the end of Confrontation, but this suggestion was rejected by then prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman. [ Tunku Abdul Rahman (1977) "Looking Back" p 343 Pustaka Antara, Kuala Lumpur ]
Yang di-Pertuan Agong, he instructed proper treatment of the royal regalia, which he believed was partly responsible for the mysterious final illness and death of Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah, his immediate predecessor. [ Tunku Abdul Rahman (1977) Op Cit p 342 ]
Stadium Negara, the Parliament House, the Muzium Negara, the Subang International Airport, the Masjid Negaraand the wharves at Klang Straits represent some of the milestones of progress which marked the King's happy reign.
But there were sad times as well. Almarhum Tuanku Syed Putra was perturbed that the separation of Singapore from Malaysia had to happen on Aug 9, 1965, just three weeks before the
Merdekacelebrations, and about one month before he left office.
Later role, death and funeral
Raja Syed Putra became the doyen of the Malay rulers, giving advice to more junior Rulers especially during the constitutional crisis with the then prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in 1983 and again in 1993. He died at the National Heart Institute, Kuala Lumpur on
April 16, 2000. At that time, he was the longest reigning monarchin the world, a position he inherited from Prince Franz Joseph II of Liechtensteinin 1989. He was buried at the Royal Mausoleum in Arau, Perlis. [ ( April 18, 2000) "Utusan Malaysia" ]
Tuanku Syed Putra married twice:
# in 1941 to
Tengku Budriah binti Tengku Ismailof the Patani Sultanatein Thailand. She served as his consort with the title of Raja Perempuanof Perlis and as Raja Permaisuri Agong. She is the mother of the current Raja of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddinas well as four other sons and five daughters
# in 1952 to Che Puan Mariam (1924–1985) by whom he had three sons and one daughter
Jalan Syed Putra(formerly Lorney Drive) in Kuala Lumpur was named after him
Sekolah Menengah Sains Tuanku Syed Putrain Perlis is named after him
# Tuanku Syed Putra is the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong to have completed his term in office
# Tuanku Syed Putra was the longest serving ruler of any state after serving as Yang di-Pertuan Agong. He died as Raja of Perlis thirty five years after completing his term as Yang di-Pertuan Agong
# He was the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong to wear the official installation robe "(baju sikap)" of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, a tradition that has been followed ever since
# He was the youngest person ever elected
Yang di-Pertuan Agongbeing 39 years 329 days old.
* [http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/8/14/nation/18581787&sec=nation A nostalgic tale of two Putras] , The Star, August 14, 2007.
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