Sultan Yahya Petra of Kelantan

Sultan Yahya Petra of Kelantan

name =Yahya Petra
title =Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia (King of Malaysia) and Sultan of Kelantan

caption =Almarhum Al-Sultan Yahya Petra ibni Almarhum Sultan Ibrahim Petra
reign =1960-1979
coronation =1960
predecessor =Sultan Ibrahim Petra
successor =Tuanku Ismail Petra
suc-type =Tengku Mahkota
heir =Tengku Ismail Petra
consort =Sultanah Zainab
issue =Tengku Ismail Petra
royal house =
royal anthem =
father =Sultan Ibrahim Petra
mother =
date of birth =1917
place of birth =Kota Bharu, Kelantan
date of death =1979
place of death =Kuala Lumpur
buried =Kota Bharu, Kelantan|

In full, Almarhum Al-Sultan Yahya Petra ibni Almarhum Sultan Sir Ibrahim Petra, GCMG, (December 10, 1917- March 29, 1979) was the sixth Yang di-Pertuan Agong (roughly equivalent to King) of Malaysia from September 21, 1975 to his death, and twelfth (by some reckoning tenth) Sultan of modern Kelantan (1960-1979).

Early career

He was born Tengku Yahya Petra at Istana Balai Besar in Kota Bharu. He was the second son of Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Muhammad IV (b. 1897; reigned 1944-1960) but the first by his commoner wife, Embong binti Daud (1899-1971), who was later promoted to the style Che Ampuan Besar by her son. [ Finestone, Jeffrey and Shaharil Talib (1994) "The Royal Families of South-East Asia" Shahindera Sdn Bhd]

The young Tengku Yahya Petra was raised by his childless uncle, Tengku Ismail, later Sultan Ismail ibni Almarhum Sultan Muhammad IV. He was sent to the Francis Light School in Penang before continuing his studies in England. His uncle, Sultan Ismail, appointed him "Tengku Temenggong" on July 21, 1939. He was later promoted to "Tengku Bendahara" on February 6, 1945 by his father, then Sultan Ibrahim. He served in various Kelantan civil service posts from 1941 to 1948. [ "Risalah Pertabalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong VI" Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia ]

The Kelantan Succession Dispute

The eldest son of Sultan Ibrahim was Tengku Indra Petra, who had been appointed heir apparent with the title of "Raja Muda" on October 25, 1944. However, due to conflict with his father, he was dismissed from the post and removed by his father's decree from the line of succession on February 1, 1948. On the same day, Tengku Yahya Petra replaced his brother as heir apparent with the new title of "Tengku Mahkota".

Tengku Indra Petra became a politician and was elected a member of parliament in the first federal legislative election of 1955. Although his descendants have disputed their exclusion from the throne [ (November 19, 2005) "Harakah" ] , Tengku Indra Petra did not preside over the installation of Sultan Yahya Petra's successor, Sultan Ismail Petra, It was Tengku Panglima Raja Tengku Ahmad who presided over both installations of Sultan Yahya Petra and Sultan Ismail Petra. Tengku Panglima Raja is the father of the present Sultanah of Johor, Sultanah Zanariah binti Tengku Ahmad.


Sultan Yahya Petra (as he became) succeeded his father a day after the latter's death on July 9, 1960. He was crowned on July 17, 1961 at Istana Balai Besar in Kota Bharu.

Election as Deputy King

Sultan Yahya Petra served as Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong between September 21, 1970 until September 20, 1975.

Election as King

During the election of the sixth Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the most senior rulers Sultan Abu Bakar of Pahang and Sultan Ismail of Johor both declined to be considered. Sultan Yahya Petra also declined nomination at first due to having suffered a serious stroke, but changed his mind and was duly elected. [ Tunku Abdul Rahman (1978) "Viewpoints" p 74 Heinemann, Kuala Lumpur ] His term began from September 21, 1975.

Events During Kingship

Malaysia's second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak died on January 14, 1976 less than four months into Sultan Yahya Petra's reign as Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Death and Funeral

Sultan Yahya Petra died in his sleep of an apparent heart attack at Istana Negara on March 29, 1979. His coffin lay in state at Istana Negara for a day and was then taken by plane to Kota Bharu where it was buried at the Langgar Royal Mausoleum. [ (April 1, 1979) "New Straits Times" ]

Family Life

He was married to Tengku Zainab binti Tengku Sri Utama Raja Tengku Muhammad Petra (1917-1983), who was styled "Raja Perempuan" Zainab II (her stepmother-in-law was Raja Perempuan Zainab I, consort of Sultan Ibrahim) and Raja Permaisuri Agong. Sultan Yahya Petra and Raja Perempuan Zainab II had one son and six daughters. [ Finestone, Jeffrey and Shaharil Talib (1994) Op Cit ]


Sultan Yahya Petra held the rank of Marshal of the Royal Malaysian Air Force. []


# Sultan Yahya Petra Bridge in Kelantan was named after him.


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