- Tunku Azizah was speaking days before July 30 installation ceremony of her husband as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong
- She discussed her Chinese heritage, which she can trace back to Guangdong, and her ability to speak Cantonese and well as some Hokkien
Tunku Azizah is the daughter of the late Johor Ruler Sultan Iskandar and the sister of current Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar. Recounting her family history going back to 1885, she said the late Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor married the daughter of a Chinese merchant, Wong Ah Gew and added that this daughter became Sultanah Fatimah.
Tunku Azizah said that although Sultanah Fatimah had no sons, she ensured her Chinese heritage remained in the Johor royal family by arranging for her two daughters to be married to members of the royal family in the state.
She also revealed that Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok, whom she met six years ago, had borrowed US$3,000 from the Johor royal family to start his business when he was young. She said the Johor royal family was close to Kuok, whose parents supplied daily necessities to the army at that time.
“I don’t remember the details, but I know my grandmother took my father’s – Sultan Iskandar’s – savings and gave it to him,” she said. “I believed he has already returned the money. At that time, US$3,000 dollars was a large amount.”
Tunku Azizah also recalled a joke her late father made when she was a child.
“This happened when my birth certificate went missing. So my father joked that I was actually picked up from a dumpster in China and since my birth certificate was missing, I had to be cut up in pieces and cooked in curry,” she said. “He then said that I had to be eaten in order to be reborn. As a child, that was scary to hear.”
Tunku Azizah said the spectacles she wore made her look like Hong Kong songstress Jenny Tseng and this prompted her family to give her a Chinese nickname.
“They called me Ling Ling from Tong Sua,” she said, adding that many in the Chinese community also called her Jenny Tseng due to her strong resemblance to the singer.
#RobertReview (Malaysia’s Queen): 9 | 10
Published: 28th July 2019.
Malaysian queen discusses her Chinese roots and Johor Sultan lending US$3,000 to Robert Kuok