Sultan Azlan Shah passed away

Perak has lost a great ruler. Sultan Azlan Shah passed away today and it was a sad news for all Malaysians. 

A Sultan for nearly three decades, he was 86 years old and is survived by his wife Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Bainun, as well as a son, Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah and three daughters, Dato’ Seri Raja Azureen, Raja Eleena and Raja Yong Sofia. Another son, Raja Kecil Sulong of Perak Datuk Seri Raja Ashman Shah passed away on March 30, 2012.

The Sultan became the ninth Yang di-Pertuan Agong from April 26, 1989 until April 25,1994.

Sultan Azlan Shah received his early education at the Government English School in Batu Gajah before continuing his studies at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar.

He went on to read law at Nottingham University and was later conferred the Bachelor of Law in 1953, and admitted to the English Bar by the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn on Nov 23, 1954.

His legacy in legal Profession

Upon completing his education, Sultan Azlan Shah returned to Malaysia where he first served as the Assistant State Secretary of Perak. Subsequently Raja Azlan was appointed to the following offices: Federal Counsel and Deputy Public Prosecutor, Legal Adviser of the State of Pahang and later of Johor, Registrar of the High Court in Malaya and Chief Registrar of the Federal Court of Malaysia. In 1965, at the age of only 37, Raja Azlan was elevated to the Bench of the High Court of Malaya being the youngest judge to be appointed in the Commonwealth. In 1973, he was made a Federal Court judge and six years later in 1979, Chief Justice of Malaya, an office which he held until his appointment as the youngest-ever Lord President of the Federal Court of Malaysia on 12 November 1982.

Fate has Raja Azlan Shah installed as the Sultan Perak

By a strange twist of fate, Raja Azlan Shah was installed Raja Muda (Crown Prince) of Perak by his uncle, Sultan Idris Almutawakkil Alallahi Shah II on 1 July 1983.
The long reign of Sultan Idris had taken its toll on Raja Azlan Shah's elder brothers. In that year, his only surviving elder brother, Raja Baharom Shah, refused the office of Crown Prince and Raja Azlan Shah was suddenly heir to the throne. Within six months, Sultan Idris died and Azlan Shah succeeded to the throne of Perak on 3 February 1984. In April 1989, Sultan Azlan Shah became the ninth Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia. He served the full five year term and returned as Sultan of Perak in 1994.

Staunch enthusiasm in hockey

One must never forget the contribution that Sultan Azlan Shah has for the Malaysia's sports arena especially hockey.

Sultan Azlan Shah, 86, who started playing hockey since his school days, played for Perak during his hey days before being elected as the Malaysian Hockey Federation (now Malaysian Hockey Confederation) vice president in 1973.

As a centre-forward for the Perak Malays and Perak State teams, Sultan Azlan Shah was feared by his opponents for his speed as well as his dribbling skills on the field.

Under his stewardship, Malaysian hockey was able to stand on the same platform of the big boys in world hockey like India, Pakistan, Australia and Holland to name a few.
It was also during his time that Malaysia was first given the honour to host the World Cup of hockey in 1975 where Malaysia finished an all time high of fourth in the 1975 edition.

Under his leadership, Malaysia were once again given the host job for the 2002 World Cup which was held at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

In 1997, Sultan Azlan Shah was elected as the President of the Asian Hockey Federation and remained the President until his demise today.
In 1992, Sultan Azlan Shah helped set up the Yayasan Hoki Malaysia, to enable hockey players in the country to enjoy a better benefits in terms of education, welfare and jobs.

Sultan Azlan Shah was also elected as the vice president of the Federation International Hockey (FIH) in 1992 and stayed on for two terms.

The Perak political crisis

This was probably going to be one of the issue being spoken of by people of Perak. 

In his golden years, he was to become embroiled in a political scandal that plunged Perak into a state of crisis. Azlan made several controversial decision that clearly favored Umno, the party that controls the federal government.

As a result, the Pakatan Rakyat coalition that had wrested control of the Perak state government during the March 2008 general election was toppled.

Many Malaysians who admired him were deeply disappointed by his decisions which went against his own judicial rulings. They were saddened at the change in the man, whom the nation had once looked to as a beacon of justice and good faith.

I'm not going to judge the man on a single decision alone. Whether the decision made in the Perak crisis during the 2008 general election was the right one or not, Sultan Azlan Shah is a man we all ought to respect. His passing will be a loss for the nation, and for Perak.

As a Perakian, it is time to mourn for the passing of our Ruler. May God bless him and may the next Ruler be one that possess such wisdom as well as to continue to strive for justice for the Rakyat.