Regent, Ruler, Royal: 17th Agong Sultan Ibrahim's life and achievement
SHAH ALAM - The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar will be installed as the 17th Yang di-Pertuan Agong today for a five-year term, effective January 31, 2024.
Sultan Ibrahim is known for his forthrightness in discussing politics and for having a positive rapport with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The soon-to-be King is also a car enthusiast and has a wide range of luxury cars in his collection, including the world’s most expensive Mack truck.
Sultan Ibrahim also made history after securing the 'FF1' vehicle number plate with a bid of RM1.2 million. This made 'FF1' the most expensive license plate ever issued for a single vehicle in Malaysia.
He also has vested interests in several business ventures, ranging from real estate to mining.
Let's take a closer look at the life and achievements of Sultan Ibrahim.
Sultan Ibrahim's journey began with military training. Following in the footsteps of his forefathers, he underwent rigorous military and civilian training to build resilience and discipline. His leadership qualities became evident after he finished high school.
He joined the Young Officers Tactical Course at the Malaysian Army Training School, where he became a platoon commander. Later, he received a special invitation to attend the Young Officers Course in Georgia, USA. He also took courses in airborne and ranger training for infantry officers.
After a brief break, he participated in the American Special Forces Green Beret and Pathfinder Course, completing 19 parachute jumps, including eight at night.
His outstanding performance earned him the prestigious Green Beret and wings. He is also part of the SEAL team and an honorary member of the Indonesian red beret group, KOMPASUS, after successful parachute jumps in Bandung.
Education and Versatility
Upon returning to Johor, the young prince was appointed as the deputy commanding officer of the Johor Military Forces. During his tenure, he decided to pursue a career as a helicopter pilot with the Royal Malaysian Air Force.
Thanks to his remarkable skills and determination, he was granted the privilege of flying solo after just four hours of training.
His exceptional abilities allowed him to graduate as a pilot one intake earlier than his peers, and he received his wings during a passing-out parade on April 26, 1982, where he served as the parade commander.
In addition to his military pursuits, Sultan Ibrahim also undertook training as a Royal Malaysian Navy officer for three months at the RMN base in Lumut, making him a well-rounded army, navy, and air force officer.
To further enhance his knowledge and prepare for his role as a just and respected ruler, he also pursued additional education at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Here, he completed two courses: Southeast Asian Strategic Studies and International Laws of the Seas.
In the service of the state government, HRH held various positions, including roles in the State Secretariat, Treasury, Land Office, Town and Country Planning Department, Forestry Department, and Agriculture Department.
Through these experiences, he gained valuable insights into the complexities of management and administration, setting the stage for his future role as a ruler.
Crown Prince and Prince Regent
As his father, Sultan Iskandar, assumed the throne of Johor, Tunku Ibrahim was officially declared the Crown Prince on July 3, 1981.
Later, when his father was appointed as the Yang DiPertuan, Tunku Ibrahim took on the role of Regent of Johor from April 25, 1984, to April 25, 1989, fulfilling the responsibilities of a sovereign.
This period allowed him to refine his skills and put into practice the discipline, knowledge, and abilities he had acquired to govern his state.
Upon his father's passing, Tunku Ibrahim Ismail was elected the Sultan of Johor on January 23, 2010.
Sultan Ibrahim is married to Her Royal Highness Raja Zarith Sofiah Binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, and they have been blessed with six children.These include five sons and one daughter, each playing a unique role within the royal family;
DYAM Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Tunku Mahkota Johor
YAM Tunku Tun Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Binti Sultan Ibrahim
YAM Tunku Idris Iskandar Ismail Abdul Rahman Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Tunku Temenggong Johor
YAM Tunku Abdul Jalil Iskandar Ibrahim Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Tunku Laksamana Johor (deceased)
YAM Tunku Abdul Rahman Hassanal Jeffri Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Tunku Panglima Johor
YAM Tunku Abu Bakar Mahmood Iskandar Ibrahim Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Tunku Putera Johor
Kembara Mahkota, Johor
The Kembara Mahkota Johor, also known as the "Johor Royal Excursion," was a charitable initiative he initiated back in 2001 when he was the Crown Prince of Johor.
This annual event features a high-powered motorcycle convoy and involves the participation of the YAB Menteri Besar and State Government officers, who organise charity projects in all ten districts of Johor. Sultan Ibrahim also encourages his family members, including HRH Raja Zarith Sofiah and their children, to engage with the people through this programme.
The inaugural Kembara Mahkota Johor: "Johor Royal Excursion" took place from July 2 to July 4, 2001. Over three days and two nights, a convoy of 28 high-powered motorcycles covered eight districts and travelled a total of 870 kilometres.
The initial aim of this motorcycle journey was to foster stronger connections between the royal palace and the people while also promoting local tourism.
Due to the success of this event, the Crown Prince of Johor decided to make it an annual charity event with the primary goal of aiding the less fortunate.
Royal Town of Muar
On February 5, 2012, Sultan Ibrahim made a gracious decision to declare Muar, also known as Bandar Maharani, as the Royal Town.
He announced this at the Johor state-level celebration of the Prophet Muhammad's birthday (PBUH) at the Sultan Ibrahim Mosque in Bandar Maharani, Muar.
There were several reasons behind this significant decree. Bandar Maharani holds great importance, being the second most significant town after Johor Bahru. It is home to Istana Tanjung, a designated stopover palace for the Johor Royal Family when HRH Sultan is in Bandar Maharani.
This town has a rich history of hosting the Sultan's birthday and investiture ceremonies, dating back to the time of the late Sultan Abu Bakar.
Passion for Sports
Sultan Ibrahim has a strong passion for sports, particularly polo. This passion has taken him to international championships. He's also an enthusiastic participant in various sports, including tennis, sailing, shooting, racing, and parachuting.
A notable achievement in his sporting journey was obtaining the Class 26 Train Driver's License. He accomplished this by successfully handling an 86-tonne locomotive using a turntable device, making history in the process.
His remarkable feat earned him recognition from the Malaysian Book of Records (MBOR) as the first Malay ruler to officially operate a train. Dr Aminuddin Adnan, the President of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB), awarded him the licence on June 29, 2010, at the Gemas Railway Station.