Ja'afar of Negeri Sembilan

Tuanku Ja’afar ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman GCB (Jawi: توانكو جعفر ابن المرحوم توانكو عبدالرحمن; 19 July 1922 – 27 December 2008) was the tenth Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) of Malaysia from 26 April 1994 until 25 April 1999 and the tenth Yang Di-Pertuan Besar (Ruler) of Negeri Sembilan.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong X
HRH Tuanku Ja'afar Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.jpg
Yang di-Pertuan Agong
Reign26 April 1994 – 25 April 1999
Installation22 September 1994
PredecessorAzlan Shah of Perak
SuccessorSalahuddin of Selangor
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan
Reign18 April 1967 – 27 December 2008
Installation8 April 1968
Menteri BesarMohamed Said Muhammad
Mansor Othman
Rais Yatim
Mohd Isa Abdul Samad
Mohamad Hasan
Born(1922-07-19)19 July 1922
Klang, Selangor, Federated Malay States, British Malaya
Died27 December 2008(2008-12-27) (aged 86)
Hospital Tuanku Jaafar, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
Burial29 December 2008
IssueTunku Dara Negeri Sembilan Tunku Tan Sri Naquiah
Tunku Laksamana Negeri Sembilan Tunku Dato' Seri Utama Naquiyuddin
Tunku Muda Serting Negeri Sembilan Tunku Tan Sri Dato' Seri Imran
Tunku Puteri Negeri Sembilan Tunku Puan Sri Dato' Seri Jawahir
Tengku Puan Panglima Raja Selangor Tunku Dato' Seri Irinah
Tunku Panglima Besar Negeri Sembilan Tunku Dato' Seri Nadzaruddin
Tunku Ja’afar ibni Tunku Abdul Rahman
Regnal name
Tuanku Ja’afar ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman
HousePagaruyung - House of Yamtuan Raden
FatherTuanku Abdul Rahman Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Muhammad
MotherChe Engku Maimunah Binti Abdullah
ReligionSunni Islam

Early life and educationEdit

Tuanku Jaafar ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman at the age of 6 months, January 1923. Unknown photographer. The Tuanku Ja'afar Royal Gallery, Seremban

Duli Yang Maha Mulia Tuanku Abdul Rahman ibni Almarhum Tuanku Muhammad married Che Engku Maimunah bt Abdullah nee Dulcie Campbell in 1919. The couple subsequently divorced.[1] They had two sons and two daughters who are Tuanku Ja'afar, Tunku Abdullah, Tunku Aidah and Tunku Sheila. Tuanku Ja'afar ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman was born on 19 July 1922 in Klang, Selangor and was raised in Seri Menanti, Negeri Sembilan.

Growing up in an affectionate and considerate family had a profound impact on Tuanku Ja'afar's character. He had a very close relationship with all his siblings. He also emulated his father's practice of visiting the local villagers and performing Friday prayers at Masjid Seri Menanti with his subjects. This childhood experience helped form Tuanku Ja'afar's extraordinary character as an approachable and highly respected individual. Tuanku Ja'afar received his primary education at the Seri Menanti Malay School. Tuanku Ja'afar then continued his studies at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar or better known as MCKK. Sports were a compulsory subject at MCKK. Thanks to his zeal and talent for sports, Tuanku Ja'afar shone in a number of sports and was made the captain for five teams which were cricket, tennis, squash, football and hockey. On top of that, Tuanku Ja'afar was also an impressive badminton and chess player. It was at MCKK that he became close with Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, who was the second Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Tunaku Ja'afar along with Badminton Association at the University of Nottingham, UK. The Tuanku Ja'afar Royal Gallery, Seremban

In 1940, after graduating from MCKK, Tuanku Ja'afar furthered his studies at Raffles College, Singapore. At the time, Raffles College was one of the popular higher education institutions in South East Asia. Tuanku Ja'afar had always favoured sports over studies. As a keen tennis player, he would always play with Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore. Tuanku Ja'afar, who was supposed to complete the three-year programme, unfortunately had to return to Malaya due to the start of the Second World War in December 1941.

Early careerEdit

State OfficerEdit

Tuanku Ja'afar's return from Singapore did not dampen his high ambitions and thirst for knowledge. During the Japanese occupation of Malaya, he worked at the Seremban Land Office, Rembau and also Kuala Lumpur. Then, in the late 1940s, he was transferred to the Perak State Secretariat in Ipoh and was in charge of processing citizenship applications.

In 1946, Tuanku Ja'afar started working in the Malay Administrative Service. Later in 1947, Tuanku Ja'afar was promoted to the position of Tax Assistant in Rembau, Negeri Sembilan. Tuanku Ja'afar was then promoted as the District Officer in Tampin, Negeri Sembilan until 1955 and supported anti-communist campaign. At this time he was also the Chairman of the Tampin District War Committee. Tuanku Ja'afar's experiences and observation during the war years had enriched him. At this time in his life, he now had a higher goal: he wished to further his studies in law.

He spent four years at University of Nottingham and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in 1947 before attending Balliol College, Oxford and the LSE. This decision is driven by his interest in the subject of humanitarian, social and economic sciences. Tuanku Ja'afar was accompanied by Tuanku Najihah and their kids. While at university, he continued playing his favourite sports of cricket, football and badminton. He was also made captain of the Tennis Club and badminton.

Upon his return from the United Kingdom in 1952, Tuanku Ja'afar held several posts in the civil service of the Malaysia including Assistant State Secretary of Perak, Assistant District Officer of Parit, Perak, and District Officer of Tampin.


Tuanku Ja'afar with family while in Egypt, the United Arab Republic in 1963, when he served as ambassador to Cairo, Egypt. The Tuanku Ja'afar Royal Gallery, Seremban
Tuanku Ja'afar and his wife Tuanku Najihah in an event at their home in Lagos, Nigeria in 1965, when he served as an Ambassador. The Tuanku Ja'afar Royal Gallery, Seremban

Tuanku Ja'afar's diplomatic career began in 1957. Tuanku Ja'afar was chosen to attend a one-year Diplomatic Service Course in London. While attending a one-year Diplomatic Service Course in London, the independence entourage led by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj arrived. Their purpose was to negotiate with the officers from the British Colonial Office at Lancaster House, London to obtain independence. Tuanku Ja'afar assisted with the logistics, proposal papers and presentations. The entourage succeeded in achieving its goal when the British eventually consented to give independence to the Federation of Malaya. This news was greeted with great joy and an official ceremony was then held at the Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur on 31 August 1957. His first appointment was as Charge d' Affaires in Embassy of Malaysia, Washington, D.C., United States of America followed by First Secretary with the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, Consular and Deputy High Commissioner at the High Commission of Malaysia, London. Tuanku Ja'afar was later appointed as the Malaysian Ambassador to Egypt and then as High Commissioner to Nigeria and Ghana.

42 years as the 10th Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri SembilanEdit

Tuanku Ja'afar was to have left for Japan to serve as the Malaysian Ambassador to that country but was recalled by the State Government of Negeri Sembilan following the demise of his half brother Tuanku Munawir, the then ruler of Negeri Sembilan, in 1967.

In line with the royal customs of Negeri Sembilan, before proceeding with the burial ceremony of the late Tuanku Munawir, a new ruler must be selected to succeed the late Yang di-Pertuan Besar.

Therefore, all four Undang (Ruling Chiefs of Negeri Sembilan) conferred to choose the late Tuanku Munawir's successor.

The selection of Tuanku Munawir's successor had to be made from four eligible princes, Putera Yang Empat:

1. Tunku Besar Seri Menanti, Tunku Muhriz ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir

2. Tunku Laksamana, Tunku Nasir Alam ibni Almarhum Tuanku Muhammad

3. Tunku Muda Serting, Tunku Ja'afar ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman

4. Tunku Panglima Besar, Tunku Abdullah ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman

The Undang Yang Empat unanimously decided on Tunku Muda Serting, Tunku Ja'afar ibni Tuanku Abdul Rahman, who was 44 years old at the time, to succeed his elder brother as the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan. This proclamation was made by Dato' Undang Luak Jelebu, Dato' Abu Bakar bin Ma'amor, at Balairung Seri Istana Besar Seri Menanti. Tuanku Ja'afar ascended the throne as the 10th Ruler of Negeri Sembilan on 18 April 1967.

10th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of MalaysiaEdit

Photo of the royal family after Tuanku Ja'afar was installed as the 10th Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan in 1968. The Tuanku Ja'afar Royal Gallery, Seremban

Tuanku Ja'afar was the tenth Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia from 26 April 1994 until 25 April 1999 succeeding Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak. On 26 April 1994, two months after he was chosen as the 10th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Ja'afar left Istana Besar Seri Menanti, Negeri Sembilan, for Istana Negara, Kuala Lumpur for the Installation Ceremony held at Balairung Seri Istana Negara. This auspicious event was witnessed by all Malay Rulers or their representatives. As the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Ja'afar played a significant role in fostering ties between Malaysia and other countries.

Tuanku Ja'afar Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia and his wife Tuanku Najiha Raja Permaisuri Agong of Malaysia. Istana Negara, Kuala Lumpur. Tuanku Ja'afar Royal Gallery

Malaysia achieved many milestones while he was the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, among them Malaysia's successful hosting of the 16th Commonwealth Games and APEC Summit, both in 1998. He also worked on Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, the Petronas Twin Towers, the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) and the new administrative capital of Putrajaya.


Tuanku Ja'afar married Tuanku Najihah binti Almarhum Tunku Besar Burhanuddin of Negeri Sembilan in 1942 until his death in 2008, who also served as his Raja Permaisuri Agong between 1994 and 1999. They had issue, 3 sons and 3 daughters:


During his reign as the ruler of Negeri Sembilan, Tuanku Ja'afar focused his attention on the problems of the people and the administration of the state. In handling the socio-economic affairs of the state, Tuanku Ja'afar directed his attention to the industry and public housing sectors so as to improve the living standard of the people. As a result, several new housing areas were developed among which is Taman Tuanku Ja'afar which includes an industrial area and a golf course of international standard, Taman Tuanku Ampuan Najihah in Sungai Gadut and the Mambau housing project. The construction of these housing areas improved the people's chances of owning their own property. This enabled them to enjoy a better standard of comfort. The expansion of the industrial sector paved way for more job opportunities for his subjects, thus improving their standard of living and also eradicating poverty amongst the people of Negeri Sembilan. He also endorsed the setting up of various recreational facilities to encourage families to spend quality time outdoors.


Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) was officially established on 18 May 1970 and is the third oldest university in Malaysia. UKM has always made great efforts to elevate our national language as a medium for education and is the first Malay-medium university, where the language is used in teaching and learning process. It is customary for a higher education institution in Malaysia to be patroned by a Chancellor. Yang Amat Berhormat Tun Razak helmed UKM as its first Chancellor from 7 July 1970 till 14 January 1976.

As the pioneer Chancellor, Tun Razak became a symbol of recognition for the university. Tun Razak was then succeeded by UKM's second chancellor, Tuanku Ja'afar became the second Chancellor of UKM on 16 April 1976. Tuanku Ja'afar had always urged for the improvement of the standard of education in Malaysia. He was awarded Honorary Doctorate of Law by several universities namely the University of the Philippines (27 July 1990), University of Nottingham (21 July 1995), University of Santiago, Chile (28 September 1995) and University of Brunei Darussalam (11 September 1996).

During Tuanku Ja'afar's chancellorship, UKM achieved many significant milestones such as:

1. The appointment as a research university. There are only four research universities in Malaysia.

2. The establishment of Malaysia Genome Institute and Institute of Global Health, United Nations University.

3. Listed in the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) and secured the highest position in 2006 compared to other universities in Malaysia.

4. Recipient of the Prime Minister's Award in 2006.

5. Who successfully led UKM to great heights in achieving national and international excellence and recognition.


Tuanku Ja'afar had a passion for sports, especially golf and cricket. He was a painter.

A calm and tranquil village scenery, drawn on 4 April 1993 by Tuanku Ja'afar himself. The painting is now housed in the Tuanku Ja'afar Royal Gallery, Seremban.


Tuanku Ja'afar died on 27 December 2008 at Hospital Tuanku Ja'afar, Seremban from a stroke. He was 86 years old.[2] His younger brother, Tunku Panglima Besar Tunku Tan Sri Abdullah had died four months earlier. Before Tuanku Ja'afar's death, he was admitted to the hospital after feeling dizziness. He was buried at the Seri Menanti Royal Mausoleum at Seri Menanti on 29 December 2008.


Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Signals RegimentEdit

The Royal Signals Regiment (RSD) is a combat support regiment in the Malaysian Army. Its main role is to establish and secure communication facilities for the command and tactical elements of the Malaysian Army. This Regiment is also involved in providing electronic warfare support and securing all communication channels amongst formation quarters and tactical teams. As the Colonel-in-Chief for RSD, Tuanku Ja'afar ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman often participated in RSD-organised programs such as visits to military camps, sporting events such as the Novelty shooting competitions frequently held at shooting ranges.

Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers CorpsEdit

"The existence of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps for over 50 decades would not be possible without the sacrifice and service of our previous and current soldiers. In this perilous journey so full of trials and tribulations, our fallen warriors are the national heroes who wished to see KJLJD excel not only on the national front but also in the international scene" – Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps, Tuanku Ja'afar ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman. The initial role of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps is to provide technical support such as the maintenance of many military equipment owned by the Malaysian Army. The Corps have now expanded to accommodate many more services.

Royal Malaysian Air ForceEdit

Tuanku Ja'afar also held the rank of Marshal of the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

Honours of Negeri SembilanEdit

As Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan (8 April 1967 – 27 December 2008), he was:[citation needed]

Honours of MalaysiaEdit

Foreign honoursEdit

Royal Family Order of the Crown of Brunei. Awarded Honour to Tuanku Ja'afar in 1996. The Tuanku Ja'afar Royal Gallery, Seremban

He received many foreign awards during his years of royal service. These are:[citation needed]

Tuanku Ja'afar Royal GalleryEdit

Tuanku Ja'afar ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman, 19 July 1922 – 27 December 2008. The Tuanku Ja'afar Royal Gallery, Seremban

The Tuanku Ja'afar Royal Gallery located nearby to Taman Tasik Seremban, is a building with an area of approximately 44,000 square feet that houses a gallery which was developed to revive the memories of Tuanku Ja'afar ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman. The Gallery was the brainchild of the Late ruler who wanted to build a gallery that portrayed the uniqueness of Negeri Sembilan's roots, the past royal rulers of Negeri Sembilan and his life journey. The Royal exhibition highlighted the exclusivity of the concept of 'Biographical Journey of Tuanku Ja'afar' with eight consecutive exhibition chambers.


Many places and landmarks were named after him. These are:


  1. ^ Halim (1998), p. 24, 26
  2. ^ "Yang Dipertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan mangkat". Utusan Malaysia. 27 December 2008. Archived from the original on 31 December 2008. Retrieved 27 December 2008.
  3. ^ "DK I 1982". awards.selangor.gov.my.
  4. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado
  5. ^ "Resolución N° 816/996". www.impo.com.uy. Retrieved 27 November 2020.


  • Halim, Tunku Abdullah, A Passion for Life, All-Media Publications, 1998, ISBN 983-99449-0-8
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Sultan Azlan Shah
(Sultan of Perak)
Yang di-Pertuan Agong
(King of Malaysia)

Succeeded by
Sultan Salahuddin
(Sultan of Selangor)
Preceded by Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan
Succeeded by