Today, let the kopitiam refresh the reader's memory on Malaysian history. This tale concerns the southern state of Johor and it's all powerful monarch, before his highness ascended the throne.
The Sultan of Johor, then Tengku Mahmood Iskandar, has a very controversial history. First he was stripped as the heir to the throne by his father, Sultan Ismail, in 1961 after assaulting six people. In 1972-73 however, the young monarch faced a much more serious charge. He was charged with manslaughter and sentenced to death by another young prince who is now the Raja of Perak, Hon. Mr. Justice Raja Azlan Shah.
The Sultan of Johor (Tengku Iskandar), was charged with murdering a Chinese man who was said to be a smuggler due to a dispute. When he was caught, Tengku Iskandar pleaded (falsely) that the man he murdered was a Communist agent. The court, presided by Raja Azlan Shah, didn't buy this story and sentenced him to death.
His father, Sultan Ismail, stepped in to save his eldest son from a gruesome fate. Tengku Iskandar was sentenced to six month's jail and ordered to pay a fine of RM6,000. However his father told him in no uncertain terms that he would never ascend the throne of Johor.
And so, Tengku Iskandar's brother Tunku Rahman, became the heir. Now in 1977 Sultan Ismail's wife, Ungku Tun Aminah, died in a car crash. Subsequently he married again to Tengku Nora binti Tengku Panglima Raja Ahmad. Tengku Iskandar seized this opportunity to marry the sister of his father's second wife - Tengku Zanariah binti Tengku Panglima Raja Ahmad.
A palace coup was in the making. Sultan Ismail was very ill in 1981. The heir of the throne Tunku Rahman was away overseas. Suddenly Sultan Ismail passed away peacefully in 1981. What came next however was an even greater shock. Tengku Iskandar emerged from his father's death bed declaring that his father had pardoned him at his last breath and reinstated him as the heir.
What proof did he had? A document pardoning and reinstating himself as the Crown Prince with his father's fingerprint as a royal thumb of approval. The Chief Minister of Johor at that time, Tan Sri Othman Bin Mohd Saat, couldn't believe what had happened. He questioned Tengku Iskandar's fishy document. He had no power however to stop the royal coronation of Tengku Iskandar (neither did his brother who was overseas). Thus Tengku Iskandar ascended the throne of Johor and is now known as Sultan Iskandar.
The Chief Minister of Johor was pushed out of power in 1982 and the rest is history. Check the links to various shenanigans of Sultan Iskandar and his offspring after he ascended the throne (and became the most powerful man in Johor):
- Demolish Causeway
- Malaysian Royal Arrested Over Wedding Brawl
- Douglas Gomez Assault and Private Adam Amok
- Son of Royal Beats Policeman's Wife
Those are but a sample of the thuggish behavior of this most powerful royal family. The Douglas Gomez assault and it's consequences in law is covered here.