Happy Birthday to the late of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, who was born on 8th February 1903 in Alor Setar, Kedah. Tunku was born to the Kedah Royal Family of Sultan Abdul Hamid and Che Menjalara. He also known as Malaysia's “Father of Independence”. You can read the full biography of Tunku here



1. When Tunku was born, Kedah was still under Siamese sovereignty, making payments of bunga emas (gold flowers) to the Siamese Royal Family

2. His mother and many of his siblings nicknamed him, “Awang”, a name usually given to boys with tanned skin who worked in the paddy fields under the sun. Tunku’s skin was darker than that of his brothers and so they called him ‘kampong boy’ while his father called him “Putra”

3. He often escaped the palace compounds to play with boys of his own age who lived in town; this ability to easily make friends was one of his key characteristics

4.  At the Penang Free School, Tunku proved to be a diligent student and twice obtained promotions

5. Tunku sailed to England by the Blue Funnel Line Cargo ship, named Rhesus, and suffered malaria for most of his journey

6. He studied for the University of Cambridge Entrance Examination first in the English village of Little Stukeley, then in Cambridge

7. Tunku studied Law with a minor in History at St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge University, where he was the only Malay student in the entire university

8.  In 1926, many other Malays had been sent to England to study Law and on Tunku's initiative, he initiated the Malay Society of Great Britain with Tunku Abdul Rahman of Negeri Sembilan as President and Tunku himself as the Honorary Secretary and the driving force. He also cooked curries on Sundays in his flat, to which all Malay students were invited. 

9. It was Tunku who, when he was District Officer of Langkawi, pieced together the tragedy of Mahsuri and  searched for her grave. Tunku also declared that the period of Mahsuri’s curse had expired.  

10.  Tunku was the one who proposed “Terang Bulan”, the former State Anthem of Perak in the late 19th century, be adopted as the National Anthem of Malaya, “Negaraku”


1. Tunku, A Pictorial Biography by Mubin Sheppard

2. Kenali Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj by Maruwiah Ahmat

3. Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj by E.Yu 

4. Tunku Still the Greatest Malaysian by Dr Rais Yatim

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