Recently, pictures of Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak doing regular things like taking the train and shopping for books went viral all over the internet.
Many Malaysians were pleased by the Sultan and his family’s humility as they were praising the deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong for his simplicity because he often does regular chores all by himself.
Some netizens also testified that Sultan Nazrin is indeed a nice person and a people’s king. Truly, this sultan is so nice, so much so that it’s pretty much impossible to say anything bad about him. #truestory
So, if you’re curious to know more about Sultan Nazrin, we’ve compiled several interesting facts about the people’s king and, TBH, we were blown away by this man’s background and calibre.
1. Sultan Nazrin’s mum (Tuanku Bainun) was a civilian
Usually, Malaysian royalties only wed royalties from other states because they like to keep their circle tight. Nevertheless, it’s not uncommon for royalties to marry a commoner.
One good example is Sultan Nazrin’s father, Sultan Azlan Muhibbudin Shah who wedded a non-royal yet amazing person because of love. How beautiful!
Fun fact: Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak was the 9th Agong and he served the nation from 26 April 1989 to 25 April 1994.
if you didn’t know, Sultan Azlan actually met Tuanku Bainun when she went to the Malayan Teachers’ Training College (MTTC) in Kirkby, Liverpool. The amazing lady was sponsored by Tanah Malaya federal government to train there.
The late King of Perak first laid eyes on the love of his life at the famous Heathrow airport, London. He and his Malaysian college mates were there to receive a group of students from Malaysia who came for the teaching programme. Sounds just like a fairytale!
After the two lovebirds tied the knot, Tuanku Bainun still worked as a teacher and she also continued working when the Sultan was a Majistret in Kuala Lumpur. #goals
However, she finally retired from the profession after 22 years of teaching in schools in KL, Seremban, Raub, Taiping and Kuantan. Imagine having an actual queen for a teacher!
Having said that, Tuanku Bainun’s passion for teaching and education is probably why Sultan Nazrin has achieved a lot academically too. After all, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
2. He is the only Sultan with a PhD and has degrees from several esteemed colleges from all around the world
If you aren’t aware, Sultan Nazrin is a highly educated man who has several degrees from the most esteemed colleges in the world. You can take a look that the list of degrees the sultan has below:
- Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics – Worcester College, Oxford
- Master’s in Public Administration – Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
- Doctorate (PhD) in Political Economy and Government – Harvard University
What makes his academic achievement even more impressive is that the Sultan is the first and only royal to hold a PhD degree, therefore, the intelligent man is known as Raja Dr Nazrin Shah. Whoa!
His academic success is just #lifegoals, tbh.
3. He has an impressive resume
Aside from an amazing academic background, the Sultan also has an impressive resume which will make anyone’s jaw drop. We are not even kidding.
If you don’t believe us, you may want to take a look at the list of roles he had played and is still playing below:
- Co-chair of the United Nations High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing 2015
- Malaysia’s Special Envoy for Interfaith and Inter-civilisational Dialogue at the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC)
- Chancellor of the University of Malaya – Malaysia’s oldest university
- Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment of Royal Engineers
- Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Medical Corps in the Malaysian Armed Forces
In addition to the aforementioned list, Sultan Nazrin is also an accomplished academic because he is a Fellow to several prestigious universities all around the world. Hence, we have listed down of all the universities where he is either a Fellow, a Trustee or a Patron:
- Honorary Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford University
- Honorary Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge University
- Honorary Fellow of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge University
- Trustee of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Oxford University
- Royal Fellow of the Malaysian Institute of Defense and Security
- Royal Fellow of the Malaysian Institute of Strategic and International Studies
- Royal Fellow of the Institute of Public Security of Malaysia
- Royal Patron of the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations of Malaysia
- Royal Patron of the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre
Phew, that is one impressive resume, don’t you think?
4. He possesses the highest humanitarian award from the US
Sultan Nazrin’s passion for the rule of law, economy and, especially, humanitarian causes is not a secret anymore. This is exactly why he was appointed as the co-chair of the High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing in 2015.
So, obviously, the sultan will be honoured with the highest humanitarian award, the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award which is normally given to people for their humanitarian services.
The Melvin Jones Fellowship Award from the Lions Clubs International Foundation is based in Chicago, USA. The picture below is an example of the award:
FYI, The Melvin Jones Fellowship was founded in 1973 and, on their website, they stated that it’s not just an award but an honour. It’s the highest form of recognition for individuals in humanitarian services.
5. He turned down the state fund and funded his own wedding
A much lesser known fact about Sultan Nazrin is that he actually funded his own wedding as he turned down a state allocation for his wedding with Zara Salim Davidson (now known as Tuanku Zara Salim).
According to the former Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali, Sultan Nazrin didn’t permit the state government to spend money for his wedding. Instead, the Sultan advised them to use the money for development projects that will bring good to the people. He puts people first even before his own marriage!
Adding on, Sultan Nazrin also bore all the expenses for his wedding feast, which was held for the public. The Sultan’s wedding was conducted in a very simple manner than most royal weddings. How inspiring.
6. He is a bookworm and has his own private library
With all the pictures of Sultan Nazrin in Kinokuniya surfacing and going viral online, it’s pretty obvious that the man is an avid reader. A netizen revealed that when he met the Sultan in Kinokuniya, he noticed that the Sultan bought books on topics related to religion, history, social politics and so forth.
Thus, the Sultan’s burning passion for knowledge and books is probably why he has a private library where he keeps his priceless collection. Prince Adam from Beauty and the Beast would be shook.
In 2015, it was revealed that his library has over 30,000 books and his library is his favourite place to be, especially during his free time. The Sultan believes that reading doesn’t only make us knowledgeable but it also “helps us form excellent ethics”. True that.
At this point in time, it’s safe to say that our love for Sultan Nazrin has only grown fonder ever since he came into the spotlight. The Sultan who once shed tears over the passing of a normal rakyat is, undoubtedly, a people’s king.
His humility and compassion for his rakyat has earned him a place in our hearts and it looks like he’s going to stay for a bit longer. Not that we mind!
To Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak, Daulat Tuanku and long live the King!
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