Tunku Abdul Rahman – Early life

As a child liked nothing better than to play with the children in the kampungs, beyond the istana (palace) in which he was reared – an istana built by a Chinese contractor in the style of a pagoda with fire-snorting dragons climbing around the walls in tiled fantasies. The istana no longer stands as it was razed by fire and on its foundations rose the State Council chamber, which marked a new era in the history of Kedah. He also wants to be the sultan of in the early of his birth.

Abdul Rahman began his education in 1909 at a Malay Primary School, Jalan Baharu, in Alor Star and was later transferred to the Government English School, now the Sultan Abdul Hamid College, Alor Star, where he studied during the day and read the Qur’an in the afternoon.

When he first went to school in Alor Star, Kedah, little Tunku screamed against what he considered was the indignity of being carried to and fro by a Court retainer. Royalty was autocratic those days and little princes were not supposed to dirty their feet, hence they were carried everywhere. The Tunku rejoiced the day he didn’t have to be carried to school.

Two years later in 1911, when he was eight, he was sent to study at Debsirin School in Bangkok along with his three brothers. In 1915, he returned and continued his studies at Penang Free School.

In 1918, Abdul Rahman was awarded a Kedah State Scholarship to further his studies at St Catharine’s College in the University of Cambridge, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1925. He was the first student from Kedah to study in the United Kingdom under the sponsorship of the Kedah State Government.

Prior to joining St Catherine’s, he was being coached in the little village of Little Stukeley in Huntingdon, England for entry to a public school

The Tunku was fond of fast driving during his days in England and had amounted 28 traffic offences.

He is also said to be quite superstitious. He does not cut his hair or nails on Friday or walk under a ladder. So now days people also follow him which he did on Friday.


About this entry