Ibrahim Ismail of Johor

Last updated
Ibrahim Ismail
Sultan of Johor
Sultan of Johor
Reign23 January 2010 – present
Coronation 23 March 2015
Predecessor Iskandar of Johor
Heir apparent Tunku Ismail
Chief Ministers
Born (1958-11-22) 22 November 1958 (age 61)
Sultanah Aminah Hospital, Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaya
(m. 1982)
Issue Tunku Ismail Idris
Tunku Tun Aminah
Tunku Idris Iskandar
Tunku Abdul Jalil
(Died 2015)
Tunku Abdul Rahman
Tunku Abu Bakar
Full name
Tunku Ibrahim Ismail ibni Tunku Mahmud Iskandar
Regnal name
Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj
House House of Temenggong
Father Sultan Iskandar Ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail Al-Khalidi
Mother Enche’ Besar Hajah Khalsom binti Abdullah (née Josephine Ruby Trevorrow)

Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj (Jawi: سلطان إبراهيم ابن المرحوم سلطان إسكندر; born 22 November 1958) is the 25th Sultan of Johor and the 5th Sultan of modern Johor. He is the son of Sultan Iskandar. A motorcycle enthusiast, Sultan Ibrahim is well-known as the founder of the annual motorcycling tour event, Kembara Mahkota Johor. [1]


Early life

Tunku Ibrahim Ismail was born on at 22 November 1958, Sultanah Aminah Hospital, Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaya [ citation needed ] during the reign of his great grandfather, Sultan Ibrahim. He was the eldest son of Sultan Iskandar by his first wife Josephine Ruby Trevorrow (2 December 1935 – 1 June 2018), an English lady from Torquay, [2] [3] whom Sultan Iskandar (then Tunku Mahmud) met while he was studying in England. [4] [5] Trevorrow, a proprietor by profession, took on the name of "Kalsom binti Abdullah" for a time following her marriage to Tunku Iskandar. [6] His mother has since remarried and lived in England. [7]

His great-grandfather, Sultan Ibrahim died in London on 8 May 1959, thus, Tunku Ibrahim Ismail's grandfather, Ismail of Johor succeeded him as Sultan of Johor. Ibrahim Ismail moved up to second in line to the throne, after his father.

The late Sultan Iskandar sent him to complete his secondary education at Trinity Grammar School in Sydney, Australia from 1968 until 1970. After finishing his high school, he was sent to Pusat Latihan Tentera Darat (PULADA) in Kota Tinggi for basic military training. He also received military training in the USat Fort Benning, Georgia and later at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. [8]

Tunku Ibrahim Ismail was appointed as the Tunku Mahkota of Johor on 4 July 1981, [8] and had been primarily residing at Istana Pasir Pelangi since then. [9] [10] Tunku Ibrahim was the regent of Johor between 26 April 1984 and 25 April 1989 when his father served his term as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia. [8] In recent years, Tunku Ibrahim gradually took over some of the state duties and functions from his aging father; [11] these included the 211th Conference of Rulers, whereby Tunku Ibrahim and Tengku Abdullah, the Tengku Mahkota of Pahang represented their fathers in the meetings, [12] among some other state functions. [13]

Sultan of Johor

A few hours before his father's death on 22 January 2010, Tunku Ibrahim was appointed as the Regent of Johor, following medical reports that suggested of Sultan Iskandar's pending demise. [14] Sultan Iskandar died on the same night, and Tunku Ibrahim was installed as the Sultan of Johor the following morning. [15] The Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of Johor, Abdul Ghani Othman cited that Sultan Ibrahim and immediate members of the royal family will undertake a mourning period of 40 days. [16] During the mourning season, Sultan Ibrahim made his inaugural presence at the Conference of Rulers in February 2010 as the Sultan of Johor. [17]

On 30 June 2011, Sultan Ibrahim drove the last train from Tanjong Pagar railway station, having received tuition from Chief Locomotive Inspector Hasnol Azahari Aman of Keretapi Tanah Melayu to enable him to do this. He stated that he wished to do this as his grandfather, Ismail of Johor had opened the causeway between Singapore and Malaya in 1923, and that it was appropriate that he should drive the last train out of the station. [18]

He also declared Muar as Johor's new royal capital, replacing Johor Bahru on 5 February 2012. This coincided with the Maulidur Rasul celebrations.

Sultan Ibrahim became the first Johor Ruler to celebrate his birthday celebration in Muar on 22 November 2012 . He picks the town because it is "rich in history and tradition besides being peaceful, beautiful and progressive". He wanted the state government to gazette all the old buildings in the town as a state heritage. He also wants the local authorities to preserve the cleanliness of Sungai Muar which could be done by relocating the bus and taxi terminals elsewhere. [19]

He was crowned as the Sultan of Johor on 23 March 2015. [20] The last coronation was that of his grandfather Sultan Ismail on 10 February 1960. [21] From 2015 onwards, 23 March is made an annual state public holiday as the Sultan's official birthday, replacing the public holiday on 22 November, the Sultan's actual birthday. [22]

He is noted for his religious moderation and has condemned the creeping Arabisation of Malaysian Muslim culture. [23] Despite being the only Sultan in Malaysia without tertiary (postsecondary) education, His Majesty is well known for his genuine interests in ensuring quality education of his subjects.

Marriage and issue

Sultan Ibrahim married Her Majesty Raja Zarith Sofia, daughter of Sultan Idris Shah II of Perak, in 1982. [24] [25] They have six children:


Sultan Ibrahim has issued a few decrees to the state to date.

Public weekend from Saturday/Sunday to Friday/Saturday

Johor, as with the former standalone British protectorates of Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, used to rest on Fridays and Saturdays, in contrast with the former Federated Malay States as well as Malacca, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak and the Federal Territory which observe their weekends on Saturdays and Sundays. Johor, together with Perlis, moved their weekend to Saturday and Sunday on 1 January 1994 to synchronise with Singapore next door as well as with Kuala Lumpur, as Johor by then was a quickly industrialising state.

However, on 22 November 2013, on Sultan Ibrahim's birthday celebrations, he decreed that Johor will move back its weekend to Friday and Saturday, to enable Muslims in the state to attend their Friday prayers, effective 1 January 2014. This move was not without certain controversy, as this has caused disruptions, particularly for private businesses dealing with Singapore. The private sector nevertheless continues to rest on Saturdays and Sundays. [33]

District name changes

In August 2015, Sultan Ibrahim decreed that the name of Kulaijaya district be reverted to its former name of Kulai. [34] He also decreed that Nusajaya be renamed to Iskandar Puteri, as well as renaming Ledang District to Tangkak District. [35] [36] [37]

Ban on vape

Sultan Ibrahim issued a decree banning vape in Johor effective 1 January 2016. The purposes of the ban is for the sake of the health of the Johor state residents. Kelantan and Terengganu followed soon after. [38]

Ban on oversized signboards

In January 2016, Sultan Ibrahim also decreed that signboards for businesses must not exceed 6.1 m × 1.2 m, so as to prevent any dangers to the public as well as to reduce unsightly signboards which mar the city beauty. [39]


Allegations of criminal misconduct

Occasional reports of alleged criminal misconduct from the 1980s onwards marred Tunku Ibrahim's reputation somewhat, albeit to a much lesser extent than his father, Sultan Iskandar, whose past heinous crimes had received considerable attention from mainstream media. [40] In the 1980s, he was convicted of shooting dead a man in a nightclub during a feud, but was quickly pardoned. [41] [42]

In late 1992 to early 1993, Tunku Ibrahim also experienced fallouts of the Gomez Incident in which his father and younger brother, Tunku Majid were accused of two separate but related incidences of assault which provoked a moral outrage nationwide and ultimately resulting in constitutional amendments allowing members of the royalty to be prosecuted for criminal wrongdoings. During that period of time, the press, which was supported by the Malaysian government, launched a series of vociferous press reports on the history of alleged incidences of royal wrongdoings, [43] of which parliamentarians highlighted that Tunku Ibrahim had been convicted in at least two cases of assault in the 1980s. [44] This included a victim who was allegedly assaulted by Tunku Ibrahim, Rahim Mohd Nor, who went so far as to describe his assault experience as an act of sadism by Tunku Ibrahim. [45]

In March 2005, a member of the Malaysian royalty allegedly assaulted a young woman by the name of Yasmin with whom he accused of two-timing him with another policeman. [46] The victim's father, Mohd Yasin, later lodged a police report which claimed that the assault culprit was Tunku Ibrahim, the Tunku Mahkota of Johor. [47]

Other incidents

Shortly before Filipino politician Benigno Aquino's assassination in August 1983, Tunku Ibrahim met Aquino upon his arrival in Singapore and later brought him to meet other Malaysian leaders across the Causeway. [48] Once in Johor, Aquino met Ibrahim's father, Sultan Iskandar, who was a close friend of Aquino's. [49]

In October 2005, a brawl occurred on Pulau Rawa after a Johor prince allegedly gatecrashed a wedding party. The prince ordered some guests off the island after a fight broke out when a woman refused to dance with one of the gatecrashers. The locals, who felt offended by the woman's attitude, went off but soon returned with golf clubs and weapons and started a fight. In the process, several people were injured and sent to hospital, while five others were arrested, including a 20-year-old prince from the Johor royal family. The names of the culprits were not released by the police, who chose to retain the confidentiality of the attackers. [50] The Tunku Mahkota issued a press statement to urge the culprits to apologise to the affected guests. [51]

The following June, press reports leaked that Tunku Ibrahim had chalked RM 26,700 worth of unpaid traffic fines since 2000, causing much embarrassment to the crown prince. [52] [53] A later report quoted him settling all the past fines with the traffic police. [54]

Tunku Ibrahim also spend lavishly on the unusual car number plate number. For example, in May 2012, he spent RM520,000 to successfully bid for the car number plate WWW 1 [55] for his red orange Satria Neo. [56] [57] In Jan 2014, he also spent a record breaking RM748,000 on the car plate number W1N for [58] his blue Suprima S [59]

Business dealings

Although given a monthly allowance of RM27,000, [60] Sultan Ibrahim had done some business dealings such as


NameBirth DateBirth PlaceDeath DateDeath PlaceMarriage
SpouseTheir ChildrenTheir Grandchildren
HRH Tunku Ismail Idris Abdul Majid Abu Bakar , Tunku Mahkota30 June 1984 (age 36)24 October 2014Yang Amat Mulia Che' Puan Khaleeda Bustamam YAM Tunku Khalsom Aminah Sofiah
YAM Tunku Iskandar Abdul Jalil Abu Bakar Ibrahim
YAM Tunku Abu Bakar Ibrahim
HH Tunku Tun Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah8 April 1986 (age 34)14 August 2017Yang Berhormat Dato' Dennis Muhammad Abdullah (formerly Dennis Verbaas)Layla Sofiah Dennis Muhammad
HH Tunku Idris Iskandar Ismail, Tunku Temenggong25 December 1987 (age 32)
HH Tunku Abdul Jalil Iskandar , Tunku Laksamana5 July 19905 December 2015(2015-12-05) (aged 25)
HH Tunku Abdul Rahman Hassanal Jeffri, Tunku Panglima5 February 1993 (age 27)
HH Tunku Abu Bakar Mahmood Iskandar, Tunku Putera30 May 2001 (age 19)

Titles and styles

Styles of
Ibrahim Ismail
Reference style His Majesty
Spoken styleYour Majesty
Alternative styleTuanku or Sir

Sultan Ibrahim's full style and title is: Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, Sultan Yang di-Pertuan bagi Negeri dan Jajahan Takluk Johor Darul Ta'zim.

In English: His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, The Sultan Sovereign Ruler of the State of Johor Abode of Diginity and its Territories.

As Sultan of Johor, he is the Colonel-in-Chief of the Malaysian Army's Grup Gerak Khas and also the Commandant of the only state defense force in Malaysia, the Royal Johor Military Force (JMF) with the rank of Major-General.


He was awarded :

Johor honours

Honours of Malaysia

Foreign honours



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  11. Thanam Visvanathan, Ruler with deep concern for peopleSultan Iskandar revered as protective guardian and helpful to all his subjects, pg 1, 8 April 2001, New Sunday Times Special (Sultan of Johor's Birthday)
  12. Conference of Rulers meeting begins, 26 July 2007, The Star
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Khaleeda Bustamam Consort of the Crown Prince of Johor

Che' Puan Khaleeda binti Bustamam is the wife of Tunku Ismail Idris. Through her marriage she is the consort of the Crown Prince of the Malaysian State of Johor.

Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah ibni Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah is a member of Pahang Royal Family and currently reigning as Regent and 4th Crown Prince of Pahang. His father is the current Sultan of Pahang, Al-Sultan Abdullah and his mother is the current Tengku Ampuan of Pahang, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah.

Raja Perempuan Tengku Anis binti Almarhum Tengku Abdul Hamid is the former Raja Perempuan of Kelantan. She is the widow of Sultan Ismail Petra and the mother of the current Sultan, Sultan Muhammad V. She is now styled as Yang Maha Mulia Raja Perempuan Tengku Anis.


Regnal titles
Preceded by
Sultan Iskandar
Sultan of Johor
Heir apparent:
Tunku Ismail Idris