KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 — Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II had an easy rapport with Malaysia’s father of independence Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, recalled Tunku Sofiah Jewa, the paternal niece of Tunku.

There was one occasion when Her Majesty personally served him a piece of cake from the pantry when Tunku visited the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh privately in Buckingham Palace, United Kingdom.

Tunku himself had sent a bunch of ‘pisang emas’ (bananas) to the Queen, which she liked very much. 

“And he (Tunku) would always send fresh orchids to the Queen on her birthdays.

“Such was the rapport my uncle had established with the world leaders during his time and above all the Great Monarch of England, Queen Elizabeth II, the Majestic Queen. Malaysians mourn her passing. May Her Soul Rest In Peace. Amen,” said Tunku Sofiah in a statement made available to Bernama via WhatsApp.

Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch, died Thursday at her summer residence of Balmoral Castle in Scotland at the age of 96 after 70 years on the throne.

On Tuesday, the queen’s coffin will be taken to Edinburgh Airport, where it will be flown to London. It will then be placed in Westminster Hall, where it will lie in state for members of the public to pay their respects until the state funeral on Sept 19.

Commenting further, Tunku Sofiah said that on one occasion in 1969, her uncle decided not to attend the Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ Conference in London as his brother-in-law, Tun Syed Sheh Shahabuddin, the then Governor of Penang, was seriously ill.

The Queen, however, instructed the British High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur at that time, Sir Michael Walker, to do everything possible to ensure Tunku’s attendance, as Her Majesty wished to seat him right beside her for a group photograph in Buckingham Palace. 

“Sir Michael had also been asked to arrange with BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) that a flight from Singapore to London would make a special stop at Subang to pick up my uncle if he was willing.

“The date and the time that the plane would be at Subang were also mentioned,” recalled Tunku Sofiah.

Tunku Sofiah said Tunku was hesitant at first to attend the conference due to the health condition of his brother-in-law but later decided to go after he was informed that Syed Sheh was out of danger and was recovering.

“And hence, a  group photograph of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers was taken with my uncle sitting at the right hand side of the Queen. It was indeed an honour for my uncle,” she added.


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