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Duli Yang Maha Mulia Al-Wathiqu Billah Tuanku Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah is the 16th Sultan of the state of Terengganumarker, Malaysiamarker, and the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the constitutional head-of-state of Malaysia.

Early life and education

Tuanku Mizan was born on 22 January 1962 at Istana Al-Muktafi in Kuala Terengganumarker, the eldest son of Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah by his second wife, Sharifa Nong Fatima. He is the first YDP born after Malaysia's independence. Sharifa's family is of Arab descent, from Syed Omar Aljunied, one of the modern pioneers of Singaporemarker.

Tuanku Mizan studied at Sultan Sulaiman Primary School and Sultan Sulaiman Secondary School, Kuala Terengganu. He went overseas to study at the Geelong Grammar Schoolmarker in Geelongmarker, Australia. In 1988, Mizan completed his undergraduate studies at U.S. International University-Europe (now called Alliant International University) in Londonmarker, earning a B.A. in International Relations.

Tuanku Mizan participated in the military course PRE SMC (E) 33 at the Army School of Languages from 1982 to 1983. He then studied the military course SMC 33 at Royal Military Academy Sandhurstmarker in Englandmarker, finishing the course of Cadet Officer on 9 December 1983. Mizan was commissioned as Honorary Lieutenant in 1984 and served in the Royal Cavalry.

Career before becoming Sultan

On 15 September 1981, Tuanku Mizan was appointed as Assistant Land Levy Collector, working for a period of about a year at the District Land Office in Kuala Terengganu, prior to his departure overseas to attend the military course in England. Tuanku Mizan's next appointment in 1988 was as State Administrative Officer at the State Economic Planning Unit (UPEN) in Wisma Darul Iman, Kuala Terengganu. Besides working for UPEN, Tuanku Mizan was also Assistant District Land Officer at the Kuala Terengganu District Land Office.


Mizan was appointed the Crown Prince of the State of Terengganu on the 6 November 1979. On 20 October 1990, he was appointed the Acting Sultan of Terengganu to 8 November 1990.

Mizan became the youngest Malay ruler when he was appointed as the Sultan of Terengganu on the 15 May 1998 following the death of his father, Sultan Mahmud. Mizan was crowned as the 16th Sultan of Terengganu on the 4 March 1999. He has the unusual distinction of simultaneously being the 31st and 51st longest-reigning current monarch (as the Sultan of Terengganu as well as Yang di-Pertuan Agong).

From 1991 to 1995, Mizan was President of the Council for Islam and Malay Culture of Terengganu. Mizan served as an Honorary Colonel in the Royal Armour.

Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong

Mizan was appointed Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the 26 April 1999 after Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, the Sultan of Selangor was elected the 11th Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Following the death of Salahuddin, Mizan became Acting YDP on 21 November 2001.

Mizan was appointed Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the 13 December 2001 after the Conference of Rulers elected Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Ibni Al-Marhum Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail as the 12th YDP.

Mizan served as the first Chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) (2001-2006).

Yang di-Pertuan Agong

On 3 November 2006, Mizan was elected by the Conference of Rulers to become the 13th YDP, with his five-year term starting 13 December 2006. The Conference of Rulers appointed Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah as the Deputy YDP. Mizan's appointment was the fourth following a second rotation system amongst the nine Malay Rulers. This five-year rotational constitutional monarchy is unique to Malaysiamarker.

On 26 April 2007, Mizan was formally invested as king.

Mizan, 44, is the second youngest YDP after Tuanku Syed Putra Almarhum Syed Hassan Jamalullail of Perlismarker, who was elected at age 41. He is also the first King born after Malaysian Independence Day.

Marriage and family

Mizan married Sultanah Nur Zahirah on 28 January 1990 in Kuala Terengganumarker. She is the second consort (Raja Permaisuri Agong) who daily wears the hijab (ritual Islamic headscarf for women).

The royal couple has two sons and two daughters: Princess Tengku Nadhirah Zaharah ((b. 18 December 1996), Prince Tengku Muhammad Ismail (b. 1 March 1998), Prince Tengku Muhammad Mu'az (b. 22 December 2000), and Princess Tengku Fatimatuz Zahra' (b. 19 April 2002).

Mizan appointed his son Tengku Muhammad Ismail the Regent of Terengganu at the age of eight in 2006. Due to his youth, a three-member Regency Advisory Council was set up to discharge his duties. The council is headed by Raja Tengku Baderulzaman, Sultan Mizan’s younger brother. The other members are Sultan Mizan’s uncle Tengku Sri Laksamana Raja Tengku Sulaiman Ismail and former Federal Court judge Dato' Haji Abdul Kadir Sulaiman.

During his younger days, Sultan Mizan liked to play football (known as soccer in the United States). Sultan Mizan is active in football, golf, taekwondo and scuba diving. The Global Taekwondo Federation awarded Mizan an Honorary 7th Degree Black Belt in recognition of his active participation in the sport.


Mizan was conferred the dignitary titles of the Darjah Utama Kerabat Terengganu (D.K.T.) on 15 May 1998 and, before this, the Darjah Kerabat Terengganu Yang Amat Mulia Darjah yang Pertama (D.K.) on 9 March 1981.

Other honours and titles Mizan has received include the Darjah Seri Setia Sultan Mahmud Terengganu Yang Amat Terpuji (S.S.M.T) on 12 February 1989, the Darjah Seri Paduka Mahkota Terengganu Yang Amat Dihormati (S.P.M.T.) on 6 March 1982, the Darjah Kerabat Baginda Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalulail (D.K.) on 28 May 1998, the Darjah Kerabat Johor Yang Amat Dihormati (D.K. ) and the Darjah Seri Paduka Mahkota Johor (S.P.M.J.) on 8 April 1986.

Mizan received the esteemed Darjah Seri Mahkota Negara (DMN) on 27 February 1999.

Mizan holds the rank of Marshal of the Royal Malaysian Air Force.


  1. Al-Mahjar
  2. Associated Press, "Malaysia's 13th king formally installed in tradition-steeped ceremony", International Herald Tribune, 26 April 2007.
  3. "Malaysia's new king takes office", BBC, 26 April 2007, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK

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