7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Our First Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman

He used to play as a winger for his college football team.

Cover image via Wikiwand &

1. He knew how to cook a good curry

Tunku Abdul Rahman carrying great granddaughter Sharyn Lisa, Sharifah Intan's daughter.

Image via Wong Chun Wai

According to Tunku's cook, Salmiah Md Isa, our first Prime Minister enjoyed cooking and was pretty good at it. Some of his favourite dishes included ikan masin goreng, gulai Siam, kailan goreng belacan, and fish curry.

2. He loved driving fast cars

Image via Blues Riders

Here's Tunku Abdul Rahman standing beside a Chrysler Imperial, his official car in 1956.

3. He used to take power naps after lunch

Image via Wikiwand

Tunku enjoyed his power naps, and used to sleep for half an hour after lunch every day.

4. He used to play football for his college team as a winger

The Malaya football team with Tunku Abdul Rahman after winning the second season of Merdeka Cup in 1958.

Image via Pinterest

Tunku Abdul Rahman was an avid sportsman. He played football for his school and college teams as a winger. Later on, he also became the President of Selangor Football Association, as well as the President of Football Association of Malaysia. In 1958, he was elected as the first president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

5. People sometimes confuse him with his namesake, Tuanku Abdul Rahman

Tunku Abdul Rahman was the seventh son of Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah, the 25th ruler of the Kedah Sultanate. Born in Alor Setar, Kedah, he became known as Malaysia's Bapa Kemerdekaan.

On the other hand, Tuanku Abdul Rahman was born in Seri Menanti in 1895 and succeeded the throne of Negeri Sembilan in 1933. When Malaya gained independence in 1957, Tuanku Abdul Rahman was elected as the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong. To this day, his portrait is still featured on the Malaysian Ringgit note.

6. He used to be a columnist for The Star newspaper

After his retirement as Prime Minister, Tunku wrote feature articles for the Looking Back column in The Star newspaper, at that time still a small English language daily in Penang.

7. He has multiple roads in Malaysia named after him

Image via Prestige Online

In Malaysia, there are five Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman - in Penang, Kedah, Melaka, Perak, and Putrajaya.

One of the most remarkable things about our first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, was his compassion.

This Hari Kebangsaan and Malaysia Day, Axiata wants to celebrate this legendary man by telling real stories of how Tunku touched many lives. Watch True Stories of Tunku - "Insan Budiman" below:

Featuring first-hand eyewitness accounts of the legendary acts of compassion by the nation’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, True Stories of Tunku - "Insan Budiman" is narrated from the memories of Malaysians whose lives he touched.

Hear from those who lived closest to him, including his personal helper and cook, those who worked alongside him like our former Finance Minister, as well as those who were inspired by him.

From how he once gave up his umbrella to a woman in the crowd amidst the pouring rain...

Image via Axiata

... to the way he asked for Masjid Negara to be built beside the train station, Tunku was always looking out for the people

Image via Axiata

Discover timeless inspiration through Tunku's untold stories of compassion through True Stories of Tunku - "Insan Budiman" today

Image via Axiata

As our Father of Independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman set the path for our nation and even for corporations such as Axiata Group. Taking Tunku's compassion as their guiding principle, Axiata group has also came up with initiatives aimed to empower and advance individuals, impacting multiple segments of society in Malaysia.

Inspired by Tunku Abdul Rahman, Axiata has also launched a special film called Our Story. Watch it below:

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