With a couple of days left to the third anniversary of the Prince of Johor Tunku Abdul Jalil Ibni Sultan Ibrahim's passing, the Johor Permaisuri took to her personal Facebook page to honour four Malaysian-Indian men in her life
"On 5th December, it will be three years since my son, Jalil, passed away. Our family has not stopped grieving but this year, the grief is mixed with a kind of particular sadness: a sadness to see that racial intolerance and misunderstanding have come to the fore again," Johor Permaisuri Raja Zarith Sofiah wrote in a post.
"With the rioting which took place at the site of the Indian temple in Subang Jaya recently, where a Malay fireman was injured seriously, and the racial tension that flared up afterwards, I thought of all the Indian friends and staff who have been part of my family's everyday life."
First, she honoured the "family doctors", Datuk Subramanyam Balan and Datuk Singaraveloo, who were part of the medical team that looked after the late prince
"Over the years, whenever my husband or my children were ill in the middle of the night, it would be one of these two doctors who would rush over and treat them. It didn't matter what time it was: whether it was before midnight or three in the morning," she shared.
"And when Jalil was diagnosed with liver cancer, it was these two doctors with whom we - and Jalil - were most comfortable. Because Jalil was used to see (sic) both doctors come in and out of our home to treat us from the time he was little, theirs were familiar, friendly faces. And he had come to trust them."
She added that when the late prince took his last breath, it was Datuk Subramanyam Balan who had looked at the clock and confirmed the time of his death.
She then honoured her children's 'nanny', Mohan
"When our eldest son, Tunku Mahkota Johor, was just a year old, it was Mohan who looked after him while my husband was waterskiing at Stulang Laut."
Mohan had taught all of the Johor Permaisuri's children how to swim, and whenever they wanted to go swimming, it would be Mohan who would look after them and be in the water with them for "hours and hours".
"When my children were still young, and if my husband was away from home, I would ask Mohan to stay at our house because I was frightened of being in a house of just children and women (my maids)," she explained.
"He would not sleep until the other staff had come in to work in the morning. I trusted him with my life and the life of my children."
She also spoke of Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar's police aide-de-camp (ADC), Datuk Sugumaran
"He has proven and shown his love and loyalty to my husband. He has always remained honest and sincere - even if it means getting yelled at (which happens quite often!)"
"When I was on holiday in England in 2009, it was Datuk Sugumaran who became my youngest son's companion and who helped him pick apples from the tree; or feed the ducks in the park," she wrote.
At the end of her post, the Johor Permaisuri hoped for peace in the country
"My husband and I have many friends of other races," she wrote, adding, "but, for now, while the scrutiny is on Malaysian Indians, it is these four men who I think deserve mention, and a thousand thank-yous from my family."
"May Allah grant peace in our country, and a love in our hearts for each other as Malaysians."
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