"She Is As Malaysian As I Am" - Johor Permaisuri Pays Tribute To Her Chinese Grandmother

"I was determined for my own children to know and accept that my grandmother was a Chinese."

Cover image via @TheRoyal Johor & @officialsultanibrahim/Facebook

In a post titled 'Love sees no colour', Permaisuri of Johor Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah paid a touching tribute to her Chinese grandmother

Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj and Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Iskandar Al-Mutawakkil Alallahi Shah Afifullah.

Image via AsiaOne

In the post, which was shared on The Royal Johor Facebook page, Her Majesty explained that she received photographs of her three grandchildren for her 60th birthday from her eldest son, Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim.

"Those photographs are displayed on my shelves, together with the many others of my family," Raja Zarith wrote today, 19 August.

One of the photographs is of Tunku Mahkota as a baby, being held in the arms of Her Majesty's maternal grandmother.

Image via Facebook

Her Majesty fondly recalled her grandmother, who was a Peranakan Chinese and sister of Malaysian Federal Court judge Tan Sri Chang Min Tat, in her Nyonya kebaya and batik sarongs

She reminisced seeing the woman at her mother's house in Ipoh, Perak for Hari Raya celebrations.

"Sadly, she passed on when my children were still very young. But I would always show them the photographs of her so that they will never ever forget about her," the post read.

Raja Zarith added that she wished her grandmother could know that she is still remembered as "Nenek" by Tunku Ismail.

"At the age of sixty, I realise that there is still so much for me to learn," the Johor Permaisuri wrote.

"One thing I do know for sure, is that my Chinese grandmother is as Malaysian as I am myself."

Image via Facebook

She explained that her children, with their mixed blood heritage, are also as Malaysian as she is.

"Children are actually — if left to their own pure and innocent thoughts and their own understanding of the world — oblivious about racial differences. It is us — as parents — who consciously, or unconsciously, make them aware about these differences," Raja Zarith said.

Her Majesty added that, "As a parent, I was determined for my own children to know and accept that my grandmother was a Chinese, in the same way that they know that their own paternal grandmother was English."

Image via Bernama

In ending the post, Raja Zarith revealed that her son Tunku Ismail is hoping to perform Haj in Makkah next year

"If Allah accepts him as His guests in the Holy Land, I will ask him to pray, not just for us, his parents, but for family too," she wrote.

"And I will remind him not to forget his Nenek."

The post resonated with Malaysians, as netizens commented that Her Majesty's touching words served as a "timely" reminder of Malaysian unity

Image via Facebook
Image via Facebook
Image via Facebook

Read the full post here:

In the past week, Malaysians have taken to social media to share their heartwarming #MalaysiaUnites stories following controversial remarks made by preacher Zakir Naik:

Read other news on SAYS:

More stories to read: