"Seperti pinang pulang ke tampuk, Seperti sireh pulang ke gagang ..."
The Tunku Besar of Seri Menanti, Tuanku Muhriz ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir, was proclaimed as the 11th Yang di-Pertuan Besar or "Yam Tuan" of my home state of Negeri Sembilan yesterday following the death of his uncle, Tuanku Jaafar ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman on Saturday.
The four undang or territorial chieftains from the luak of Sungai Ujong, Johol, Jelebu and Rembau have chosen him over the three princes of the late Tuanku Jaafar. An only son and at the age of 19, Tuanku Muhriz had been passed over by the then undang in 1967 upon the untimely death of his father Tuanku Munawir, the 9th Yam Tuan, as he was considered too young then. His uncle Tuanku Jaafar, then a career diplomat, was installed as Yam Tuan instead.
This must come as a huge relief for many of us orang nogori as we have watched with some anxiety and trepidation over the years the extravagant goings-on in the lives of the Jaafar siblings. Avid party goers, they have been busy filling the high society pages of the Malaysian Tatler, the men elegantly tuxedoed and their women dripping with jewellery. Of late, they have also been featured in the business pages of the local mass media, but perhaps for the wrong reasons.
I do believe the undang yang berempat have made no mistake this time.
P.S: Although he is a few months younger than me, Tuanku Muhriz was one year my senior at the King George V Primary School in Seremban in the late 50's. A good pupil, he had earned a double promotion somewhere along the way.
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