Yahya Petra of Kelantan

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Sultan Yahya Petra
Yang di-Pertuan Agong
Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia
Reign 21 September 1975 – 29 March 1979
Installation 28 February 1976
Predecessor Abdul Halim of Kedah
Successor Ahmad Shah of Pahang
Sultan of Kelantan
Reign 10 July 1960 – 29 March 1979
Coronation 17 July 1961
Predecessor Ibrahim IV of Kelantan
Successor Ismail Petra of Kelantan
Born (1917-12-10)10 December 1917
Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Unfederated Malay States, British Malaya
Died 29 March 1979(1979-03-29) (aged 61)
Istana Negara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Burial 30 March 1979
Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
Spouse Tengku Zainab
Issue Ismail Petra of Kelantan
Father Ibrahim IV of Kelantan
Mother Che Embong binti Daud
Religion Sunni Islam

Sultan Yahya Petra Ibni Al-Mahum Sultan Ibrahim, GCMG, (10 December 1917 – 29 March 1979) was the sixth Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) of Malaysia from 21 September 1975 to his death, and twelfth (by some reckoning tenth) Sultan of modern Kelantan (1960–1979).

Early career

He was born Tengku Yahya Petra at Istana Balai Besar in Kota Bharu. He was the second son of Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Muhammad IV (b. 1897; reigned 1944–1960) but the first by his commoner wife, Embong binti Daud (1899–1971), who was later promoted to the style Che Ampuan Besar by her son.[1]

The young Tengku Yahya Petra was raised by his childless uncle, Tengku Ismail, later Sultan Ismail ibni Almarhum Sultan Muhammad IV. He was sent to the Francis Light School in Penang before continuing his studies in England. His uncle, Sultan Ismail, appointed him Tengku Temenggong on 21 July 1939. He was later promoted to Tengku Bendahara on 6 February 1945 by his father, then Sultan Ibrahim. He served in various Kelantan civil service posts from 1941 to 1948.[2]

The Kelantan Succession Dispute

Tengku Indra Petra was the eldest son of Sultan Ibrahim and elder brother of Tengku Yahya Petra. After Sultan Ibrahim succeeded his childless brother Sultan Ismail, Tengku Indra Petra had been appointed heir apparent with the title of Raja Muda on 25 October 1944. However, due to conflict with his father, he was dismissed from the post and removed from the line of succession by his father's decree on 1 February 1948. On the same day, Tengku Yahya Petra replaced his brother as heir apparent with the new title of Tengku Mahkota.

Tengku Indra Petra became a politician and was elected a Member of Parliament (MP) in the first federal legislative election of 1955. Tengku Indra's descendants have since disputed their family's exclusion from the line succession of the Kelantan throne.[3]

Tengku Indra Petra did not preside over the installation of Sultan Yahya Petra's successor, Sultan Ismail Petra, It was Tengku Panglima Raja Tengku Ahmad who presided over both installations of Sultan Yahya Petra and Sultan Ismail Petra. Tengku Panglima Raja is the father of the former Sultanah of Johor, Sultanah Zanariah binti Tengku Ahmad.


Sultan Yahya Petra (as he became) succeeded his father a day after the latter's death on 9 July 1960. He was crowned on 17 July 1961 at Istana Balai Besar in Kota Bharu.

Election as Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong

Sultan Yahya Petra served as Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the federal deputy king between 21 September 1970 until 20 September 1975.

Election as Yang di-Pertuan Agong

During the election of the sixth Yang di-Pertuan Agong (the federal king), the most senior rulers Sultan Abu Bakar of Pahang and Sultan Ismail of Johor both declined to be considered. Sultan Yahya Petra also declined nomination at first due to having suffered a serious stroke, but changed his mind and was duly elected.[4] His term began from 21 September 1975.

Events During Kingship

Malaysia's second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak died on 14 January 1976 less than four months into Sultan Yahya Petra's reign as Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Death and Funeral

Sultan Yahya Petra died in his sleep of an apparent heart attack at Istana Negara on 29 March 1979. His coffin lay in state at Istana Negara for a day and was then taken by plane to Kota Bharu where it was buried at the Langgar Royal Mausoleum.[5]

Family life

He was married to Tengku Zainab binti Tengku Sri Utama Raja Tengku Muhammad Petra (1917–1993), who was styled Raja Perempuan Zainab II (her stepmother-in-law was Raja Perempuan Zainab I, consort of Sultan Ibrahim) and Raja Permaisuri Agong. Sultan Yahya Petra and Raja Perempuan Zainab II had one son and six daughters.[6]


Sultan Yahya Petra held the rank of Marshal of the Royal Malaysian Air Force.[1]. He received:

National and Sultanal Honours

Foreign Honours


  1. Sultan Yahya Petra Bridge in Kelantan was named after him.
  2. Petra Jaya, a suburb in Kuching, Sarawak was named after him.


  1. Finestone, Jeffrey and Shaharil Talib (1994) The Royal Families of South-East Asia Shahindera Sdn Bhd
  2. Risalah Pertabalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong VI Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia
  3. (19 November 2005) Harakah
  4. Tunku Abdul Rahman (1978) Viewpoints p 74 Heinemann, Kuala Lumpur
  5. (1 April 1979) New Straits Times
  6. Finestone, Jeffrey and Shaharil Talib (1994) Op Cit
  7. List of recipients of DK I & DK II of Selangor (in Malay)
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Tuanku Abdul Halim
(Sultan of Kedah)
Yang di-Pertuan Agong
(King of Malaysia)

Succeeded by
Sultan Ahmad Shah
(Sultan of Pahang)
Preceded by
Ibrahim IV of Kelantan
Sultan of Kelantan
Succeeded by
Ismail II Petra of Kelantan