Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah ibni Sultan Badlishah, GCB KStJ (born 28 November 1927) is the 14th and current Yang di-Pertuan Agong (head of state) of Malaysia, as well as the 27th and current Sultan of Kedah. He previously served as the fifth Yang di-Pertuan Agong from 1970 to 1975. He is the first person to hold the position twice, as well as the oldest elected to the office.
Born at Istana Anak Bukit near Alor Star as Tunku Abdul Halim, he was the second, but eldest surviving son, of Sultan Badlishah (born 1894; reigned 1943–1958), who later became the 27th Sultan of Kedah. His mother was Tunku Sofiah binti Tunku Mahmud (born 1910), who died in an automobile accident on 28 February 1935. Tunku Abdul Halim's maternal grandfather, Tunku Mahmud, was once Raja Muda or heir presumptive to the throne of Kedah.
He was educated at Alor Merah and Titi Gajah Malay schools and Sultan Abdul Hamid College in Alor Star between 1946 and 1948. He went on to Wadham College, Oxford and obtained a Diploma in Social Science and Public Administration. He subsequently joined the Kedah Administrative Service, serving in the Alor Star district office and later, the state treasury.
On 6 August 1949 he was appointed Raja Muda or heir apparent and succeeded as twenty-eighth Sultan of Kedah on his father's death on 15 July 1958. He was installed at the Balai Besar in Alor Star on 20 February 1959.
First Election as Deputy King
Tuanku Abdul Halim (as he became), served as Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong between 21 September 1965 and 20 September 1970.
Election as King
During his kingship, Tuanku Abdul Halim presided over the first transfer of power of the civilian government when his uncle, Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahmanresigned in favour of his deputy Tun Abdul Razak. Tunku Abdul Rahman had felt that he should not serve under a nephew, given strict Malay royal protocol, but agreed to stay on as prime minister for one day of Tuanku Abdul Halim's reign.
Second election as Deputy King
On 2 November 2006, Tuanku Abdul Halim was for the second time elected DeputyYang di-Pertuan Agong to serve a five-year term beginning 13 December 2006. He is the third person to have been elected twice to this office, after Tuanku Jaafar ofNegeri Sembilan and Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu.
From 13 December 2011, he will become the first person to be elected twice asYang di-Pertuan Agong and the oldest sultan to be crowned in such position (at 84 years 15 days), beating the previous record holder, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz of Selangor, who was crowned at 73 years 49 days.
Second election as King
A council of regency consisting of his brothers Tunku Annuar, Tunku Sallehuddin, Tunku Abdul Hamid Thani, and daughter Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz will discharge his duties as Sultan of Kedah while he serves his term as King.
Tuanku Abdul Halim has two wives:
- Tuanku Bahiyah, daughter of Tuanku Abdul Rahman of Negeri Sembilan, married 1956. She served as Sultanah of Kedah and Raja Permaisuri Agong. She died on 26 August 2003 at Istana Kuala Cegar in Alor Star.  They have 3 daughters: Tunku Soraya, Tunku Sarina and Tunku Intan Safinaz. Tunku Soraya and Tunku Sarina are twins. The daughters produce 5 grandchildren: three grandsons, Raja Nabil Imran, Raja Idris Shah and Raja Siffudin Muadzam and two granddaughters, Raja Sarina Bahiyah and Raja Safia Azizah.
- Cik Haminah binti Hamidun, married 1975. A commoner from Perak, she was titled Che Puan Kedah until 9 January 2004 when she was crowned to Sultanah.
Golden Jubilee Celebrations
On 15 July 2008, Tuanku Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah celebrated his Golden Jubilee as the Sultan of Kedah. He is only the fourth Sultan in a line of 28 Sultans who have celebrated 50 years of reign in Kedah.
In conjunction with the Golden Jubilee, 15 July 2008 was declared as a public holiday for the whole state of Kedah. A ceremony of handing over the contributions in conjunction with the Golden Jubilee was held at the Istana Anak Bukit on 6 July 2008 by Kedah Menteri BesarAzizan Abdul Razak. Throughout the whole week of the Golden Jubilee, various events were held to commemorate the Sultan.
Titles, styles and honours
Titles and styles
|Monarchical styles of|
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong
|Reference style||His Majesty|
|Spoken style||Your Majesty|
- 28 November 1927 – 6 August 1949: Yang Mulia Tunku Abdul Halim ibni Tunku Badlishah
- 6 August 1949 – 15 July 1958: Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Raja Muda Kedah Tunku Abdul Halim ibni Sultan Badlishah
- 15 July 1958 – present: Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah ibni Sultan Badlishah
- 21 September 1970 – 20 September 1975: Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah ibni Sultan Badlishah
- 13 December 2011 – present: Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah ibni Sultan Badlishah
His style and title in full from 13 December 2011 is: Ke Bawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Sir Almu'tasimu Billahi Muhibbudin Tuanku Alhaj Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah or translated into English asHis Majesty the Supreme Ruler of Malaysia Al-Sultan Sir Almu'tasimu Billahi Muhibbudin Tuanku Alhaj Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah.
Tuanku Abdul Halim holds the rank of Marshal of the Royal Malaysian Air Force in his full constitutional duties as Commander-in-Chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces as well as the ranks of Field Marshal of the Malaysian Army and Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal Malaysian Navy
His foreign honours are:
- Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum - 1970
- Collar of the Star of Mahaputra-1st Class - 1970
- Collar of the Order of Pahlavi - 1971
- Knight of the Order of St John (KStJ) - 1972
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) - 1972
- Collar of the Order of Rajamitrabhom - 1973
- Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III (w/Collar) - 1974
- Nishan-i-Pakistan, 1st Class - 1974
Structures, buildings and institutions
- Sultan Abdul Halim Highway and Sekolah Rendah Tunku Abdul Halim in Alor Star, the Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal in Penang,Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital and Sultan Abdul Halim Teachers' Trainee Institute in Sungai Petani and Sekolah Menengah Sultan Abdul Halim in Jitra, Kedah are all; named after him.
- Sultan Abdul Halim Airport in Kepala Batas, Kedah and Polytechnic of Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah (POLIMAS) in Jitra, was also given in honour of his name.