When he was a young man, Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok borrowed 3,000 dollars from the Johor royal family to start his business, the Raja Permaisuri Agong told local Chinese media during a recent interview.
Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Iskandar said Kuok’s parents at that time supplied daily necessities to the military, adding that the Johor royal family was naturally in close contact with him.
She remembered that it was after World War II when the young Kuok asked for the loan. “One day, Robert Kuok came to find us, requesting to borrow 3,000 dollars, to let him start an enterprise.
“I don’t really recall the details, but I know my grandmother took my father’s —Sultan Iskandar — savings to lend to Robert Kuok to let him start his business.
“I believe he has already returned the money… at that time, 3,000 dollars is a very large sum! My father at that time was only a child, to be able to have 3,000 dollars in savings was quite remarkable!” she was quoted saying by Sin Chew Daily.
(The currency used at that time in Malaya was referred to as dollars.)
She said she mentioned the incident to Kuok when she met him in Hong Kong years later when he was already successful.
“He still remembered, but he candidly told me he really did not know it was Sultan Iskandar’s savings… really did not know.
“This is what I want the ethnic Chinese to know, it’s a pity that he did not write about this past incident in his autobiography,” she was quoted saying, referring to Kuok’s book.
She said her late father Sultan Iskandar had, as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, voluntarily offered to grant Kuok the honorary title of “Tan Sri”, but the latter had turned down the offer and insisted on not being given the honour.
“I really respect Robert Kuok, and also want to invite him to attend the installation ceremony, really hope he can attend last time when I met him he was already 89. You know he shows filial piety to his mother, that time when he started out in business, no matter what business decision, he would consult his mother, his mother’s residence was in Johor!” she said in the interview.
Tunku Azizah is the daughter of the late Johor ruler Sultan Iskandar and the sister of current Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim.
She is the wife of Pahang ruler Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, who will be installed as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on July 30.
Source : Malay Mail