YTM Tunku Dato' Paduka Khadijah Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj blowing her candles to celebrate her 80th birthday
Surrounded by her family including younger brother by 1 year Tunku Dato' Seri Ahmad Nerang Tunku Abdul Rahman and eldest daughter YM Sharifah Intan, YTM Tunku Khadijah blew the candles on 2 cakes
Her first cake
Cutting her first cake as daughter YM Datin Sharifah Menyalara, grand daughter Natasha and grand daughter-in-law Diyana looked on happily
Giving last minute instructions to youngest daughter Datin Menyalara
Preparing to give her speech as youngest daughter Datin Sharifah Menyalara looked on
80th birthday cake
Tunku Khadijah with her 3 daughters; YM Datin Sharifah Menyalara, YM Sharifah Intan and YM Sharifah Hanizah
Datin Sharifah Menyalara, Sharifah Intan, Tunku Khadijah, Sharifah Hanizah and Salina Syed Hussein
Tunku Khadijah with her grand daughters and her only grandson, the handsome and sexy Johan Putra, son of Sharifah Intan
Tunku Khadijah with her 3 daughters and grandchildren
Signing her photo wall
YAM Datuk Paduka Tunku Khadijah Tunku Abdul Rahman does her father Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, proud.
ON THE NIGHT OF 28 SEPTEMBER 2012, YANG AMAT MULIA TUNKU KHADIJAH TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN, ELDEST CHILD AND ONLY DAUGHTER OF BAPA MALAYSIA TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN PUTRA AL-HAJ, WAS THE MOST BLESSED LADY IN THE OBSERVABLE UNIVERSE.
YAM Tunku Datuk Paduka Khadijah's children and grandchildren organised a grand birthday party as befitted a grand lady of great class, elegance and grace at The Sage, one of KL's finest (and costliest I must say since I have been there several times before) restaurants.
80 fortunate guests including close relatives, personal friends of the Birthday Girl who have known each other for over half a century and bosom pals of the family thronged the Sage to celebrate this auspicious occasion.
Most arrived before 8pm and when Tunku Khadijah turned up around 8.15pm, all gave a loud cheer and her grandchildren lined up to hug and kiss her. Her relatives, headed by her only brother YAM Tunku Datuk Seri Ahmad Nerang and his wife Datin Seri Lilliana had already arrived and were in the holding room waiting for Tunku Khadijah.
When she entered, everyone stood up and clapped and there were hugs and kisses all round. Not being her relative or close to her, I merely offered to shake hands but at the end of the evening (I was among the very last to leave as usual) Tunku Khadijah gave me a grand gift by kissing me lightly on my cheek! What an honour!
Guest of Honour DYTM Raja Puan Besar Perak Tuanku Zara the Crown Princess of Perak with YM Sharifah Hanizah, YTM Tunku Dato' Paduka Khadijah, YM Datin Sharifah Menyalara and YM Sharifah Intan
The guest of honour was Perak Crown Princess Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Raja Puan Besar of Perak Yang Teramat Mulia Tuanku Zara Salim (nee Davidson), wife of the Crown Prince of Perak DYTM Raja Dr Nazrin Sultan Azlan Shah. She is a chemical engineer and the youngest of 4 children of Datuk William Stanley Walker Davidson (Salim Davidson) and Datin Sharifah Azaliah Syed Omar Shahabuddin.
A birthday kiss from Tuanku Zara Crown Princess of Perak to her aunt Tunku Khadijah Tunku Abdul Rahman
Upon meeting Tunku Khadijah, Tuanku Zara bent and kissed her hand and cheek. I was surprised as Tuanku Zara is a high-ranking princess as she will be the next Sultanah of Perak and future Queen of Malaysia.
Later I asked her why she should 'sembah' someone of lower rank. Tuanku Zara looked bemused. "Tunku Khadijah is my aunt! I love her so much. Of course I treat her as my beloved aunt and my status has no relevance as she is my elder relative and I was greeting her as I have always done over decades. Tunku Khadijah and my mum are old friends too.
"I attended Tunku Khadijah's 70th birthday which was a small event and I assumed tonight would be a small family gathering. If I had known it would be so glamorous, I would be in more formal attire."
The tables were all named 'Opal' as it is the favourite gem of Tunku Khadijah and her birth stone as she was born in October. My table was Fire Opal and there were Black Opal, Crystal Opal and Pure Opal tables. Explains Diyana, "Opal represents Beauty, Truth, Dignity, Hope and Confidence, all of which Tunku Khadijah possesses. The opal can also appear to change colours depending on the angle it is viewed. This is seen as magical. We see this represented in Tunku Khadijah as she is able to adapt and get along with different types of people, and making them feel special. This party was meant for family and close friends, rather than dignitaries and officials."
There was a photo wall showing black and white photos of Tunku Khadijah through the decades and she looked gorgeous as a young lady all the way to today. None can guess she is all of 80 as she looks 60 max! Mind you, her real birthday is on 8 October so I bet there are still plenty of birthday parties and dinners but this was the main one.
After the 80 or so guests were seated, emcee Wan Zaleha gave a welcome speech on behalf of the family and dinner was served. The menu was Scallop Salad, Buckwheat Noodles with Black Truffles, Pineapple Granite as palate cleanser and the main course was either Pan Fried Seabass with Prawn and Shellfish Emulsion or Wagyu Beef with mashed potatoes. I chose the latter which was fantastic. So was the Buckwheat Noodles which I enjoyed so much I asked for second helping. I don't get invited to Sage daily so might as well make hay which the sun shone.
Tunku Khadijah's children all made speeches. First was youngest daughter Datin Menyalara Syed Hussein who heads MC Saatchi and is Malaysia's most successful female advertising agency boss. Datin Menyalara, or Lara to all, warmly welcomed the guests and apologised in advance should anything fall short of expectations. "At first tonight was meant to be casual but protocol must be observed as the guest list expanded."
Eldest daughter Sharifah Intan, Deputy Executive Editor of The Star, spoke about her mother's personality and charisma, "I think we all agree to know my mother is to love her Even people who have known her for a short time can't help but adore her. My mother is the only woman I know who's happy to reveal her age. Unfortunately, she likes telling people my age too.
"The other day I was moaning about growing old. Mum said I should think of being young, not old. It certainly works for her as she looks my age! That is her philosophy, always look on the bright side!
"When asked how she looked so young, she used to say it was due to her volcanic rock pendant. Now it is due to Herbalife! She is a great saleswoman! She watches her diet, does facials and exercise but I think her youthful energy comes from inside, due to her positive outlook.
"She never complains and is a wonderful role model, a trait she inherited from her father, our Bapa Malaysia. She also inherited his compassion, warmth and generosity. She is our rock since my father is now suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
"After her great love for family and friends, I must mention her love for...her car! Those who have sat in her car will know. Those who haven't should remain so! Many know stories about my mother's driving. She once accumulated over RM 12,000 in speeding summonses!
"But mum is a great driver as a Speedy Gonzales. She drives so fast none dares to sleep as she speeds from KL to Kedah at 160, 170 kph. Just hang on tight...and press the imaginary brake. When she had knee surgery, doctors said she should be able to drive in 3 months. Three weeks later, she was driving.
"She puts any man to shame in the way she takes care of her silver-grey Mercedes-Benz 200C , She keeps it in tip top condition. You won't see any scratch or dent. Just a tiny scratch and the car is in the workshop.
"Don't ever commit the sin of eating inside her precious car. Once she drove my aunts to Kedah. On the way, they stopped and bought fruits and snacks. As they walked towards the car, my mother ran and locked the doors, saying "Finish eating before entering"!
"Another time, she was driving and noticed many drivers pointing to the back of her car. She assumed her back door was not locked but as all the doors were auto locked, she ignored them. When she arrived, she went to the back and saw her handphone on top of the boot! Miraculously it hadn't flown off!
"Words cannot express what she means to us. My sisters and her grandchildren think the world of her. She is such a hip mother and grandma. We wish her many more long years of health and happiness surrounded by her loving family and friends!"
As dinner progressed, a specially compiled video was played, showing photos of the birthday girl with family, friends and at leisure.
Kee Hua Chee and YTM Tunku Datuk Paduka Khadijah Tunku Abdul Rahman
The most Glamorous, Gorgeous and Glitzy duo of the night!
YM Sharifah Intan and Kee Hua Chee, Seri Kelantan
YM Sharifah Intan, eldest daughter of Tunku Khadijah and Kee Hua Chee, Seri Kelantan
Salina Syed Hussein and hubby Riezal Suffian
I was surprised Riezal Suffian noticed my bling as I thought my jewels were small and discreet as I can't stand loud, flashy, trashy people
Tunku Khadijah with 80 blue roses, 1 rose for every year!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY YAM TUNKU DATUK PADUKA KHADIJAH TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN PUTRA AL-HAJ!
END OF PART 1