Queen has Chinese heritage, keen to trace root in Guanzhou

KUALA LUMPUR (Sin Chew Daily / ANN) - “I am the queen with Chinese heritage!”

The Queen, Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah reveals to Chinese media in Malaysia during a joint interview held in conjunction with coronation on 30 July that she has Chinese heritage as a Cantonese. Her ancestor originated from Guangzhou with the surname Wong and she speaks some Cantonese and Hokkien.

Raja Permaisuri Agong (Queen) Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah is proud that she has Chinese lineage originated from Guangzhou with the surname of Wong and looking forward to trace her roots in Guangzhou  one day ! 

In a joint interview with Chinese newspapers at the palace in conjunction with installation of 16th King of Malaysia Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on July 30, she said :” I m a Cantonese . I can speak some Cantonese, some Hokkien. During Chinese. New Year I wish Chinese Gong Xi Fa Chai. I receive angpau . I m so happy that I can visit 10 Chinese families in one day during Chinese New Year to receive angpau ! 

“If I visit China to trace my roots, I may be able to find the ancestral home. I could be meeting the fourth generation , whether Ong or  Wong, I confirm I m the queen with Chinese heritage.” 

The easy going and jovial Tunku Azizah shares stories during the interview. 

This can be traced back to year 1885. She recounted how the Johor royalties ended up having Chinese heritage.

A businessman with the surname of Wong from Guangzhou came to Southeast Asia to seek better lives. 

According to history, former Sultan Johor Maharaja Abu Bakar married the daughter of the Chinese businessman Wong Ah Gew in 1885. She later changed her name to Fatimah and was granted the title as Princess Fatimah the same year . 

“My Chinese blood started from Wong Ah Gew ,” she said. 

Tunku Azizah said Wong Ah Gew was also a foster sister of a famous man Wong Ah Fook in Johor Bharu. The following year Abu Bakar changed his title to Sultan, Wong Ah Gew then was bestowed as Sultanah. 

“She came from a very rich businessman’s family. They were rich people from Singapore like the rich in Crazy Rich Asian ! “

 Wong Ah Gew had two daughters. 

“Although she did not have a son, she arranged two other sisters to marry the Johor royalties and ensure that the royalties had Chinese blood.”

Wong Ah Gew’s father was angry that his three daughters were all married to Muslims. He once thought of severing ties with his daughters. Later he witnessed how Sultan Abu Bakar loved Fatimah. He even named the Muar Hospital as Sultanah Fatimah Hospital.  The family was honoured to have daughter married to Johor royalties . 

When he died, he donated all his belongings to Johor royalties. 

“When you visit the Johor museum, all gold and silver wares are marked as Sultanah Fatimah. Johor started the Kangchu system which marked the beginning of Johor’s prosperity. The gold and silver jewelleries that I wear during my wedding  are left by Sultanah Fatimah. “