Sunday, May 27, 2018

Tunku Vic ~ tribute to a true prince among men (revisited 6 years later)

Y.M. Tunku Aamash bin Tunku Adnan (6 June 1954 ~ 27 May 2012)

Tunku Vic relaxing at his beach house in Port Dickson
The original Prince Charming, Vic ~ a good friend to all!

27 May 2012 was another of those days I found it impossible to get out of bed. There were no visitors, so I was able to indulge myself. By the time I finally forced myself out of bed it was already 4PM - I broke my own record for sluggishness!

First word I heard about the sudden departure of my friend Tunku Vic was from Bernard Khoo's Zorro-Unmasked blog (Bernard himself checked out 4 April 2014, we suspect to party with Vic and another beloved friend, Jane D'Cruz who left 4 days after Vic). I was stunned, to say the least. Last time I saw Vic was on 28 December 2011 in Port Dickson, at a grand beachfront birthday party he kindly hosted for Mary Maguire. He was in top form, beaming good vibes and making all his guests feel relaxed and welcome. We didn't converse much on that occasion. We rarely have to. Tunku Vic of the Negri Sembilan royal house is a soul-brother - and one of the few royals who carries his lineage with dignity, intelligence, wit, wisdom and integrity.

I first got to know Vic through RPK, one of his childhood buddies. Vic really loved RPK and was extremely supportive throughout the trials and tribulations of the maverick Blogger King. When RPK was miraculously released from Kamunting on 7 November 2008, a maroon Rolls-Royce was waiting outside the Shah Alam Court to whisk RPK and his wife Marina directly to a big celebration hosted by Tunku Vic.

Subsequently I kept bumping into Tunku Vic and his exquisite consort Tengku Sharifah Mahiran (a princess from Perlis so friendly and unassuming she insists on being addressed by her nickname, Ms Mo) at various by-elections and every time there was an Abolish-the-ISA candlelight vigil or an event like the Bar Council's Walk for Liberty. These were true aristocrats who felt strongly about restoring civil liberties, human rights, and social justice to Malaysia. They were appalled by the corrupt practices and heavy-handed injustice of the Umno/BN regime - and were unafraid to show their support for the rakyat.

This is why the untimely demise of Tunku Vic is a deep personal loss to me, as well as a major loss to the entire nation. I didn't know that Vic had been diagnosed with leukemia some weeks ago. At some level Vic probably suspected his days were numbered but, stoically, he never once displayed the slightest signs of anxiety - at least not in public - and was irresistibly charming, good-humored and warm every time we had a chat.

Vic, I do wish I had been informed that you were ready to leave. I would have liked to hold your hand and bless your generous heart for showing us what being a true aristocrat is really all about. 

May your ongoing adventures be endlessly joyful. Your friends and family, and all your descendants, will remember you with pride and profound love.

[First posted 27 May 2012]