A Malaysian Prince in the Indian Army

Johor royalty and their special links with the Indian Army

The correct way to refer to him in Malaysia is Yang Mulia Tengku Ismail bin Tengku Mahkota Ibrahim, and he is the eldest son of the crown prince of the Bendehara dynasty. His grandfather is the (controversial) Sultan of Malaysia’s Johor state.

But for the next two years, he will have a much shorter title — Lieutenant Ismail Ibrahim of the Indian Army’s 61st Cavalry.

‘‘We have always held the traditions of the Indian Army in high esteem and wanted the prince to study at the Academy,’’ Crown Prince Ibrahim told The Indian Express, after his son was commissioned into 61st Cavalry.

‘‘However, this is just the beginning, and he has many more things to learn,’’ says Crown Prince Ibrahim, before tracing the family’s special relationship with the Indian Army back to World War II.

‘‘During the war, three officers from the Johor Army were sent to the IMA to receive military training, even as the provinces were battling the Japanese. One of them later became the chief of the Malaysian Army, while the other, (Tun) Hussain On, became the Prime Minister of Malaysia,’’ says Crown Prince Ibrahim. Lt Ibrahim plans to stay in the Indian Army for the next two years [IE]

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