Sultan Ibrahim Ismail was born on 22 November 1958 during the reign of his great grandfather, Sultan Ibrahim. He was the eldest son of Sultan Iskandar by his first wife Josephine Ruby Trevorrow, of English ethnicity from Torquay, whom Sultan Iskandar (then Tunku Mahmud) met while he was studying in England. Trevorrow, a proprietor by profession, took on the name of "Kalsom binti Abdullah" for a time following her marriage to Tunku Iskandar. His mother has since remarried and lives in England.
His great-grandfather, Sultan Ibrahim died in London on 8 May 1959, thus, Tunku Ibrahim Ismail's grandfather, Ismail of Johor succeeded him as Sultan of Johor. Ibrahim Ismail moved up to second in line to the throne, after his father.
The late Sultan Iskandar sent him to study at Trinity Grammar School in Sydney, Australia from 1968 until 1970. After finishing his studies, he was sent to Pusat Latihan Tentera Darat (PULADA) in Kota Tinggi for basic military training. He also received military training in the US–at Fort Benning, Georgia and later at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Tunku Ibrahim Ismail was appointed as the Tunku Mahkota of Johor on 4 July 1981, and had been primarily residing at Istana Pasir Pelangi since then. Tunku Ibrahim was the regent of Johor between 26 April 1984 and 25 April 1989 when his father served his term as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia. In recent years, Tunku Ibrahim gradually took over some of the state duties and functions from his aging father; these included the 211th Conference of Rulers, whereby Tunku Ibrahim and Tengku Abdullah, the Tengku Mahkota of Pahang represented their fathers in the meetings, among some other state functions.
A few hours before his father's demise on 22 January 2010, Tunku Ibrahim was appointed as the Regent of Johor, following medical reports that suggested of Sultan Iskandar's pending demise. Sultan Iskandar died on the same night, and Tunku Ibrahim was installed as the Sultan of Johor the following morning. The Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of Johor, Abdul Ghani Othman cited that Sultan Ibrahim and immediate members of the royal family will undertake a mourning period of 40 days. During the mourning season, Sultan Ibrahim made his inaugural presence at the Conference of Rulers in February 2010 as the Sultan of Johor.
On 30 June 2011, Sultan Ibrahim drove the last train from Tanjong Pagar railway station, having received tuition from Chief Locomotive Inspector Hasnol Azahari Aman of Keretapi Tanah Melayu to enable him to do this. He stated that he wished to do this as his grandfather, Ismail of Johor had opened the Causeway between Singapore and Malaya in 1923, and that it was appropriate that he should drive the last train out of the station.
He also declares Muar, the town which lies in the northwesternmost border of Johor replacing Johor Bahru as the new royal capital of Johor on 5 February 2012, coinciding with the Maulidur Rasul celebrations.
Sultan Ibrahim became the first Johor Ruler to celebrate his birthday celebration in Muar on 22 November 2012 as it is his beloved town. He picks the town because it is "rich in history and tradition besides being peaceful, beautiful and progressive". He wanted the state government to gazette all the old buildings in the town as a state heritage. He also wants the local authorities to preserve the cleaniness of Sungai Muar which could be done by relocating the bus and taxi terminals elsewhere.
He was crowned as the Sultan of Johor on 23 March 2015. The last Coronation was that of his grandfather Sultan Ismail on 10 February 1960. From 2015 onwards, 23 March is made an annual state public holiday as the Sultan's official birthday, replacing the public holiday on 22 November, the Sultan's actual birthday.
He is noted for his religious moderation and has condemned the creeping Arabisation of Malaysian Muslim culture.
Sultan Ibrahim married Her Majesty Permaisuri Raja Zarith Sofia, the daughter of Sultan Idris Shah II of Perak, in 1982. They have six children:Tunku Ismail Idris Abdul Majid Abu Bakar (born 30 June 1984). He was appointed the Raja Muda in April 2006 by Sultan Iskandar, and became the Tunku Mahkota upon Sultan Ibrahim's accession.Tunku Tun Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah (born c. 1986) She married Dennis Muhammad Abdullah, formerly Dennis Verbaas, a former semi-professional footballer from the Netherlands, on 14 August 2017.Tunku Idris Iskandar (born c. 1987) The Tunku Temenggong of Johor. He was appointed as the Regent of Johor during the absence of his father and the Tunku Mahkota on 29 September 2012.Late Tunku Abdul Jalil (born 5 Jul 1990, died 5 Dec 2015) The Tunku Laksamana of JohorTunku Abdul Rahman (born c. 1993) The Tunku Panglima of JohorTunku Abu Bakar (born c. 2001) The Tunku Putera of Johor
Sultan Ibrahim had issued a few decrees to the state to date.
Johor, as with the former standalone British protectorates of Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, used to rest on Fridays and Saturdays, in contrast with the former Federated Malay States as well as Malacca, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak and the Federal Territory which observe their weekends on Saturdays and Sundays. Johor, together with Perlis, moved their weekend to Saturday and Sunday on 1 January 1994 to synchronise with Singapore next door as well as with Kuala Lumpur, as Johor by then was a quickly industrialising state.
However on 22 November 2013, on Sultan Ibrahim's birthday celebrations, he decreed that Johor will move back its weekend to Friday and Saturday, to enable Muslims in the state to attend their Friday prayers, effective 1 January 2014. This move was not without certain controversy, as this has caused disruptions, particularly for private businesses dealing with Singapore. The private sector nevertheless continues to rest on Saturdays and Sundays.
In August 2015, Sultan Ibrahim decreed that the name of Kulaijaya district be reverted to its former name of Kulai. He also decreed that Nusajaya be renamed to Iskandar Puteri, as well as renaming Ledang District to Tangkak District.
Sultan Ibrahim issued a decree banning vape in Johor effective 1 January 2016. The purposes of the ban is for the sake of the health of the Johor state residents. Kelantan and Terengganu followed soon after.
In January 2016, Sultan Ibrahim also decreed that the signboard for business cannot exceed more than 6.1m x 1.2m as to prevent any dangers to the public as well as reduces the unsightly signboard which will mar the city beauty.
Occasional reports of alleged criminal misconduct from the 1980s onwards marred Tunku Ibrahim's reputation somewhat, albeit to a much lesser extent than his father, Sultan Iskandar, whose past actions had received considerable attention from mainstream media. In the 1980s, he was convicted of shooting dead a man in a nightclub during a feud, but was quickly pardoned.
In late 1992 to early 1993, Tunku Ibrahim also experienced fallouts of the Gomez Incident–in which his father and younger brother, Tunku Majid were accused of two separate but related incidences of assault which provoked a moral outrage nationwide and ultimately resulting in constitutional amendments allowing members of the royalty to be prosecuted for criminal wrongdoings. During that period of time, the press, which was supported by the Malaysian government, launched a series of vociferous press reports on the history of alleged incidences of royal wrongdoings, of which parliamentarians highlighted that Tunku Ibrahim had been convicted in at least two cases of assault in the 1980s. This included a victim who was allegedly assaulted by Tunku Ibrahim, Rahim Mohd Nor, who went so far as to describe his assault experience as an act of sadism by Tunku Ibrahim.
In March 2005, a member of the Malaysian royalty allegedly assaulted a young woman by the name of Yasmin with whom he accused of two-timing him with another policeman. The victim's father, Mohd Yasin, later lodged a police report which claimed that the assault culprit was Tunku Ibrahim, the Tunku Mahkota of Johor.
Shortly before Filipino politician Benigno Aquino's assassination in August 1983, Tunku Ibrahim met Aquino upon his arrival in Singapore and later brought him to meet other Malaysian leaders across the Causeway. Once in Johor, Aquino met Ibrahim's father, Sultan Iskandar, who was a close friend of Aquino's.
In October 2005, a brawl occurred on Pulau Rawa after a Johor prince allegedly gatecrashed a wedding party. The prince ordered some guests off the island after a fight broke out when a woman refused to dance with one of the gatecrashers. The locals, who felt offended by the woman's attitude, went off but soon returned with golf clubs and weapons and started a fight. In the process, several people were injured and sent to hospital, while five others were arrested, including a 20-year-old prince from the Johor royal family. The names of the culprits were not released by the police, who chose to retain the confidentiality of the attackers. The Tunku Mahkota issued a press statement to urge the culprits to apologise to the affected guests.
The following June, press reports leaked that Tunku Ibrahim had chalked RM 26,700 worth of unpaid traffic fines since 2000, causing much embarrassment to the crown prince. A later report quoted him settling all the past fines with the traffic police.
Tunku Ibrahim also spend lavishly on the unusual car number plate number. For example, in May 2012, he spent RM520,000 to successfully bid for the car number plate WWW 1 for his red orange Satria Neo. In Jan 2014, he also spent a record breaking RM748,000 on the car plate number W1N for his blue Suprima S
Tunku Ibrahim also declare decree that the Kulaijaya name to be revert back to Kulai to reflect the original names of the places. In addition, two more places also follow suit such as Nusajaya changed to Iskandar Putri as well as Ledang changed to Tangkak.
Although given an allowance monthly allowance of RM27,000, Sultan Ibrahim had done some business dealings such asInvestment in Redtone (20% stakes)Investment in MOL AccessPortal (15% stakes) Investment in Umobile (15% stakes) Investment in Berjaya Time Square (20% stakes) Selling 116 hectares of lands to Guangzhou R&F for $4.5 billions Benalec Holdings reclamation sites in PengarangTanjung Piai for petroleum facilities and a maritime industrial parkCountry Garden's reclamation off Tanjung Kupang for Forest City 22 November 1958 - 4 July 1981: His Highness (Yang Amat Mulia) Tunku Ibrahim Ismail ibni Tunku Mahmood Iskandar.4 July 1981 – 26 April 1984: His Royal Highness (Duli Yang Amat Mulia) Tunku Ibrahim Ismail ibni Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj, The Tunku Mahkota.26 April 1984 - 25 April 1989: His Royal Highness (Duli Yang Amat Mulia) Tunku Ibrahim Ismail ibni Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj, The Tunku Mahkota, Regent of Johor.25 April 1989 – 23 January 2010: His Royal Highness (Duli Yang Amat Mulia) Tunku Ibrahim Ismail ibni Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj, The Tunku Mahkota.23 January 2010 - 5 September 2017: His Royal Highness (Duli Yang Maha Mulia) Sultan Ibrahim Ismail ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj, The Sultan of Johor.5 September 2017 – Present: His Majesty (Duli Yang Maha Mulia) Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, The Sultan of Johor.
Sultan Ibrahim's full style and title is: Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, Sultan Yang di-Pertuan bagi Negeri dan Jajahan Takluk Johor Darul Ta'zim.
In English: His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar , The Sultan Sovereign Ruler of the State of Johor Darul Ta'zim and its Territories.
As Sultan of Johor he is the Colonel-in-Chief of the Malaysian Army's Grup Gerak Khas and also the Commandant of the only state defense force in Malaysia, the Royal Johor Military Force with the rank of Major-General.
He was awarded : Grand Master and First Class (DK I) of the Royal Family Order of Johor Grand Master and First Class (SPMJ) of the Order of the Crown of Johor Grand Master and Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Loyalty of Sultan Ismail (1960, SSIJ) Sultan Ismail Coronation Medal (PSI 1st class) 10 February 1960 Sultan Mahmud Iskandar Coronation Medal 11 May 1981 Malaysia : Recipient of the Order of the Crown of the Realm (DMN, 2010) Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Defender of the Realm (3 June 1987, SMN) Kelantan : Recipient of the Royal Family Order or Star of Yunus (DK) Negeri Sembilan : Member of the Royal Family Order of Negeri Sembilan (DKNS, 14 February 2011) Pahang : Member 1st class of the Family Order of the Crown of Indra of Pahang (DK I, 24 October 2011) Perak : Recipient of the Royal Family Order of Perak (DK, 19 April 2010) Perlis : Recipient of the Perlis Family Order of the Gallant Prince Syed Putra Jamalullail (DK, 16 May 2010) Selangor : First Class of the Royal Family Order of Selangor (DK I, 13 January 2011) Terengganu : Member first class of the Family Order of Terengganu (DK I, 27 April 2013) Sabah : Grand Commander of the Order of Kinabalu (SPDK) Brunei : Recipient of the Royal Family Order of the Crown of Brunei (DKMB)