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Retired coalman is royal billion-heir

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Keith Williams: Retired collier could be a billionaire

WHEN EXPLORING his family tree, Keith Williams was shocked to find out that not only was he the first-born son of the 33rd Sultan of Malaysia, but he was also his biological heir. Keith’s father was one of 9 different sultans in Malaysia. Each sultan takes turns to rule the country for 5 years, before retiring into luxury. 

Keith, a retired Pembrokeshire coal delivery man, lives with his wife Vanessa in a cosy bungalow in Penygroes – a contrast to his father who was brought up in the huge golden-turreted palace Istana Iskandariah in Kuala Kangsar.

Keith was put up for adoption by his birth mother when he was 4 months old and lived at the Caeglas Children’s Home in Ffairfach until he was 18 months old. Keith was then adopted and grew up in a loving family home with his adoptive parents. He found out that he was adopted when he was 13 years old, which was around the time that his father ascended to the throne from prince to 33rd Sultan.

Keith left school at 15 to join his adoptive father’s coal delivery business. Unfortunately, due to delivering 112lb sacks of coal for over 20 years, he developed chronic back pain. This condition forced him to retire 6 years ago.

He did not make any attempts to track down his biological parents until after the birth of his first grandchild, following a suggestion by his wife. Keeping his mission a secret from his adoptive parents and armed with only a marriage certificate and an address for someone who witnessed his mother’s wedding, he was met with many dead ends along the way. In his late forties, he received an address and began writing to his mother, Elizabeth Rosa Hodge. Having been apart for nearly 50 years, they eventually reunited. His mother was now living in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire andhad two daughters and a son with her Polish husband George Grzegorez.

Keith had 16 “wonderful” years with his birth mother until she died at 81 years of age. In their years spent with one another she pieced together the story of his heritage, divulging the information that his father was Malaysian royalty.

He learned that his mother had been swept off her feet into a whirlwind romance with London university student and sultan Idris Iskandar Al- Mutawakki Alallahi Shah whilst she was a 17 year old student nurse in Surrey. After falling pregnant, she returned to her Llanelli home and after the birth put Keith up for adoption.

The sultan returned to Malaysia to avoid the royal scandal that would’ve been brought on by having a baby out of wedlock with a foreign ‘commoner’, and Elizabeth lost all contact with him. She learned that he never received any of her letters, but she had kept everything she had written to him and the photos they had taken together.

In a step towards finding his father, Keith requested his birth records from Social Services. The documents listed a description of him which said that “The father of the child is a Malaysian. A married man with a family.” This would later serve as his proof.

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Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Shah: 33rd Sultan of Perak

Keith said that the search for his biological father was difficult due to the sultan’s royal status. He eventually found out that the 33rd sultan was his father but had died in 1984 of a heart attack and had left behind 10 children.

Upon learning of his father’s death, Keith decided to attempt to contact some of his half brothers and sisters in Malaysia. By chance, his son Simon stumbled across a photo of the sultan on MySpace. The woman who had posted the image was the Sultan’s daughter, Ku Ess.

After contacting Ku Ess, Keith decided to take a DNA test to prove his heritage to his Malaysian family. He asked one of his half-brothers for a male DNA sample to compare against his own, but was shocked to receive a reply stating that they were no ordinary family and did not want to openly expose any skeletons in the cupboard.

Keith began to think that due to the amount of the power the Sultan had, he must also be extremely wealthy, and concluded that the family were not only afraid of a scandal, but also were worried that an unknown Welshman would swoop in and seize their fortune and their power. Although pondering the idea of money being left in the sultan’s will, Keith made it abundantly clear that money was not the motive behind reaching out to his Malay family, but instead it was the chance to meet and learn more of his background.

After travelling to Malaysia, he made contact with one of his half-brothers and visited his father’s mausoleum, of which Keith said “was fantastic and very emotional. I would’ve loved to meet him.” On receiving a tour of the grand palace in which his father grew up, he humorously commented that “It took two and a half minutes to drive around the Sultan’s palace – it would take two and a half seconds to drive around my place.” His half sister also visited him discreetly whilst he was staying at a hotel in Malaysia.

Keith says his shocking discovery is “like a story from a Disney film.” Reflecting on the lifestyle of a sultan, he said “I’ve worked all my life and never wanted for anything. I got married when I was 21 and Vanessa and I will celebrate our 43rd wedding anniversary in April.” He believes that regardless of his current or future circumstances, he won’t change who he is and appreciates his place within his community – “I’m still Keith y Glo – Keith the Coal.”

Keith hopes to meet more of his Malaysian relatives in the next few years, and also learn more about his father and his new extended family.

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Cllr Kevin Madge elected as new county council Chairman

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THE new chair of Carmarthenshire County Council said he will work tirelessly during his term of office.

Cllr Kevin Madge, member for Garnant, takes the chain of office whilst celebrating 40 years as a councillor.

Taking the chair, Cllr Madge paid tribute to outgoing chairman Cllr Mansel Charles, member for Llanegwad, saying he had fulfilled his duties with passion.

Cllr Madge will chair the council for the next 12 months, with Cllr Ieuan Davies, member for Llanybydder, as his vice chair, and his wife Catrin as his consort.

“I’m very much looking forward to the year ahead, I will do my best for everyone. I will work tirelessly,” he said.

Cllr Madge has chosen the Trussell Trust, which supports a nationwide network of food banks and emergency food provision for people in crisis, as his Chairman’s Charity of the Year.

The Chair is the first citizen of Carmarthenshire County Council, and is elected at the Annual General Meeting.

Duties include chairing full meetings of the council, representing the council at formal and ceremonial occasions, welcoming visitors to the county, and attending and supporting events organised by local people and organisations.

Cllr Madge has been a county councillor since 1996, and a member of Cwmaman Town Council since 1979.

He also serves as chairman of the Royal British Legion Garnant branch, Garnant Family Centre and Cwmaman Meals on Wheels, and is a member of Amman Valley League of Friends.

He represents the county council on the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, and the Mynydd y Betws Wind Farm Community Fund, and is on the governing body of Ysgol Y Bedol.

A former pupil of Amman Valley School, Cllr Madge has worked in the Amman Valley throughout his life, most recently as agent and researcher to Dr Alan Williams MP until 2001.

A keen football supporter, he has served as chair and president of Cwmaman Football Club and spent 25 years as a Welsh League and Neath and District football referee.

He is married with two children and three grandchildren.

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‘UK Government should work with the Welsh Labour Government on Tata’

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LOCAL Assembly Member Lee Waters and Nia Griffith MP have called on the UK Government to work with the Welsh Labour Government to come up with a deal to protect steel making at Trostre, and across Wales and the UK.

Lee Waters AM met with representatives from Tata Steel on Wednesday to discuss the future for steel making at the plant following the reported collapse of the proposed joint venture with Thyssenkrupp.

During the meeting he stressed the need to protect the entire steel supply chain in Wales, including the high quality jobs at Trostre, and those that depend on its presence in Llanelli.

Lee Waters AM said “It’s clear that the support Welsh Government provided during the crisis of 2016 has been critical in getting extra investment into Port Talbot which will secure the works for years to come. However, Tata is a company run from India, and we simply don’t know what the board will decide about its future strategy. They may well be looking for a new joint venture partner, so we’ll have to vigilant about the implications for our local plants.”

“Tata has said it intends to continue with its existing business plan, and honor commitments made to the Trade Unions, so Nia and I will be keeping a close eye to make sure that happens.”

Welsh Government has been in active discussions with Tata steel following the collapse of the merger with Thyssenkrupp. In a written statement and during questions on Wednesday, the Welsh Government committed to invest in Welsh steel to protect its future and is looking at a range of measures to assist on energy costs, business rates and procurement of steel for public sector contracts.

Lee Waters AM said “The Welsh Government have given significant support to the steel industry here but it can’t do everything, and we now need the UK Government to work with them to ensure a future for skilled work in the steel industry in Llanelli and elsewhere in Wales.”

Nia Griffith AM said ““This latest news from Tata means yet more uncertainty for steelworkers. Their announcement about keeping Port Talbot is a start, but now we need real commitment from Tata on Trostre.

“We also need close cooperation from the company with the Trade Unions. Lee Waters AM and I will be urging the UK Government to follow Welsh Government in doing everything possible to secure the future of our steel industry.”

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MP and AM call for Trostre certainty after merger fails

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LOCAL ASSEMBLY MEMBER Lee Waters and Nia Griffith MP have called on the UK Government to work with the Welsh Labour Government to come up with a deal to protect steel making at Trostre, and across Wales and the UK.

Lee Waters AM met with representatives from Tata Steel on Wednesday to discuss the future for steel making at the plant following the reported collapse of the proposed joint venture with Thyssenkrupp.

During the meeting he stressed the need to protect the entire steel supply chain in Wales, including the high quality jobs at Trostre, and those that depend on its presence in Llanelli.

Lee Waters AM said “It’s clear that the support Welsh Government provided during the crisis of 2016 has been critical in getting extra investment into Port Talbot which will secure the works for years to come. However, Tata is a company run from India, and we simply don’t know what the board will decide about its future strategy. They may well be looking for a new joint venture partner, so we’ll have to vigilant about the implications for our local plants.”

“Tata has said it intends to continue with its existing business plan, and honor commitments made to the Trade Unions, so Nia and I will be keeping a close eye to make sure that happens.”

Welsh Government has been in active discussions with Tata steel following the collapse of the merger with Thyssenkrupp. In a written statement and during questions on Wednesday, the Welsh Government committed to invest in Welsh steel to protect its future and is looking at a range of measures to assist on energy costs, business rates and procurement of steel for public sector contracts.

Lee Waters AM said “The Welsh Government have given significant support to the steel industry here but it can’t do everything, and we now need the UK Government to work with them to ensure a future for skilled work in the steel industry in Llanelli and elsewhere in Wales.”

Nia Griffith AM said “This latest news from Tata means yet more uncertainty for steelworkers. Their announcement about keeping Port Talbot is a start, but now we need real commitment from Tata on Trostre.

“We also need close cooperation from the company with the Trade Unions. Lee Waters AM and I will be urging the UK Government to follow Welsh Government in doing everything possible to secure the future of our steel industry.”

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