Friday, January 29, 2010

Jambi sultanate(1460-1906)

Jambi Sultanate

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The river port of Jambi, the capital of the province of that name, is situated in the central region of Sumatra on the river Batanghari which flows east into the Berhala Straits. Jambi is positioned on the busy sea route between China and India , and the region played a major part in early maritime trade. The Tang Annals record that as early as the seventh century A.D. and again in the ninth century Jambi sent ambassadors to the court of Chinese emperor ( Wang Gungwu 1958;74). These earliest records of Jambi show it to have been the original capital of Melayu ( Malaya Kingdom ) The ancient Hindu - Buddhist Kingdom of Sriwijaya also had its capital in Jambi at about this time.

The polity of Dharmasraya was located close to the present village of Sungai Langsat on the shore of the Batang Hari in the Pulau Punjung district, Sawahlunto Sijunjung regency, West Sumatra. This is the place where the above mentioned Amoghapasa Lokesvara statue was found
bearing an inscription (in contemporary East Javanese script) that the statue was presented in 1286 by King Kertanegara to King Srimat Tribuanaraja Mauliwarmadewa in Suwarnabumi (Sumatra). Chinese sources report that three kings ruled San-fo-ch’i(Sriwijaya) in 1373,namely Palembang, Dharmasraya(Jambi), and King Adityavarman (Minangkabau). The last report that mentions this kingdom dates to 1377 when the son succeeded the maharaja of Dharmasraya. In the same year Majapahit attacked Jambi, which may be the reason why Dharmasraya is not mentioned any further.

Jambi history can be divided into three periods historically
(i) prior to 640 - Malayu sultanate/Dharmasraya Kingdom/Jambi Kingdom
(ii) 640- 1288 - Vassal state of Sri Vijaya
(ii) 1460-1906 = Jambi sultanate

Geographically, Jambi can be divided into two regions:
(i) Upstream interior(ulu) area - begin at Muara Tembesi, economically essential for the lowlands, supplying exports of forest products, peppers,gold and labor in 17th & 18th century. Forest products was collected in the jungle and transport by river to the market at the coastal port of Malacca Strait.
(ii) Downsteam coastal(ilir) area - transport the products for export to outside

The original Kubu population had withdrawn into the jungle,living nomad life; Ethnic Malays had settled at the bank of Batang Hari and Tembesi. Upper Jambi was inhabited by Batin. A migrant batin group lived at Rawas, border between Palembang and Jambi. Batin means supreme chiefs,and Penghulu, though denoted separate ethnic groups(Minangkabau), actually reflected hierarchical relationship.


Melayu Kingdom (also known as Malayu, Dharmasraya Kingdom or the Jambi Kingdom) was a classical Southeast Asian kingdom that existed between the 4th and the 13th century of the common era. It was established around present-day Jambi on Sumatra. The location is approximately 200km north of Palembang. Around 688 CE, emperor Jayanasa integrated Jambi into the Srivijaya

680s - Srivijaya

Jambi was a vassal state of Srivijaya.

Under the leadership of Jayanasa, the kingdom of Malayu became the first kingdom to be integrated into the Srivijayan Empire. This possibly occurred in the 680s. Malayu, also known as Jambi, was rich in gold and was held in high esteem. Srivijaya recognized that the submission of Malayu to them would increase their own prestige

Melayu Kingdom is expected to become the first kingdom established by the Minangkabau. Some historians say that the word itself means Minangkabau two rivers, referring to a kingdom that stands between two rivers, namely Malays kingdom located on the banks of the river Batang Hari. Based Inscription Kedukan Hill, the kingdom was destroyed by the troops of Srivijaya in the year 683.

Before what is now Indonesia was colonized by the Dutch East India Company, Jambi was the site of a well-established, powerful Srivijayan kingdom that engaged in trade throughout the Strait of Malacca and beyond. It succeeded Palembang to the south, which was a frequent military and economic rival, as the later capital of the ancient kingdom. The move to Jambi was partly induced by the historic 1025 raid by pirates from the Chola region of southern India that destroyed much of Palembang.

1079-1088: Centre of Srivijaya

Between 1079 and 1088, Chinese records show that Srivijaya sent ambassadors from Jambi and Palembang. In 1079 in particular, an ambassador from Jambi and Palembang each visited China. Jambi sent two more ambassadors to China in 1082 and 1088. This suggests that the centre of Srivijaya frequently shifted between the two major cities during that period. The Chola expedition as well as changing trade routes weakened Palembang, allowing Jambi to take the leadership of Srivijaya from the 11th century onward.

1288 - The demise of the kingdom
Almost a century after taking over Palembang's role as the center of an empire, Jambi and Srivijaya experienced decline in influence. This was caused by a change of policy by the Song dynasty to no longer accept ambassadors from Srivijaya and Jambi's inability to cope with changing scenario. Instead of the Jambi controlling the trade through tributary system, traders were allowed to trade directly instead. Mahesa/Kebo/Lembu Anabrang was a General of Singhasari, conquered Srivijaya and Melayu in 1288(at the same time Siam conquered Malay Peninsular, the two combined actions practically stripped all territories owned by Srivijaya)

1347 -1377 Malayu's last prince- Parameswara
In the year 1347, Gajah Mada the military leader of Majapahit installed Adityawarman as the king of Melayu to prevent the revival of Srivijaya. Adityawarman later conquered Tanah Datar to take control of the gold trade and founded a kingdom in Pagar Ruyung(Pagaruyung Kingdom)between 1347-1375. In the year 1377, the Majapahit defeated Palembang and ended effort to revive Srivijaya. The last prince of Srivijayan origin, Parameswara, fled to Temasik to seek refuge before moving farther north, where he founded what would become the Malacca Sultanate.

Note: Modern Pagaruyung is a village in Tanjung Emas subdistrict, Tanah Datar regency, located near the town of Batusangkar, Indonesia.

Majapahit Empire(1293-1520)

The Singhasari kingdom was succeed by Majapahit Empire in 1292.Negarakrtagama,which was completed in 1365 listed 24 territories in Malay land(Sumatra) which has been subject to control by Majapahit. This included Minangkabau, Dharmasraya , Jambi, Teba and Palembang. The first 4 region was probably the core region of Malayu kingdom, Palembang was too weak. When Pamelayu Expedition returned to Java in 1294, they bought with them 2 princess, Dara Pertak and Dara Jingga, the later become the mother of King Adityawarman who ruled the Malayu kingdom from the Minangkabau Highlands between 1347 -1376. King Adityawarman left more than 20 inscriptions, and majority are found in highlands of West Sumatra. This indicated that during the reign of King Adityawarman of Minangkabau area, with the capital at Suroaso, was the heartland of the Melayu Kingdom. It was reported by 1310, the capital had shifted to highland,before that for centuries Melayu's capital must have been at coastal area,most likely Muara Jambi, on the bank of Batang Hari, about 30 km to the northeast from today's Jambi city. Dharmasraya was located at the border between Minangkabou and Jambi, would had been better location, but in view of the threat from the Mongol, the shifting of capital to inland was done. The China reported in 1397, that Malay kingdom after 1377, was ruined country.

Jambi Sultanate

Islamization at 15th century, the spread of Islam by Indian traders who were spreading Persian sect belief. Islam clothed the princes of Jambi in legitimacy. The forefather of the sultan's family are from Turkey(Elsbeth Locher-Scholten,1994).

1460 - Jambi state found. Jambi got free after the fall of Majapahit at the beginning of 16th century. The Jambi line of sultans did not boast an old age tradition. It had not consolidated the position until 16th century. Its power grew in tandem with processes of state formation, Islamization, economic growth that took place at various parts of Indonesia Archipelago at the same period.

Jambi profited from the growth of trade and coming of trade partners in 16th century. From mid 1550 to 17th century, it did a roaring trade in peppers; initially with Portuguese,and in 1615 with English and Dutch East Indies Company. Chinese, Malay, Javanese and Makassarese were the traditional partners.

In 1616 - The capital of Jambi is the 2nd richest port after Acheh. It made 30-35% on the pepper trade.

By 1666, Jambi became a significant economic power and wanted independence from Johor. From 1666, a series of wars erupted between Johor and Jambi. Johor's capital, Batu Sawar, was sacked by Jambi.

1680 - Jambi lost its position as major pepper port on Sumatra east coast due to their conflict with Johor, followed by internal unrest. Problems started between the ulu and ilir,the sultan's families represented the ilir related to foreigners,come off worst. British closed its trading post at Jambi in 1679. VOC(Vereenigde Odst-Indische Compagnie)traded little with Jambi after 1680.

1688 - Dutch arrested the sultan when he arrived at trading post, he was sent to Batavia.These action had the effect of splitting Jambi into two sultanates, upstream & downstream.Gone were the prosperity, it did not return even after unification in 1720s.

The upland people planted rice and cotton to replace peppers, and gold become the main export. But the Mingnankabou gold diggers exported their wares only when the price is higher, not necessary from Jambi capital. The court did not obtain much revenue and had no authority over them. From 1700, Jambi was bankrupt, and the ruler even pledged the pusaka/regalia as collateral. Growing migration to upland areas by Minangkabou due to gold mining, and by the end of 18th century, the upland or ulu was completely controlled by the foreign Minangkabou. The ilir, has lost its power. By the end of 18th century, Jambi become the vassal state of Minangkabou prince of Pagaruyung, whose approval has to be obtained for Jambi choice of sultan.

In the early decades of the Dutch presence in the region, when the future colonizers were just one of several groups of traders competing with the British, Chinese, Arabs, and Malays, the Jambi sultanate profitably traded pepper with the Dutch. This relationship declined by about 1770, and the sultanate had little contact with the Dutch for about sixty years.

1768 - VOC closed its trading post. The British and Dutch turned to trading in west coast like Pedang and Bengkulu(British since 1658). These port attracted the growing export of peppers and coffee.

1811 - Civil war eroded the power of sultan.In 1811,the population of capital led by Arab merchants and suku Raja empat puluh(suku of 40 raja) rose against Sultan Mohildin. There were fighting in 1817 or 1818, between sultan and his cousin, Mohildin was defeated and could not settled in Jambi for some time, although the cousin was killed shortly after that.

1819 - New trading centre established by British in Singapore

1820- Sultan controlled upper reaches of Tembesi, and pangeran ratu(crown prince)control upper reaches of Batang Hari. But pangeran spent more time in Palembang than Batang Hari,his rule was ineffective.

1821-1829 - when Mohildin's son , Fakhruddin was pronounced as sultan, he appointed his brother as pangeran ratu,thus breaching his father's promise to appoint his cousin Raden Tabun as pangeran ratu. Raden Tabun was a wealthy merchant in North Jambi. The rivals married each others sisters, looking for political alliance, but the peace making process was spoiled by the previous wives.

1833 - minor conflicts with the Dutch, who were well established in Palembang, meant the Dutch increasingly felt the need to control the actions of Jambi. They coerced Sultan Fakharuddin to agree to greater Dutch presence in the region and control over trade, although the sultanate remained nominally independent.

Sultan Taha was dethroned by Dutch

1858- the Dutch, apparently concerned over the risk of competition for control from other foreign powers, invaded Jambi with a force from Batavia. They met little resistance, and Sultan Taha fled to the upriver, inland regions of Jambi. The Dutch installed a puppet ruler, Nazarudin, in the lower region, which included the capital city.

For the next forty years Taha maintained the upriver kingdom, and slowly reextended his influence over the lower regions through political agreements and marriage connections.

Jambi War 1901-1906(or Jambi Rebellion)

1901- Dutch Resident of Palembang administrated Jambi. Under the leadership of Sultan Taha, Jambi rebelled. A Dutch battalion was sent to Jambi to establish Dutch control.

In 1904, however, the Dutch were stronger and, as a part of a larger campaign to consolidate control over the entire archipelago, soldiers finally managed to capture and kill Taha. Guerrilla continued under his successor, Winto.

1906, the entire area was brought under direct colonial rule, rebels surrendered. Dutch abolished the sultanate.

Note: Sultan Taha become a national hero of modern Indonesia.

List of rulers

1460 Jambi state founded.First king Datuk Paduko berhalo.
1899 - 190. State suppressed by Netherlands colonial government.

1790 - 1812 Masud Badruddin bin Ahmad Sultan Ratu Seri Ingalaga
1812 - 1833 Mahmud Muhieddin bin Ahmad Sultan Agung Seri Ingalaga
1833 - 1841 Muhammad Fakhruddin bin Mahmud Sultan Keramat
1841 - 1855 Abdul Rahman Nazaruddin bin Mahmud
1855 - 1858 Taha Safiuddin bin Muhammad (1st time) (d. 1904)
1858 - 1881(lower region) Ahmad Nazaruddin bin Mahmud(puppet of Dutch)
1881 - 1885 Muhammad Muhieddin bin Abdul Rahman
1885 - 1899 Ahmad Zainul Abidin bin Muhammad

1858 - 1904 (upriver) Taha Safiuddin bin Muhammad (2nd time) (killed by Dutch in 1904)
1904 - 1906 Winto

Jambi Province

Jambi today is the name of a province of Indonesia located on the east coast of central Sumatra. The capital of the province is Jambi city. The population of the province is 2.742.196 (2007 BPS)

Jambi province is divided into nine regencies (kabupaten) and two cities (kota):

* Batang Hari
* Bungo
* Jambi (city)
* Kerinci
* Merangin
* Muaro Jambi
* Sarolangun
* Tanjung Jabung Timur
* Tanjung Jabung Barat
* Tebo
* Sungai Penuh (city)

Jambi city

Sultan Thaha Airport (IATA: DJB, ICAO: WIPA) is an airport in Jambi City in the Jambi province of Indonesia. Located in the Paalmerah suburb of Jambi. The airport is named after Sultan Thaha, the last sultan of Jambi.

Candi Muara Jambi

Candi Muara Jambi is a Buddhist temple complex, in Jambi province, Sumatra, Indonesia. The temple complex was built by the Melayu Kingdom. It is situated 26 kilometers east from the city of Jambi. Its surviving temples and other archaeological remains are estimated to date from the eleventh to thirteenth century AD. The archaeological site includes eight excavated temple sanctuaries and covers more than 1500 hectacres, much of it as yet unexcavated. It is one of the largest and best-preserved ancient temple complex in South East Asia.

The start of the rise of the kingdom of Melayu can be dated to 1025 when India's Chola kingdom attacked and destroyed the capital of the Sumatran maritime empire of Srivijaya. This allowed a number of smaller Sumatran polities to expand their political and economic influence. During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries it seems that from its river estuarine basis along the Batang Hari, Melayu became the dominant economic power in Sumatra. The substantial archaeological remains at Muara Jambi suggest that this may have been the site of the Melayu capital. The city's age of glory came to an end in 1278 when Java's Singhasari kingdom attacked the city, even succeeding in capturing members of the royal family. The site was rediscovered by Dutch explorers in the nineteenth century. It is now protected as a national monument.

Ancient manuscript 1345-1377 found
German philologist Uli Kozok rocked the world of ancient linguistics and history in Indonesia when he discovered an ancient Malay manuscript in Kerinci, Jambi, in 2002.A radiocarbon test in Wellington, England, determined that the manuscript was produced when Adityawarman ruled the Malay kingdom in Suruaso (Tanah Datar, West Sumatra) between 1345 and 1377. It was made in the Dharmasraya kingdom, which was then under the Malay kingdom. Therefore Kozok declared that the manuscript was the oldest Malay manuscript ever found.old Malay kingdom during the Adityawarman age had a law that was recorded in great detail. Never before had there been any research result stating that the old Malay kingdom had any written law.
It revealed the hierarchy of the Malay kingdom with Suruaso as its capital. It was led by Adityawarman as the king of kings. At the middle level, there was Dharmasraya led by the great king, and under Dharmasraya there was Kerinci led by the king."However, I am sure that Suruaso and Dharmasraya had their power over Kerinci only de jure (by law) and de facto (by fact), because Kerinci had its own sovereignty. It was more about economic relations because Kerinci produced gold and agricultural products," Kozok said.

Note: A photo of the ancient manuscripts can bee seen from

Is Jambi Malay the origin of Malay/Melayu?.....

Related articles/blogs/websites:

2. Uli Kozok: Discoverer of world's oldest Malay manuscript(2008), by Syofiardi Bachyul Jb, The Jakarta Post, Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia.
3. A 14th Century Malay Manuscript from Kerinci1, by Uli Kozok,
4. Tanjong Tanah Code Law - The oldest extant Malay Manuscripts(2004),by Uli Kozok, published by Cambridge Univerisity Press, UK
6. Sumatran sultanate and colonial state: Jambi and the rise of Dutch 1830-1907(1994), by Elsbeth Locher-Scholten, published in 2004 English edition by Cornell SEAP Publications, USA

Singapore Island(新加坡,now Republic of Singapore)

Singapore was part of Malaysia in 1963 but left in 1965. In ancient time Singapore was also part of Srivijaya Empire(known as Temasek), Majapahit, Malacca, & Johor Empire. Singapore is also part of Strait Settlement of Singapore, Penang,and Malacca. Study of Malaysian history, without knowing Singapore is like missing part of the history.

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Singapore- the city state
Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore(新加坡共和国), is an island city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the equator, south of the Malaysian state of Johor and north of Indonesia's Riau Islands. At 710.2 km2 (274.2 sq mi), Singapore is a microstate and the smallest nation in Southeast Asia. It is substantially larger than Monaco and Vatican City, the only other surviving sovereign city-states.

Before European settlement, the island now known as Singapore(新加坡) was the site of a Malay fishing village at the mouth of the Singapore River. Several hundred indigenous Orang Laut people also lived along the nearby coast, rivers and on smaller islands. In 1819, the British East India Company, led by Sir Stamford Raffles, established a trading post on the island, which was used as a port along the spice route. Singapore became one of the most important commercial and military centres of the British Empire, and the hub of British power in Southeast Asia.

During the Second World War, the British colony was occupied by the Japanese after the Battle of Singapore, which Winston Churchill called "Britain's greatest defeat". Singapore reverted to British rule in 1945, immediately after the war. Eighteen years later, in 1963, the city, having achieved independence from Britain, merged with Malaya, Sabah, and Sarawak to form Malaysia. However, Singapore's merger proved unsuccessful, and, less than two years later, it seceded from the federation and became an independent republic within the Commonwealth of Nations on 9 August 1965. Singapore was admitted to the United Nations on 21 September of that year.

Early History
The early history of Singapore refers to the history of Singapore before 1819, when the British established a trading settlement on the island and set in motion the history of 'modern Singapore'. Prior to 1819, Singapore was known by several names in written records dating back as early as the 2nd century, which identified the island as a trade port of some importance. The island was controlled by different kingdoms in Southeast Asia including the Siamese, Javanese, and Sultanate of Malacca from the 14th century and the Sultanate of Johor from the 16th century.

The first records of settlement in Singapore are from the 2nd century AD. The island was an outpost of the Sumatran Srivijaya empire and originally had the Javanese name Temasek ('sea town'). Temasek (Tumasek) rapidly became a significant trading settlement, but declined in the late 14th century. There are few remnants of old Temasek in Singapore, but archaeologists in Singapore have uncovered artifacts of that and other settlements.

The Greek astronomer, Claudius Ptolemaeus, located a place called Sabana in the area where Singapore lies and identified it as a nominon emporion or designated foreign trading port, as part of a chain of similar trading centres that linked Southeast Asia with India and the Mediterranean. A 3rd century Chinese written record described the island of Pu Luo Chung (蒲羅中), probably a transliteration of the Malay Pulau Ujong, "island at the end" (of the Malay peninsula)

There is record that in 1320, the Mongol sent a mission to obtain elephants from a place called Long Ya Men (龍牙門 or Dragon's Tooth Strait), which is believed to be Keppel Harbour. The Chinese traveller Wang Dayuan, visiting the island around 1330, described a small Malay settlement called Dan Ma Xi (淡馬錫, from Malay Tamasik) containing a number of Chinese residents. The island was apparently a haven for pirates preying on passing ships. The Nagarakretagama, a Javanese epic poem written in 1365, also referred to a settlement on the island, which it called Temasek (Sea Town).

Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Singapore island was part of the Sultanate of Johor. During the Malay-Portugal wars in 1613, the settlement was set ablaze by Portuguese troops. The Portuguese subsequently held control in that century and the Dutch in the 18th, but throughout most of this time the island's population consisted mainly of fishermen

The quasi-mythological Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals) contains a tale of a prince of Srivijaya, Sri Tri Buana (also known as Sang Nila Utama), who landed on the island after surviving a shipwreck sometime during the 13th century. On the island, the prince saw a strange creature, which he was told was a lion. Believing this to be an auspicious sign, he decided to found a settlement called Singapura, which means "Lion City" in Sanskrit. However, it is unlikely there ever were lions in Singapore, though tigers continued to roam the island until the early 20th century

Recent excavations in Fort Canning provide evidence that Singapore was a port of some importance in the 14th century, used for transactions between the Malays and Chinese.

Following the decline of Srivijayan power, Temasek was alternately claimed by the Majapahit and the Siamese. Its fortifications apparently allowed it to withstand at least one attempted Siamese invasion. Historians believe that during the 1390s, Parameswara, the last Srivijayan prince, fled to Temasek from Palembang after being deposed by the Majapahit Empire. While these are parallels between the mythical Sang Nila Utama and historical Parameswara, these should be seen as distinct. Notwithstanding Sejarah Melayu legend, the "Singapura" name possibly dates to this period. Parameswara held the island for a number of years, until further attacks from either the Majapahit or the Ayutthaya kingdom in Siam forced him to move on to Melaka where he founded the Sultanate of Malacca. Singapore became part of the Malacca empire, and once served as the fiefdom of the legendary laksamana (or admiral) Hang Tuah.

During the 16th and early 17th century, it briefly regained some importance as a trading centre of the Sultanate of Johor. In 1613, Portuguese raiders burnt down the settlement at the mouth of Singapore River and the island sank into obscurity. It was not until 1819, when the Englishman Stamford Raffles established a British trading post on the island, that modern Singapore was founded.

Modern History

British Rule(1819-1963)

In 1812 the Yang Dipertuan Besar of Johore – Riau kingdom, Sultan Muhmud Shah died in Lingga, the throne was succeed by his younger son Tengku Abdul Rahman and not the eldest son Tengku Hussien (Tengku Long). During that time the Riau and the southern part up to Sumatera was under the influence of Dutch East India Company, while the British East India Company which have already have influence in Penang (Pulau Pinang), the northern part of Malay Peninsula and now plan to set up new trading base in the southern part, which is Singapore. On 29 January 1819, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles landed on the main island. Spotting its potential as a strategic trading post for Southeast Asia,

1819 Singapore sultanate
During that time Singapore was ruled by Temenggong Abdul Rahman, a minister of the Johore – Riau kingdom, whom by himself alone cannot grant the British to set up trading base in Singapore as only the Sultan have that particular power. Since the British know that Sultan Abdul Rahman of Riau will definitely will not granted them such permission because of Dutch influence over them, so the British decided to declare and recognize Tengku Hussien as the Sultan of Singapore with the support and help from the Temenggong Abdul Rahman. After the ceremony that took place in Singapore in 1819, the new Sultan of Singapore, Sultan Hussien Shah together with Temenggong Abdul Rahman signed an agreement with Sir Stamford Raffles to permit the British East India Company to set up their trading base in Singapore.

Raffles signed a treaty with Sultan Hussein Shah on behalf of the British East India Company on 6 February 1819 to develop the southern part of Singapore as a British trading post and settlement.

List of Malay rulers in early Singapore

Malay Kings of Singapore (1299 -1396 AD)

* Sri Tri Buana (Sang Nila Utama) (1299 -1347)

* Raja Kecil Besar (Paduka Seri Pikrama Wira) (13xx -13xx)

* Raja Muda (Rakna Pikrama) (13xx-13xx)

* Paduka Seri Maharaja (Damia Raja) (13xx-13xx)

* Raja Iskandar Shah (Parameswara) (1388 or 1390 (?) -1396)

Part of Malacca Sultanate, ruled by Malacca (list not available)

Part of Johor Empire:

Malay Kings of Singapore (1699 -1835 AD)

* Bendahara Sultan Abdul Jalil Riayat Shah IV (Sultan of Riau-Lingga-Pahang) (1699-1718)

* Abdul Jalil Rahmat Shah (Raja Kecil) (Sultan of Riau-Lingga-Pahang) (1718-1722)

* Sultan Sulaiman Badrul Al-Alam Shah (Sultan of Johore-Riau-Lingga-Pahang) (1722-1760)

* Sultan Mahmud Riayat Shah III (Sultan of Johore-Pahang) (1761-1812)

* Sultan Abdul Rahman (Sultan of Lingga) (1812 –1832) (Placed on the throne instead of his older brother Hussein, supported by Bugis, ruled Johor-Riau-Lingga Kingdom or Johor Empire)

* Sultan Hussein Shah (Sultan of Johor) (1819 –1835) (Recognized by the British as the rightful Sultan of Johor, not recognized by the Malay, ruled from Singapore)

1824 - British colony
Until 1824, Singapore was still a territory controlled by a Malay Sultan. It officially became a British colony on 2 August 1824 when John Crawfurd, the second resident of Singapore, officially made the whole island a British possession by signing a treaty with Sultan Hussein Shah in which the Sultan and the Temmenggong handed it over to the British East India Company, marking the start of the island's modern era.

Raffles' deputy, William Farquhar, oversaw a period of growth and ethnic migration, largely spurred by a no-restriction immigration policy. The British India office governed the island from 1858, but it was made a British crown colony in 1867, answerable directly to the Crown. By 1869, 100,000 people lived on the island.

The early onset of town planning in colonial Singapore came largely through a "divide and rule" framework where the different ethnic groups were settled in different parts of the South of the island. The Singapore River was largely a commercial area dominated by traders and bankers of various ethnic groups with mostly Chinese and Indian coolies working to load and unload goods from barge boats known as "bumboats".

The Malays, consisting of the local "Orang Lauts" who worked mostly as fishermen and seafarers, and Arab traders and scholars were mostly found in the Southeast part of the river mouth, where Kampong Glam stands today. The European settlers, who were few then, settled around Fort Canning Hill and farther upstream from the Singapore River.

Like the Europeans, the early Indian migrants also settled more inland of the Singapore River, where Little India stands today. Little is known about the rural private settlements in those times (known as kampongs), other than the major move by the post-independent Singapore government to re-settle these residents in the late 1960s.

WW2 (1941-1945)- Japanese Occupation
During World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army invaded Malaya, culminating in the Battle of Singapore. The British were defeated in six days, and surrendered the supposedly impregnable fortress to General Tomoyuki Yamashita on 15 February 1942. The surrender was described by the British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, as, "the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history." The British naval base (see above) was destroyed before the Japanese could take over the base and make use of it. Widespread indiscriminate killing of the Chinese population occurred (see Sook Ching massacre).

The Japanese renamed Singapore Shōnantō (昭南島?), from Japanese "Shōwa no jidai ni eta minami no shima" ("昭和の時代に得た南の島"?), or "southern island obtained in the age of Shōwa", and occupied it until the British repossessed the island on 12 September 1945, a month after the Japanese surrender.[28] The name Shōnantō was, at the time, romanised as "Syonan-to" or "Syonan", which means "Light of the South".

Post war era

Following the war, the British government allowed Singapore to hold its first general election, in 1955, which was won by a pro-independence candidate, David Marshall, who thus became Chief Minister.

Demanding complete self-rule, Marshall led a delegation to London, but was refused by the British. He resigned upon return, and was replaced by Lim Yew Hock, whose policies then convinced the British. Singapore was granted full internal self-government with its own prime minister and Cabinet overseeing all matters of government except defence and foreign affairs.

Elections were then held on 30 May 1959 with the People's Action Party winning a landslide victory. Singapore eventually became a self-governing state within the British Empire on 3 June 1959 and Lee Kuan Yew was sworn in as the first prime minister of Singapore two days later.[29] Then Governor of Singapore, Sir William Allmond Codrington Goode, served as the first Yang di-Pertuan Negara from 3 June 1959 until 3 December 1959. He was succeeded by Yusof bin Ishak, who would later become the first President of Singapore.

Independence 1963
Singapore declared independence from Britain unilaterally in August 1963, before joining the Federation of Malaysia in September along with Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak as the result of the 1962 Merger Referendum of Singapore. Singapore left the federation two years after heated ideological conflict between the state's PAP government and the federal government in Kuala Lumpur. Singapore officially gained sovereignty on 9 August 1965. Yusof bin Ishak was sworn in as President, and Lee Kuan Yew became the first prime minister of the Republic of Singapore.

List of Rulers

Residents and Commandants
6 Feb 1819 - 26 Apr 1823 William Farquhar (b. 1770 - d. 1839)
27 May 1823 - 15 Aug 1826 John Crawfurd (b. 1783 - d. 1868)

Resident Councillors
15 Aug 1826 - 18 Nov 1827 John Prince
29 Nov 1827 - Dec 1833 Kenneth Murchison (b. 1794 - d. 1854)
Dec 1833 - 18 Nov 1836 Samuel George Bonham (b. 1803 - d. 1863)
4 Mar 1837 - 1856 Thomas Church (b. c.1789 - d. 1860)
22 Sep 1856 - 1859 Henry Somerset MacKenzie (b. 1826 - d. 1904)
1860 - 1867 Ronald Macpherson (b. 1817 - d. 1869)

Governors of Straits Settlements

27 Nov 1826 - 12 Nov 1830 Robert Fullerton (b. 1773 - d. 1831)
12 Nov 1830 - 6 Dec 1833 Robert Ibbetson (b. 1789 - d. 1860)
7 Dec 1833 - 17 Nov 1836 Kenneth Murchison (b. 1794 - d. 1854)
18 Nov 1836 - Jan 1843 Samuel George Bonham (b. 1803 - d. 1863)
Aug 1843 - 21 Mar 1855 William John Butterworth (b. 1801 - d. 1856)
21 Mar 1855 - 6 Aug 1859 Edmund Augustus Blundell (b. 1804 - d. 1868)
6 Aug 1859 - 16 Mar 1867 Orfeur Cavenagh (b. 1821 - d. 1891)
17 Mar 1867 - 3 Nov 1873 Harry St. George Ord (b. 1819 - d. 1885)
4 Nov 1873 - 7 May 1875 Andrew Clarke (b. 1825 - d. 1902)
8 May 1875 - 3 Apr 1877 Sir William Francis Jervois (b. 1821 - d. 1897)
3 Apr 1877 - 29 Oct 1877 Edward Archibald Harbord Anson (b. 1826 - d. 1925)
(1st time) (acting)
29 Oct 1877 - 10 Feb 1879 William Cleaver Francis Robinson (b. 1834 - d. 1897)
10 Feb 1879 - 6 May 1880 Edward Archibald Harbord Anson (s.a.)
(2nd time) (acting)
6 May 1880 - 17 Oct 1887 Sir Frederic Aloysius Weld (b. 1823 - d. 1891)
17 Oct 1887 - 30 Aug 1893 Cecil Clementi Smith (b. 1840 - d. 1916)
30 Aug 1893 - 1 Feb 1894 William Edward Maxwell (acting) (b. 1846 - d. 1897)
1 Feb 1894 - 7 Dec 1899 Sir Charles Bullen Hugh Mitchell (b. 1836 - d. 1899)
7 Dec 1899 - 5 Nov 1901 James Alexander Swettenham (b. 1846 - d. 1933)
5 Nov 1901 - 12 Oct 1903 Sir Frank Athelstone Swettenham (b. 1850 - d. 1946)
15 Apr 1904 - 9 Apr 1911 Sir John Anderson (b. 1858 - d. 1918)
9 Sep 1911 - 24 Aug 1919 Sir Arthur Henderson Young (b. 1854 - d. 1938)
3 Feb 1920 - 5 May 1927 Sir Laurence Nunns Guillemard (b. 1862 - d. 1951)
3 Jun 1927 - 20 Oct 1929 Sir Hugh Charles Clifford (b. 1866 - d. 1941)
5 Feb 1930 - 16 Feb 1934 Sir Cecil Clementi (b. 1875 - d. 1947)
9 Nov 1934 - 15 Feb 1942 Sir Shenton Whitelegge Thomas (b. 1879 - d. 1962)
(1st time)
(Japanese prisoner 15 Feb 1942 - 15 Aug 1945)
15 Feb 1942 - 12 Sep 1945 Japanese occupation
12 Sep 1945 - 1 Apr 1946 Sir Shenton Whitelegge Thomas (s.a.)
(2nd time)

Military Administrators
15 Feb 1942 - 1943 Tomoyuki Yamashita (b. 1888 - d. 1946)
1943 - 1944 Hisaichi Terauchi (b. 1879 - d. 1946)
1944 - 1945 Doihara Kenji (b. 1883 - d. 1948)
1945 - 12 Sep 1945 Seishiro Itagaki (b. 1885 - d. 1948)

Japanese Mayors of Syonan (presidents of the special municipality)
Mar 1942 - Jun 1943 Shigeo Odate
19 Jul 1943 - 12 Sep 1945 Kanichi Naito

Military Administrator
12 Sep 1945 - 31 Mar 1946 Louis Francis Mountbatten, (b. 1900 - d. 1979)
Duke of Mountbatten
1 Apr 1946 - 15 Nov 1952 Sir Franklin Charles Gimson (b. 1890 - d. 1975)
15 Nov 1952 - 22 Dec 1954 John Fearns Nicoll (b. 1899 - d. 1981)
(from 24 Jun 1952, Sir John Fearns Nicoll)
22 Dec 1954 - 9 Dec 1957 Robert Brown Black (b. 1906 - d. 1999)
(from Dec 1955, Sir Robert Brown Black)
9 Dec 1957 - 2 Jun 1959 Sir William Allmond Codrington (b. 1907 - d. 1986)

Heads of state (title yang di-pertuan negara)
3 Jun 1959 - 1 Dec 1959 Sir William Allmond Codrington (s.a.) Non-party
1 Dec 1959 - 22 Dec 1965 Yusuf bin Ishak (b. 1910 - d. 1970) PAP

22 Dec 1965 - 23 Nov 1970 Yusuf bin Ishak (s.a.) PAP
23 Nov 1970 - 2 Jan 1971 Yeoh Ghim Seng (1st time) (acting) (b. 1918 - d. 1993) PAP
2 Jan 1971 - 12 May 1981 Benjamin Henry Sheares (b. 1907 - d. 1981) PAP
12 May 1981 - 24 Oct 1981 Yeoh Ghim Seng (2nd time) (acting) (s.a.) PAP
24 Oct 1981 - 27 Mar 1985 Chengara Veetil Devan Nair (b. 1923 - d. 2005) PAP
27 Mar 1985 - 29 Mar 1985 Wee Chong Jin (acting) (b. 1917 - d. 2005) PAP
29 Mar 1985 - 3 Sep 1985 Yeoh Ghim Seng (3rd time) (acting) (s.a.) PAP
3 Sep 1985 - 1 Sep 1993 Wee Kim Wee (b. 1915 - d. 2005) PAP
1 Sep 1993 - 1 Sep 1999 Ong Teng Cheong (b. 1936 - d. 2002) PAP
1 Sep 1999 - Sellapan Ramanathan (S.R.) Nathan (b. 1924) PAP

Chief ministers
6 Apr 1955 - 8 Jun 1956 David Saul Marshall (b. 1908 - d. 1995) LF
8 Jun 1956 - 5 Jun 1959 Tun Lim Yew Hock (b. 1914 - d. 1984) LF
Prime ministers
5 Jun 1959 - 28 Nov 1990 Lee Kuan Yew (b. 1923) PAP
28 Nov 1990 - 12 Aug 2004 Goh Chok Tong (b. 1941) PAP
12 Aug 2004 - Lee Hsien Loong (b. 1952) PAP

Istana Kampong Glam, Singapore

85 Sultan Gate
Singapore 198501
6391 0450

Istana Kampong Glam (Malay for "Kampong Glam Palace"; Chinese: 甘榜格南皇宫), also Istana Kampong Gelam, is a former Malay palace in Singapore. It is located near Masjid Sultan in Kampong Glam. The palace and compounds were refurbished into the Malay Heritage Centre in 2004.

The original Istana Kampong Glam was built by Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor in 1819 on land of about 23 hectares (57 acres) in Kampong Glam that had been given to him by the British East India Company. It is believed to have been a wooden structure in the area to the east of Beach Road. When it was completed, it occupied an area twice the size of the present compound, which was reduced in 1824 for the construction of North Bridge Road. The Sultan lived there till shortly before his death in Malacca in 1835.

In 1896, there was a succession dispute in Sultan Hussein's family over rights to the Kampong Glam estate, and the matter went to court. In 1897, the court ruled that no one could rightfully claim to be the successor of the Sultan and that the estate belonged to the Crown. (The estate became state land when Singapore gained independence.

(extract from wikipedia)

"Gedung Kuning" - the Bendahara's house

On the left of the main entrance just outside of the Istana compund, stands this large grand house. Because traditionally, it has always been painted with the royal colour - yellow, the locals called it "Gedung Kuning" (the yellow mansion). It was once occupied by descendants of Sultan Hussain Shah up to Tengku Mahmud, the grandson of the Sultan but was sold upon the latter's death. Subsequently, it was purchased by a local Javanese businessman, Haji Yusof Bin Haji Mohammad Noor - who was known locally as "Haji Yusof Talipinggang" (Haji Yusof the belt merchant). Today "Genung Kuning" has been converted into a restaurant serving Malay cuisine.

(extract from

Related articles:

1. About Kampong Glam, with picture of the Malay village, now urban business center)
2. Singapore/Bugis,
3. Kampong Glam,
4. Singapore,
5. Uniquely Singapore, site of Singapore Tourism Board. If you are interested to visit Singapore,more tourist info can be obtained in this website)

Lingga Islands

Lingga Island was important in the history of Malaysia,it is where the Sultan of Lingga, who ruled Johor, Pahang, Singapore, Riau-Lingga lived. The sultan of Lingga was the sultan of Johor Empire. Only after 1824 Anglo-Dutch Treaty, did the sultan of Lingga only ruled Riau-Lingga of Indonesia. Johor & Pahang formed their sultanates, Singapore under British. Lingga Islands is important in the history of maritime political history of Strait of Malacca, as well as world spices history.

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The Lingga Islands or Lingga Archipelago (Indonesian: Kepulauan Lingga) are a group of islands in Indonesia, located south of Singapore, along both sides of the equator, off the eastern coast of Riau Islands province on Sumatra island. They are south of the populated Riau Archipelago, known for the industrial island of Batam and the tourist-frequented island of Bintan, although the Lingga Islands themselves are rarely visited due to the infrequent local transportation. The equator goes through the northern tip of Lingga, the name of the main island in the archipelago.

The population are mainly Malay, Bugis and Chinese (predominantly Hakka, Teochew and Hokkien).

By size and population the most important islands in the archipelago are Lingga and Singkep, then Sebangka and Bakung.

* Lingga with smaller Pulau (P.) Alut.
* P. Selayar of Riau Islands between Lingga and Singkep.
* Singkep with P. Posik to the west, P. Serak to the SW, P. Lalang to the South.
* Sebangka and Bakung NW of Lingga, with town of Limas, islets Senayang, Kapas, Kentar, Mowang.
* P. Lobam and Cempah to the west of Sebangka.
* Temiang and Mesawak in the north.

Lingga Island is the largest and most populated of the Lingga Islands, Indonesia. It has an area of 889 square kilometres (343 sq mi). It is located south of the Riau Islands off the east coast of Sumatra. The other major island of the archipelago is Singkep.

Ferry services to the islands from outside the archipelago come from the provincial capital to the north, Tanjung Pinang on Bintan, including from Singapore. These days the main industry is fishing. There are a number of fine beaches with some coral around the Archipelago but there is very little tourism on account of the poor transport links with the outside world.

* Singkep has two ports, Dabo near Dabosingkep and Jago near Sungaibuluh. Service to the port of Muntok on P. Bangka of Sumatera Selatan ceased operating regularly with the demise of the tin mining industry. However, a high-speed ferry continues to connect Tanjung Pinang to Singkep, from where local boats may be chartered to Lingga.

* For Lingga, Diak is the major town and port. It can be reached in a day from Singapore transferring at Tanjung Pinang.

For some picture of Lingga archipelago, please visit blog

How to get there

The ferry from Tanjung Pinang (Bintan) leaves at 11AM everyday. There are 3 different ferries making the tour and the trip takes between 3-6 hours depending which one since they make different amount of stops. To get to Tanjung Pinang you may take a ferry from Batam or Singapore with many departures everyday.

Leaving Tanjung Pinang is easy. The national ticket booths are next to the entry to the pier and a ticket to Pulau Lingga is Rp 113,000 (Nov 2009). Add an extra Rp 3,000 for the sea port tax and then board the ferry. Some of the ferries has numbered seats but otherwises just pick a seat; outdoor or indoor. You may even make your way up to sit next to the captain, an area frequently used when the ship is full (i.e. the double amount of people than there are seats).

The ferry steers it way south stopping a couple of times on small islands on the way. Then arriving to Jago on Singkep before its last stop on Lingga. The port on Lingga is callad Tanjung Buton (Tanjung, Tg. means port). In the port you will find motor bike taxis ("ojek") and the ride to Daik is about 10 minutes.

How to get out

Ferry leaves Lingga at 7.00 o'clock but be there at least 30 minutes before to be sure to get a ticket back (at least on sundays which is the main traveling day). 07.00 the ferry docks in Jago (Singkep) and continues afterwards up through the archipelago stopping trice or more on the small islands with the tiny fishing villages.

Riau Islands

Riau islands was part of Johor Empire. Sir Stamford Raffles must be regretted for not asking Riau islands together with Singapore. The Singapore government is today facing the problem of land shortage. With Riau island, Singapore will be having wider territories, and land bank. Riau island was a strategic place for maritime traders and military in the history of Strait of Malacca. Study of Malaysia/Singapore history should not miss Riau Islands, otherwise you are missing an important link of Malay history.

Riau Islands/Riau Archipelago

The Riau Islands were part of Riau Province until 2004, when they were made into a separate province. Riau Islands in broad definition is the name of the Riau Islands Province, in a narrow definition is the name of the Riau Archipelago.

Riau Islands Province

Riau Islands Province (Indonesian: Provinsi Kepulauan Riau (Kepri or Riau Kepulauan) is a province of Indonesia, consisting of Riau Archipelago, Natuna Islands, Anambas, and Lingga Islands.

Originally part of the Riau Province, the Riau Islands were split off as a separate province in July 2004 with Tanjung Pinang as its capital.

1. Riau Archipelago
2. Natuna Islands
3. Anambas
4. Lingga Islands.

1.The Riau Archipelago

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The Riau Archipelago (Indonesian: Kepulauan Riau also known as Riau Islands (ambiguously)) is the core group of islands within the Riau Islands Province in Indonesia, and located south of Singapore. The islands are home to the majority of the Riau Islands province's (Provinsi Kepulauan Riau)'s population and development, and include tourist areas. Historically they along with Singapore (Temasek) were under the Johor Sultanate before the split thru the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, it is quite possible Singapore itself was considered a part of this archipelago during this time. The name of this archipelago predated the province by over two hundred years, and historically DID NOT include Lingga Islands, Natuna Islands of which belong to the province of the same name.

The main islands are:

1. Bintan,
2. Batam,
3. Rempang,
4. Galang,
5. Combol,
6. Kundur, and
7. Karimun.

Tanjung Pinang located on Bintan is the provincial capital. Tanjung Balai Karimun is an international port along with Tanjung Pinang.

High speed ferry services exist to the archipelago of the south, Lingga Islands (Kepulauan Lingga).

Penyengat Island - Its significant in Malay history

Penyengat Island is about 1.5 km west of the city of Tanjung Pinang, around 10 km northeast of Batam Island, the archipelagic province’s industrial center. According to the 2005 census, Penyengat Island has a population of only 2,224.

The 3.5 square kilometer island is special, as it is the birth place of the man who created Malay grammar and wrote the dictionary, Raja Ali Haji. He was convinced that Riau Malay would become the language of correspondence, textbooks and literature, a prediction that has proved to be true.

During the Riau war against Dutch colonizers from 1782 to 1784, Penyengat Island was the main center of resistance. The island’s defense system was constructed in the Portuguese style, with a rock fortification built around it. At present, traces of the stronghold remain, although in bad repair.

Penyengat assumed greater importance in 1803 when its defense status was promoted to a state. The island was ruled by Yang Dipertuan Muda, of the kingdom of Riau-Lingga, the Sultan’s government aide. The Sultan himself was at his central government kingdom in Daik Lingga, now the regency of Lingga.

In 1900 Riau Malay kingdom ruler Sultan Abdul Rahman Muazam Syah moved the central government to Penyengat Island. Sultan Abdul Rahman reigned over Riau, Johor and Pahang from 1883 to 1911.

Sultan Abdul Rahman, who refused to sign a contract to give up Riau’s traditional rights and royal reign, moved to Singapore to avoid Dutch forces.

“When he arrived in Singapore, the king ordered his subjects to destroy the palace and other important buildings because the Dutch would be taking over them. So, though it has not yet been a century since the Riau-Lingga sultanate ended, its palace is already in ruins,” said Raja Malik, recounting the history of the island.

2. Natuna Islands

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The Natuna Islands archipelago (272 islands) is located in the Natuna Sea. The islands are officially part of the Riau Islands province of Indonesia and it is the northernmost non-disputed island groups of Indonesia.

1. Main islands include archipelagoes of Natuna Besar, South Natuna archipelago and Tambelan archipelago, the last consisting of Badas Islands.

(i)Natuna Besar (or Great Natuna, also Bunguran Island, Natuna Island) is the main island of the Natuna Besar Archipelago, as well as the Natuna Islands, which are part of the Riau Islands Province, Indonesia. The Natuna archipelago is one of the northernmost island groups of Indonesia. The area of Natuna Besar is 1720 km². The northernmost island in Indonesia (and the Natuna Besar Arch) is Laut Island (Natuna).

The island of Bunguran is home to three species of non-human primate: the slow loris (Nycticebus coucang), the long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis), and the Natuna leaf monkey (a.k.a. Natuna pale-thighed surili, Presbytis natunae).

(ii)South Natuna (Kepulauan Natuna Selatan) is an archipelago near the northern tip of West Kalimantan province of Indonesia. The archipelago is spread out over hundreds of kilometers. Major islands include Subi Island, Panjang, Midai, Murih. The Selasan Strait cuts through the bottom of the cluster of islands.

The South Natuna group comprises the islands of Serasan, Panjang and Subi.

(iii)Tambelan archipelago is a group of islands off the west coast of West Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia, just north of the equator, separated but sometimes considered part of the Natuna Islands of Riau Islands Province. It consists of other archipelagoes, namely Badas Islands. (Kepulauan Badas). Major islands include Tambelan Besar, Mendarik, Uwi, Benua, Pejantan.

The population is around 100,000.Despite important natural gas reserves, most of the locals work as fishermen or farmers. There is no significant tourism industry.

Note: The Anambas archipelago, located several hundred kilometers to the west and comprising Terempa, Matak and Jemaja Andriabu island, are also sometimes included in the Natuna Islands.

3. Anambas

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Anambas have a large reserve of natural gas that is exported to countries such as Singapore and Malaysia.

The island of Matak is the main base for oil exploration. Other islands are Siantan (Tarempa), Mubur, Jemaja and Kiabu (Airabu).

Related articles

1. Pulau Penyengat : Nineteenth Century Islamic Centre of Riau , by Virginia Matheson, This is an academic article which is useful for further details on Pulau Penyengat)

Riau-Lingga Kingdom(1824-1911)

Anglo-Dutch Treaty 1824 was the most important historical event, which start the split of Johor Empire to Lingga-Riau in Sumatra, and Johor sultanate(Johor/Singapore/Pahang)in Malay Peninsular. However, the division caused by the dispute of succession was the main cause that British was able to have opportunity to share the power influence with Dutch over Johor Empire.

bf.1818 Part of Johor Empire.
1818 The Sultan of Johor-Riau is expelled from Johor; Riau secedes.
3 Feb 1911 Netherlands colonial government takes over administration.
9 Jan 1913 State extinguished by Netherlands colonial government.

Johor Empire administration

The Johor Sultanate continued the system of administration previously practised in Malacca. The highest authority lay in the hands of the Yang di-Pertuan who was known as the Sultan. The Sultan was assisted by a body known as the Majlis Orang Kaya (Council of Rich Men) which was tasked with advising the Sultan. Among them were the Bendahara, Temenggong, Laksamana, Shahbandar and Seri Bija Diraja.

During the 18th century, the Bendahara lived in Pahang and the Temenggong lived in Teluk Belanga, Singapore. Each one managed the administration of their individual areas based on the level of authority bestowed upon them by the Sultan of Johor.

The Johor Empire is decentralized. It is made of four main fiefs and the Sultan's territory. The fiefs are :

1. Muar and its territories under the Raja Temenggung of Muar;
2. Pahang under the stewardship of the Bendehara;
3. Riau under the control of Yam Tuan Muda and,
4. Mainland Johor and Singapore under the Temenggung.
5. The rest of the Empire belongs to the Sultan.

The Sultan resides in Lingga(so called Sultan Lingga). All the Orang Kayas except Raja Temenggung Muar reports directly to the Sultan ; Raja Temenggung Muar is a sovereign and is recognised by the Sultan.

Abdul Rahman Muazzam Shah was appointed as Sultan of Lingga, Johor Empire in 1812. He was placed on the throne instead of his older brother Tengku Hussein, supported by Bugis. The appointment was a dispute, as there was no consent from Bendahara and royalties ,and without complete of royal regalia. Note he is Sultan of Lingga, of Johor Empire from 1812-1824, but only complied with royal regalia in 1822. After 1824, due to 1824 Anglo-Dutch Treaty, he retained only as Sultan of Lingga-Riau sultanate until he died in 1832. His other states, Pahang and Johor become independent sultanates, both under British influence, Singapore become a British colony.

Dispute on succession(1812-1824)

Tengku Abdul Rahman was ruler only because his older brother, Tengku Hussein or Tengku Long, had been away in Pahang getting married when their father died in 1812. He was appointed by the Yam Tuan Muda of Riau, Raja Jaafar because according to him, in a Malay tradition, a person has to be by the dying sultan's side in order to be considered as the new ruler. However the matter has to be decided by the Bendehara as the "keeper of adat". Predictably, the older brother was not happy with the development.

Raja Jaafar's sister, the queen of the late Sultan, protested vehemently at her brother's actions with these prophetic words, "...Which adat of succession is being followed? Unfair deeds like this will cause the Johor Sultanate be destroyed!!!". And she held on the royal regalia refusing to surrender it.

Bendehara Ali was made aware of the affairs of the succession and decided to act. He prepared his fleet of boats to Riau to "restore the adat". The British upon knowing this dispatched a fleet and setup a blockade to stop the forces of Bendehara Ali from advancing.

With the Temenggung's help, Raffles managed to smuggle Tengku Hussein, then living in exile on one of the Riau Islands, back into Singapore. According a correspondence between Tengku Hussain and his brother, he left for Singapore out of his concern of his son's safety. Unfortunately he was captured by Raffles and forced to make a deal. Their agreement stated that the British would acknowledge Tengku Hussein as the "legitimate ruler" of "Johor", and thus Tengku Hussein and the Temenggung would receive a yearly stipend from the British. In return, Tengku Hussein would allow Raffles to establish a trading post in Singapore. This treaty was ratified on 6 February 1819.

Bendehara Ali was requested by the British to recognize Tengku Hussein as a ruler. However, Bendehara Ali has stated that he has no connection with the events in Singapore , as it is the Temenggung's fief and stated that his loyalty lies with the Sultan of Johor in Lingga.

1824 Anglo-Dutch Treaty

The Dutch were extremely displeased with Raffles' action. Tensions between the Dutch and British over Singapore persisted until 1824, when they signed the Anglo-Dutch Treaty. Under the terms of that treaty, the Dutch officially withdrew their opposition to the British presence in Singapore. Many historians contend that the treaty divided the spheres of influence between the Dutch and the English; Sultanate of Johor into modern Johor and the state of Riau-Lingga which exists de jure after the ouster of the last Sultan of Johor. However this treaty is signed secretly without the knowledge of the local nobility including the Sultan and thus its legitimacy is called into question.

The British successfully sidelined Dutch political influence by proclaiming Sultan Hussein as the Sultan of Johor and Singapore to acquire legal recognition in their sphere of influence in Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia. The legitimacy of Sultan Hussein's proclamation as the Sultan of Johor and Singapore, was by all accounts not recognised by the Malay rulers and his title only served as a nominal title. Temenggong Abdul Rahman's position, on the other hand, was strengthened as the signing of the treaties detached him the influence of Raja Ja'afar. Meanwhile, Sultan Abdul Rahman was installed as the Sultan of Lingga in November 1822, complete with the royal regalia. Sultan Abdul Rahman, who had devoted himself to religion, became contented with his political sphere of influence in Lingga, where his family continued to maintain his household under the administrative direction of Raja Ja'afar who ruled under the auspices of the Dutch.

The Interested Parties

The actors on this stage are three parties; the Colonial powers of British and the Dutch; the nobles who made agreement with the Dutch namely Raja Jaafar, Yam Tuan Muda of Riau and Temenggung Abdul Rahman, of Johore and Singapore ; the palace namely the Sultan and Bendahara who is not aware of any treaty signed without their knowledge. Because the treaties are not ratified by the Sultan or the Bendahara, the Malays do not pay heed to any action of the Colonial powers.

The Yam Tuan Muda has committed treachery by "selling" the sovereignty of Johore, however it does not hold as the Sultan or the Bendahara is not a party to the treaty. It is wrong to pass judgements on the Sultan as not obeying the 1830 treaty. The treaty was signed in secret and details were only known in 1855. In actuality, the Sultan is excersizing his sovereign right in demanding loyalty from fiefdoms in the Johor Empire. As for the Temenggung, he is strengthening his position and in preparation of any changes to fate of the Sultanate, preparing to have friendship with Great Britain and sharing the spoils with Britain at the demise of the Sultanate. This is especially true for the son of Temenggung Ibrahim, the ambitious Temenggung (and later Sultan) Abu Bakar who plans to be Sultan.

List of Sultans - Lingga-Riau Sultanate

1. Sultan Abdul Rahman Muazzam Shah (1818–1832)Note: 1812 or 1818 or 1822?
2. Sultan Muhammad II Muazzam Shah (1832–1835)
3. Sultan Mahmud IV Muzaffar Shah (1835–1857)
4. Sultan Sulaiman II Badrul Alam Shah (1857–1883)
5. Sultan Abdul Rahman II Muazzam Shah (1885–1911) -

Sultan Muhammad Shah (reigning from 1832-1841? or 1835)

Raja Jaffar, Yam Tuan Muda of Riau died and the Sultan is in no hurry to appoint a successor. The Sultan saw the damage that was done to the Palace in his father's reign and decided to reemphasis and restore adat as a rule governing personal behavior and the politics. He summoned Bendahara Ali to Lingga. At Lingga, an adat-steeped function was held. The Bendahara conducted ceremonies (as per adat) aimed at reeducating the nobility and the Sultan about their respective duties and responsibilities. Islam and politics were discussed. It was attended by all the nobles from across the Empire hence, proving that 'Sultan' of Singapore is not recognized by the Malays. The ceremonies also include installation of Tengku Mahmud (later ruling as Sultan Mahmud Muzaffar) as a Crown Prince and Tun Mutahir as Bendehara-in-waiting.

In 1841, Bendahara Ali appoint Temenggung Ibrahim to replace his father who died in 1825. The long interval is due to displeasure of the Bendahara over the affairs of Singapore. Conditions were imposed during the appointment includes paying a visit of fealty to the ruling Sultan Mahmud Muzaffar in Lingga which brings pleasure to his majesty.

Sultan Mahmud IV Muzaffar Shah (1835–1857)

'Sultan Hussein' of Singapore has died in 1835 and his prince Tengku Ali wished for the legitimacy granted to Temenggung Ibrahim. The British forwarded the request in 1841 to the Bendahara. Bendahara Ali refused to take part in this treachery. (Note the 1824 treaty, where British has no jurisdiction on affairs of Riau-Lingga sultanate, the action of Tengku Ali will annoy Britain).

After waiting since 1835 for the 'appointment' as a Sultan, in 1852 Tengku Ali decided to 'return Johor' to the Johor Empire by paying homage to Sultan Mahmud Muzaffar in Lingga. For three years Johor Empire was one again except Singapore.

Worried by the current state of affairs, the British called Tengku Ali back to Singapore on the threat of cancelling his pension. In Singapore, he is frequently visited by Sultan Mahmud Muzaffar and their relations are cordial.

1855 Treaty

The worried British then forced the 1855 treaty between Temenggung Ibrahim and Tengku Ali. In exchange for recognition as a 'Sultan', Tengku Ali agrees to 'give up all of Johor'. The treaty merely 'confirms' the Temenggung's hold on his fief. This treaty intends to solidify the position of Temenggung Ibrahim, their key ally.

Bendahara Ali was asked by the Sultan Mahmud Muzaffar about the 1855 treaty. In his reply, the Bendahara reiterated about the Temenggung is supposed to swear fealty to his majesty and on the behavior of Tengku Ali, the Bendehara claimed ignorace. He also reiterated that he is not a party to any discussion with the British or the Dutch.

1857- Sultan Mahmud IV Muzaffar Shah was deposed in Singapore

The Dutch is also very worried. It seems that the Sultan is acting on his own and would not listen to any of the Dutch-influenced Yam Tuan Muda of Riau and the Bugis nobility. It erupted into a open dispute between Sultan Mahmud Muzaffar and the Bugis nobility over the appointment of new Yam Tuan Muda of Riau. The Bugis preferred candidate is also the Dutch choice. The Sultan resents having another foreign-backed Yam Tuan Muda of Riau. It resulted in a deadlock that the Sultan set sail to Singapore for a cool off. It is during the Singapore trip that the last Sultan of the mighty Johore Empire was deposed by the Bugis nobility in 1857.

Sultan Sulaiman II Badrul Alam Shah (1857–1883): End of Johor Empire

After the ouster of the former Sultan of Johor, the Bugis nobles elected the new Sultan, Sultan Sulaiman Badrul Shah, the Sultan of the "new" Riau-Lingga Kingdom built on the ashes of the Johore Empire. The Sultan signed an agreement with the Dutch. In the agreement he agreed to acknowledge the overlordship of the Dutch government among others. At a stroke of a pen, he broke up the Johor Empire into 2 big parts and has given up the sovereignty of his part of territory to the Dutch. This also marked the end of the Malacca and later Johor sultanate. This division remains until today as the Malaysia-Indonesia border.

1861 Johor and Pahang - The split of the Empire

As the Sultan Mahmud Muzaffar was ousted and the new Sultan declared territory separate from the former Johor Empire, it was akin to a sheep slaughtered with Sultan and Riau-Lingga represented by the head. The Bendahara is now the virtual head of remnants of the Empire as per the prevailing adat. Temenggung Ibrahim of Johore understood this situation and quickly signed a treaty with Bendahara Tun Mutahir of Pahang in 1861 . The treaty recognizes the territories of Johor (mainland), the Temenggung and his descendent's right to rule it, mutual protection and mutual recognitions of Pahang and Johor. With the signing of this treaty, the remnants of the Empire became 2 independent states, Johor and Pahang.

Sultan Abdul Rahman II Muazzam Shah - the last sultan

Sultan Abdul Rahman II Muazzam Shah moved the capital from Daik, Pulau Lingga to Pulau Penyengat in Riau. Sultan Abdul Rahman II Muazzam Shah, escaped to Singapore and was dethroned by Dutch colonist in 1911. He passed away at Teluk Belanga, Singapura on 28 December 1930.

The approaching war in Asia, and the apparent reluctance of the Netherlands East Indies government to resist the Japanese threat, prompted the British to plan for the establishment of a buffer state in Riau. They opened discussions with the Trengganu based Tengku Omar, the Tengku Besar, with a view to his own restoration or that of one of his sons. However, when actual war ensued and their new allies, the Dutch, actively resisted Japanese attacks, the British Governor of the Straits shelved these plans.

At the conclusion of the Second World War and the emergence of resistance to Dutch rule in 1945, several of the exiled groups in Singapore planned for and supported a new plan for a restoration. One of the most prominent of these groups, the Djawatan Koewasa Pengoeroes Rakjat Riau (DKPRR), included the son of the late Tengku Besar. Several exiled princes were prominent members of the organisation and Tengku Ibrahim, Tengku Omar's son, served as the DKPRR candidate for sultan. They were financed by wealthy Riau expatriates and Singapore Chinese businessmen with trading interests in the archipelago, all hoping to profit from mining and trading concessions from any new government that emerged. Alas, the ultimate establishment of control over the region by the Indonesian Republic and the final withdrawal of the Dutch, put paid to these designs.

Since the late 1930's, the position of head of the house has been contested. Rival branches of the family who descend from Tengku Omar's elder half-brother Osman, claim the position for themselves. However, their rights to it remain hotly disputed. Largely, this is because Sultan 'Abdu'l Rahman had specifically ruled out both Tengku Osman and his full-brother Tengku Ismail in 1908. The reasons for his exclusion hinged on a combination of several factors. Included amongst them were the status of their mother, their uncompromising ultra-religious tendencies and opposition by the ruling Dutch authorities. The dispute over the correct interpretation of adat laws and the respective rights and obligations between the Malay and Bugis families, present a further obstacle to resolution. Consequently, feel unable to present any particular individual as the undisputed head of the house at present time.

List of Sultans
1818 - 9 Aug 1832 Sultan Abdul Rahman Muadzam Syah
ibni al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud (b. 1780 - d. 1832)
Riayat Syah
9 Aug 1832 - 1835 Sultan Muhammad Syah ibni
al-Marhum Sultan Abdul Rahman (b. 1803 - d. 1841)
Muadzam Syah
(continues as regent for the following to 20 Jul 1841)
1835 - 7 Oct 1857 Sultan Mahmud Mudzafar Syah ibni (b. 1823 - d. 1864)
al-Marhum Sultan Muhammad Syah
7 Oct 1857 - 17 Sep 1883 Sultan Sulaiman Badarul Alam Syah (d. 1883)
ibni al-Marhum Sultan Abdul
Rahman Muadzam Syah
13 Oct 1883 - 3 Feb 1911 Sultan Abdul Rahman Muadzam Syah
bin Muhammad Yusuf (b. 1851 - d. 1930)

Tuhfat al-Nafis : sejarah Riau Lingga dan daerah takluknya, 1699-1864, by Raja Ali Haji

Tuhfat al-Nafis is a work of Malay literature written by Raja Ali Haji in Jawi in 1885. It records and chronicles events, especially those of the 19th century, that occurred in several Malay states. Some of the events recorded in the work are the founding of the state of Terengganu and the murder of Sultan Mahmud Shah II of Johor. Tuhfat al-Nafis means "the precious gift" in Arabic language.


There seem to be only three copies of the Tuhfat al-Najis still extant —one of them presents a shorter version of the Tuhfat, and the other twopresent a longer text.

1. The MS(manuscript)of the shorter text is from the KoninklijkInstituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, (KITLV), a copy madeat Penyengat in 1896, for the Dutch Resident of Riau, A. L. van Hasselt.A note in the front of the MS. signed by van Hasselt, says that it wasa true copy of a MS. in the archives of the Yangdipertuan Muda ofRiau, and was presented to him to mark his retirement as Resident.
It was catalogued by Ph. S. van Ronkel5 under the title Sjadjarash Radja2 Riouw. In 1937 van der Linden mentioned this text in his De Europeaan in de Maleische Literatuur,0 where he outlines the contents of the MS. together with Winstedt's 1932 text of the Tuhfat. He makes
no differentiation between these texts,7 and does not explain the relationshipbetween them. Apart from the notes of van Ronkel and van der Linden, there seem to be no other references to this MS.
2. A longer text of the Tuhfat known as the Maxwell 2 MS., is pre: served in the library of the Royal Asiatic Society in London.8 Thisis a copy made for Sir William Maxwell, then British Resident of Selangor, in.March 1890. This MS. was mentioned-recently by Amin Sweeney, when he drew attention to the pencilled note on the fly-leaf, which reads:

Tuhfat al-Nafis. Commenced by Raja Haji Ahamad (otherwise called Ungku Haji Tua) son of Raja Haji, who died at Riau at the age of 103 years — It was carried on and completed by his
son Raja Haji Ali. He died at the age of 78:

At the end of this MS., following the text of the Tuhfat proper, is a page of later Riau history. This is exclusive to the Maxwell 2 MS., and is dated 1306 A.H. (1888-89 A.D.), which is one year before Maxwell's text was copied. This suggests as a possible stemma:

X Tuhjat text
i • .
X Tuhjat text with added history page .
X Maxwell 2.

If this is so, the Maxwell 2 MS. is a copy of a copy.

3. The third copy of the Tuhjat is not strictly speaking a MS. at all, but a printed Jawi text, and as such is subject to printing, errors in additionto the normal scribal mistakes. This is Sir Richard Winstedt's text,10 which he says is based on a 1923 text belonging to' Tengku Fatimah, daughter of the late-nineteenth century ruler of Johore, Sultan Abu Bakar. Again, Winstedt's text is a copy of a copy, as Tengku Fatimah's text was copied from "an older MS.''.11 As this is the only published text of the Tuhjat, it is the only one which is generally known. When commentators refer to the Tuhjat al-Najis, they refer to
this text (or its romanized counterpart).

(extract from THE TUHFAT AL-NAFIS: STRUCTURE AND SOURCES(1971), by V. Matheson, In: Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 127 (1971), no: 3, Leiden, 375-392, downloaded from with thanks)

Related articles:

1. Lingga, the Bendahara Dynasty,
2. Raja Ahmad Al Linggi, The blogger claimed descendant of royalties of the kingdom, contained story of one of the royalties in exile and hiding in Kuala Lipis, Pahang . This blog is in Malay language)
3. RM Khalid, blogger claimed descendant of royalties, contained some historical pictures of his ancestors)
4. THE TUHFAT AL-NAFIS: STRUCTURE AND SOURCES(1971), by V. Matheson, In: Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 127 (1971), no: 3, Leiden, 375-392, downloaded from
5. Madmud, Sultan of Riao & Lingga(1823-1864), by V Mathson, download from, with thanks.

Modern Johor Sultanate(1855 until now)

Johor is a constitutional monarchy. Johor was the first state in Malaysia to adopt the constitutional monarchy system via Undang-undang Tubuh Negeri Johor (Johor State Establishment Constitution) written by Sultan Abu Bakar. The constitutional head of Johor is the Sultan. This hereditary position can only be held by a member of the Johor Royal Family, who is descended from Sultan Abu Bakar. The State's Sultan since 1981 has been Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj. His Majesty passed away on Fri, 22 Jan 2010. Tunku Ibrahim Ismail Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar was proclaimed as the new Sultan of Johor on Sat, 23 Jan 2010.

Johor was the first state and currently the only state in Malaysia that has its own military force called the Royal Johor Military Force or 'Timbalan Setia Negeri'. It is a private army of the Sultan of Johor located at Johor Bahru City.

Modern Johore Sultanate

As the Sultan Mahmud Muzaffar was ousted and the new Sultan declared territory separate from the former Johor Empire, it was akin to a sheep slaughtered with Sultan and Riau-Lingga represented by the head. The Bendahara is now the virtual head of remnants of the Empire as per the prevailing adat. Temenggung Ibrahim of Johore understood this situation and quickly signed a treaty with Bendahara Tun Mutahir of Pahang in 1861. The treaty recognizes the territories of Johor (mainland), the Temenggung and his descendent's right to rule it, mutual protection and mutual recognitions of Pahang and Johor. With the signing of this treaty, the remnants of the Empire became 2 independent states, Johor and Pahang.

Temenggung Ibrahim opened up Bandar Tanjung Puteri in southern Johor as a major city. Bandar Tanjung Puteri would later be known as Johor Bahru. Temenggung Ibrahim was succeeded by his son, Temenggung Abu Bakar, who later took the title Seri Maharaja Johor.

Muar is another vassal of Old Johor Empire and is ruled by its own Raja Temenggung. At gunpoint, the Raja Temenggung and the chieftains of Muar handed over the control of Muar to Temenggung Abu Bakar in 1877; this later contributed to the Jementah Civil War. Temenggung Abu Bakar, aided by the British won decisively. Abu Bakar went to Istanbul to seek recognition as the Sultan of Johor, to allay fears of his religious credibility.

In 1885, he went to London seeking the recognition from the British Queen, Queen Victoria on his sultanate and the Johor's independence. He is warmly accepted by the Queen and a friendship treaty was signed. After that he was formally crowned the Sultan of Johor. This sultanate has no relationship to the Old Johore Sultanate as the Johore Empire was broken up into its constituents; Pahang, Johor, Singapore(British), Lingga and Riau was separated.

Sultan Abu Bakar introduced a constitution known as Undang-undang Tubuh Negeri Johor and developed an efficient administration system. He founded the Modern Sultanate of Johor. He also moved the official capital city of Johor to Johor Bahru and ordered the construction of Istana Besar, the official residence of the sultan in the city. Due to these achievements, Sultan Abu Bakar is known by the title "Father of Modern Johor".

Johor also enjoyed economic prosperity. An increased demand for black pepper and gambier in the nineteenth century lead to the opening up of farmlands to the influx of Chinese immigrants, creating Johor's initial economic base. The Kangchu system was put in place.

Sultan Sir Abu Bakar ibni Daing Ibrahim(1833-1895)

Sultan Sir Abu Bakar ibni Daing Ibrahim (3 February 1833 – 4 June 1895) was the 21st Sultan of Johor. He was also informally known as "The Father of Modern Johor", as many historians accredited Johor's development in the 19th century to Abu Bakar's leadership. He initiated policies and provided aids to ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs to stimulate the development of the state's agricultural economy which was founded by Chinese migrants from Southern China in the 1840s. He also took charge of the development of Johor's infrastructure, administrative system, military and civil service, all of which were modelled closely along Western lines.

Abu Bakar was noted for his diplomatic skills, and both the British and Malay rulers had approached him for advice in making important decisions. He was also an avid traveller, and became the first Malay ruler to travel to Europe during his first visit to England in 1866. In particular, Abu Bakar became a lifetime friend of Queen Victoria in his later years. Abu Bakar's friendship with Queen Victoria played an important role in shaping Johor's relationships with Britain, and was the only state by the end of the 19th century in the Peninsular Malaya to maintain autonomy in its internal affairs as the British Colonial Government pushed for greater control over the Malay states by placing a British Resident in the states. He was also an Anglophile, and many of his personal habits and decisions were aligned to European ideas and tastes.

Abu Bakar became the soverign ruler of Johor when his father, Temenggong Daing Ibrahim died in 1862. Six years later, Abu Bakar changed his legal state title of "Temenggong" to "Maharaja". In 1885, Abu Bakar sought legal recognition from Britain for another change in his legal state title of "Maharaja" to a regnal title of "Sultan", and was proclaimed the following year. In all, Abu Bakar's reign lasted for thirty-two years until his death in 1895.

Early years
Wan Abu Bakar was born on 3 February 1833 in Teluk Belanga, Singapore. He was the oldest son of Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim, who in turn was a descendant of Sultan Abdul Jalil Shah IV, the first Sultan of Johor's Bendahara dynasty. Abu Bakar spent his childhood years in his father's kampung in Teluk Blanga; at a young age he was tutored by local teachers on Islam and Adat (traditional Malay law),[9] before he was sent to the Teluk Blanga Malay school, a mission school run by Reverend Benjamin Peach Keasberry. Under the guidance of the missionary teachers, Abu Bakar was observed to develop the manners of an English gentleman, and the ability to speak fluent English in addition to his native Malay.

In 1851, the Temenggong delegated Abu Bakar, then an eighteen-year old youth, to assist him in negotiation efforts against Sultan Ali, who was making frivolous attempts to claim sovereignty rights over Johor. As the Temenggong aged, he gradually delegated his state administrative duties to Abu Bakar. During this period, several British officers praised of Abu Bakar's excellent diplomatic skills, as mentioned in William Napier's diaries, who was the senior law agent of Singapore. Napier had accompanied Abu Bakar to fetch Tengku Teh, the mother of the deposed Sultan of Lingga, Mahmud Muzaffar Shah to Johor shortly after her son began to exert sovereignty claims over Pahang.

The outbreak of the Pahang Civil War the following year saw Abu Bakar befriending Tun Mutahir, whom he provided support for his war efforts. Abu Bakar married Mutahir's daughter in 1860 during a visit in Pahang, and the following year he signed a treaty of friendship, alliance and a guarantee of mutual support with Mutahir in 1861. Meanwhile, Temenggong Ibrahim was already suffering from a prolonged period of ill health, and a bout of high fever resulted in his death on 31 January 1862

As Temenggong

(i) Against the deposed sultan

Abu Bakar assumed office as the Temenggong of Johor within three days of his father's demise. At the time of his succession, Johor was facing a political threat from the deposed Sultan, Mahmud Muzaffar Shah. The Sultan was pursuing his sovereignty claims over Johor and Pahang and aimed to overthrow the Sultan of Terengganu with the backing of the Siamese. Mahmud Muzaffar Shah established an alliance with the Wan Ahmad, a brother and arch-rival to the Bendahara Tun Koris. The alliance ignited the concern of Abu Bakar that the fall of Pahang would bring Abu Bakar's political position in Johor under threat. Abu Bakar signed a treaty of friendship with Tun Koris in June 1862, and sent a small expeditionary force to aid Wan Ahmad in his war efforts in Pahang when war broke out in August 1862 and much of 1863.

(ii) Kapitan Cina
Within the first two years of his reign, Abu Bakar began issuing Western-style contracts (termed as Surat Sungai in Malay, literally "River Documents") to the Kapitan Cina (Chinese leaders) who have established plantations along river banks in Johor. Letters of authority (Surat Kuasa) were issued when the first Chinese leaders began settling in Johor during the 1850s. Abu Bakar quickly established goodwill relations with the Kapitan Cina; one Malay administrator who was able to speak the Teochew dialect (the language spoken by most Kapitan Cina) and read Chinese was employed for these purposes. He also employed the service of a Chinese contractor from Toisan, Wong Ah Fook, to oversee the construction of Istana Besar.

As various Chinese dialect groups began to compete for commercial interests in the 1850s and 1860s which led to communal violence, Abu Bakar and the Kapitan Cina in Johor (who were mainly migrants from Chaozhou) tried to assimilate Chinese entrepreneurs of non-Teochew origin. Abu Bakar gave official recognition and support for the Johor branch of the Ngee Ann Kongsi, which was seen as a secret society in Singapore at that time. As Johor prospered from the large revenues generated from the gambier and pepper plantations managed by the Kapitan Cina, Abu Bakar gave generous provisions to the Kapitan Cina in recognition for their contributions to the state; among his beneficiaries was a long-time family friend, Tan Hiok Nee, who was given a seat in the state council. The plantations operated relatively independently of the state government, and Abu Bakar had raised fears on the possible dangers that the plantations may face in the event of an economic crisis. Shortly after a financial crisis broke out in Singapore in 1864, Abu Bakar implemented a series of regulations on these plantations, as many of them were owned by Chinese businessmen from Singapore. The Kapitan Cina and the Singapore Chamber of Commerce were particularly disturbed by the new regulations, and accused Abu Bakar of attempting to impose a trade monopoly over Johor. The British government pressured Abu Bakar to retract the regulations, which he did so in January 1866. In addition, the Kapitan Cina also faced considerable difficulties in securing new agreements with Abu Bakar. The crisis was only resolved in 1866 after Abu Bakar designated five new ports for the registration of cargo, and the British softened their animosity against Abu Bakar

(iii) Muar
Abu Bakar's relationship with the ruler of Muar, Sultan Ali were strained. Shortly after Abu Bakar took his office from his late father, he sent a letter to Sultan Ali to assert Johor's sovereignty over Segamat, which Sultan Ali had hoped to exert political influence upon. In addition, Sultan Ali, who had borrowed a large sum of money from an Indian moneylender in 1860, became a source of irritation for Abu Bakar. Facing difficulties with paying back his debts to the moneylender, Sultan Ali called upon Abu Bakar to divert the payment of his monthly pension to the moneylender but alternated between recalling back the course of payment to himself and the moneylender. In 1866, when the moneylender lodged a complaint to the British government, Sultan Ali attempted to borrow a sum of money from Abu Bakar to repay his outstanding debts. As a result of these constant irritations, Abu Bakar (by then a Maharaja) persuaded the British governor to sign an agreement with the power to terminate payment of Sultan Ali's pension at the agreement of Abu Bakar and the British governor

(iv) New Capital Johor Bahru & Administration
Abu Bakar made revisions to Johor's Islamic code in 1863 shortly after the Sultan of Terengganu made extensive modifications to his state's Islamic judicial system more closely aligned with those of Syariah law. In a letter to the Straits Governor, Abu Bakar expressed hope that his revisions would suit more comfortably with European ideas. He founded an English school in Tanjung Puteri in 1864. Two years later, Abu Bakar moved the administrative headquarters to Tanjung Puteri, and officially renamed it as Johor Bahru. A new administration was set up, which was modeled after European styles and certain elements of a traditional Malay government. He recruited some of his close relatives and classmates which he had met during his days at the Teluk Blanga Malay school into the bureaucracy, and also set up an advisory council which included two Chinese leaders. In the early 1870s, the Governor of Straits Settlements, Sir Harry Ord, mentioned of Abu Bakar (who became a Maharaja in 1868) as the "only Raja in the whole peninsula or adjoining states who rules in accordance with the practice of civilized nations."

As Maharaja(1868-1885)
During a state visit to England in 1866, Abu Bakar was commonly addressed as the "Maharaja" of Johor and led him to realise that the Malay title of Temenggong was hardly known to the Western World. He contemplated a change of another title, which led him to send his cousin, Ungku Haji Muhammad and the Dato Bentara, Dato Jaafar to meet the Bugis historian, Raja Ali Haji who was residing in Riau. Raja Ali supported Abu Bakar's cause, after they did a cross examination and concluded that the past office holders had wielded actual control over the affairs of Johor, rather than the Sultans of the Bendahara dynasty. In addition, questions pertaining to Abu Bakar's pursuits to clamour for recognition were also sidelined as he was able to trace his ancestry to the first Sultan of the Bendahara dynasty, Sultan Abdul Jalil Shah IV by his patrilineal ancestors. The Sultan of Lingga, gave his approval for a formal recognition of Abu Bakar as the Maharaja of Johor, after Ungku Haji and Dato Jaafar travelled to Lingga and presented their claims. Abu Bakar also secured approval from the Governor of the Straits Settlements for his change in title, and was officially proclaimed as the Maharaja of Johor on 30 June 1868

In the mid 1870s, the Straits Governor, William Jervois contemplated on placing Maharaja Abu Bakar as the overlord of the chiefs in Negeri Sembilan after the British failed to quell the sectarian violence in Sungai Ujong. Abu Bakar's client, Tunku Antah was placed as the Yam Tuan of the Sri Menanti confederacy (comprising of several small states within the region), and Abu Bakar was made the adviser of Negeri Sembilan (except Sungai Ujong) in 1878. Abu Bakar was believed to have nursed expansionist ambitions, which was suggested by his involvement in the Pahang Civil War between 1857 and 1864. A later governor, Frederick Weld, aspired for stronger British control over the Malay states and was weary of Abu Bakar's influence. The chiefs were lukewarm to the prospect of Johor's sphere of influence over Negeri Sembilan, and in 1881 Weld convinced the chiefs within the Sri Menanti confederacy to deal directly with Singapore rather than with Abu Bakar. British officers were also appointed to oversee the affairs in 1883 and 1887, and were gradually given the powers similar to that of a British resident.

After Sultan Ali's death in 1877, the Raja Temenggong of Muar and its village chieftains voted in favour of a merger of Muar with Johor following a succession dispute between two of Sultan Ali's sons. Sultan Ali's oldest son, Tengku Alam, disputed the legitimacy of the chieftains' wishes and staked his hereditary claims over Muar. Tengku Alam instigated the 1879 Jementah Civil War in a bid to reclaim Muar, but was quickly crushed by the Maharaja's forces. During the 1880s, Abu Bakar actively encouraged the Chinese leaders to set up new gambier and pepper plantations in Muar.

Meanwhile, Weld's continued efforts to keep Abu Bakar's political influence in check and relations between Johor and Singapore became increasingly strained. Abu Bakar was reportedly said to be increasingly reluctant to accept advice from the British-appointed state lawyers, and increasingly turned to his private lawyers which he had employed.[30] Weld voiced his intent to place a Resident in Johor, which prompted Abu Bakar to make a trip to England in August 1884 to negotiate new terms with the British Colonial Office. The Assistant Under-Secretary of the Colonial Office, Robert Meade, conceded to Abu Bakar's request for an absence of a British Resident in Johor, although Abu Bakar gave an in-principle acceptance for an British adviser in Johor (though none was appointed until 1914).[31] An agreement was drawn up, and Abu Bakar was promised control over internal affairs in exchange for British control over foreign affarirs pertaining to the state.

Years as Sultan (1885-1895)

The Bendahara of Pahang, Wan Ahmad, was proclaimed Sultan in 1881. Abu Bakar, who was weary of the increasingly hostile political environment imposed by Weld, considered the importance of the superior moral authority that was accorded to a "Sultan" than to a "Maharaja". In 1885, Abu Bakar instituted the creation of a state postal and judiciary system modelled along British lines, as well as a military force, the Johor Military Forces (Malay: Askar Timbalan Setia) upon his return to Johor.

During his stay in London in late 1885, Abu Bakar expressed his desire to Meade for a formal recognition as the Sultan of Johor. He also met up with Queen Victoria, who had become a personal friend of Abu Bakar, within the same course of his visit. Queen Victoria consented to his wishes, and a treaty was signed on 11 December 1885 which formalised relations between Great Britain and Johor, was concluded between Abu Bakar and the Colonial Office. Abu Bakar also founded the state advisory board in London, which was intended to oversee state interests in London. Several retired officers from the Colonial Office, including William Fielding and Cecil Smith were personally appointed by Abu Bakar to oversee the board's administration.

The formal recognition of the British by Abu Bakar as the Sultan of Johor quickly drew criticisms among the Malays in Johor. A pantun circulated among the Malays in Johor, which poked jibes at Abu Bakar's background, became very popular. Many Malays were coy on accepting Abu Bakar as their paramount ruler, as they were skeptical of Abu Bakar's Temenggong political origins and Buginese heritage. Furthermore, his affinity with Western culture did not go down well with the culturally-conservative Malays. A proclamation ceremony was held on 13 February 1886, whereby Abu Bakar made an official announcement on his adoption of the title "Sultan" in place of "Maharaja".[39] In the same year on 31 July, Abu Bakar instituted the first state decorations, Darjah Kerabat Yang Amat Dihormati (also translated into English as "The Most Esteemed Family Order of Johor") and the Seri Paduka Mahkota Johor (Order of the Crown of Johor).

Wong Ah Fook, the contractor
Abu Bakar employed the service of a Chinese contractor and long-time acquaintance, Wong Ah Fook, to oversee the development of Johor Bahru. The Johor Archives showed that Wong was the largest building contractor at that time and had been involved in at least twenty public works projects between 1887 and 1895. In addition, Wong was contracted to oversee the construction of the state mosque and several palaces under the direction of Abu Bakar.[41] As a gratitude to Wong's contributions to the state, Abu Bakar granted him a plot of land in the heart of Johor Bahru in 1892. Wong then oversaw the construction of a village, Kampong Ah Fook, as well as a road, Jalan Wong Ah Fook on the land that he was granted

Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar Al-Masyhur ibni Abu Bakar, GCMG, GBE, (17 September 1873–8 May 1959)

Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar Al-Masyhur ibni Abu Bakar, GCMG, GBE, (17 September 1873–8 May 1959) was the 22nd Sultan of Johor, in Malaysia. He was known as one of the richest men in the world during his reign.

An Anglophile, Sultan Ibrahim continued the policy of friendly relations with the crown of the United Kingdom, often manipulating his friendship with the reigning kings of Britain to thwart the expansionist ambitions of the British Colonial Office.

He became highly unpopular later due to him being known as an Anglophile and opposed to Malayan independence. This led him to spend most of his time away from his state, travelling to Europe, particularly Britain.

In 1914, Sultan Ibrahim, Sultan Abu Bakar's successor, was forced to accept a British Adviser and effectively became a crown protectorate of the Britain. D.G. Campbell was dispatched as the first British advisor to Johor.

Sultan Ibrahim passed away in London in 1959 and replaced by Sultan Ismail. Sultan ruled until 1981 and was replaced by Sultan Iskandar. Sultan Iskandar passed away on 22 January 2010, and replaced by his son Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ibrahim Ismail, who proclaimed as the next Sultan of Johor(Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Ibni Almarhum Sultan Mahmud Iskandar Al-Haj)on 23 January 2010.

World War II and Malaysia

The Second World War broke out in 1939 and Japan invaded British Malaya in December 1941. The British, who were responsible for Johor's defense, were swiftly defeated by the Japanese and retreated to Singapore to make a stand. Japan occupied Johor from 1942 to 1945. Singapore fell to the Japanese on 15 February 1942.

With the end of the war, the British came back and in 1946, Johor became part of the Malayan Union. Opposition to the Union by Malay nationalists, led by Dato' Onn Jaafar, however forced its dissolution and in 1948, the state joined a new federation called Malaya. It achieved independence in 1957 along with the rest of the Malay Peninsula, and later in 1963, it was one of the fourteen states that formed Malaysia.

Chronological list of rulers

Temenggung Daing Tun Ibrahim 1855 - 1862
Wan Abu Bakar Daing Ibrahim 1862 - 1868

Abu Bakar Daing Ibrahim 1868= 1885

Sir Abu Bakar Daing Ibrahim 1885 - 1895
Ibrahim Iskandar Al-Masyhur 1895 - 1959
Ismail Al-Khalidi Ibrahim Al-Masyhur 1959 - 1981
Mahmud Iskandar Al-Haj Ismail Al-Khalidi1981 - 2010
Ibrahim Ismail 2010 - now

Tunku Ibrahim Ismail Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar was proclaimed as the new Sultan of Johor on Sat, 23 Jan 2010.

Related articles:
1. Abu Bakar of Johor,
2. Ibrahim of Johor,
3. Ismail of Johor,
4. Iskandar of Johor,
5. Ibrahim Ismail of Johor,
6. Tunku Ismail Ibrahim,
7. Johor,
8. Johor Sultanate,