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This blogspot is a medium to share my thoughts and adventures apart from promoting my books. Below are the books which have been written or authored and published by myself.


"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Mencari Diri dan Erti".

ISBN 983-42031-0-1, Jun 2006


"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Membela Syiar yang Asal"

ISBN 983-42031-1-x, May 2007


"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Sirih Pulang ke Gagang?"

ISBN 978-983-42031-2-2, November 2007


It is interesting to note that while these books were written in Malay it has gained enough attention to merit being part of the collections of the American Library of Congress and National Library of Australia. Look here and here.


While the first three books were published by my own company, the fourth titled "Rumah Azan" was published in April 2009 by a company called Karnadya with the help of the Malaysian national literary body Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. It features beautiful pictures along with stories behind selected mosques which could be related to the history of Islam and the Malays alongside the formation of the Malaysian nation. Look at the article A collaboration of old collegemates - the book "Rumah Azan".


My fifth book "Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and Malay Sultanates", an English translation and adaptation of the Malay book "Ahlul Bait (Keluarga) Rasulullah SAW dan Kesultanan Melayu" authored by Hj Muzaffar Mohamad and Tun Suzana Othman was published early 2010. Look here... My 5th book is out! Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and the Malay Sultanates... . For more information check out my Malay blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU.



Like my fourth book "Rumah Azan", the sixth book "Kereta Api Menuju Destinasi" is also a coffee-table book which is published by the company Karnadya with the cooperation of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (the main Malay literary body in Malaysia). Coming out January 2011 it features pictures and stories on the adventure travelling by train to all of Peninsular Malaysia along with the interesting places which could be reached this way.


My seventh book "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" in turn is a coffee-table book which is written, editted, designed and has pictures taken by me. Coming out of the factory October 2011, this book which combines family history with history of places such as Singapura, Johor, Batu Pahat, Muar and in fact the history of the island of Java and England has been reviewed with me interviewed live in the program Selamat Pagi Malaysia at RTM1. Look at the article Siaran langsung ulasan buku "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" dan temu ramah di Selamat Pagi Malaysia. Some selected contents have been featured in Sneak peek "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah".


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The "Berpetualang ke Aceh" series of novels could be obtained in e-book form. Enter http://www.e-sentral.com/, click general novel and go to page 4. You can also type the word "Aceh" at the search box. Or click straight Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

The main players of the Perak-British war as depicted at the fort of Ngah Ibrahim...

As the title says, we're going to see The main players of the Perak-British war as depicted at the fort of Ngah Ibrahim... These pictures were taken taken the following day after those shown in the last posting here, Views on top of Gunung Jerai... Enter Padang Tok Sheikh. Is it? were taken. So the story continues with as few word as needed to get the story across ya... It could be a bunch but believe me, it is necessary... Come...


Suffice to say, I made my 3rd visit to the fort of Ngah Ibrahim in Matang, Taiping, Perak the day after going up Gunung (mount) Jerai in Kedah. Unlike in my previous visits to the fort (now a museum) which were confined to the main hall, this time I bothered to look around and record some pictures which would be of interest to a lot of people...


Here is a genealogical chart of Ngah Ibrahim who built the fort with fortune amassed from trading tin mined in the district of Larut, the world's largest supplier of tin then, the 19th century AD... Below are displays of the historical notes and depictions of characters associated with what happened during this period... That is, the blooming tin trading which got the British interested among other, by bringing Chinese miners in... A period which saw plenty of events culminating in the Malay lands being colonised by the British which in turn resulted in the modern make-up of the country called Malaysia to this very day!

The displays would be presented the way it is arranged at the fort ya... For best understanding, please blow up the pictures and read the explanations, given in both Malay and English. Just too bad, some couldn't be captured clearly with my cheap digital camera because of the lighting and positioning which limited the attempt to capture as best as I could. Shoot...


Some history about Sultan Jaafar, Perak's 23rd Sultan (ruled 1857-1865). The stage was set went he gave a certain Long Jaafar mandate and rule over the district of Larut, after a fresh discovery of large deposits of tin there...


History on Sultan Ali Al-Mukammal, the next Perak Sultan. His death in 1871 lead to a major succesion dispute for the throne...


Sultan Ismail Muabidin was installed as the replacement when according to Perak's unique order of succesion, it should be someone else on the throne...


According to the order in place then, Raja Abdullah (later raised as the 26th Sultan) should have been the ruler. But he was sidestepped as he didn't attend the funeral of Sultan Ali... According to the custom, a replacement must be installed before a deceased ruler is buried. But the stories said Raja Abdullah didn't come because he was afraid he would be attacked by... (look below)


Raja Yusuf which much later became Perak's 27th Sultan... Beginning to get the intrigue of the plot?


OK. Here's Long Jaafar, the person given mandate by the 23rd Sultan, Sultan Jaafar to administer Larut which turned out to be the world's largest supplier of tin then very important to Europe because of the Industrial Revolution in full swing. The mandate was actually given when Sultan Jaafar was not yet a full ruler, just the regent... The Sultan then, the 22rd of Perak was Sultan Abdullah Muhammad I which happens to be the father of Raja Yusuf (the future Sultan Yusuf!)...

Perhaps it was the blooming trade of tin and richest pouring in that got him... What happened then was Sultan Jaafar grabbed the throne and was effectively the ruler years before he was formally installed... Formally installed in 1865 when Sultan Abdullah I died. But the damage was already done. And it was further done when Sultan Jaafar used his power to sidelined Raja Yusuf who was then 3rd in line to the throne! By right Raja Yusuf should be pushed up to 2nd in line when Sultan Jaafar filled in the gap but instead he was left to languish in the position known as Raja Di Hilir while someone else filled the slot in-between...

Ngah Ibrahim is the son of Long Jaafar. Some parties might dispute this saying Ngah Ibrahim is actually a younger brother of Long Jaafar. Some even say he's not even related but was just a clever employee... Never mind all that, let's stick to the official history. Ngah Ibrahim is the son and he inherited all of Long Jaafar's wealth when the latter is deceased...

OK, back to the death of Sultan Ali in 1871. If Sultan Jaafar had not disturbed the order of succession, then Raja Yusuf should already be on the throne. On the other hand, according to the succesion put in place by Sultan Jaafar, its time his son Sultan Abdullah become the ruler... After all, he was the regent to Sultan Ali.

According to the custom, Sultan Abdullah or then Raja Abdullah who resided down south in Teluk Intan should come to the palace then in Sayong (Perak upriver) to be installed and then only could the late Sultan Ali be buried. But Raja Abdullah didn't come because according to the stories he was afraid of being ambushed by Raja Yusuf who was based in Senggang.

So the story goes, no more waiting after 3 months... Someone had to be installed fast as the body must be buried and thus Sultan Ismail who then carried the position of Raja Bendahara was raised to throne.

Now, under the old custom the Raja Bendahara is 2nd in line to the throne, after the regent who is known as the Raja Muda. In that sense, the order has been sidestepped but what's even worse, under the correct custom, Sultan Ismail or Raja Ismail as he was known before was never to become a Sultan! This is because he was only a member of the Perak royal family on the distaff side... This man was actually a Siak prince with a mother from Perak royalty! But he was appointed as Raja Bendahara by Sultan Jaafar because the latter didn't want Raja Yusuf to become Raja Bendahara. Got the picture better now?

Some say, Ngah Ibrahim was the person who most wanted Raja Ismail to become the Sultan as he hated Raja Abdullah. Never mind that, what happened then lead Raja Abdullah, the son of Sultan Jaafar to seek the British aid... The result, the Treaty of Pangkor of 1874 which saw Raja Abdullah installed by the British and Raja Ismail forced into retirement with pension... But with a lot of strings attached of course... One of it is Perak must accept a British Resident and MUST use his "advices" and all matters pertaining to the state except in matters of the religion of Islam and Malay customs.

Oh... Forgot to tell. There's another side leading to the treaty. The disturbances and wars between Chinese aided by Chinese gangsters but that is another story. If you ask me, both the disturbances caused by the Chinese and the throne succession dispute were engineered by the British to justify their involvement in Malay affairs...

Anyway, a British Resident by the name of J.W.W. Birch was put in place and that actually leads to further troubles. In turned out, he does not have much respect for the Malays and that lead to the face-off coming soon... Then again, maybe the British conciously put such a person in place to make the Malays angry, so that they can justify war and full control over the Malay lands?


Datuk Sagor, one of the main warriors in the next plot... Sorry. Although the spelling in the picture is Dato', I like to used Datuk as per the house convention and style at The New Straits Times where I was a journalist for 5 years.

Datuk is actually a title of respect given out by the ruler to those deemed to have contributed much for society. So there... But don't mistake the Datuks of old with the dim a dozen Datuks now existent in Malaysia ya... The standards have been significantly shifted far away. In the old days, a Datukship is given if someone have truly contributed much, body and soul for the country.... And thus it is given out only to the elders as only a certain level of age and maturity can prove your true value...

Besides, the word Datuk in Malay also denotes someone who have grandchildren, that is a grandfather... Thus in the old days, a person who held this title is often a good example of a family leader having succesfully raised children who in turn have their own children.

The values that makes a Datuk have certainly shiften much. Now, you can have a 20-plus-yearold guy whom the public knows is a swindler and a womaniser carrying the title Datuk while the powers-that-be denied all these and try to put the guy as an angle. Why? Because he knows how to play politics and raise a lot of money. That's all!


Datuk Maharajalela, the most celebrated Malay warrior in what was to follow...


Pandak Indut, another main player...


The "venerable" J.W.W. Birch who caused much trouble...


And a Captain Speedy who was once the secretary to Ngah Ibrahim but was strangely (at least I think it's strange) promoted to become the assistant Resident when Perak is fully in British hands...

OK... What happened is after one too much demand, the Malays got so angry that despite all the differences regarding old throne succesion disputes and such, they decided to unite. The result, J.W.W. Birch was murdered in Pasir Salak 1875.

What follows was all-out war between the British and the Malays. Official history recorded that the British won in a superior show of force but I learned that this is actually happens because some Malays betrayed their motherland because of certain incentives...

Never mind that, the Malays involved in the murder of J.W.W. Birch were caught by the British and put to trial... A mock trial as far as I'm concerned, as plastic as the figures shown in this exhibit at the fort of Ngah Ibrahim.

Oh... By the way, the trial actually happened in this room! The result... Datuk Sagor, Datuk Maharajalela and Pandak Endut were all sentenced to death! Raja Abdullah who was installed as Sultan Abdullah following the 1874 Pangkor Treaty was exiled to the Seychelles Island in Africa along with Ngah Ibrahim.... And 2 other major players which somehow the history books have missed or underscored... My great-great grandfather Laksamana Raja Mahkota (royal admiral) Muhammad Amin and Shahbandar Uda Ma'amor.

If I remember correctly, the former Sultan Ismail was exiled to Singapore. Raja Yusuf who became the regent or Raja Muda when Sultan Abdullah was installed stayed on in that position... Meaning the British have taken effective control of the state using the name of exiled Sultan Abdullah and the presence of only second-in-command among the Malays Raja Yusuf to change the whole socio-political structure of Perak, that is relegating the Malays to the backwaters of the slew of economic changes then... Raja Yusuf only became the Sultan some 10 years later... Even then for only 3 months when he died!

Sorry, I feel sad. These are my relatives I'm talking about. I think enough story-telling ya. You can always search more about what happened elsewhere. Good night! :]

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Salam,

Do you notice the resemblance between Pandak Indot's picture with Datok Husam Musa of Kelantan?

Radzi Sapiee said...

Wassalam. Hmm... There is a slight resemblance. Yep, the eyes, beard and moustache. But the shape of their heads are different...