Old Johor kingdom

by Mazelan Anuar

The fall of Melaka to the Portuguese in 1511 marked the beginning of the Johor kingdom.1 The last ruler of Melaka, Sultan Mahmud, fled and eventually settled on the island of Bintan.Sultan Mahmud was succeeded by his son, Sultan Alauddin Riayat Syah, who established his residence at Pekan Tua (Old Market) in the upper reaches of the Johor river before relocating to Kota Batu (later known as Johor Lama, or Old Johor) in 1535.3

Johor claimed suzerainty over its former Melaka territories.4 Aceh, too, was vying for supremacy in the Straits.5 As a result, Johor was attacked a number of times throughout the 16th century by the Portuguese and the Acehnese.6 In 1564, Sultan Alauddin was captured and executed when Aceh attacked Johor Lama.7 His son established a new capital at Batu Sawar in Kota Tinggi after Johor Lama was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1587.8

The Johor kingdom recovered some of the glory of the Melakan period after helping the Dutch East India Company (VOC) defeat the Portuguese in Melaka in 1641.9 Johor was given special trade and political privileges by the VOC.10 With the powerful Dutch as an ally, Johor gained access to military supplies and trade to control maritime traffic and maintain power in the Strait of Melaka for the remainder of the 17th century.11

There was an upheaval in the kingdom after Sultan Mahmud Syah (1685–99) was assassinated by his nobles in 1699.12 Sultan Mahmud had no direct heirs, and this enabled the conspirators to appoint the bendahara (chief minister) as the ruler of Johor and accorded him the title, Sultan Abdul Jalil Syah.13 The legitimacy of the bendahara line was challenged,14 and states that had come under Johor’s domination rebelled against it.15

In 1718, Raja Kecil appeared in Siak and claimed to be the son of Sultan Mahmud, who had been assassinated in 1699.16 With the support of the Orang Laut and the Minangkabau, he gained control of the kingdom.17 Sultan Abdul Jalil was executed.18 His son, Ibrahim, sought the assistance of the Bugis and eventually gained control over Johor.19 However, there were numerous conflicts between Johor, Siak and the VOC for the remainder of the 18th century as these groups battled for trade, cultural and political hegemony.20

When Sultan Mahmud, the ruler of Johor, died in 1812, he left two sons born of commoner mothers.21 A dispute arose over who should be the next sultan.22 In 1818, the Dutch signed a treaty recognising Tengku Abdul Rahman, based in Riau, as the legitimate heir.23 The British recognised Tengku Long (later Sultan Hussein Shah) as the ruler of Johor and signed treaties with him to allow the British to set up a trading post in Singapore.24

With the Anglo-Dutch treaty in 1824, the Johor kingdom was spilt between the British and the Dutch spheres of influence.25 The Riau-Lingga sultanate was eventually abolished by the Dutch in the first decade of the 20th century.26 The line of Sultan Hussein lost control over Johor in 1880 when the British refused to recognise Sultan Hussein’s son and instead crowned Abu Bakar, the son of Temenggung Ibrahim, as Sultan of Johor.27 The ruling family of the present state of Johor traces its lineage to Sultan Abu Bakar.28



Author
Mazelan Anuar



References
1. Koh, T. B., et al (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet in association with the National Heritage Board, p. 268. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])
2. Andaya, B. W. (2017). A history of Malaysia. London, Palgrave. p. 62. (Call no.: RSEA 959.5 AND)
3. Andaya, B. W. (2017). A history of Malaysia. London, Palgrave. p. 63. (Call no.: RSEA 959.5 AND)
4. Andaya, L. Y. (2004). Johor-Riau empire. In K. G. Ooi (Ed.), Southeast Asia: A historical encyclopedia from Angkor Wat to East Timor (Vol. 2). Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, p. 698. (Call no.: RSING 959.003 SOU)
5. Andaya, B. W. (2017). A history of Malaysia. London, Palgrave. p. 63. (Call no.: RSEA 959.5 AND)
6. Koh, T. B., et al. (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet in association with the National Heritage Board, p. 268. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])
7. Andaya, B. W. (2017). A history of Malaysia. London: Palgrave, p. 63. (Call no.: RSEA 959.5 AND)
8. Andaya, B. W. (2017). A history of Malaysia. London: Palgrave, p. 63. (Call no.: RSEA 959.5 AND)
9. Andaya, L. Y. (2004). Johor-Riau empire. In K. G. Ooi (Ed.), Southeast Asia: A historical encyclopedia from Angkor Wat to East Timor (Vol. 2). Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, p. 699. (Call no.: RSING 959.003 SOU)
10. Andaya, L. Y. (2004). Johor-Riau empire. In K. G. Ooi (Ed.), Southeast Asia: A historical encyclopedia from Angkor Wat to East Timor (Vol. 2). Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, p. 699. (Call no.: RSING 959.003 SOU)
11. Koh, T. B., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet in association with the National Heritage Board, p. 268. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])
12.  Andaya, L. Y. (2004). Johor-Riau empire. In K. G. Ooi (Ed.), Southeast Asia: A historical encyclopedia from Angkor Wat to East Timor (Vol. 2). Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, p. 699. (Call no.: RSING 959.003 SOU)
13. Andaya, B. W. (2017). A history of Malaysia. London: Palgrave. p. 86. (Call no.: RSEA 959.5 AND)
14. Andaya, B. W. (2017). A history of Malaysia. London: Palgrave. p. 86. (Call no.: RSEA 959.5 AND)
15. Koh, T. B., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet in association with the National Heritage Board, p. 268. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])
16. Andaya, B. W. (2017). A history of Malaysia. London: Palgrave, p. 90. (Call no.: RSEA 959.5 AND)
17. Andaya, L. Y. (2004). Johor-Riau empire. In K. G. Ooi (Ed.), Southeast Asia: A historical encyclopedia from Angkor Wat to East Timor (Vol. 2). Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, p. 699. (Call no.: RSING 959.003 SOU)
18. Koh, T. B., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet in association with the National Heritage Board, p. 268. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])
19. Koh, T. B., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet in association with the National Heritage Board, p. 268. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])
20. Koh, T. B., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet in association with the National Heritage Board, p. 268. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])
21. Andaya, L. Y. (2004). Johor-Riau empire. In K. G. Ooi (Ed.), Southeast Asia: A historical encyclopedia from Angkor Wat to East Timor (Vol. 2). Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, p. 699. (Call no.: RSING 959.003 SOU)
22. Koh, T. B., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet in association with the National Heritage Board, p. 268. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN -[HIS])
23. Andaya, L. Y. (2004). Johor-Riau empire. In K. G. Ooi (Ed.), Southeast Asia: A historical encyclopedia from Angkor Wat to East Timor (Vol. 2). Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, p. 699. (Call no.: RSING 959.003 SOU)
24. Koh, T. B., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet in association with the National Heritage Board, p. 269. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])
25. Koh, T. B., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet in association with the National Heritage Board, p. 268. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])
26. Koh, T. B., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet in association with the National Heritage Board, p. 268. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])
27. Koh, T. B., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet in association with the National Heritage Board, p. 268. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])
28. Koh, T. B., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet in association with the National Heritage Board, p. 268. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])



The information in this article is valid as at December 2019 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

 

Subject
Malaysia--History
History
Malaysia--Kings and rulers

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