Hussein Shah of Johor
|Predecessor||Sultan Abdul Rahman|
|Successor||Ali of Johor|
|Spouse||1. Tun Encik Puan Bulang
2. Encik Wan Aishah
3. Tengku Perbu
|Hussein Mua'zzam Shah ibni Mahmud Shah Alam|
|House||House of Bendahara (Johor)|
|Father||Sultan Mahmud Shah|
|Died||5 September 1835|
|Burial||Tranquera mosque, Malacca|
Sultan Hussein Mua'zzam Shah ibni Mahmud Shah Alam (1776 – 5 September 1835) was the 18th ruler of Johor. He was best remembered for his role as a signatory for two treaties with the British which culminated in the founding of modern Singapore; during which he was given recognition as the Sultan of Johor and Singapore in 1819 and the Sultan of Johor in 1824. However, Sultan Hussein's status as the Sultan was no more than a puppet monarch, at least during the first few years of his reign. Towards his last years of his term and during the first half of his son's reign as the Sultan of Johor, limited recognition was given by a few nobles and the British were accorded mainly with the purpose of their own economic and political gains.
The Sultan of Johor-Riau, Sultan Mahmud Shah III died in 1812 after reigning for more than fifty years, naming no formal heir to the throne. He left behind two sons with two different women, both of whom were of Buginese extraction. As the older son, Tengku Hussein stood the better chance of succeeding his father in favour of his younger half-brother, Tengku Abdul Rahman by primogeniture. Tengku Hussein, however, was away in Pahang at the time of his father's demise.
The Bugis faction, led by the underking Yamtuan Muda Raja Ja'afar supported Tengku Abdul Rahman to succeed the throne and hastily organised a coronation ceremony before Tengku Hussein was able to return. Raja Ja'afar, in exchange for his support for Tengku Abdul Rahman (now Sultan), was appointed as the empire's regent and wielded administrative authority. Tengku Hussein stayed on in Pahang and waited for the monsoon winds to arrive, and was unaware of his brother's installation as the Sultan, although Raja Ja'afar had written a letter to Tengku Hussein notifying him of Sultan Mahmud's death, but details in the letter were modified to shield Tengku Hussein of his brother's ascension as the Sultan. Correspondence was returned to Lingga that he was installed as the Sultan by Bendahara Tun Ali during his stay in Pahang. Tengku Hussein sailed back to Lingga when the monsoon winds arrived, and was received by Sultan Abdul Rahman who had offered to abdicate in favour of Tengku Hussein, but he quickly backtracked after Raja Ja'afar made his threats against Sultan Abdul Rahman.
Questions pertaining to the legitimacy of Sultan Abdul Rahman's reign were raised; the royal regalia were still in the hands of Engku Putri Hamidah, the primary consort of the late Sultan Mahmud Shah III who had stated her choice of seeing Tengku Hussein to succeed to the throne. In addition, Tengku Hussein also had the support of the Temenggong and the Malay nobles, which made the prospect of putting a legitimate successor in place difficult.
Sultan Abdul Rahman devoted himself increasingly to religion; he had delegated all administrative duties to Raja Ja'afar by the time William Farquhar approached the Sultan to secure an alliance with the British in an attempt to reduce Dutch influence in the region.
Founding of modern Singapore
In 1818, Sir Stamford Raffles was appointed as the governor of Bencoolen on western Sumatra. He was convinced that the British needed to establish a new base in Southeast Asia in order to compete with the Dutch. Many in the British East India Company opposed such idea but Raffles managed to convince Lord Hastings of the Company, then Governor General of British India, to side with him. With the governor general's consent, he and his expedition set out to search for a new base.
Raffles' expedition arrived in Singapore on 29 January 1819. He discovered a small Malay settlement at the mouth of Singapore River headed by a Temenggung (governor) of Johor. Though the island was nominally ruled by the sultanate, the political situation there was extremely murky. The incumbent Sultan, Tengku Abdul Rahman, was under the influence of the Dutch and the Bugis and would therefore never agree to a British base in Singapore.
Upon learning of these Johor political tensions, Raffles made a deal with Hussein Shah. Their agreement stated that the British would acknowledge Hussein Shah 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.
1824 Anglo-Dutch treaty
With the Temenggung's help, Raffles managed to smuggle Hussein Shah, then living in exile on one of the Riau Islands, back into Singapore. The Dutch were extremely displeased with Raffles' action. Tensions between the Dutch and British over Singapore persisted until 1824, until they signed the Anglo-Dutch Treaty. Under the terms of that treaty, the Dutch officially withdrew their opposition to the British presence in Singapore. The treaty has the effect of carving the Johor Empire into two spheres of influence; modern Johor under the British and the new Sultanate of Riau under the Dutch. The treaty was concluded in London, between the British and the Dutch, effectively break up of the Johor-Riau Empire into two.
Later years and death
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. The Dutch took the bold initiative of taking the royal regalia from Engku Putri Hamidah by force after hearing of rumours of Sultan Hussein requesting British aid to get hold of the regalia. In November 1822, Sultan Abdul Rahman was installed as the Sultan of Lingga, complete with the royal regalia.
In the later part of his reign, growing British influence pressurised some Malay nobles, particularly Bendahara Ali to grant recognition to Sultan Hussein's legitimacy. 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. However, unresolved legal ambiguity in the legitimacy various local affairs, such as the status of Johor and Pahang, which was the de jure property of the Dutch-aligned Sultan Abdul Rahman and his successors, yet the 1824 treaty would not allow Sultan Abdul Rahman to exert political authority over Johor and Pahang. In the light of these circumstances, the Temenggong and Bendahara to increasingly exert their independent authority. Also, largely as a result of the strong British influence in the Malay Peninsula, the continuously changing political dynamics gradually relegated these legitimacy disputes. (In 1857, the Sultan of Lingga, Sultan Mahmud Muzaffar Shah, who was also de jure head of the royal house of Johor, Pahang and Lingga, made a vociferous claim to his legitimacy of as the rightful ruler of these states and briefly sparked off a civil war in Pahang.)
Sultan Hussein on his part, did not pursue any active claim to his sovereignty rights over Johor, even after Temenggong Abdul Rahman died in 1825, and his successor, Temenggong Ibrahim was still a youth at the time of Temenggong Abdul Rahman's passing. Sultan Hussein spent much of his time at his Singapore residence in Istana Kampong Glam until 1834, when he moved to Malacca. Reports cited that he was a dispirited man, apparently with the lack of power and authority that he should be accorded as the Sultan. Sultan Hussein later died in September 1835, and was buried in Tranquera Mosque at the wishes of his Sultanah and Abdul Kadir, a Tamil-Muslim Imam.
- Winstedt, A History of Johore (1365–1941), pg 101
- Winstedt, A History of Johore (1365–1941), pg 83
- Bastin, Winks, Malaysia: Selected Historical Readings, pg 130
- Marcus Scott-Ross, See Historical Malacca in One Day, pg 22
- Sejarah Kesultanan Negeri Johor, Laman Web Rasmi Pejabat Daerah Kota Tinggi (Official Web Portal of Kota tinggi district), retrieved 12 March 2009
- British-American Claims Arbitral Tribunal, American and British Claims Arbitration, pg 6 Sultan Ali was the descendant of the Sultans of Johore. His father, Hussain, had been recognised as Sultan of Johore by the English in 1824,...
- Aruna Gopinath, Pahang, 1880-1933: A Political History, pg 23 Bendahara Ali was one of the first few rulers to adjust himself to the new situation and gave Sultan Hussein of Singapore his due recognition...
- Winstedt, A History of Johore (1365–1941), pg 110-1
- Turnbull, A Short History of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, pg 97
- Trocki, Prince of Pirates: The Temenggongs and the Development of Johor and Singapore, 1784-1885, pg 36
- Winstedt, A History of Johore (1365–1941), pg 77
- Trocki, Singapore: Wealth, Power and the Culture of Control, pg 82
- Winstedt, A History of Johore (1365–1941), pg 90
- "Singapore - Founding and Early Years". U.S. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2006-07-18.
- Jenny Ng (1997-02-07). "1819 - The February Documents". Ministry of Defence (Singapore). Retrieved 2006-07-18.
- "Milestones in Singapore's Legal History". Supreme Court, Singapore. Retrieved 2006-07-18.
- "Establishment of Singapore". Singapore Philatelic Museum.
- Winstedt, A History of Johore (1365–1941), pg 95
- Ministry of Culture (Publicity Division), Singapore; Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore., Singapore: A Ministry of Culture Publication, pg 24
- Winstedt, A History of Johore (1365–1941), pg 84
- Trocki, Prince of Pirates: The Temenggongs and the Development of Johor and Singapore, 1784-1885, pg 108
- Tate, The Making of Modern South-East Asia, pg 134 .....Timmerman Thyssen, expressing his amazement at a fate which separated father from son, brother from brother, and friend from friend. He also declared that he continued to recognize Sultan Abdul Rahamn of Riau as his overlord, and his seal diplomatically styled him as the representative of the late Sultan Mahmud! In the same year he refused to allow the British flag to be flown in Pahang. Later, as the situation became clearer, Bendahara Ali modified his attitude and apparently accorded his recognition to Sultan Husain as well, and in 1841 Husain's son and heir asked to come to Pahang to be installed as the new sultan by the Bendahara. In 1853 the Bendahara felt sufficiently sure of his position to have himself proclaimed as an independent ruler, although the fiction of Johore's sovereignty was allowed to continue up till 1864.
- Bastin, Winks, Malaysia: Selected Historical Readings, pg 132 Though in 1818 Major Farquhar had signed a treaty with the Underking of Riau by virtue of powers granted him by 'Abdu'r- Rahman Sultan of Johor, Pahang and dependencies, and though in his letter suggesting the Carimons (Karimun) for a port he had again referred to 'Abdu'r-Rahman as emperor, he now conveniently remembered that the potentate had deprecated being called ruler of the Johor empire and had declared that he was Sultan of Lingga only. So aware that under Dutch surveillance neither Sultan 'Abdu'r-Rahman of Lingga nor the Underking at Riau would be able to convey any rights at Singapore to the British,...
- Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, pg 57
- Winstedt, A History of Johore (1365–1941), pg 112
- Winstedt, A History of Johore (1365–1941), pg 116
- Winstedt, A History of Johore (1365–1941), pg 106
- David Brazil, Street Smart Singapore, pg 231
- Reports Service, by American Universities Field Staff, published by American Universities Field Studies, 1965, pg 20
- Abdul Aziz, Rahiman, Pembaratan pemerintahan Johor, 1800-1945: Suatu Analisis Sosiologi Sejarah, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1997, ISBN 983-62-5514-1
- Aruna Gopinath, Pahang, 1880-1933: A Political History, Council of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1991
- Bastin, John Sturgus, Winks, Robin W., Malaysia: Selected Historical Readings, Oxford University Press, 1966
- British-American Claims Arbitral Tribunal, American and British Claims Arbitration, Govt. Prtg. Off., 1913
- Carl A. Trocki, Prince of Pirates: The Temenggongs and the Development of Johor and Singapore, 1784-1885, Singapore University Press, 1979
- Carl A. Trocki, Singapore: Wealth, Power and the Culture of Control, Routledge, 2006, ISBN 0-415-26385-9
- Constance Mary Turnbull, A Short History of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, published by Graham Brash, 1981, ISBN 9971-947-06-4
- David Brazil, Street Smart Singapore, Times Books International, 1991, ISBN 981-204-065-X
- Marcus Scott-Ross, See Historical Malacca in One Day, Chopmen Enterprises, 1973
- Ministry of Culture (Publicity Division), Singapore; Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore., Singapore: A Ministry of Culture Publication, Ministry of Culture, 1987
- R. O. Winstedt, A History of Johore (1365–1941), (M.B.R.A.S. Reprints, 6.) Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1992, ISBN 983-99614-6-2
- Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Malaysian Branch, Singapore, 1975
- Tate, D. J. M., The Making of Modern South-East Asia, Oxford University Press, 1979
Abdul Rahman Muazzam Shah
|Sultan of Johor