Jaafar Muhammad

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Dato' Jaafar bin Haji Muhammad (Jawi: جعفر بن محمد; 1838 – 3 July 1919) D.K., S.P.M.J., C.M.G. [1] was the first and longest serving Dato' Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of Malaysian state of Johor, an office he held from 1886 until his death.

Jaafar was born in Teluk Belanga, Singapore, Straits Settlements. He also received Malay and English education.

He began serving with the Johor state government at the age of 16, working as a trainee clerk in the Office of the Minister Raja Temenggung Tun Daeng Ibrahim. In 1856 he was appointed clerk in the Office of the Minister, and then he served as deputy for the Chief Minister until 1882. He was Sultan Abu Bakar escort in his majesty first trip to Europe in 1866. He took office when Temenggung Abu Bakar made himself a Sultan of Johor and formulated a new constitution and administrative framework for Johor in 1885. During his term as Chief Minister, Jaafar was tasked to carry out state administration for the Sultan of Johor, when the Sultan went overseas. His residence for most of the latter part of his life was Istana Bukit Senyum which was built in 1883 and a high school behind the palace, Sekolah Dato Jaafar is named after him. In 1904 he was appointed by the Sultan as regent.[2]

Jaafar was married five times with five wives,[3] Esah bte Ibrahim, Emon bte Abu Talib, Datin Selamah Ambak and Rogayah Hanim.[4] Three of his sons were also Menteri Besar after him, including the father of modern Malay nationalism, Dato Onn Jaafar.

He died in 1919 in Bukit Senyum, Johor Bahru and was buried with full honors at the Mahmoodiah Royal Mausoleum.


He was awarded the Third Class Star St. Michael and St. George by Queen Victoria of England. The Sultan of Johor also awarded the Order of the Crown of Johor (S.P.M.J.) to him.


  1. ^ http://journalarticle.ukm.my/543/
  2. ^ "Liberation, Scholars & Legendary Review; Dato Jaafar Bin Haji Muhammad ( 1838 - 1919 )". Blogspot.
  3. ^ "Malaysian Families: Taking root, branching out". The Star. 5 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Malaysian Families: Taking root, branching out". The Star. 5 July 2013.