Mahmud II of Johor

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Paduka Sri Sultan Mahmud Shah II ibni al-Marhum Sultan Ibrahim Shah was the 9th Sultan of Johor, Pahang and Lingga (1685 – 3 September 1699).

Born in 1675, he was the last in line of a dynasty of the Sultanate of Johor (founded by his grandfather, Sultan Alauddin Ri'ayat Shah II) descended from the Sultans of Melaka (Malacca). As he was still a young boy when his father Sultan Ibrahim died (16 February 1685), Sultan Mahmud II reigned under the joint regency of his mother and the Bendahara Paduka Raja until the death of the latter (27 July 1697).

He had several wives and is said to have slain any of them to have the misfortune of becoming pregnant. Perhaps this could have been the result of his fear that the birth of a son would enable rivals to depose him. After all, he himself came to power at a young age through a palace conspiracy that led to the poisoning of his father Sultan Ibrahim by his wives. Sultan Mahmud Shah II is famously known as "Sultan Mahmud Mangkat Dijulang". The name Mangkat Dijulang was given in remembrance of the way he was killed (mangkat being the Malay word referring specifically to a royal death) while being carried (dijulang) in a royal litter or dais. On his way back from Friday prayers, he was assassinated by one of his military chiefs. This military chief, Laksamana Megat Sri Rama (hailing from Bintan), was enraged The famous legend behind the murder of Sultan Mahmud Shah II is recounted in the 19th century Malay chronicle, the Tuhfat al-Nafis. Based on this story, he is mostly remembered for his decadence and cruelty, marking a shameful end to his dynasty.

Sultan Mahmud was buried in a village near Kota Tinggi in Johor, which is still known today as Kampung Makam (Village of the Tomb). Legend has it that before he died, he lay a curse on Kota Tinggi, forbidding any sons of Bintan from entering the city for all time.

After his death, his Bendahara (chief minister)Abdul Jalil declared himself the next Sultan of Johor. Upon ascending the throne, the new Sultan (Abdul Jalil IV) killed all the wives of Sultan Mahmud in order to avoid the possibility of any future claims to the throne. However, according to the Hikayat Negeri Johor (Chronicles of the State of Johor)and the Pahang Manuscripts, one wife, Che Mi, managed to escape to Minangkabau and gave birth to Raja Kechil. Less than two decades later in 1717, Raja Kechil would assemble a fleet from Minangkabau and succeed temporarily in ousting Sultan Abdul Jalil's successor Sultan Sulaiman and gain the Johor Sultanate, basing his legitimacy on the claim that he was the post-humous son of Sultan Mahmud Shah II. However, Bugis mercenaries that assisted him in this campaign changed sides and he was eventually forced to flee to Siak, where he founded a new Sultanate.

Mahmud II in popular culture[edit]

The legend of Sultan Mahmud II is recounted in a 1961 Malay film directed by K.M.Basker starring M. Amin as the Sultan.

External links[edit]

Mahmud II of Johor
Malacca-Johor Dynasty
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ibrahim Shah
Sultan of Johor
1685-1699
Succeeded by
Abdul Jalil Shah IV