Peringatan Pelayaran ke Riau
text notes
list of words



Peringatan Pelayaran ke Riau


M.A. Fawzi Basri, Warisan Sejarah Johor, Kuala Lumpur: Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia, 1983 — pp.24-38.


Microfilm JQ Mal.3, National Library of Singapore.


text:  1868;    manuscript:  ~1917.


text & manuscript:  Johor


4745 words.


to the pages (24-38) and lines of the printed edition, thus:   PPRiau 31:11.

Editorial notes and bibliography
The manuscript has the form of a typescript in jawi characters.  A cataloguer has at some stage identified it as ‘The Trip to Riau’.
This most interesting document is the report of two envoys sent by Maharaja Abu Bakar of Johor to convey a letter to Raja Ali Haji seeking advice on matters of Malay government (aturan Melayu) – specifically concerning the symbols of authority and the legitimation of the rule of the Temenggung’s line in Johor.
The report has the following structure:
The report
  A succinct statement of the scope and purpose of the mission, and its timing.
Journal of the visit to Riau (-31:10)
  A day-by-day account of the activities of the ambassadors, their meetings, the contents of discussions etc. arranged under heading for each of the six days the mission was in Riau.  The report of the final day includes 9 enumerated messages sent by Raja Ali Haji to ‘Datuk Temenggung’ beginning with (1) Read my writings on history carefully from beginning to end; (2) The Yamtuan and I approve of your installation as Ruler proceeding ...
Results (31.11-32:10)
  A list of 8 enumerated results of the mission.  The last is the foreshadowed attachment outlining the information sought by Sultan Abu Bakar.
Attachment 1 (32:11-37:28): Memorandum by the two envoys on the issues of inquiry by Maharaja Abu Bakar concerning matters relating to kingship, including titles, ceremonies, symbols of power such as the flag and canon-shot salutes, consultative assemblies and protocol.
    Divided into 13 numbered sections:
1.  The titles of office-holders and the office-holders in waiting (5 numbered paragraphs).
2.  Flags of the office-holders (11 numbered paragraphs).
3.  Names and usages of the flags.
4.  Canon-shot salutes.
5.  Eligibility of nobility or commoners for office.
6.  Audience venues.
7.  Currently ruling kings.
8.  Consultative assembly and its membership .
9.  Functions of ranking office-holders.
10.  Descent of the Malay kings and their connexions with the five Bugis brothers
11.  The contents of Raja Ali Haji’s book Thamarat al-Muhimmah: enumerating the 3 chapters and the conclusion.
12.  List of books borrowed from Riau, listing seven items. They are books on Malay and Bugis history by Raja Ali Haji, his Thamarat al-Muhimmah (in two copies), a book of laws from Pahang, a book from Riau on law and custom, and a miscellany mainly in Malay by Raja Ali Haji.
13.  Questions put by Raja Ali Haji to Maharaja Abu Bakar, concerning anomalies associated with Sultan Hussain of Singapore and his succession.
Attachment 2 (37:29-28:37): Report of the visit by Raja Ali Haji and Teugku Long to Singapore in 1868.
This context and puropse of this mission to Riau is rather drily described by Winstedt, History of Johore, pp.108-109, drawing principally on this document.
In 1866 accompanied by Ja`far bin Haji Muhammad (later Mantri Besar or Prime Minister of Johor) Abu-Bakar paid his first visit to Europe, was granted an audience by Queen Victoria, met the Prince of Wales and toured England with an eye on the needs of his own country. Perhaps that visit taught him that the title Temenggong was unknown in Europe. Perhaps his gracious reception by royalty set him thinking. Perhaps it was his English friends in London who stirred his ambition. As far back as 1855 Sultan `Ali, that spendthrift representative of the Singapore line, had ceded (what it is doubtful if he possessed) the full sovereignty of Johor to Temenggong Ibrahim. Mahmud ex-Sultan of Lingga had died in 1864 in Pahang. It is true Wan Ahmad was troublesome – until Sir Harry Ord settled the boundary question on 1 September 1868 – but what harm could Wan Ahmad do to a ruler who had kissed the hand of Queen Victoria and sent Manila cheroots to the Prince of Wales, a ruler who first of all Malay chiefs had on his return from Europe been made an honorary Knight Commander of the Star of India? Only lately he had got the British to recognise that Tanjong Surat, as part of the mainland belonged to Johor. It was a small matter but it showed his influence. Why should he not assume a title more in accord with his birth, his power and his place? Accordingly on 18 April, 1868, Abu-Bakar sent his cousin Engku Haji Muhammad and his Dato' Bentara (Ja`far bin Haji Muhammad) to Riau to that genealogist and prolific historian Raja Haji `Ali (his deceased uncle’s brother-in-law) to needle the way to the Yamtuan Muda and enquire if the Temenggong could now assume “sovereign power”, – which in fact they had assumed already, but at Riau it was a euphemism for “a royal title”. The envoys met that student of Islamic mysticism, the Yamtuan Muda, in his half-finished stone palace, partook of cakes and coffee, talked of the wonders of London and the power of the white man, while Engku Haji Muhammad with Victorian sententiousness told the consort of their host that she must cherish her husband as man, royal master and relation! They visited the graves of Habib Shaikh and of Raja `Ali a former Yamtuan Muda. They scanned Raja Haji’s genealogies and talked of the time of the first Bendahara Sultan, son of Tun Habab. The critical historian put some shrewd questions to the visitors. Was Johor ever the property of Sultan Husain seeing that his brother was Sultan of Lingga? Why had Sultan Husain delayed appointing a successor to Temenggong `Abdu'r-Rahman? Who installed Sultan `Ali and did the English inform all Malay rulers as was the custom? The envoys went finally to the house of Heer von de Wall and had audience of its temporary inmate Sultan Sulaiman of Lingga, a neat attractive slip of white-blooded royalty with easy manners, who was on his way from Batavia and gave them presents of batik garments. On the last day the oracle spoke, “Tell the Temenggong to study all my genealogies. I and the Yamtuan Muda would like him to become Raja. It can be done, if he will let the Yamtuan Muda go to Singapore and instal him. The Bendahara too, can be made Raja but it would be difficult. If the Temenggong’s people want it, that will be one good reason. Try and persuade Sultan `Ali also to agree. But we must call the Temenggong by some name other than Sultan or Yamtuan, and I must come to Teluk Blanga to arrange things.” On 7 May Raja Haji `Ali and his son arrived; they were taken to see the noonday gun fired from the fort; they saw gas for the first time; after twelve days they left for Riau with the present of a twin-screw steamer from the Temenggong. On 30 June Abu-Bakar wrote to the Governor, Sir Harry Ord, thanking Her Majesty’s government for acceding to his wish to be styled Maharaja.
R.O. Winstedt, “A History of Johore (1365-1895)”, Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 10.3 (1932).  Reprinted in MBRAS reprints no.6, Kuala Lumpur: MBRAS, 1979.
Added:  December 2010
The printed edition was scanned in Canberra by the MCP using Abbyy™ Finereader OCR.