World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Sultanate of Johor

Article Id: WHEBN0007144475
Reproduction Date:

Title: Sultanate of Johor  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: History of Malaysia, Foreign relations of Malaysia, Foreign relations of the Netherlands, Sultan, Malacca sultanate, Thalassocracy, Jawi alphabet, Bugis, Temenggung, List of state leaders in 1871
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Sultanate of Johor

Part of a series on the
History of Malaysia
Prehistoric Malaysia
Early kingdoms
Chi Tu 100 BC – 7th AD
Gangga Negara 2nd–11th
Langkasuka 2nd–14th
Pan Pan 3rd–5th
Srivijaya 7th–13th
Majapahit 13th–15th
Kedah Kingdom 630–1136
Rise of Muslim states
Brunei Sultanate 15th–present
Kedah Sultanate 1136–present
Malacca Sultanate 1402–1511
Sulu Sultanate 1450–1899
Johor Sultanate 1528–present
Colonial era
Portuguese Malacca 1511–1641
Dutch Malacca 1641–1824
Straits Settlements 1826–1946
British Malaya 1874–1946
Federated Malay States 1895–1946
Unfederated Malay States 1909–1946
Kingdom of Sarawak 1841–1946
North Borneo 1882–1963
Japanese occupation
(Malaya, Borneo)
Malayan Union 1946–1948
Federation of Malaya 1948–1963
Independence era
Independence (Malaya) 1957
Malaysia Agreement 1963
Proclamation 1963–present
By topic
Malaysia portal
This article concerns the Sultanate of Johor. For the office of the sultan, see Sultan of Johor.

The Sultanate of Johor (or sometimes Johor-Riau or Johor-Riau-Lingga or more correctly Johor Empire) was founded by Malaccan Sultan Mahmud Shah's son, Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah II in 1528.[1] Johor was part of the Malaccan Sultanate before the Portuguese conquered Malacca's capital in 1511. At its height, the sultanate controlled modern-day Johor, Riau, and territories stretching from the river Klang to the Linggi and Tanjung Tuan, Muar, Batu Pahat, Singapore, Pulau Tinggi and other islands off the east coast of the Malay peninsula, the Karimun islands, the islands of Bintan, Bulang, Lingga and Bungaran, and Bengkalis, Kampar and Siak in Sumatra.[2] During the colonial era, the mainland part was administered by the British, and the insular part by the Dutch. In 1946, the British section became part of the Malayan Union. Two years later, it joined the Federation of Malaya and subsequently, the Federation of Malaysia in 1963. In 1949, the Dutch section became part of Indonesia.

Fall of Malacca and the Beginnings of the Old Johore Sultanate

In 1511, Malacca fell to the Portuguese and Sultan Mahmud Shah was forced to flee Malacca. The sultan made several attempts to retake the capital but his efforts were fruitless. The Portuguese retaliated and forced the sultan to flee to Pahang. Later, the sultan sailed to Bintan and established a new capital there. With a base established, the sultan rallied the disarrayed Malay forces and organized several attacks and blockades against the Portuguese position.

Based at Pekan Tua, Sungai Telur, Johor, the Johor Sultanate was founded by Raja Ali Ibni Sultan Mahmud Melaka, known as Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah (1528–1564), with his Queen Tun Fatimah in 1528. Although Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah and his successor had to contend with attacks by the Portuguese in Malacca and by the Acehnese in Sumatra, they managed to maintain their hold on the Johor Sultanate.

Frequent raids on Malacca caused the Portuguese severe hardship and it helped to convince the Portuguese to destroy the exiled sultan's forces. A number of attempts were made to suppress the Malay but it was not until 1526 that the Portuguese finally razed Bintan to the ground. The sultan then retreated to Kampar in Sumatra and died two years later. He left behind two sons named Muzaffar Shah and Alauddin Riayat Shah II.

Muzaffar Shah continued on to establish Perak while Alauddin Riayat Shah became the first sultan of Johor.

Triangular war

The new sultan established a new capital by the Johor River and, from there, continued to harass the Portuguese in the north. He consistently worked together with his brother in Perak and the Sultan of Pahang to retake Malacca, which by this time was protected by the fort A Famosa.

On the northern part of Sumatra around the same period, Aceh Sultanate was beginning to gain substantial influence over the Straits of Malacca. With the fall of Malacca to Christian hands, Muslim traders often skipped Malacca in favor of Aceh or also of Johor's capital Batu Sawar. Therefore, Malacca and Aceh became direct competitors.

With the Portuguese and Johor frequently locking horns, Aceh launched multiple raids against both sides in order to tighten its grip over the straits. The rise and expansion of Aceh encouraged the Portuguese and Johor to sign a truce and divert their attention to Aceh. The truce, however, was short-lived and with Aceh severely weakened, Johor and the Portuguese had each other in their sights again. During the rule of Sultan Iskandar Muda, Aceh attacked Johor in 1613 and again in 1615.[3]

Dutch Malacca

In the early 17th century, the Dutch reached Southeast Asia. At that time the Dutch were at war with the Portuguese and allied themselves to Johor. Two treaties were signed by Admiral Cornelis Matelief de Jonge on behalf of the Dutch Estates General and Raja Bongsu (Raja Seberang) of Johor in May and September 1606.[4] Finally in 1641, the Dutch and Johor forces headed by Bendahara Skudai, defeated the Portuguese. As per the agreement with Johor struck in May 1606, the Dutch took control of Malacca and agreed not to seek territories or wage war with Johor. Finally in January 1641, the Dutch (attacking by land and the sea) and Johor forces (attacking by land and under the leadership of Bendahara Skudai), defeated the Portuguese at Malacca. By the time the fortress at Malacca surrendered, the town's population had already been greatly decimated by famine and disease (the plague).[5] As per article 1 of the agreement with Johor ratified in May 1606, the Dutch assumed control of the town of Malacca and also of some surrounding settlements. Malacca then became a territory under the control of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and formally remained a Dutch possession until the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 was signed.

Johor-Jambi war

During the triangular war, within the Johor empire, Jambi emerged as a regional economic and political power. Soon in 1666, it tried to break free from Johor and between 1666 and 1673, a civil war erupted between Johor and the Sumatran state. The war was disastrous for Johor as Johor's capital, Batu Sawar, was sacked by Jambi. After the sacking, the capital of Johor was frequently moved to avoid the threat of attack from Jambi.

In their efforts to keep the sultanate together, the rulers shifted their centre of power many times from Pekan Tua to Johor Lama (Kota Batu), Seluyut, Tanah Puteh, Batu Sawar and Makam Tauhid during the reign of Sultan Abdul Jalil Shah III (1623–1677). Johor emerged as the most powerful authority along the Straits of Malacca during the reign of Sultan Abdul Jalil Shah III. Soon afterward, Jambi declined.

Golden Age

In the 17th century with Malacca ceasing to be an important port, Johor became the dominant regional power. The policy of the Dutch in Malacca drove traders to Riau, a port in Johor. The trade there far surpassed that of Malacca. The VOC was unhappy with that but continued to maintain the alliance because the stability of Johor was important to trade in the region.

The Sultan provided all the facility required by the traders. Under the patronage of the Johor elites, traders are protected and prospered.[6] With wide range of goods available and favorable prices, Riau boomed. Ships from various places such as Cambodia, Siam, Vietnam and all over the Malay Archipelago came to trade. The Bugis ships made Riau the centre for spices. Items found in China or example, cloth and opium were traded with locally sourced ocean and forest products, tin, pepper and locally grown gambier. Duties were low, and cargoes could be discharged or stored easily. Traders found they do not need to extend credit, for the business was good.[7]

Like Malacca before it, Riau was also the centre of Islamic studies and teaching. Many orthodox scholars from the Muslim heartlands like the Indian Subconitnent and Arabia were housed in special religious hostels, while devotees of Sufism could seek initiation into one of the many Tariqah (Sufi Brotherhood) which flourished in Riau.[8] In many ways, Riau managed to recapture some of the old Malacca glory. Both became prosperous due to trade but there was a major difference; Malacca was also great due to its territorial conquest.

Bugis and Minangkabau influence in the kingdom

The last sultan from the Malaccan dynasty, Sultan Mahmud Shah II, was a person of unstable disposition. When Bendahara Habib was the Bendahara, he effectively shielded the people from the Sultan 's idiosyncrasies. After the demise of Bendehara Habib, he was replaced by Bendahara Abdul Jalil. As the Bendahara was only a cousin, he could not rein in the Sultan 's eccentric behaviour.

The Sultan ordered the pregnant wife of a noble, Orang Kaya Megat Sri Rama killed, as she had taken a slice of the royal jack fruit. Subsequently, the Sultan was killed by Megat Sri Rama in revenge. Sultan Mahmud Shah II of Johor had died in 1699 without an heir. The Orang Kayas, who were normally tasked with advising the Sultan, were in a fix. They went to Muar to meet Sa Akar DiRaja, Raja Temenggung of Muar, the Sultan's uncle and asked for his counsel. He pointed out that Bendahara Abdul Jalil should inherit the throne .[9] The problem was resolved when the viceroy Bendahara Abdul Jalil was declared the new sultan and proclaimed Sultan Abdul Jalil IV. Many, particularly the Orang Laut (islanders from Johor maritime territories), however felt that the declaration was improper.

The Bugis, who played an important role in defeating Jambi two decades earlier, had a huge influence in Johor. Apart from the Malays, another influential faction in Johor at that time were the Minangkabau. Both the Bugis and the Minangkabau realized how the death of Sultan Mahmud II had provided them with the chance to exert power in Johor. The Minangkabau introduced a Minangkabau prince, Raja Kecil from Siak who claimed he was the posthumous son of Sultan Mahmud II. The prince met with the Bugis and promised the Bugis wealth and political power if they helped the prince to win the throne. However, Raja Kecil broke his promise and installed himself as the new Sultan of Johor (Sultan Abdul Jalil Rahmat Shah) without the knowledge of the Bugis. Sultan Abdul Jalil IV fled to Pahang where he was later killed by an assassin hired by Raja Kecil.

Dissatisfied with Raja Kecil's accession, the son of Sultan Abdul Jalil IV, Raja Sulaiman, asked Daeng Parani of the Bugis to aid him in his quest to reclaim the throne. In 1722, Raja Kecil was dethroned by Raja Sulaiman's supporters with the assistance of the Bugis . Raja Sulaiman became the new Sultan of Johore, but he was a weak ruler and became a puppet of the Bugis. Daeng Parani's brother, Daeng Merewah, who was made Yam Tuan Muda (crown prince) was the man who actually controlled Johor.[10]

Johor administration

The Johor Sultanate continued the system of administration previously practised in Malacca. The highest authority lay in the hands of the Yang di-Pertuan who was known as the Sultan. The Sultan was assisted by a body known as the Majlis Orang Kaya (Council of Rich Men) which was tasked with advising the Sultan. Among them were the Bendahara, Temenggong, Laksamana, Shahbandar and Seri Bija Diraja. During the 18th century, the Bendahara lived in Pahang and the Temenggong Johor in Teluk Belanga, Singapore. Each one managed the administration of their individual areas based on the level of authority bestowed upon them by the Sultan of Johor.

The Johor Empire is decentralized. It is made of four main fiefs and the Sultan's territory. The fiefs are Muar and its territories under the Raja Temenggung of Muar;[11] Pahang under the stewardship of the Bendehara;[12] Riau under the control of Yam Tuan Muda and mainland Johor and Singapore under the Temenggung. The rest of the Empire belongs to the Sultan. The Sultan resides in Lingga. All the Orang Kayas except Raja Temenggung Muar reports directly to the Sultan ; Raja Temenggung Muar is a sovereign and is recognised by the Sultan.

Sultans of Johor Reign
Malacca-Johor Dynasty
Alauddin Riayat Shah II 1528–1564
Muzaffar Shah II 1564–1570
Abdul Jalil Shah I 1570–1571
Ali Jalla Abdul Jalil Shah II 1571–1597
Alauddin Riayat Shah III 1597–1615
Abdullah Ma'ayat Shah 1615–1623
Abdul Jalil Shah III 1623–1677
Ibrahim Shah 1677–1685
Mahmud Shah II 1685–1699
Bendahara Dynasty
Abdul Jalil IV (Bendahara Abdul Jalil) 1699–1720
Malacca-Johor Dynasty (descent)
Abdul Jalil Rahmat Shah (Raja Kecil) 1718–1722
Bendahara Dynasty
Sulaiman Badrul Alam Shah 1722–1760
Abdul Jalil Muazzam Shah 1760–1761
Ahmad Riayat Shah 1761 - 1761
Mahmud Shah III 1761–1812
Abdul Rahman Muazzam Shah 1812–1819
Hussein Shah (Tengku Long) 1819–1835
Ali 1835–1877
Temenggong Dynasty
Raja Temenggung Tun Ibrahim 1855–1862
Abu Bakar 1862–1895
Ibrahim 1895–1959
Ismail 1959–1981
Mahmud Iskandar Al-Haj 1981–2010
Ibrahim Ismail 2010 - current

Extent of the Empire

As the Sultanate replaced the Malacca Sultanate, it followed that the extent of its territorial area covered the southern Malay peninsular, parts of south-eastern Sumatra and the Riau Islands and its dependencies. This territory included the vassal states of Pahang, Muar, Johor mainland and Riau Islands. The administrative centre of the empire was at various times at Sayong Pinang, Kota Kara, Seluyut, Johor Lama, Batu Sawar and Kota Tinggi; all on mainland Johor and later at Riau and Lingga. It then shifted with the birth of Modern Johore Sultanate to Tanjung Puteri, known today as Johor Bahru.

The fall of the Old Johor Sultanate

Singapore and the British

In 1818, Sir Stamford Raffles was appointed as the governor of Bencoolen on western Sumatra. However, he was convinced that the British needed to establish a new base in Southeast Asia in order to compete with the Dutch. Though many in the British East India Company opposed such an idea, 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.

When 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 current sultan, Tengku Abdul Rahman, was under the influence of the Dutch and the Bugis. Hence, he would never agree to a British base in Singapore.

However, Tengku Abdul Rahman was ruler only because his older brother, Tengku Hussein or Tengku Long, had been away in Pahang getting married when their father died in 1812. He was appointed by the Yam Tuan Muda of Riau, Raja Jaafar because according to him, in a Malay tradition, a person has to be by the dying sultan's side in order to be considered as the new ruler. However the matter has to be decided by the Bendehara as the "keeper of adat (tradition)".[13][14] Predictably, the older brother was not happy with the development.

Raja Jaafar's sister, the queen of the late Sultan, protested vehemently at her brother's actions with these prophetic words, "...Which adat of succession is being followed? Unfair deeds like this will cause the Johor Sultanate be destroyed!". And she held on the royal regalia refusing to surrender it.[15]

Bendehara Ali was made aware of the affairs of the succession and decided to act.[13] He prepared his fleet of boats to Riau to "restore the adat". The British upon knowing this despatched a fleet and setup a blockade to stop the forces of Bendehara Ali from advancing.

With the Temenggung's help, Raffles managed to smuggle Hussein, then living in exile on one of the Riau Islands, back into Singapore. According to a correspondence between Tengku Hussain and his brother, he left for Singapore out of his concern of his son's safety. Unfortunately he was captured by Raffles and forced to make a deal.[16] Their agreement stated that the British would acknowledge Tengku Hussein 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.

Bendehara Ali was requested by the British to recognize Tengku Hussein as a ruler. However, Bendehara Ali has stated that he has no connection with the events in Singapore, as it is the Temenggung's fief and stated that his loyalty lies with the Sultan of Johor in Lingga.[17]

Anglo-Dutch Treaty

The Dutch were extremely displeased with Raffles' action. Tensions between the Dutch and British over Singapore persisted until 1824, when they signed the Anglo-Dutch Treaty. Under the terms of that treaty, the Dutch officially withdrew their opposition to the British presence in Singapore. Many historians contend that the treaty divided the spheres of influence between the Dutch and the English; Sultanate of Johor into modern Johor and the state of Riau-Lingga which exists de jure after the ouster of the last Sultan of Johor. However this treaty is signed secretly without the knowledge of the local nobility including the Sultan and thus its legitimacy is called into question. It is akin to the World War 2 conference in Yalta in which Stalin, Roosevelt and the other allies agreed to divide the known world into eastern and western power blocs whilst Germany and Japan are still sovereign.

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.[18] Meanwhile, Sultan Abdul Rahman was installed as the Sultan of Lingga in November 1822, complete with the royal regalia.[19] 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.

The Interested Parties

The actors on this stage are three parties; the Colonial powers of British and the Dutch; the nobles who made agreement with the Dutch namely Raja Jaafar, Yam Tuan Muda of Riau and Temenggung Abdul Rahman, of Johore and Singapore ; the palace namely the Sultan and Bendahara who is not aware of any treaty signed without their knowledge.[20] Because the treaties are not ratified by the Sultan or the Bendahara, the Malays do not pay heed to any action of the Colonial powers.

The Yam Tuan Muda has committed treachery by "selling" the sovereignty of Johore,[21] however it does not hold as the Sultan or the Bendahara is not a party to the treaty. It is wrong to pass judgements on the Sultan as not obeying the 1830 treaty. The treaty was signed in secret[22] and details were only known in 1855. In actuality, the Sultan is excersizing his sovereign right in demanding loyalty from fiefdoms in the Johore Empire. As for the Temenggung, he is strengthening his position and in preparation of any changes to fate of the Sultanate, preparing to have friendship with Great Britain and sharing the spoils with Britain at the demise of the Sultanate. This is especially true for the son of Temenggung Ibrahim, the ambitious Temenggung (and later Sultan) Abu Bakar who plans to be Sultan.

Sultan tries to repair the damage

Sultan Abdul Rahman died in 1832 and was replaced by his son, Sultan Muhammad Shah (reigning from 1832–1841). Raja Jaffar, Yam Tuan Muda of Riau died and the Sultan is in no hurry to appoint a successor. The Sultan saw the damage that was done to the Palace in his father's reign and decided to reemphasis and restore adat[23] as a rule governing personal behavior and the politics. He summoned Bendahara Ali (Raja Bendahara Pahang) to Lingga. At Lingga, an adat-steeped function[24] was held. The Bendahara conducted ceremonies (as per adat) aimed at reeducating the nobility and the Sultan about their respective duties and responsibilities. Islam and politics were discussed. It was attended by all the nobles from across the Empire hence, proving that 'Sultan' of Singapore is not recognized by the Malays. The ceremonies also include istallation of Tengku Mahmud (later ruling as Sultan Mahmud Muzaffar) as a Crown Prince and Tun Mutahir as Bendehara-in-waiting.

In 1841, Bendahara Ali appoint Temenggung Ibrahim [25] to replace his father who died in 1825. The long interval is due to displeasure of the Bendahara over the affairs of Singapore. Conditions were imposed during the appointment includes paying a visit of fealty to the ruling Sultan Mahmud Muzaffar in Lingga which brings pleasure to his majesty. 'Sultan Hussein' of Singapore has died in 1835 and his prince Tengku Ali wished for the legitimacy granted to Temenggung Ibrahim. The British forwarded the request in 1841 to the Bendahara. Bendahara Ali refused to take part in this treachery.

After waiting since 1835 for the 'appointment' as a Sultan, in 1852 Tengku Ali decided to 'return Johor' [26] to the Johor Empire by paying homage to Sultan Mahmud Muzaffar in Lingga. For three years Johor Empire was one again except Singapore. Worried by the current state of affairs, the British called Tengku Ali back to Singapore on the threat of cancelling his pension. In Singapore, he is frequently visited by Sultan Mahmud Muzaffar and their relations are cordial.

End of the Empire

The worried British then forced the 1855 treaty between Temenggung Ibrahim and Tengku Ali. In exchange for recognition as a 'Sultan', Tengku Ali agrees to 'give up all of Johor'. The treaty merely 'confirms' the Temenggung's hold on his fief. This treaty was intended to solidify the position of Temenggung Ibrahim, their key ally.

Bendahara Ali was asked by the Sultan Mahmud Muzaffar about the 1855 treaty.[27][28] In his reply, the Bendahara reiterated about the Temenggung was supposed to swear fealty to his majesty and on the behavior of Tengku Ali, the Bendehara claimed ignorace. He also reiterated that he was not a party to any discussion with the British or the Dutch.

The Dutch were also very worried. It seemed that the Sultan is acting on his own and would not listen to any of the Dutch-influenced Yam Tuan Muda of Riau and the Bugis nobility. It erupted into an open dispute between Sultan Mahmud Muzaffar and the Bugis nobility over the appointment of new Yam Tuan Muda of Riau. The Bugis preferred candidate was also the Dutch choice.[29] The Sultan resented having another foreign-backed Yam Tuan Muda of Riau. It resulted in a deadlock that the Sultan set sail to Singapore to cool off. It was during the Singapore trip that the last Sultan of the mighty Johore Empire was deposed by the Bugis nobility in 1857.[30]

The Breakup

After the ouster of the former Sultan of Johor, the Bugis nobles elected the new Sultan, Sultan Sulaiman Badrul Shah,[31] the Sultan of the "new" Riau-Lingga Kingdom built on the ashes of the Johore Empire. The Sultan signed an agreement with the Dutch.[32] In the agreement he agreed to acknowledge the overlordship of the Dutch government among others. With a stroke of a pen, he broke up the Johor Empire into 2 big parts and has given up the sovereignty of his part of territory to the Dutch. This also marked the end of the Malacca and later Johor sultanate. This division remains until today as the Malaysia-Indonesia border.

Johor and Pahang

As the Sultan Mahmud Muzaffar was ousted and the new Sultan declared territory separate from the former Johor Empire, it was akin to a sheep slaughtered with Sultan and Riau-Lingga represented by the head. The Bendahara is now the virtual head of remnants of the Empire as per the prevailing adat.[33] Temenggung Ibrahim of Johore understood this situation and quickly signed a treaty with Bendahara Tun Mutahir of Pahang in 1861.[34] The treaty recognizes the territories of Johor (mainland), the Temenggung and his descendent's right to rule it, mutual protection and mutual recognitions of Pahang and Johor. With the signing of this treaty, the remnants of the Empire became 2 independent states, Johor and Pahang.

Modern Johore Sultanate

Template:Infobox former country/autocat
Johor Protectorate

Negeri Johor
Protectorate of the United Kingdom




Flag Coat of arms
Malay: Kepada Allah Berserah
(To Allah We Surrender)
Capital Johor Bahru1
Languages Malay2
Religion Islam
Political structure Protectorate
 -  1837-1901 Victoria
 -  1936-1952 George VI
 -  1914–unknown D.G. Campbell
Historical era British Empire
 -  Recognised by United Kingdom 1885
 -  British adviser accepted 1914
 -  Japanese troops take Johor Bahru 31 January 1942
 -  Japanese surrender 14 August 1945
 -  Added into Malayan Union 31 March 1946
Currency Straits dollar until 1939
Malayan dollar until 1953
Today part of  Malaysia
1 Formerly Tanjung Puteri, remains as capital until today
2 Malay using Jawi (Arabic) script

Temenggung Ibrahim opened up Bandar Tanjung Puteri in southern Johor as a major city. Bandar Tanjung Puteri would later be known as Johor Bahru. Temenggung Ibrahim was succeeded by his son, Temenggung Abu Bakar, who later took the title Seri Maharaja Johor.

Muar was another vassal of Old Johor Empire and was ruled by its own Raja Temenggung. At gunpoint, the Raja Temenggung and the chieftains of Muar handed over the control of Muar to Temenggung Abu Bakar in 1877; this later contributed to the Jementah Civil War. Temenggung Abu Bakar, aided by the British won decisively. Abu Bakar went to Istanbul to seek recognition as the Sultan of Johor, to allay fears of his religious credibility.

In 1885, he went to London seeking the recognition from the British Queen, Queen Victoria on his sultanate and the Johor's independence. He is warmly accepted by the Queen and a friendship treaty was signed. After that he was formally crowned the Sultan of Johor. This sultanate has no relationship to the Old Johore Sultanate as the Johore Empire was broken up into its constituents; Pahang, Singapore, Lingga and Riau was separated.

Sultan Abu Bakar introduced a constitution known as Undang-undang Tubuh Negeri Johor and developed an efficient administration system. He founded the Modern Sultanate of Johor. He also moved the official capital city of Johor to Johor Bahru and ordered the construction of Istana Besar, the official residence of the sultan in the city. Due to these achievements, Sultan Abu Bakar is known by the title "Father of Modern Johor".

Johor also enjoyed economic prosperity. An increased demand for black pepper and gambier in the nineteenth century lead to the opening up of farmlands to the influx of Chinese immigrants, creating Johor's initial economic base. The Kangchu system was put in place.

In 1914, Sultan Ibrahim, Sultan Abu Bakar's successor, was forced to accept a British Adviser and effectively became a crown protectorate of the Britain. D.G. Campbell was dispatched as the first British advisor to Johor.

Sultan Ibrahim died in London in 1959 and replaced by Sultan Ismail. Sultan ruled until 1981 and was replaced by Sultan Iskandar.

On 22 Jan 2010, Sultan Iskandar died and was succeeded by his son Tunku Ibrahim as the 5th Sultan of modern day Johor.

World War II and Malaysia

The Second World War broke out in 1939 and Japan invaded British Malaya in December 1941. The British, who were responsible for Johor's defense, were swiftly defeated by the Japanese and retreated to Singapore to make a stand. Japan occupied Johor from 1942 to 1945. Singapore fell to the Japanese on 15 February 1942.

With the end of the war, the British came back and in 1946, Johor became part of the Malayan Union. Opposition to the Union by Malay nationalists, led by Dato' Onn Jaafar, however forced its dissolution and in 1948, the state joined a new federation called Malaya. It achieved independence in 1957 along with the rest of the Malay Peninsula, and later in 1963, it was one of the fourteen states that formed Malaysia.

See also



  • Borschberg, Peter, "The Seizure of the Santa Catarina Revisited: The Portuguese Empire in Asia, VOC Politics and the Origins of the Dutch-Johor Alliance (c. 1602–1616)", Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 33.1 (2002): 31–62. (This article can be downloaded free of charge at, 10.1017/S0022463402000024)
  • Borschberg, Peter, Hugo Grotius, the Portuguese and Free Trade in the East Indies, NUS Press, 2011,
  • Borschberg, Peter, The Singapore and Melaka Straits: Violence, Security and Diplomacy in the 17th Century, 2010,
  • Borschberg, Peter, "Ethnicity, Language and Culture in Melaka during the Transition from Portuguese to Dutch Rule, Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 83.2 (2010), pages 93–117.
  • Borschberg, Peter, Jacques de Coutre as a Source for the Early 17th Century History of Singapore, the Johor River, and the Straits, Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 81.2 (2008): 71-97.
  • Trocki, Carl A., Prince of Pirates: the Temenggongs and the Development of Johor and Singapore, 1784–1885, University of Hawaii Press, 1979, ISBN 978-9971-69-376-3 ISBN 9971693763
  • The Johor Empire at
  • JOHOR (Sultanate) at
  • (Tun) Suzana (Tun) Othman, Perang Bendahara Pahang, 1857–63: pensejarahan semula menelusi peranan British, 2007, ISBN 978-983-195-282-5

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.