Friday, 3 July 2009

Petition Letter To Dutch Government

On 12 January 1939, a petition was presented to the Dutch Government by a certain Tengku Abdul Rahman, a claimant to the Riau throne (according to the Dutch, he was probably the inspiration behind the Lambaga article). He said that Sultan Sulaiman should have been succeded by one of the other living male descendants of Sultan Muhammad and not Sultan Abdul Rahman whose father was Bugis. This petitioner said he himself, was descended from a son of Sultan Muhammad (d.1844) and therefore the throne of Riau-Lingga should go to him.

Excerpt of letter to the Governor General of East Indies


Magistrate's Office
Johore Bahru, 25th Sept., 1939

Your Excellency,

I have the honour of addressing your Excellency with a letter in Malay dated 12th January 1939 on the subject of the revival of the Dynasty of Riau and Lingga.

2. Presumely at your request, the Government of Johore, I gathered, forwarded a certified copy of my ancestral lineage to the Counsel-General for the Netherlands at Singapore, sometime in March 1939, and I hope that it has proved to your Excellency my eligibility as a candidate for this vacant throne under the Protection of the Netherlands Government.

3. Owing to the present precarious situation of the World, perhaps your Excellency will readily appreciate the great anxiety naturally entertained by mein this matter, and so kindly direct the course of its affairs accordingly for an early decision by the Netherlands Government, for which kind act I offer Your Excellency my most sincere and heartfelt gratitude.

4. Assuring Your Excellency of my highest respects.

I remain,
Your Excellency,
Most obedient and loyal servant,
(wg) Tengkoe Abdoelrachman bin Tengkoe Mahmoed
Voor eensluidend afschrift,
De Gouvernements Secretaris
His Excellency the Governor-General,
For the Netherlands Indies


Statement by Tungku Abdulrachman bin Mahmud bin Othman bin sultan Muhammad Muadzam Shah

before Ungku Menteri Besar.


1. I admit having sent a petition dated 12th January 1939 to H.E the Governor General, Netherland India, in connection with the vacant throne of Riau Lingga. I am a descendant of the late Sultan Muhammad Muadzam Shah who should be eligible to become Sultan in accordance with geneological table herewith. This claim is made in view of the Netherland India Government's proposal to revive the Sultanate of Riau Lingga.

2. Sultan Muhammad Muadzam Shah had three sons, viz.

(1) Tungku Mahmud

(2) Tungku Othman (Tungku Embong) my grandfather

(3) Tungku Said

3. When Sultan Muhammad Muadzam Shah died, he was succeded by his son Tungku Mahmud as Sultan Mahmud Mudzafar Shah. His only child was a daughter, Tungku Fatimah (Tungku Embong) and she married the tenth Yang diPertuan Muda Riau, Raja Mohammad Yusof Ahmad.

4. Sultan Mahmud Mudzafar Shah was dethroned by the Netherland Government in 1857 (A.H. 1274) and he was succeded by his uncle Tungku Sulaiman (Tungku Muda) as Sultan Sulai9man Badrulaam Shah. He had no issue.

5. When Sultan Sulaiman died in 1883 (A.H. 1300) Tungku Fatimah, a daughter of Sultan Mahmud Mudzafar Shah, who had married the tenth Yang diPertuan Muda Riau, Raja Muhammad Yusof Ahmad (see para 3), became Regent. By his wisdom the Yang diPertuan Muda Riau, Raja Muhammad Yusof Ahmadi, was able to obtain the support of the Resident Riau in the selection of his son by Tungku Fatimah (T.Embong), Tungku Abdulrachman as Sultan Lingga Riau. He was known as Sultan Abdulrachman Muadzam Shah II.

6. The rightful selection should have fallen on one of the living descendants of Sultan Muhammad Muadzam Shah, viz. Tungku Mahmud and Tungku Hussain or one of their sons who were Malays and not a descendant of Yang diPertuan Muda who was Bugis.

7. Sultan Abdulrachman was "dethrone" by the Netherland Government in 1911 (A.H. 1329). He died in Singapore in 1930 (A.H. 1349).

8. Since the abdication of Sultan Abdul Rahman Muadzam Shah II in 1911 the throne of Riau Lingga has remained vacant.

9. Because I am one of the descendants of Sultan Muhammad Muadzam Shah, I sent in that application in para 1 hoping that it would be considered.

10. I am about 43 years old, passed standard VI in Malay and VII in English. My mother, Ungku Maimunah (Ungku Embi), is one of the children of the late Ungku Mohammad Khalid bin Temenggong Ibrahim.

11. I have been in service of the Johore Government for about 20 years. At present I am attached to the Magistrate's Court as Clerk I.B. I hold a commission as Lieutenant in the Johore Voluteer Forces.

12. I have three brothers living who are all younger than I am namely, Tungku Abdul Jalil, Tungku Ali and Tungku Sulaiman. They are all in the service of the Johore Government.

13. I shall be obliged with your help and support to bring to the notice of the Netherland authority that I am truly descendant from Sultan Muhammad Muadzam Shah.

(Sgd) Abdulrahman bin Mahmud

voor eensluidend afschrift:

De Gouvernement Secretaris,

True copy

(Sgd) A. Aziz



The above Tengku Abdul Rahman was my grandfather's (Tengku Ali) eldest brother. His petition was never being supported by the Netherland Government. No action was actually taken by the Netherland Government to revive the Sultanate of Riau-Lingga.

It was left vacant forever.....

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