Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pearls & Gem : The Rao's of Kelantan

What do Mat Kilau, Rashid Mydin, Tun Ghazali Shafei,Tun Dr Siti Hasmah ,Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad [ the prolific and brilliant Principal Private Secretary to Tun Razak who irritated King Guz so much in the 70's that the later finally got his revenge during Tun Hussien's tenure and managed to send this not so distant cousin of mine ,then a juniour cabinet minister , to jail for being a 'communist'!!!!! . So much for the use of ISA ! ] ,Dato' Hussamuddin of Karangkraf fame ,the late Tuan Haji Yusoff Rawa and the lowly Dr Hj Nik Isahak Wan Abdullah ,all share in common ?

We all share the same 'gene pool'.Our ancestors mostly related by intermarriage amongst same clans and 'ibus' in the 'Minangkabau ways' were 'originally' from a small sub district called Rao [ pronounced as Rawo ] somewhere near Bukit Tinggi ,in West Sumatra ,that time under the jurisdiction of the all powerful Pagar Ruyong Malay Sultanate .That must be early 18th hundred when our fore-fathers [ around 40 or so hulubalangs full of 'ilmu' and fired by fervent loyalty to 'King' and country ]crossed over the treacherous Malacca Strait in their long sampan to quell a rebellion in Sri Menanti .The Yang Di Pertuan had just died and the 'warlords' of that time could not receive well the dictate of the Monarch in Pagar Ruyong that his young prince 'imported' from across the sea ,take over the vacant throne .My great great great great grandfather ,young Sutan Amir Kaharudin Budiman was one of the 40 warriors on the long boat , to effect the 'royal dictate' ..

They ,with the help of local loyalists ,managed to quell the budding rebellion and installed the young prince from Pagar Ruyong as the Yang Di Pertuan .Words had it that their reputation of 'ilmu' and fighting prowess travelled so fast and so wide that the then Sultan of Pahang , who himself was also having some form of minor 'derhaka here and there' with a group of 'recalcitrant' chieftains managed to convince the Yang Di Pertuan of Sri Menanti to lend his efficient fighting machine ,young men from Rao for Pahang's need .

When you were in the business of 'kill or being killed' in the early 18th hundred fighting with just' keris and lembings 'nothing would be more demoralizing to your enemies than your reputation of 'ilmu' and previous success .The young men of Rao again were successful in routing the rebellious chieftains and brought some semblance of 'peace' [ depending on which side of the 'takhta' you were looking at ] to Pahang .The Sultan was happy with these 'imported' mercenaries but being a chap full of worldly wisdom [ oh God ,did I say in an earlier blog that this is what we need most now in Perak and which is sadly lacking ! ]'hesitated to let them all settle near the Royal Capital.Instead he dispersed them a safe distance away and gave big parcels of jungle tracts to these warriors in what is now known as present day Raub [.?? Rawoob ].

Most of the young men became domesticated and settled 'happily ever after'there and had families and grandchildren .But one must remember these young people were not ordinary guys like Pak Mat Nyadap and Ali of Pahang :they were fearless ,wanderlust ,adventurous 'gedebes' who cannot be 100 % domesticated by wives ,however young or beautiful .Some sampaned up the Pahang river and landed in Kedah ,Selangor and Perak .

Sutan Amir Kaharudin settled down for awhile in Raub ,marrying a local there and had two beautiful daughters ,Siti Zaleha aka Tok Jeleha [ who later married into Pahang Royalty ,a Tengku Khairul Alam ] ,and Siti Hajar .

Much later in his life , his wanderlust and adventuring spirit lead him up the Sungei Pahang ,through Nenggiri tributaries and moved down with the current into the mighty Sungei Kelantan .A very brave and lonely thing to do almost 2 centuries back :I was white water rafting along the Nenggiri 10 years back with my son trying to retrace back the 'solitude and resolve ' of my illustrious ancestor and I could recall not being able to sleep a wink at night as we camped by the river bank ,as everywhere we stopped we could smell tiger urine ! .This is still tiger infested country even now in 2009 .

The 'river route' taken by Sutan Amir Kaharudin Budiman is my theory anyway otherwise I cannot explain how he finally managed to start a family in a small village called Kampong Chetok ,Pasir Mas ,Kelantan ,which is by coincidence along the Sungei Kelantan .There was no road nor super highways then from Raoob to Kampong Chetok ,Pasir Mas ,Kelantan except via the rivers and their myriad tributaries.

One can assume that Sutan Amir Kaharudin must have travelled back and forth from Kampong Chetok ,Pasir Mas to Rawoob ,Pahang using the Sungai Pahang-Nenggiri- Sungai Kelantan Super Highway to 'oversee' both branches of his now expended family .By that time he must have aged a bit because in Kampong Chetok he no longer was known by the 'foreign' royal honorific 'Sutan' but rather as a 'Lebai' :Lebai Diman or Mandor Diman .

Sutan Amir Kaharudin Budiman : That was my great great great great grandfather from my father's side,a great warrior from Sumatra .A man who crossed the high seas and was willing to give his life for three sultans .

I got my 'Nik' from my mother's side ,whose pedigree was of more 'godly' persuasion .Her direct ancestor was a much talkabout and revered ulama' of that time , schooled in Mecca and Medina for decades ,a rare qualification in the mid eighteen hundred by the name of To' Konok .Some older relatives of mine thought very highly of him and regarded him having attributes of being almost a 'wali' .Stories and folklore had it that the monarch then who was staying in the Royal Capital at Kampong Laut [about 5 kilometres down the Sungei Kelantan opposite present KB ]came to know that To' Kono and his household were still observing the fast privately when the whole of Kampong Laut were celebrating the Aidil Fitri .

To' Konok was sentenced to death by hanging for high treason by the young monarch ,no doubt on the insistence of much lesser ulamaks of that time .On the day when the sentence was to be carried out ,as the oft repeated story went ,the young sultan 'mangkat' suddenly .

Oftentimes when I woke up in the middle of the night thinking from where I got this mad 'streak' of 'gedebeness ' which occasionally borders on the insane ,mixed on rare occasions only [ very rare indeed ]with 'sublimity' ,it make me wonder whether those 'warrior' genes or was it the 'ulama' genes that were playing the dominant role .

Daulat Tuanku .

Dr Nik Howk

Related article elsewhere : click here


Anonymous said...

Hu hu Dr Nik orang rawa rupanya.atok saya orang tembusai, lari ke negeri sembilan kerana di kejar belanda.kata orang yang tahu dia juga asal raja tapi sampai di sini jadi incognito untuk lepas diri dari di tangkap.
dalam hati pun selalu ada ingatan nak hunus keris dan tikam anuar ibrahim dan penggal kepala khairi jamaluddin, tapi ini semua hilang bila sembahyang dan zikir.. atok sebelah mak imam kampong dan mengamal ilmu tariqah, ayah saya pun ikut pak pk mertuanya, jadi saya dapat sikit sikit limpahan ilmu ini.Yu lah asyik mimpi tuanku Mizan je huhuhu!Hafiz (Double BMW)

Pearls & Gem said...

Ya Lah Fiz ,kita orang Melayu kalau tak syang kat Raja kita nak sayang kat siapa lagi..tapi this is certainly not a blank cheque .Raayat ada tohmaninah nya raja pun hendaknya sama .

I was much impressed by what my school senior and medical colleague Dr Bakri Musa wrote recently .Very very sane comment and advice .

We Malays can be very divided but on both side of the divide all uphold kesultanan Melayu [ sorry correction ,almost all] .This status quo require a ine balance from the Sultans themselves .I am not going to be popular saying this but in this years and age ,we have to share our collective wisdom for our very own survival .Tak guna kita melatah...

Anonymous said...

Dear Nik,
Betul ke kata orang, most successful Malays are originally outsiders.
My maternal ancestors were from Batu Bara, Sumatrera, Jawa and Madura.My paternal ancestor were from Brunei and Peshawar. My great-great grandfather was a Pastun named Yusofzrai. He was a weapon trader, selling elephants to Sultan Kedah in the midst of 19 th century. Parit Wan Mat Saman was built using elephants (primitive bulldozer) imported by my great-great granfather.

I believe successful (so-called) Malays carry foreign genes.
Look at all our PMs. The first one had Siamese blood, the second one was from Bugis decendent. Phenotype of Hussein Onn was obviously Turk, the infamous and most controvesial PM, the man who killed BM (Sains n Matematik) is from Gujerati (The father) and our current PM has genetic root in Hainan, China (Chinese Muslim Clergy or Kyi).
It's also believed tha Tun Razak was a decendent of a Chinese Muslim Scholar who married royal family of Bugis Sultanate. During Zheng Ho journey in 1421, he brought along many (100/1000?) women to be given as gifts to Sultans,Raja, Maharajas. One of them is Hang Li Poh. Some say, the direct descendent of The "princess' is now ruling the State of Perak. See the skin, the eyes. Phenotype manifestition of genetic morphism is so evident. Historian never discuss about the children/child of Hang Li Po. It's believed, the son of Han Li Poh was brought Istana Malacca. He was brought to Perak as Tengku...... (dah lupa).

By the way, my 7th novel "Panggil Aku Melaju" has been published by DBP.I'll send you one.

Pearls & Gem said...

Must be elements of genetics as well as behavioral .

Genetics because a foreign 'gene pool' is admixed with the local ones ,thus by law of probability reduce the chances of 'negatve' recessive traits from emerging .

But probably more due to the element of behavior .Not any Tom ,Dick or Harry able to cross the high seas or mountains as in your Pastuns ancestral case .Only hardy and gedebe characters do this !These 'aggressive ' traits percolated down from generation to generation .If you are down south in Johor and take a walk in the villages you would know you are walking into a Kampong Jawa by the relative cleanliness of the surrounding .Nothing genetic here ,as this is cultural .

Most of our Sultans' lineage if you study them carefully came from the warring ,dominant group such as the Bugis or Celebes etc etc.Only the meeks stayed at home I guess !

We must meet over tea tarik when you are in KL visiting your family to talk about your books .It is too late for me to be a Frederick Forsyth but 'no venture no gain' .

Anak Raja Dagang said...

Tuan Nik, kita bersaudara walaupun jauh. Saya dari susurgalur Sutan Kaharudin Budiman di Kg Ajai, Dong, Raub. Mungkin suatu hari kita ketemu dan mengumpulkan seluruh waris-waris Sutan Kaharudin Budiman.