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Recounting the Memories of the Past
Hashim Jalilul or Pengiran Anak Hashim as he was known (not to be confused with his nemesis, Pengiran Muda Hashim, who was the chief minister under Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin II), was perhaps one of the most important yet contentious figures in Brunei History.
Pengiran Anak Hashim Jalilul was born to Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin II (d. 1852). However, his mother was not the royal consort. Opinions differ regarding his actual date of birth. It has been placed from a date between the years 1811 to 1835. However, A.V.M. Horton’s estimate of 1824 seems to be more plausible.
When he was the Sultan it was believed that he was already reached 60 years old. In fact, he was an old and feeble Sultan when he was met by McArthur in 1904, who thought his age to be 70 while the Sultan himself told he had reached his 80s.
Pengiran Anak Hashim was no ordinary chief; confrontational at times and diplomatic at other times. Contemporary British accounts portray him as a crafty and determined personality who harboured no love for foreign imperial personages. Intensely nationalistic, deep in his heart he loathed everything about Britain, largely because of the activities of the Brookes. But there was little he could achieve by a direct conflict with imperialists. Yet, in 1840s while still a young man, he fought a proxy war by eliminating another branch of Brunei royalty supported by Britain and James Brooke.
The young Pengiran Anak Hashim earned the wrath of the British after the event which led to direct British Government involvement in Brunei affairs in 1846. Admiral Thomas Cochrane, the British Navy Commander in the East called the Pengiran a “man of worthless character.” Besides the Pengiran’s name was implicated in piratical activities in the region which the British were determined to stamp out. On the other hand, one British official rated the young Pengiran Anak Hashim quite high. He was described by some as an able and intelligent chief and enjoyed the friendship of Sir Spencer St. John, the British Consul in Labuan.
Text taken from Brunei Revival of 1906: A Popular History by B.A. Hussainmiya.
Sultan Abdul Momin ceded many territories to the Brookes and other Europeans due to financial and internal problems. By 1884, the Sultan faced potential problem of shrinking kingdom or even worse probable extinction as British North Borneo Chartered Company and the Brooke encroaching its influence towards the Brunei Proper. The Sultan decided to stop the act of ceding or leasing the remaining territories of Brunei by introducing an agreement to all of the Wazirs, Manteris and Tulin holders. This happened in 1885 but unfortunately the Amanat was not effective because Brunei had no military means to enforce it and the British had no support in it. Limbang for example was seized in 1890.
Below believed to be the excerpt from the Amanat (or the speech) written on the 6th Jamal-ah-Ahwal, 1302, in the city of Brunei.
“Now concerning Limbang and other countries which still remains under the government of Brunei, they cannot be leased or given away to any other nation but must remain under one rule and that of our ancestors who may be elected Rajahs of Brunei, cannot on any account take rivers, or slaves, or private property and in the same manner the slaves appertaining to the Sovereign cannot be made private slaves. After us to whomever property may belong it will remain to him, rivers, followers, ‘tulin’ and hereditary property. And the customs of our ancestors shall be followed by those who come after us. They can on no account be changed while there is sun and moon, in order that there shall be no complication in the country.”
Pengiran Anak Abdul Momin was only related to the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien II (SOAS II) when he married to the Sultan’s daughter Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Zubaidah and that made him the son-in-law of SOAS II. On top of that, he was not the first choice candidate to be chosen as the Sultan. In fact it was the brother of SOAS II, Pengiran Anak Muhammad Tajuddien who was the first choice candidate. So how come this son-in-law of SOAS II became the successor?
Part of the reason why he was chosen due to his wealth of experience and knowledge in running the government. He was the Pengiran Bendahara and was in fact upon the death of SOAS II, he have previously served as regent for him during his ill health.
Another reason was that Keris si naga was passed down to him after Pengiran Anak Muhammad Tajuddien rejected to become the Sultan because he wanted his son Pengiran Muda Muhammad Jamalul Alam (also the son-in-law of SOAS II) would become the Sultan but was rejected. As result of that Pengiran Muhammad Tajuddien embarrassed and burned himself using gun powder.
When he became the Sultan, he had huge supporters and he tried to settle the differences within the royal family. He appointed Pengiran Muda Muhammad (brother of Pengiran Muda Hashim) as Pengiran Bendahara and Pengiran Anak Hashim was installed as Pengiran Temenggong.
He was the 21st Sultan of Brunei, the son of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien I and ascended to the throne from 1807 until 1826. He succeeded Sultan Muhammad Tajuddin and was famously known as ‘Pengiran Di Gadong Ayah’.
Some of his contributions to Brunei were as listed below:
He was an open-minded and diplomatic Sultan who wanted to established good relations with Europeans. In 1809 for example the British troops headed by ‘Si Merah’ was well recieved by the Sultan and accepted his challenge to allow any Bruneians who can beat the huge fierce dog owned by ‘Si Merah’. Consequently, this dog was beaten byPengiran Muhammad Daud and that achievement earned him the title Pengiran Pemancha. Amazingly he was also the saviour of his Majesty when a free loose tiger (agift from Sultan Terengganu) was put back into the cage.
The turning point of Brunei’s history was when he promoted Pengiran Muhammad Salleh to become Pengiran Indera Mahkota (Cheteria) and appointed him as the Governor of Sarawak. Even though he was considered to be a wise noble (he who wrote Syair Rakis voicing out his concerns over the exploits of the British in Brunei’s territories), his attitudes and actions (the textbook seemed to protrayed him as the culprit) has caused troubles in Sarawak and internal conflicts within the royal family which gave an opportunity to James Brooke to intervene (i.e. the beginning of Brunei’s lost territories).
More information and pictures where Sultan Muhammad Kanzul Alam buried peacefully click this link:
SOAS I, the 18th Sultan of Brunei was the son of Sultan Muhammad Alauddin and Pengiran Babu Seri Banum. He had 3 wives all of which were the princesses of Sultan Husin Kamaluddin. He had 6 princes (namely Sultan Muhammad Tajuddin and Sultan Muhammad Kanzul Alam) and a princess.
He was believed to be one of the longest serving Sultan (55 years – 1740-1795 cf Sultan Abdul Jalilul Akbar 58 – 1598-1659). He was known for his just rule and wisdom who simply followed the footstep of his father-in-law Sultan Husin Kamaluddin. In fact when his father-in-law was still alive, he recieved good knowledge, advice and experience from him during his reigning period.
In 1775, Sultan of Sulu sent a troop to Brunei headed by Dato Teting to settle the issue of North Borneo (or Sabah) which was a promise made between Sultan Muhyiddin to Sultan of Sulu after the Sulu helped him to a victorious battle that ended to his favour. The two sides confronted each other that resulted the surrender of Dato Teting and his troops retreated to Sulu as they found out Brunei’s warriors led by Pengiran Temenggong Ampa ibni Sultan Muhammad Alauddin (17th) were too superior for them to fight.
In the same year according to the textbook Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien I offered the British Labuan in exchange of protection against Sulu. Thus also explains why Sulu failed to defeat Brunei (the might of British weapons) even though Sulu and local pirates managed to destroyed the British’s trading post in Balambangan in 1773.
SOAS I passed away peacefully on 10 July 1795 at Royal Mausoleum. His posthumous name given was Marhum di Makam Besar. For pictures and additional information please refer to the link below: