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Silsilah Raja-Raja Sambas as a Source of History - article ; n°1 ; vol.20, pg 255-267

14 pages
Archipel - Année 1980 - Volume 20 - Numéro 1 - Pages 255-267
13 pages
Source : Persée ; Ministère de la jeunesse, de l’éducation nationale et de la recherche, Direction de l’enseignement supérieur, Sous-direction des bibliothèques et de la documentation.
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E.U. Kratz
Silsilah Raja-Raja Sambas as a Source of History
In: Archipel. Volume 20, 1980. pp. 255-267.
Citer ce document / Cite this document :
Kratz E.U. Silsilah Raja-Raja Sambas as a Source of History. In: Archipel. Volume 20, 1980. pp. 255-267.
doi : 10.3406/arch.1980.1605
http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/arch_0044-8613_1980_num_20_1_1605S1LSILAH RAJA-RAJA SAMBAS AS A SOURCE
In 1848 in a paper on "Traces of the origin of the Malay kingdom of
Borneo proper", Logan wrote the following : "In all ages the growth of
Malayan states has been the same. The germ is the occupation of a river
or river's mouth, most commonly by a few . families, who have gone
forth urged by enterprise, want, discontent with their lot, or oppression...
A Malayan state, with a few exceptions, is only an aggregation of river
settlements ... The new settlements attract attention in ; the native country
of the founders, where numerous scions of the royal family are always
ready to become the leaders of colonizing enterprises. The Iâm Tuân
gives one of these authority over the new colonies, where his authority
is at once recognized as of divine right, and where he rules without
more than a nominal dependence on the parent state. In former times
princes and chiefs often placed themselves at the head of expeditions to
open settlements (bukâ nâgri)." (1).
Without reference to Logan this statement was echoed in 1971 in
"A modern history" of Southeast Asia referring to the inhospitability to
human settlement of the Malay world : "... communications were there
fore nonexistent except up into the headwaters of usually independent
river systems or along the seaways of the coast. These circumstances
shaped the social, political, and economic structure that developed in
(i) Logan, J.R. Traces of the origin of the Malay kingdom of Borneo proper"
Journal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia. vol. 2, pp. 513-514. 256
the Malay world. They were rivermouth societies, for the most part,
centered on port towns lying where the river debouched into the sea,
placed so as to control what came down and to participate in what passed
by. The political power, the 'state' or negeri, at the mouth of the river,
sought to establish sufficient authority over the people up-river.. «.
State boundaries tended to be vague and relatively unimportant,
for what mattered was waterborne traffic, not land... Although from
time to time concentrations of power were built up — systems of suze
rainty, dependence, hegemony, alliance, and even commercial empire —
they were vulnerable and impermanent. For the counters that bought
them, made of political intrigue, dynastic maneuver, promise 'of immedia
te trading gain, periods of more efficient leadership, or military prowess,
were available to all." (2)
Logan and Steinberg write very convincingly, yet, when consulting
most of the related indigenous texts a feeling of dissatisfaction and
frustration emerges since it is difficult to gain a picture of similar
coherence about the establishment of a Malay state by reading those
texts. Many of the texts dealing with the post-Malacca period of the
Malay states are rather patchy. Their information is fragmentary and
the condition these texts are in nowadays — in many cases being
copies of copies — makes it difficult (though not impossible) to look at
these manuscripts and to apply criteria other than those of textual cri
ticism and of history.
However not all texts answer to this description. There are texts like
Tuhfat al-Najis (TN) and SUsilah Melayu dan Bugis (SMB) (3), which
probably are the most famous historical texts after the Sejarah Melayu.
And there are other manuscripts which are able to satisfy the intellectual
curiosity of its reader immediately. In my view part of what is called
SUsilah Raja-raja Sambas (SRS) is one of those texts. Although it is
very brief (the manuscript embraces 15 pages altogether), it gives more
(2) Steinberg, D.C.a.o., In search of South-East Asia, A modern history, Kuala
Lumpur 1972, p.74.
(3) At present only two unsatisfactory editions of TN are available: a) Raja AH
Haji, Tuhfat at-Nafis, ed. by R.O. Winstedt, JMBRAS X.2, 1932 Oawi); b) Raja
Ali Haji, Tuhfat al-Nafis, ed. by Inche Munir bin Ali, Singapura 1965 (Rumi).
See also Matheson, V., "The Tuhfat al-Nafis : structure and sources", Bijdragen
Kon. Inst. 127.3, 1971.
SMB is available in two editions as well: a) Raja Ali Haji, SUsilah Melayu dan'
Bugis dan sekalian raja2nya, Johor Baru 1956 (Jawi) ; b) Raja Ali Haji, SUsilah
Melayu dan Bugis, dikaji dan disusun kembali oleh Arena Wati, Kuala Lumpur
1973 (Rumi, without the syair). For a summary see: Overbeck, H., "SilsUah
Melayu dan Bugis dan sekalian raja2nya,"/M5i?^45 IV, 1926. '
information on the mechanism and routine of a Malay state than for
example the Peringatan Sejarah Negeri Johor (PSNJ) (4) which is four
times as long as SRS. The SRS is not a new text. One of its manuscripts
of which there are three parallel versions (5) has been edited previously
in 1851 (6). Veth and de Hollander (7) made extensive use of the publi
shed text as a source of historical data and it is very tempting to follow
their lead since we have access to sources they could not have known,
namely SMB and TN (8). However I shall refrain from comparing his
torical data. It suffices to mention that the main events described in
SRS (which is undated and without a known author) must have taken
place during the 17th century and that they precede the arrival of the
'Buginese in West Kalimantan.
It is not the fact that since 1851 two other manuscripts of this text
have turned up which has induced me to return to it. Nor is it the way
the Jakarta manuscript was edited, although already by 1889 Snouck
Hurgronje wrote : "Jedenfalls ware aber unser Text zu einer neuen
Ausgabe zu vergleichen, denn Netscher hat nicht nur mitunter sehr frei
und fehlerhaft iibersetzt, sondern auch den Text iiberall nach Belieben
geândert wo er ihm nicht deutlich oder fliessend genug erschien." (9)
Furthermore no direct linguistic comparison between SRS and related
documents shall be attempted, because for only one of the text concer
ned do we have a reliable edition to hand (10).
My main interest is focussed on the contents of SRS and the purpose
of this paper is only to draw attention to a text which in my view is
one of the most accomplished indigenous sources and is therefore of
prime importance for our understanding of the intricacies in establishing
a state and dynasty. What is known as SRS consists in fact of two
(4) Kratz, E.U., Peringatan Sejarah Negeri Johor, Eine malàîische Quelle zur Ges-
chichte Johors im 18. Jahrhundert, Wiesbaden 1973.
(5) Jakarta Ms W 198; Berlin Schoemann V,25; Leiden Cod.9r.6762.
(6) Netscher, E., "Kronijk van Sambas en van Soekadana; in het oorspronkelijk
Maleisch, voorzien van devertaling en aanteekeningen", Tijdschrift Bat. Gen.
I. 1852
(") Veth, PJ. Borneo's wester-afdeeling, Zaltbommel 1856, 2 vol. Hollander, J.J. de,
"Geschlachtsregister der vorsten van Sambas", Bijdragen KonJnst VI.3, 1871.
(8) Veth published his study before TN and SMB were written and de Hollander's
list appeared. to soon after TN and SMB were written to have been known by
him in Holland.
(n) Snouck Hurgronje, C, Katalog der malaiischen Handschriften der Kôniglichen
Hofbibliothek in Berlin, 1889, Legatum Warnerianum Leiden, 1950 (Photostat),
pp. 238/39.
(io) Sweeney, P.L.A., "Silsilah Raja-Raja Berunai", JMBRAS, XLI.2, 1968 Errata and
a short note, XLII.2, 1969. 258
parts (u) and covers an area wider than implied by its supposed Malay
title which forms the very first sentence of the text : "Bab ini surat pada
menyatakan silsildh asal daripada segala raja2 Sambas'*. (12) Twelve
pages later and clearly separated from the silsUah asal daripada segala
raja2 Sambas by almost three and -half blank lines starts a completely
different text which deals with the origin of Sukadana (13) and its ruling
family. This part of the manuscript begins with "Alkisah maka tersebut-
lah perkataan sang Ratu Majapahit beranakkan Brawijaya". (14) It gives
a genealogical tree from up to the time when the ruling
family of Sukudana had intermarried with the ruling house of Sambas
on the one side and with the Bugis 'gang of five' on the other. The
genealogical description becomes more extensive at the end when'
approaching contemporary times. This second part is nothing more than
a "list of the rulers of Sukudana and generally does not
report very much else apart from birth, marriage and death. A notable
exception is when the writer mentions' which of the rulers adopted Islam
and how this adoption took place. This event incidentally must have
occured in the first half of the 17th century. So much for the three-pages
genealogy of Sukudana.
The first twelve pages of the manuscript, which deal with Sambas
are different and as seems to be indicated by their very first word bab
might have been taken from somewhere else or rather might have been
part or might have been intended to become part of some other and
larger text. The bab starts with a description of the dynastic situation at
the court of Sambas at a given time. The situation as presented shows a
ruler, Ratu Sepudak, with two daughters and the ruler'* unnamed brother
with two sons. The succession is guaranteed by marrying two of the
cousins to each other and indeed the one cousin who married his uncle's
daughter in due time becomes ruler as Ratu Anum and his brother,
Pangeran Mangkurat is appointed as his patth. Now the story turns to a
prince from Brunei, Kaja Tengah by name. At the same time as the old
ruler of Sambas was busily trying to put his house in order, this Raja
Tengah had to leave Brunei as he seemed to have formed some kind of
threat to his brothers's rule, and he moved to Sukudana. Having served
(n) This and the following information is based on an analysis of the Jakarta man
uscript W 198 A. Manuscript W 198 B is a slightly shortened romanized version
of SRS, the first part of W 198 A. W 198 B will not be considered further in
this paper.
(12) Ms 198 A p. 1 line 1.
(13) The manuscript has both forms : Sukudana and Sukadana.
(") Ms 198 A p. 12 line 17. 259
its ruler faithfully for some time he managed.to gain his confidence — and
his sister. Seemingly, he was not content just being the ruler's brother
in law and his wife too obviously was looking forward to a more exalted
status. With the permission of the ruler of Sukudana and with the con
sent of the chiefs, Raja Tengah is allowed to move away and to settle in
Sambas. As the chiefs put it : "... sepatut2nyalah karena bininya pun
saudara oleh tuanku." (15) It seems that they thought it' wise to have
the ambitious Raja Tengah live somewhere else as an independent ally
rather than too close to the throne of Sukudana. It should be noted that
Raja Tengah undertook his step after consultation with his wife, and that
the ruler of Sukudana had to consult his chiefs before giving his per
mission. Although Raja Tengah had asked for Sungai Sambas from the
ruler of Sukudana and not from the local raja (16), he is accepted by
the ruler of Sambas, Ratu Anwm, who probably had no other choice than
to agree. Raja Tengah and his followers settled separately in a kampung
close to the one inhabited by Ratu Anum and his people. After a while
one of Raja Tengah's children — Raden Sulaiman — is married to the
sister in law of Ratu Anum, Raja Sepudak's second daughter. Once,
when Ratu Anum wants to pay homage to his overlord in Johor, he
entrusts his state to his brother and to his brother in law, putting one of
them in charge of the kota and making the other responsible for every
thing outside the fences, i.e. the fleet, advance defences and the anafc
sungai, the (Dayak) population of the river controlled by him. By this
of course Ratu Anum can be sure that his two relatives will keep each
other in check and will be unable to threaten his own position. Raden
Sulaiman's rule and administration are described as just and wise. Even
his predecessors in the office of the ruler's representative, the actual
chiefs of the anafc sungai, do not resent the fact that they had to step
back and had to serve under him. Naturally Raden, Sulaiman is loyal to
his ruler and maintains his interests. As is to be expected he becomes
the envy of the ruler's brother within the walls of the kota, and Pangeran
Mangkurat tries to slander him by sending a special envoy to the ruler
with the news that Raden Sulaiman was planning a coup d'etat. Ratu
Anum responds by announcing to both men his immediate return, Raden
Sulaiman, loyal as ever, has his men wait and welcome the ruler at the
rivermouth while the ruler's own brother does nothing in that direction.
He even has one of the chiefs, who had praised and defended Raden
(is) Ms 198 A p. 2 line 12/13. »
(16) The text does not mention any dependency of Sambas on Sukudana. According
to Hikajat Bandjar, ed. by JJ. Ras, The Hague 1968, (Index) both states paid
tribute to Martapura. 260
Sulaiman in front of Ratu Anum, murdered. Ratu Anum's indecision and
weakness become clear when he turns a deaf ear to Raden Sulaiman's
request and takes no steps to find the one responsible for the murder of
the chief. Thereupon Raden Sulaiman consults his wife and with her
support he, his family, and some of the andk sungai with their chief set
off downriver to go somewhere else. Three other chiefs along the river
want to prevent Raden Sulaiman from leaving and they beg him to stay.
His wife however is suspicious of their intentions and she has them
swear a sacred oath not to betray them. The chiefs report their efforts
to hold Raden Sulaiman to Ratu Anum who refers them to his brother.
Pangeran Mangkurat however is furious and insults the chiefs : "Anjing
babi kamu sekalian ini 'akan menolong Raden Sulaiman mendurhaka
kepada Ratu." (17) Now the chiefs have nothing more to say, they even
do not pay their customary sembah to him and without reporting back to
Ratu Anum they return and join Raden Sulaiman, thus effectively par
ting with Ratu Anum as their ruler. Now Raden Sulaiman builds his
own kota and is very soon joined by other people from Ratu Anum's
kota, aptly called Kota Lama. Finally the rule of Ratu Anum's brother
becomes so oppressive that even Ratu Anum is unable to bear it any
longer and he decides to leave the place and his brother. Again the three
chiefs try to reconcile the ruler with Raden Sulaiman and they mediate
Ratu Anum's offer to entrust him with the government of Sambas. Again
it is Raden Sulaiman's wife who is suspicious and who asks the chiefs
to hand over their wives and children as hostages in case they plan to
betray them. Raden Sulaiman accepts the regency and the chiefs advise
him now to ask for some token from Ratu Anum that he has indeed been
entrusted with this office. Four guns are presented to Raden Sulaiman
by Ratu Anum who moves to Selakau. (18) Now Raden Sulaiman moves
again, builds another kota and is made sultan by his four chiefs, who
thus have finally succeeded in their plan to let Ratu Sepudak's succession
go through his younger daughter rather than through Ratu Anum.
Having settled finally, Raden Sulaiman sends his son Raden Bima,
the crown ' prince, to Sukudana where Raden Sulaiman's mother
originates. Raden Bima stays there for some time and marries a sister of
the ruler of the sultan of Sukudana. After his return to Sambas he is
sent to Brunei where Raden Sulaiman's grandfather comes from. In
Brunei Raden Bima is given the title sultan and before returning ^"mdka
(17) Ms 198 A p.7 line 15/16.
(18) On the importance of guns for a ruler's prestige see Gullick. J.M.. Indigenous
'political systems of Western Malaya, London 1969, p. 123. 261
oleh Yang Dipertuan Berunai dikurryai kebesaran dan nobaV sekalian-
nya." With his father's consent Raden Bima builds his own kota. He (10)
assumes power after his father's death. •
Now the story turns back to the brother of Ratu Anum who was
left behind and who soon had lost all his followers. Being left alone he
realizes his wrongs, repents, and joins his brother in Selakau. Their
children even marry each other and have a son, who however has no
chance of reaching the throne of Sambas, as very soon he is called to
Raden Bima's kota and under his supervision. As we learn from the
second* part of the manuscript the ruler makes one of the Bugis-
brothers (20) who has married his sister regent of Sambas with the title
Pangeran Mangkubumi Sambas. Raden Bima or Sultan Muhamad
Tajuddin himself, fully and rightly installed becomes overlord of Suku-
dana and Sambas, leaving the day to day running of affairs to his
Many of the so-called historical texts are believed to possess divine
powers in themselves and to function as a myth of origin to underline
the divine descent and rights of a ruler and a dynasty. Yet, it is extremely
difficult to produce positive proof of this convenient assumption which
offers itself for explaining the unexplainable. What is established however
is the fact that many of these texts are written to serve a political purpose
which does not necessarily need the invocation of divine rights. TN
and SMB are the main examples of this type of text with a clear-cut
political line which is recognizable to us since we have other sources
for comparison. The PSNJ also might serve as an example here, although
their scrapbook-like character makes them far from being a political
biography (21) . In fact all the texts which belong in one way or another
to the so-called Johor complex of manuscripts are selective and follow
certain trends (s2). Yet none of these texts (with the exception of TN
and SMB) to my knowledge is as clear and as precise as SRS portray
ing the genesis of a new dynasty and showing how it gained its sovereign
rights in a verifiable way. But not only this. On a wider and more
general scale SRS confirms Gullick's description (23) of the indigenous
(io) Ms 198 A p. 11 line 2/3.
(20) SMB tells the following story in detail..
(21) see Kratz, op. cit. pp.2, 24-25, 33-36. This has been misunderstood by Andaya,
L.Y., The kingdom of Johor, 1641-1728, Kuala Lumpur 1975, p. 9.
(-2) SeeMatheson, V. op. cit. and Kratz, E.U., "Pro- und antibuginesische- Texte zur
Geschichte Johors im 18. Jahrhundert", Bijdragen. Kon. Inst. 130, 2&3, 1974.-
(23) Gullick, J.M. op. cit. 262
states of Western Malaya and as an indigenous source it illustrates and
underlines what he has said about their political system, basing his
research mostly on material from British colonial officers of the time.
SRS describes how within three generations by means of. inter
marriage, wise government, useful distrust and caution, selection of the
right kind of allies,, and .the proper way of legitimization, son and '
grandson of the land- and powerless Raja Tengah manage to establish
their dynasty. Main figure in this story of course is Raden Sulaiman,
who first was made sultan by the local chiefs. His benign character
might be distorted and exagerated in retrospect (founding fathers are
almost always good), but he is undoubtedly the hero. He is loyal to his
ruler, he withdraws rather than sacrifice lives for his honour. He even
remains loyal after having been betrayed,. he listens to the counsel of
chiefs and has the people's confidence, thus resembling very much the
ideal of the hero of the Malay, Hang Tuah. One does not gain the
impression that Raden Sulaiman was indecisive like his brother-in-law,
Ratu Anum. Once having gained control over the area 'in question he
immediately sets about gaining sanction for his rule, which so far is only
confirmed through his marriage to Ratu Sepudak of Sambas' daughter
and through his appointment by the local chiefs. He does this a) by
marrying the crown prince to the senior house of Sukudana, thus re
affirming his father's links with 'this dynasty, and b) by ensuring the
consecration through the ruler of Brunei who, as can be seen from Seja-
rah Melayu (24), was a formidable partner to Johor's claim of paramount
sovereignty and whose state seems to have functioned as some kind of
epi-centre to the rule of Malacca and Johor in this part of the Malay
So SRS is not 'a chronicle of Sambas and Sukadana' but rather the
history of the . establishment of the house of Raja Tengdh and his son
Raden Sulaiman. It is noteworthy that the actual story in SRS ends with
the elimination of the influence oi P anger an Mangkurat and his grandson
who is also a grandson of Ratu Anum, and that it concludes with Raden
Bima anointed and firmly in power. The successors of Raden Bima are
merely mentioned in chronological order to round the story off and to
bring it up to date.
A dynastic myth ? We are very fortunate that we do not have to
regard and treat SRS as such. Its text does not stand in isolation and its
(24) Sejarah Melayu, ed, by T.D. Situmorang and A. Teeuw, Djakarta 1952, 15.7,
pp. 142/43. Sukudana genealogy MS 193 A
Ratu Majapahit
Raja Brawijay»
Raja Bapurang
Pangcran Karang Tunjung
Panembahan Bandala Sukudana
Panembahan Airmala di Baruh.
" Panembahan S. Muhamad 1 Safiuddin Girl Kusuma Raja Tengah Ratu Surya Kesuma
S. Muhamad Zainuddin R. Suleiman ? Puteri Indra Kesuma anak raja Mempawah Panembahan Sengkaw'a
i 1 I L
Puter! Kesumba/Ratu Tuah Upu Daeng Menambon
R. Melia
Panembahan Adijaya adiknya Upu Daeng Pasetnah i i •
P. Mangkubumi Sambas R. Bungsu Gusti Emas, Gusti Jati (S. Muhamad Zainalabidin)
R. Saleh, Embas Jurub (P. Muda Jaya Kesuma)
E. Sani E. Saja Daeng Buka I
Gusti Johan (P. Prabu Anom) R. Jema'a
Gusti Amir (Panembahan Amir Kamaruddin>