The Laksamana

The Orang Kaya-Kaya Laksamana Raja Mahkota ruled in Lower Perak. His jurisdiction extended “up-river as far as the tide can reach, down-river to the line where the surf breaks on the bar and the grey-mullet come to the surface”. He had also charge of the whole sea coast. Whenever the Sultan’s boats entered tidal waters, the Laksamana had the right to place his boat at the head of the fleet and to lead the way. At all times he could put up a pole or flagstaff (galah) in the bows of his boat and blow the royal trumpet (nafiri) as “king of the sea”. In the event of war, he could summon the peasantry to construct the forts and other coast defences against an invading force.

The Laksamana administered justice in Lower Perak and derived a certain revenue from fines; he also levied tolls on the river Batang Padang and received small share of the tolls on the Perak river itself. The wife was styled To’ Puan, his heir was the Dato’ Raja Mahkota.


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