The legend of Toh Kuala Bidor

The story Toh Kuala Bidor has been described by William Maxwell as follows:

“Once there a poor fisherman who was a native of Pasai in Sumatra and had emigrated to the Malay Peninsula and lived with his wife by the Perak River. He used to trap fish with all kinds of contrivances (belat, gerogok, bubu etc), but this hardly enable him to earn a livelihood, and he and his wife were so poor that they only had one garment between them, and when one went out, the other was obliged to stay at home inside the mosquito-curtains. The tide those days used to reach Bandar Tuah, and it was near this place that the husband used to go fishing. He noticed repeatedly that his traps had men interfered with. So, he determined to watch. After some time, a Jin (genie) clothed in a green robe like a Haji and wearing a green turban, came down to the water. The fishermen immediately dived into the water and caught the Jin by the feet.

“Pleading to let him go, the Jin granted the fisherman a wish. The fishermen then wished for some relief in his poverty. The Jin asked to swallow something and spat into his mouth. The Jin said, “You will be the greatest chief in Perak and your descendants for seven generations will be prosperous.”

“After this, the fisherman prospered and grew rich and was eventually promoted to be Laksamana of Perak. He was called by the people Toh Kuala Bidor, from his residence at the mouth of the Bidor River. The children of the present Laksamana Datok Muhammad Amin, who is a state prisoner at the Seychelles, claim to belong to the seventh generation in direct descent from Toh Kuala Bidor.”

Source: Maxwell W (ed). Notes and Queries. Malaysian Branch Royal Asiatic Society (MBRAS). Reprint 15. 1997. p61.

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