Perak, with its capital at Bruas, was a province of Melaka. When Melaka fell to Portuguese in 1511, Sultan Mahmud fled, eventually becoming Sultan of Kampar-Sumatra which was also a province of Melaka. Perak was left to its own fate and needed a ruler. A mission, headed by Tun Saban and Nakhoda Kassim, to ask Sultan Mahmud for one of his sons to come and rule over Perak. Sultan Mahmud then instructed his second son from his marriage to Puteri Onang Kening of Kelantan, Raja Muzaffar, to go forth to Perak. On receiving such good tidings, Tun Saban returned to Perak and prepared 77 elephants bearing gifts to await their new Sultan at the estuary of Sungai Perak.
Raja Muzaffar, carried with him the state regalia, comprising the sword Chura Si-Manjakini, a keris, the Cap Kayu Cempa (which bore the inscription ‘Sultan Muhammad Shah Dzil Allah Fil-Alam’), the nobat and the Surat Chiri, to Perak. During a stop at Klang to meet his relatives, Raja Muzaffar met Nakhoda Tumi of Manjong, a merchant ship captain who sailed regularly to Perak. Nakhoda Tumi came on board Raja Muzaffar’s ship and continued their onward journey to Perak. On arriving at Beting Beras Basah, the ship got stuck despite various efforts. Raja Muzaffar then called (seru):
Sekongkong Tanah Minangkabau
Selilit Pulau Perca
Di lengkong ular Saktimuna
Perpisahan beta di Selat Melaka
Jika sah beta Raja berdaulat
Lepaslah sekalian malapetaka.
Following the seru, the ship somehow was released and was able to continue in its journey. On arrival in Perak, Raja Muzaffar was met and welcomed by Tun Saban and the joyful people of Perak, who shouted “Daulat Tuanku!” thrice. The people then escorted him to Tanah Abang where he then instructed his people to build his residence. He was duly installed and was styled Sultan Muzaffar Shah, during which the mestika embun was presented to him by Tok Temong.
After his installation, he appointed Tun Mahmud, son of Tuan Tun Isap Barakah and Puteri Siat of Bruas, to be his Bendahara. After holding this post for some time, Bendahara Mahmud was invited by Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah II of Johor (brother to Sultan Muzaffar Shah) to be Bendahara at his court.
Sultan Muzaffar asked for the hand of Tun Merah, daughter of Tun Saban, but was refused. One day when Tun Saban was away from his house, having gone upstream on one of his periodical visits, Sultan Muzaffar abducted Tun Merah and kept her in his palace. This so angered Tun Saban that he declared war on the Sultan. He built a fort at Kuala Temong from where he defied the Sultan’s forces. Secure in the fact that his skin could not be pierced by bullets (kebal), he used to laugh at the efforts made to shoot him down.
Sultan Muzaffar then issued a proclamation that whoever could kill Tun Saban would be awarded with the highest chieftaincy in the state. Within the army of the Sultan was a soldier of fortune named Megat Terawis ibni Almarhum Daulat Pagar Ruyong, a scion of the great imperial house of Minangkabau. Megat Terawis was ‘born with a silver bullet in each hand’, each bullet bearing the inscription:
“Inilah peluru anak Raja Pagar Ruyong – di mana ia jatuh, di situlah tuannya menjadi tuan.“
Megat Terawis faced Tun Saban, and fired his matchlock (istinggar). The bullet struck Tun Saban on his chest but fell to the ground, as it had not pierced Tun Saban’s skin. Tun Saban picked it up, read the inscription and knew that his hour of doom had come. He then sent for Megat Terawis, named him as his heir, expressed regret for his past hostilities to the Sultan and married Megat Terawis to one of his daughters, Tun Bongsu Bangsawan. Tun Saban then succumbed to his injury from the mystical bullet and was interred at Changkat Merah in Hulu Perak. Megat Terawis was rewarded with the highest chieftaincy in the state carrying the title Bendahara Paduka Raja.
Sultan Muzaffar Shah later moved his residence to Kota Lama Kanan near Kuala Kangsar. However, Almarhum mangkat in 1549 and was interred at Tanah Abang. The title Marhum Tanah Abang was conferred on him after death.
On arrival, Raja Muzaffar came upon a boy who was crying next to the dead body of a boy of about the same age. “Young man, whose body is that lying next to thou?” asked Raja Muzaffar. The boy respectfully replied, “My older brother, Tuanku. I killed him with my keris as he was making fun of me.” The boy continued, “We came upon some bamboo plants and I asked my brother, ‘Apakah nama buluh ini?’ He kept on replying, ‘Buluh apa.‘, not answering my question. I then got angry and killed him.” On hearing this sad tale, Raja Muzaffar then said, “Knoweth thou this, thine brother did not make fun of thou. He was speaking the truth as the type of bamboo is called buluh apa.” On hearing Raja Muzaffar’s explanation, the boy was filled with utmost regret and killed himself by stabbing his keris into his own heart. The location of the graves of the two young brothers was named Tanah Abang by Sultan Muzaffar Shah.
Transl. “This is the bullet of the prince’s son of Pagar Ruyong – wherever this bullet lands, its lord will be made lord of the land.”
This post of Bendahara was held by the descendants of Megat Terawis for more than 200 years, the last one being Bendahara Megat Abu Kassim who resigned his office because Sultan Iskandar Dzulkarnain (1754-1764, the 15th Sultan of Perak) was not satisfied with the construction of the palace he was commanded to build at Pulau Indera Sakti.