The title of Dato’ Panglima Kinta originated during the reign of Sultan Mudzaffar Shah II in 1636. For services rendered, Tok Chandang, son of Tok Changkat Piatu was appointed Maharaja Kinta (title later changed to Dato’ Panglima Kinta) and his wife Che Intan, daughter of Tok Nyior Manis, made a Toh Puan (first Toh Puan of Perak). Wilkinson had described that the succession to this dignity is a good example of the bergilir principle – where two families (the Ipoh or Paloh family and the Kepayang family) took it in turn to provide the Dato’ Panglima Kinta.
When the ninth Dato’ Panglima Kinta Zainal Abidin (Uda Bidin) of the Kepayang family passed away in 1884, his cousin Muhammad Yusuff was elected the tenth Dato’ Panglima Kinta. Zainal Abidin’s son, Abdul Wahab became a very influential and wealthy Toh Muda, retaining his family’s aristocratic standing. Kinta’s interest were strengthened whenboth the new Dato’ Panglima Kinta and the Toh Muda were nominated to the Perak Council of State. It was the Dato’ Panglima Kinta Muhammad Yusuff who steered the growth of Ipoh from a small village into the largest town in Kinta,throughout his career from 1884 until his death in 1903. A relative of his by marriage, Che Hussin of Ipoh ascended to the title Orang Kaya Laksamana and was made a member of the Council of state in 1894.
1. Khoo Salma Nasution and Abdur-Razzaq Lubis. Kinta Valley.
2. Papers on Malay Subjects: Part II Notes on Perak History, by R.J. Wilkinson. FMS Government Press, 1908. In Sembangkuala: The title of Dato’ Panglima Kinta.