Raja Alang Iskandar, the first Malay Assistant Commissioner of Police

The following article on Almarhum Sultan Iskandar ibni Almarhum Sultan Idris Murshidul Azzam Shah was written by the late Tan Sri Mubin Sheppard:

“The reluctance of Malays to join the Police Force in the Federated Malay States had been a serious obstacle to progress. In 1905, Captain A. McD Graham was appointed adjutant of the newly formed Police Depot in Kuala Lumpur. Before coming on transfer to Kuala Lumpur, Graham had served for ten years in Perak, first with the Perak Sikhs and later with the Malay State Guides.

Sultan Iskandar in the uniform of Honorary Comissioner of Police of the FMS. (Source: Arkib Negara Malaysia)

“Graham suggested that if a member of a Malay Royal family could be persuaded to accept appointment as an officer in the F.M.S. Police, Malay public opinion about service in the force was certain to change. He put his suggestion to Talbot, naming Raja Alang Iskandar and with enthusiasm recommended it to Sir Frank Swettenham, the High Commissioner, early in 1905. Swettenham discussed his proposal with Sultan Idris I and was given his approval.

“A new era in Police history began on August 1 1905, when Raja Alang Iskandar was appointed Assistant Commissioner of Police and was responsible for recruiting the Malays at the Police Depot, Bluff Road, Kuala Lumpur.

“He began to travel widely, first in Perak and later in the other three Malay States, explaining to village headmen and groups of young Malays advantages of joining the re-organised Police Force. And his campaign began to show results.

Sultan Iskandar in police uniform, with Raja Muda Abdul Aziz. (Source: Muzium Polis DiRaja Malaysia)

“He designed the new uniform which was worn by Malay Police until 1941: the khaki tunic and shorts, khaki puttees, black boots and a black pill-box cap.

“He took an active part in sport at the depot and continued to devote his very considerable ability to the improvement of the Police Force until 1916 when, on the death of his father Sultan Idris, he returned to Perak to become the Raja Bendahara.

“After being appointed the Sultan of Perak in 1918, in succession to his half brother, he accepted the position of Honorary Commissioner of Police, and retained an unfailing interest in the force until death 22 years later.”

Reference: Sheppard M. The first Malay Assistant Commissioner of Police. Malaysia In History. 1970; XIII (1).

2 thoughts on “Raja Alang Iskandar, the first Malay Assistant Commissioner of Police

  1. Pingback: 30th Sultan of Perak: Sultan Iskandar Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Idris (1918-1938) « SembangKuala BLOG

  2. Pingback: Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Shah: an addendum « SembangKuala BLOG

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