Raja Razman bin Raja Abdul Hamid: the soul of SembangKuala

A photo of Ku Nick taken in 1957, aged 61.

He was known as Ku Nick, Atah Nick or even ‘Nicky’ (as Raja ‘Kam’ Kamaralzaman would call him).

Raja Razman bin Raja Abdul Hamid was born 21 December 1896, the son of Raja Abdul Hamid ibni Sultan Idris Murshidul Azzam Shah, and the youngest of three siblings. His eldest sister was Raja Taayah (later consort of Sultan Yusuf Izzudin, with the title of Raja Perempuan) and his elder brother was Raja Shahriman (later Engku Orang Kaya-kaya Indira Mahakurnia Indira DiRaja).

Ku Nick was only three months old when his father passed away at the age of 24. His mother was Che Halimah @  Che Zaidah binti Haji Mat Saman (who later remarried[1] to Raja Kechil Sulong Harun Al Rashid). Ku Nick was then brought up by Enche’ Hassan[2], a cousin of Che Zaidah.

Ku Nick received his early education at the Anglo Chinese School in Ipoh and the English School, Batu Gajah, before going to the Malay College Kuala Kangsar. At Koleq, he was made a prefect along with his brother, Raja Shahriman, who was the head boy.

Like his brother, a young Ku Nick also played football with the Idris XI, as goalkeeper.

Ku Nick was supposed to further his studies in England, but his uncle, Sultan Iskandar Shah, had other plans for him. On 1 July 1929, Ku Nick was appointed Toh Muda Orang Kaya-kaya Indira Mahakurnia DiRaja to his brother, Raja Shahriman, by Sultan Iskandar Shah, as recognition (membalas jasa) of the untimely demise of Raja Abdul Hamid before he could be made Raja Di-Hilir.

In 1930, Ku Nick was made Penghulu III of Kuala Kangsar and was then promoted as Penghulu II of Sungai Buaia near Padang Rengas from 1931 to 1935. In 1935, he was appointed Malay aide-de-camp to the Sultan, replacing Raja Shahriman, until the demise of Sultan Iskandar Shah in 1938. Following the installation of Sultan Abdul Aziz, Ku Nick was appointed Secretary to the Sultan of Perak. Interestingly, he served under three Sultans, one as ADC and two as Secretary, which included Sultan Yusuf Izzudin (his brother-in-law, from Tuanku’s marriage to Raja Perempuan Taayah), a post he held until 1951.

Ku Nick with his sister, Raja Perempuan Taayah Raja Abdul Hamid.

In 1957, Ku Nick was appointed Acting Orang Besar Jajahan Hulu Perak and subsequently as Orang Besar Jajahan Parit (now is known as Daerah Perak Tengah).

Ku Nick in his lifetime had catalogued and collected an abundance of information on the history of the Perak royal family, and he looked up to R.O. Winstedt for his efforts in archiving Malayan history, especially that of Perak. Ku Nick’s interest in particular was the history of Hulu Perak. He was considered by many an ardent archivist[3]. One interesting tale which revolved around this was when a guest came to Ku Nick’s residence (Rumah Hitam) to ask about some ‘petua‘. Present at that time was Raja Haji Shahar Raja Harun Al Rashid, who was intrigued by Ku Nick’s knowledge in divulging the answers to the guest’s questions. Raja Shahar then asked, “Where did you learn all this?” Ku Nick whispered, “… Winstedt!”

Ku Nick likes to ‘nyakat‘. There was a boy called Itam (who was later blind) who sold pisang goreng on his bicycle, shouting, “Goreng pisang panas, goreng pisang panas!” As he passed by Rumah Itam where Ku Nick was resting outside, Ku Nick shouted back, “Panas goreng atau panas kena jemur?!“. Suffice to say, the pisang goreng boy pedalled away as fast as he could.

Ku Nick died of a heart attack on 20 September 1967 and was interred at the Royal Mausoleum, Kuala Kangsar.

Ku Nick was married four times, and also had issue, eleven sons and five daughters.

Sharifah Nor Hasnah, mother of Sharifah Hendon Al-Shahabuddin (Ku Nick's third wife).

Raja Abdul Hamid, Ku Nick's eldest son. (Source: Raja Mimi Razman)

Ku Nick, his third wife, Sharifah Hendon (seated second from left), and their children.

SembangKuala had posted the family tree of Raja Razman in September 2009 – click here to see it.

Ku Nick's tomb. Right photo: Ku Nick's tomb on the left, Sharifah Hendon ( Ku Nick's wife) and Tengku Yahya (Ku Nick's son-in-law).

[A message from the Editors: If Ku Nick is still with us, he will be celebrating his 113th birthday today, and what a celebration it could have been. Happy birthday and Al-Fatihah to you, Tok. Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmatNya ke atas roh Allahyarham Tok.]

[1] Che’ Zaidah was also the mother to Raja Dato’ Badri Shah bin Raja Harun Al Rashid , which makes him Raja Razman’s half brother.
[2] Enche’ Hassan (Tok Achan) was the grandfather of Datin Seri Zabidahtul Radthuan Mohd Ali Piah (Toh Perkema Wati), wife of Raja Dato’ Seri Mansur bin Raja Razman.
[3] The role of archivist at Rumah Hitam is now held by Ku Nick’s daughter, Raja Halimah (Ku/Auntie Mimi) who still keeps any available photos and documents with utmost care.

2 thoughts on “Raja Razman bin Raja Abdul Hamid: the soul of SembangKuala

  1. Pingback: Chura Si-Manjakini « SembangKuala BLOG

  2. Pingback: Two families, a bunga tanjong tree and mentors in my life « SembangKuala

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s