28th Sultan of Perak: Sultan Idris Murshidul Azzam Shah ibni Almarhum Raja Bendahara Alang Iskandar (1887-1916)

SembangKuala is one year old today and in commemoration of this, we humbly present to you this updated post on Almarhum Sultan Idris I.

Sultan Idris Murshidul Azzam Shah. This photo was taken in 1911 at the famous Lafayette Studio in London, and is currently held at the V&A Lafayette Collection.

Sultan Idris Murshidul Azzam Shah was born Raja Idris ibni Almarhum Raja Bendahara Alang Iskandar at Kampung Kuala Keboi in Kampar, Perak on 19 June 1849, the third son of Raja Bendahara Alang Iskandar ibni Almarhum Yang di Pertuan Muda Sultan Ahmad Shah Johan by his second wife, Che’ Ken Uda Sari binti Panglima Dalam Abdul Rahman. His siblings were Raja Hasan, Raja Kulop Muhammad (father of Raja Perempuan Kelsom, consort of Sultan Iskandar Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Idris), Raja Lope Ahmad and Raja Putih Mas Kechil.

As a young man, Raja Idris had already shown a keen interest in education, especially that of Islam, a characteristic he exhibited throughout his life. Among his religious teachers were Sheikh Mohd Tahir Jalaluddin[1] and Syed Abdullah bin Abu Bakar Al-Attas (kadhi of Perak). Raja Idris later learnt English from a few of British administrative officers, which included M.E. Holmes, the District Magistrate and Collector of Land Revenue.

In 1876, Raja Idris was appointed as a judge on the examination of those who were charged with complicity in the assassination of J.W.W. Birch (the first British Resident of Perak). The assassination of Birch culminated in the Perak War (1875-1876) between the British forces and the Perak Malays. During the trial, his fellow assessors were J.G Davidson and Frank Swettenham. Raja Idris was later appointed Chief Judge of Perak, and between 1883 to 1897, he was invited by the Straits Settlement Government to assist in the settlement of a dispute over the definition of the boundary between Perak and Kedah, and Melaka and Rembau. Later as Sultan, he revised the primeval code of Perak Court customs and procedures, and the traditional and royal titles, with the approval of the State Council. This includes the creation of the office Orang Kaya-Kaya Setia Bijaya Di-Raja in place of the then defunct Orang Kaya Kaya Seri Agar Di-Raja Putra (following the conviction of Dato’ Maharaja Lela). Jeragan Abdul Shukor bin Mohamad Ali was the first holder of this title.

Installation of Raja Idris as Raja Muda of Perak at Kuala Kangsar in 1886. (Source: Arkib Negara Malaysia)

When Sultan Yusuf Sharifuddin Muzaffar Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdullah Muhammad Shah I was finally installed as the 27th Sultan of Perak[2], Perak was declared a British protectorate on 11 May 1887. Raja Idris was then installed Raja Muda by the Perak State Council[3], apparently with strong support from Hugh Low, the then British Resident of Perak. However, about two months after the installation, Sultan Yusuf mangkat on 26 July 1887 and Raja Muda Idris was proclaimed the 28th Sultan of Perak at the age of 38. Sultan Idris was formally installed with the title Sultan Idris Murshidul Azzam Shah on 5 April 1889.

Sultan Idris of Perak (seated) with his son Raja Abdul Jalil (later Sultan) (right) and his nephew Raja Ngah Mansur. (Source: Arkib Negara Malaysia)

Previously, all the previous Sultans of Perak resided on the right bank of the Sungai Perak, as per agreement made by the 1st Sultan of Perak, Sultan Muzaffar Shah, with Tok Temong. However, Sultan Idris chose to reside to the left bank on Bukit Chandan. A palace called Istana Idris (later renamed as Istana Negara) was erected on Bukit Chandan in 1895. It was then demolished, giving way to the construction of Istana Iskandariah in the early 1930s. Besides Istana Negara, there were other istanas built, like Istana Chinta Berahi for the Raja Perempuan Nuteh Aishah binti Almarhum Sultan Yusuf Sharifuddin and Istana Kasar Ma’amor for Tengku Permaisuri Uteh Mariah binti Haji Sulaiman.

It was during the time of Sultan Idris that Perak became part of the Federated Malay States. Perak then saw a vast economic growth from its export of tin and rubber. The first rubber tree in Malaya was planted in Kuala Kangsar by the botanist Henry Ridley.

Sultan Idris was regarded as one of the most influential sultans in Malaya at the time,  as seen from the inaugural Durbar in 1897  held at the Istana Negara in Kuala Kangsar. Sultan Idris’ thinking was ahead of his time and he strove to meet the needs of his rapidly changing state and her rakyat. One of his principal concerns was education, of both Western or religious styles, and he was instrumental in the establishment of both the Malay College (Bab-ul Darjat was a lesser known name of the College) and Madrasah Idrisiah in Kuala Kangsar. Even after his passing, his vast contributions towards education of his rakyat was recognised and the Sultan Idris Training College in Tanjong Malim was named after him.

Sultan Idris in the robe of a Knight Grand Cross.

Sultan Idris was also a staunch advocate of increased Malay participation in the ranks of the state administration. To walk the talk as it were, one of his sons, Raja Alang Iskandar (later Sultan) joined the F.M.S. Police Force.

In recognition of his role in the modernisation of Perak and and his vast contributions to the welfare of his rakyat, Sultan Idris received a number British honours – the CMG in 1884 and KCMG in 1898 from Queen Victoria, GCMG in 1901 from Edward VII and GCVO in 1913 from George V.

During his lifetime, Sultan Idris had visited England four times:

1. 1884 – with Hugh Low and Raja Ngah Mansur ibni Sultan Abdullah Muhammad Shah II, to request for the return of the Perak Royal Regalia which were kept in England since 1876 during the Perak War.

Sultan Idris with Sir Hugh Cliffordand Raja Chulan (Raja di-Hilir) in London during the Coronation of King Edward VII, 1902. (Source: Arkib Negara Malaysia)

2. 1888 – by invitation of Queen Victoria for her Golden Jubilee, after his proclamation as Sultan of Perak. He was again accompanied by Hugh Low and Raja Ngah Mansur ibni Sultan Abdullah.

3. 1902 – for the coronation of Edward VII but the trip was postponed. During the trip, his son, Raja Alang Iskandar (then aged 21) followed him back to Perak after seven years in England, five of which were at Balliol College in Oxford.

4. 1911 – for the coronation of George V, and he was accompanied by Tengku Permaisuri Uteh Mariah, Raja Harun Al Rashid, Raja Abdul Rashid, Raja Chulan, Raja Puteh Kalsom Sultan Idris (wife of Raja Chulan) and Enche’ Yeop Nordin, Toh Muda Orang Kaya Setia Di-Raja. It was during this trip that Sultan Idris bought the Aigrette which was later added to the Perak State Regalia.

Upon returning to Perak in 1911, Sultan Idris health was under par and he rested at Port Dickson. Whilst recovering, he made a nazar, should he be restored a good health, he would build a mosque in Bukit Chandan. His vow later materialised with the erection of Majid Ubudiah but he did not live to see it completed.

Sultan Idris mangkat on 14 January 1916 at the age of 67. He was interred at the Royal Mausoleum, Kuala Kangsar with the title of Marhum Rahmatullah.

In the course of his life, Sultan Idris married seven times:

1. DYMM Raja Perempuan Nuteh Aishah binti Sultan Yusuf Sharifuddin Mudzaffar Shah. She died at Istana Kasar Ma’amor, Kuala Kangsar on 6 October 1920.

Sultan Idris with Tengku Permaisuri Uteh Mariah

2. Tengku Permaisuri Che Uteh Mariah binti Haji Sulaiman (Orang Kaya-Kaya Shahbandar Paduka Indira). She died at Istana Cinta Berahi, Kuala Kangsar on 26 February 1924.

3. Toh Puan Besar Che Ngah Manah binti Manda Duwayat. She died 4 February 1922.

4. Che Alang Sawiya binti Che Kulup Abdul Samad. She died 16 November 1957.

5. Che Long Polam

6. YM Sharifah Alawiyah

7. YM Sharifah Maheran

The present Perak Sultanate is derived from his lineage. In addition, the Sultan Idris I lineage has links with other royal households in other States, namely Selangor and Pahang. Click here for the family tree of Sultan Idris I.

[1] Sheikh Mohd Tahir Jalaluddin was the father of Tun Hamdan Sheikh Tahir, the Yang di Pertua Negeri Pulau Pinang from 1989 to 2001.
[2] Raja Muda Yusuf was made regent from 30March 1877 to 11 May 1887.
[3] The Perak State Council was founded on 10 September 1877, with Raja Idris as one of its founder members.


1. Fawzi Basri. Cempaka Sari: Sejarah Kesultanan Negeri Perak. Yayasan Perak; 1986.
2. Hussain bin Mahmud. Sultan Idris: A personal study.
3. Kennedy J. A History of Malaya. London: Macmillan; 1962.
4. Encyclopedia Britannica. Sultan Idris ibn Raja Iskandar.
5. Laman Rasmi Pejabat Sultan Perak. SULTAN IDRIS MURSHIDUL ‘ADZAM SHAH I.
6. Sembangkuala. Perak after Sultan Ali.
7. Arkib Negara Malaysia

16 thoughts on “28th Sultan of Perak: Sultan Idris Murshidul Azzam Shah ibni Almarhum Raja Bendahara Alang Iskandar (1887-1916)

  1. thank you for writing the article on my ancestor almarhum sultan idris satu. will update my blog to include almarhum. keep up the good work

    raja amir shah bin raja abdul aziz bin raja arif shah bin raja harun al rashid ibni almarhum sultan idris satu.

  2. Salam tuan editor,

    Saya ingin mengetahui susur galur keturunan Haji Sulaiman (Orang Kaya-Kaya Shahbandar Paduka Indira) yang merupakan ayahanda kepada Tengku Permaisuri Che Uteh Mariah. Harap dapat maklum balas dari pihak tuan.


  3. dear all,

    i was fortunate to be invited to the inaugaral “perasmian persatuan waris perak” recently. insyaallah, as i said before, i am interested to assist in both i.e. family charity and future advancement of our family education welfare.like almarhum sultan idris satu did, he foresee that only through education, we the family can together break the barrier that many of us are in now.

    “you can’t educate a child who is not healthy, and you can’t keep a child healthy who is not educated” – US Surgeon General Jocelyn Elder’s

    raja amir shah

    • Salam RAS,

      It was a pleasure having you and your YM ayahanda at the soft launch of the Persatuan Waris & Kerabat Negeri Perak at Kuala Kangsar recently.

      Your interest in helping out with the family through charitable and educational means is deeply appreciated.


      Raja Mariam bt Raja Mohamed Iskandar ibni Almarhum Sultan Alang Iskandar ibni Almarhum Sultan Idris I

  4. Salam YM Raja Amir

    Alhamdulillah. Niat baik engku itu kami dahului dengan ucapan ribuan terima kasih. Moga Allah memberi rezeki yang luas kepada kita semua agar segala perancangan menjadi kenyataan. Amin!

    //Raja Nur Jannah bt Raja Rehan bt Raja Nor Muhidayah bt Raja Bendahara Abdul Rashid ibni Sultan Idris 1.

  5. Kepada yang terhormat Raja Amir Shah, Raja Mariam dan Raja Nur Jannah. Nama saya Harun, saya tiggal sekarang di Amsterdam. Saya sudah lama mencari jejak (sanak famili) nenek saya di Malaysia. Nenek saya bernama Sri Bulan. Menurut cerita ayah saya, nenek Sri Bulan adalah adik Sultan Perak di Teluk Anson. Nama Sultan tidak jelas. Nenek Sri Bulan lahir tahun 1858. Nenek menikah dengan kakek saya yang bernama Pendekar Ujang Tahir (seorang yang berilmu tarekat dan Wakil Guru Besar Silat Lintau). Menurut cerita, kakek Ujang Tahir sebagai kepala pengawal Sultan. Kakek Ujang Tahir dari suku Tambusai. Kemudian kakek ujang dan nek Bulan pulang ke Sumatra kira2 akhir thn. 1800 atau awal thn. 1900. Menurut cerita Nek Bulan ingin sekali kembali ke Teluk Anson, tetapi keadaan pada waktu itu tidak memungkinkan. Nenek Bulan mempunyai anak 6 orang, semuanya sudah berpulang. Ayah saya putranya yang paling bungsu, bernama Abdul Rani.
    Menurut perkiraan saya Sultan Perak pada waktu itu adalah Sultan Idris Murshidul. Dari itu dengan melalui ruang ini (yang secara kebetulan saya temui), mohon sangat dari lubuk hati saya yang dalam kepada bapak dan ibu yang terhormat sudilah kiranya membantu memecahkan masalah saya tersebut. Sebagai tambahan kakek Ujang dan nenek Bulan, ketika di Sumatra mendarat di Tanjung Pura dan dibawah perlindungan Sultan Tanjung Pura. Sebelumnya saya mengucapkan beribu ribu terima kasih. Kalau ada berita, bisa langsung disampaikan kepada email saya :suryarasyid@yahoo.co.uk. Semoga Allah memberkahi kita semua.

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  8. Salam – saya ingin mengetahui salasilah keturunan ibu mertua saya iaitu Raja Hanal Zandariah Tengku Ibrahim. Nenek suami saya Raja Hajah Asiah Raja Abd Rahman. Saya dimaklumkan yg nenek suami saya sepupu kpd Almarhum Sultan Idris I. Semoga pihak tuan dapat membantu saya.

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  11. As salam…saya ingin tahu tentang salasilah Raja Ngah Halimah iaitu anak kepada 1st wife Sultan Idris Murshidul Aadzam Shah 1 Toh Puan Besar Che’ Ngah Manah…saya ingin tahu siapakah suami beliau dan siapakah anaknya…Adakah beliau berkahwin dgn Megat Kassim dan mempunyai anak bernama Puteri Shiba…harap mendapat penjelasan sesiapa yg mengetahui maklumat ini .

  12. Sir, thank you for this very helpful and informative site. I am researching a heritage book, which is going to be published this year. I was surprised to read here that Sultan Idris and Raja Mansur went to London in 1888. This is not what I have in my book, which says, according to Raja Razman Raja Abdul Hamid, that Sultan Idris went to London three times only , once in ‘about 1886’, second after his accession, in 1902, and third time for King George V’s coronation. Please may I ask for the source of your statement? I may have to revise my book; I don’t want to publish the wrong info in a book about our country’s heritage! thanks very much for any help you may be able to extend, Saidah.

  13. assalam editor,

    boleh saya tahu lebih lanjut tak susur galur keturunan dari Che Alang Sawiya binti Che Kulup Abdul Samad. siapa anak beliau dan ank beliau berkahwin dengan siapa? serta siapakah keturunan beliau selanjutnya. terima kasih.

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