The state of Reman in Hulu Perak

The history of the Reman Sultanate began in 1810 when Tuan Tok Nik Tok Leh, a Patani royal, led an insurgency in gaining Reman’s independence from Patani. He eventually succeeded and declared himself as ruler of Reman. Reman was historically part of Patani (which is now a province of Thailand). The protracted war between these provinces weakened both sides. The neighbouring kingdom of Siam saw this conflict as an opportunity to spread its power to the south, and both Reman and Patani became suzerainties of Siam.

Map of the state of Reman in Hulu Perak between the 17th and 18th century. (Source: Google Images)

The maxims of divide et impera or divide ut regnes[1], practised in Roman times and during the British occupation of the Malay States, were applied by Siam after a series of attempted rebellions which prompted Bangkok to divide Patani into seven smaller states:

  1. Pattani
  2. Nongchik
  3. Saiburi (Teluban)
  4. Yala (Jala)
  5. Yaring (Jambu)
  6. Ra-ngae (Legeh)
  7. Reman

In spite of Reman being a suzerainty of Siam, Tuan Tok Nik Tok Leh remained as ruler of Reman, which at that time was wealthy with tin. In fact, tin was the predominant factor for the strained relationship with Perak in few years later of which again benefited Siam. In 1821, Perak was forced by Siam to periodically send bunga emas tributes, as tokens of fealty. However, after a few years, Sultan Abdul Malik Mansur Shah (1806-1825) presented to Rama II, the King of Siam, a twenty-toed elephant named Chapang Pileh (‘the chosen one’), found by Toh Muda Panglima Kinta Ngah Abdul Sam in the jungles of Kinta. This so pleased Rama II that he released Perak from Siam’s suzerainty.

Given the weak position of Perak at that time, Tuan Tok Nik Tok Leh was able to take Hulu Perak which included Klian Intan which was rich in tin. In an attempt to recapture Hulu Perak, Sultan Abdullah Muazzam Shah (1825-1830) sought assistance from the English East India Company. Consequently, the Burney Treaty[2] was inked in 1826 between Siam and the English East India Company amongst the terms of which that Perak was to officially be given independence from the suzerainty of Siam as promised.

Immediately after gaining independence, Sultan Abdullah Muazzam sent an army to Hulu Perak led by Dato’ Seri Lela, who was accompanied by his newly wedded wife, Raja Andak binti Sultan Ahmaddin, Sultan Abdul Malik’s sister. Raja Andak was very beautiful and it was no surprise that it was said she had been married 13 times prior to her marriage to Dato’ Seri Lela.

The attack led by Dato’ Seri Lela in Hulu Perak caught Tuan Tok Nik Tok Leh by surprise , following which he then fleed from Kubu Kapeh (later known as Kampung Kapek) to Klian Intan and then to Kuala Kepayang. Whilst the attack did not deter Tuan Tok Nik from seeking revenge, at the same time he was attracted to the beautiful Raja Andak. He then sent his people to Kubu Kapeh to spy on Raja Andak and to his delight, it appeared that the marriage of Raja Andak and Dato’ Seri Lela was on the rocks. Tuan Tok Nik secretly sent a letter to Raja Andak which contained few stanzas of pantun describing his feelings towards the princess:

Tetak nyireh galangkan dapor,

Mari di-tetak dengan dahannya,

Minta sireh barang sekapor,

Mari minta dengan Tuanya.

Ikan kepiat mudek ke hulu,

Lumba-lumba mudek sekawan,

Sudah niat dari dahulu,

Minta perhamba kepada tuan.

Lumba-lumba mudek sekawan,

Mudek ke Teluk Tanjung Jati,

Minta perhamba kepada tuan,

Dari hidup sampai ke mati.

To his surprise, Raja Andak replied, giving Tuan Tok Nik a ray of hope:

Anak ruan berlima-lima,

Mati seekor di atas darat,

Kasih tuan saya terima,

Jadi hutang dunia akhirat.

Mati seekor di atas darat,

Disinar suria putih matanya,

Jadi hutang dunia akhirat,

Sebab adinda sudah berpunya.

Disinar suria putih matanya,

Batang kenanga ditepi telaga,

Sebab adinda sudah berpunya,

Seperti bunga dilengkar naga.

Batang kenanga di tepi telaga,

Buat galah perahu Che Nyonya,

Seperti bunga di lengkar naga,

Carilah akal menyuntingnya.

This forbidden love affair then led to bloodshed, as Dato’ Seri Lela was murdered while having a picnic at Cheroh and Raja Andak was felt to be the perpetrator in the eyes of Dato’ Seri Lela’s people. Raja Andak was scared for her safety and ran into hiding, while Tuan Tok Nik took this opportunity and marched on to retake Klian Intan, Kroh[3] and Kubu Kapeh. Kuala Kapeh was then left under the purview of Tuan Tok Nik’s daughter, Tok Nang Sikuat.

1836 was an important year to Reman for two reasons. Firstly, Captain James Low who was the Acting Resident Councillor of Prince of Wales Island (Penang) became the first European to have visited Klian Intan and Kroh. Secondly, it was the year that Tuan Tok Nik died. He was interred at Langgar Bendang Saring in Reman and was succeeded by his son, Tuan Nik Ulu.

During the reign of Tuan Nik Ulu, there were a few battles between Reman and Perak over border issues, mostly won by Reman under the leadership of Mengkong Deleha, a renowned Reman warrior.

Tuan Nik Ulu was succeeded by his son, Tuan Jagong (titled Phya Chawang). Sadly, he was the last ruler of Reman as both of his sons died before him. His first son, Tuan Menang was sentenced to death in 1892 by Chau Khun (Governor of Siam) apparently over his ‘violent actions’ towards the people of Reman.

Tuan Lebeh Long Raya, the Raja Muda of Reman.

His younger brother, Tuan Lebeh, on the other hand, was much a kinder person and loved by the people. He was appointed as the Raja Muda, the heir assumptive of Reman, and was styled Tuan Lebeh Long Raya, Raja Muda Bakak Bangkok.  Unfortunately, Tuan Lebeh was accused of conspiring with Tengku Abdul Kadir, the ruler of Patani, to rebel against Siam . He was then brought to Court in Singgora (now known as Songkhla) and was sentenced for imprisionment of either 25 years in Singgora or 20 years in Bangkok. Tuan Lebeh chose the latter sentence. During the journey to Bangkok, tragedy struck when ‘Chamroen’, the ship that carried Tuan Lebeh, sank. Saddened by the death of his son, Tuan Jagong died a few weeks later, regretfully without a successor.

Tuan Lebeh, the Raja Muda of Reman, with his friends.

The border issues between Reman and Perak only came to end after the signing of the Anglo-Siamese Treaty (also called the Bangkok Treaty of 1909) between the British (led by Sir John Anderson, Governor of the Federated Malay States) and Siam (led by the Foreign Secretary of Siam) which occurred very much later on 10 March 1909 in Bangkok. The Bangkok Treaty dictated that Reman in Hulu Perak was to be returned to Perak and this had nailed the coffin shut, as it were, to the demise of Reman’s sultanate. The retrocession of Hulu Perak was held on 16 July 1909 in Kroh which was attended by:

  • Wan Muhammad Isa, Orang Kaya Menteri
  • Wan Muhammad Salleh, Orang Kaya-Kaya Seri Adika Raja
  • E.W. Birch, British Resident of Perak
  • A.S. Jelf, MCS, Assistant Secretary to British Resident of Perak
  • H. Berkeley, District Magistrate
  • G. Simpson, Police Inspector of Kuala Kangsar
  • J.D. Kemp, Manager of Rahman Hydrolic Tin Limited, Klian Intan
  • Keluong Wan Husain, a noble from Betong, Siam

Photo taken on 16 July 1909 in Kroh after the retrocession of Hulu Perak.

The retrocession denotes the end of the state and the Sultanate of Reman, just like many small kingdoms in Southeast Asian history which enjoyed short periods of real independence and have long since disappeared.

For the family tree of Reman Sultanate, please click Salasilah Raja Reman.

[1]Divide and rule – a combination of political, military and economic strategy of gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into chunks.
[2]Named after Captain Henry Burney. The Burney Treaty stated that Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Terengganu were Siamese provinces while Penang and Province Wellesley belonged to the British while Siamese would not interfere with British trade in Kelantan and Terengganu.
[3]Kroh or Keroh is currently known as Pengkalan Hulu. It is a town within Hulu Perak bordering Thailand and Kedah. The nearest town on the Thai side is Betong in Yala province. Although described as a border town, Pengkalan Hulu is 7 km from the actual border which is located at Bukit Berapit, where the Malaysian customs, immigration and quarantine station is located.

1. Raja Razman, Meor Shamsuddin, Husain Mahmud eds. Hulu Perak Dalam Sejarah. 1963.
2. Wikipedia. Hulu Perak.
3. Laman Web Rasmi Majlis Daerah Gerik.

32 thoughts on “The state of Reman in Hulu Perak

  1. Salam takzim,

    Macam versi baru berbanding yang dah saya baca. Kalau tak silap, Gerik dibuka oleh Tuan Jagong, manakala mengikut versi lain, Tuan Lebeh dihukum pancung dan dikatakan kepalanya masih disimpan di Bangkok Natiional Museum. Wallahu’alam.

    • Salam Pak Tuan,

      Menarik, ada versi lain mengenai kematian Tuan Lebeh? Mungkin Tuan boleh berkongsi dengan kami sumber2 penulisan tersebut.

      Menurut cerita, kematian Tuan Lebeh amat mendukacitakan bondanya yang sehingga kehujung hayatnya tidak dapat menerima akan kematian anak kesayangannya itu. Padanya, Tuan Lebeh masih hidup ketika itu & hanya disorok oleh pihak Siam.

      Berkenaan kepalanya disimpan di Bangkok National Museum, mungkin pembaca budiman yang lain boleh membantu.

  2. Dear Engku Editors of SembangKuala,

    I’m very interested about the figure Raja Andak Binti Sultan Ahmaddin. In this article, it says:

    “Immediately after gaining independence, Sultan Abdullah Muazzam sent an army to Hulu Perak led by Dato’ Seri Lela, who was accompanied by his newly wedded wife, Raja Andak binti Sultan Ahmaddin, the Sultan’s sister. Raja Andak was very beautiful and it was no surprise that she had been married 13 times prior to her marriage to Dato’ Seri Lela.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong. I thought Sultan Abdullah Muazzam Shah was the grandson of Sultan Ahmaddin Shah. His father was Sultan Abdul Malik Mansur Shah – brother to Raja Andak. So, in terms of genealogical relationship between Raja Andak and Sultan Abdulah Muazzam Shah is basically an aunt to the Sultan, not a sister.

    Having said that, is there any record that we could consult on the details of Raja Andak’s 13 marriages? Based on my research, Raja Andak (also known as Yang Dipertuan Tengah according to Maxwell 24) was married to Raja Kassim Bin Raja Muda Chulan (author of Misa Melayu). From this union, they were blessed with a child named Raja Noteh Mai Salamah.

    This Raja Noteh Mai Salamah later married firstly to Sultan Shahabuddin and begot Sultan Ali. After the demise of Sultan Shahabuddin, Raja Noteh Mai Salamah married Raja Ngah Putra Bin Raja Bendahara Radin (Marhum Kecil @ Marhum Pulau). From this second union, Raja Tipah was born. This Raja Tipah is the mother of Raja Mansur and Raja Sir Chulan.

    If you could find records of Raja Andak’s marriages and her children, the Perak Royal Family’s genealogy could extend further. At this moment, we have the descendants of Sultan Ali and Raja Tipah (through Sultan Abdullah Muhammad II). It would be great if we could trace more descendants of Raja Andak.



    • Salam. Raja Andak was indeed A sultan’s sister (Sultan Abdul Malik’s), as opposed to THE then sultan’s sister – goes to show how a wrongly placed definite article throws an entire post out of context! For that I apologise and the error will be rectified.

      As for her 13 marriages, the RoyalArk site (often incomplete, although through no fault of its own) only documents her marriages to Raja Kassim and Dato’ Lela, with issue from the first union. This SembangKuala entry was posted based on the contents of ‘Hulu Perak Dalam Sejarah’. Genealogy work or historical facts (as it were) are obtained from word-of-mouth if no written records are available. Whether the thirteen previous marriages were flights of fancy from the original narrator or fact, wallahu a’lam.


    • Salam saudara Megat,

      Thank you so much for highlighting the error. Our bad. It should be read as Sultan Abdullah Muazzam Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Malik Mansur Shah instead. The same goes to Raja Andak binti Almarhum Sultan Abdul Malik Mansur Shah. Based on my record, Raja Kassim was the 12th husband of Raja Andak.

      Thank you so much for sharing all these. It’s a totally new horizon for me at least!


    • Salam all! My esteemed co-conspirator appears to have responded to sdr Megat’s query almost simultaneously to mine!

      So, there you go – to prove a point that different sources have different explanations: RoyalArk/Megat’s explanation point twds Raja Andak being the daughter of Sultan Ahmaddin and ‘Hulu Perak Dalam Sejarah’ has her as Sultan Abdullah Muazzam’s sister.

      Once again, if anyone has any further information, we’d love to hear from you!



      • Salam sembangkuala…mengikut sejarah yg saya maklum. Tuan Lebeh Long Raya menukar nama kepada Jaafar. Anaknya yg di kenal pasti adalah Kamaruddin. Bagai ada sejarah yg sengaja dirahsiakan sehingga kini..

  3. Salam, adakah berkemungkinan waris Tuan Lebeh Long Raja dapat menuntut kembali darjah kebesaran yang pernah disandang oleh beliau?

  4. Kerajaan Reman merupakan kerajaaan yg besar. Perlu didedahkan dan kerajaan ini perlu diangkat kembali. Kami yg mempunyai anak dan lepas ini mungkin kami ada cucu, jadi khazanah ini perlu didedah utk generasi baru yg tidak tahu sejarah susur galur keturunan. Syabas utk semua mqtk sentiasa bersama2 dlm perjuangan menegakkan balik susur galur salasilah ini!!!

  5. Pingback: Further information on the Reman Sultanate « SembangKuala BLOG

  6. Cuba perhatikan persamaan pakaian diraja antara YM Tuan Lebeh (Raja Muda Reman terakhir) dan DYMM Sultan Abd Hamid (Sultan Kedah), bagai ada lagi sejarah menarik yg belum dikupas.

  7. Pak Tuan,

    Cara pemakaian berkenaan adalah cara Raja-Raja Melayu wilayah pengaruh Siam. Terdapat juga gambar Raja Syed Alwi (Perlis), Sultan Muhammad IV (Kelantan) dan juga Sultan Zainal Abidin III (Terengganu) yang mirip cara pemakaiannya. Mungkin itu cara pakaian rasmi Gabenor Wilayah-Wilayah Siam.


    • Jika diperhatikan secara lebih terperinci, jika perbandingan diukur antara Raja Perlis, Sultan Kelantan dan Sultan Terengganu dengan pakaian Sultan Kedah atau Tuan Lebeh, pakaian resmi tersebut jauh berbeza antara satu sama lain. Sedangkan pakaian Sultan Kedah dan Tuan Lebeh terlalu mirip dan amat2 serupa!

  8. Assalamualaikum. First of all, thank you for the information – sememangnya terdapat berbagai versi kisah Tuan Lebeh. Namun begitu kisah kerajaan Reman itu amat menarik perhatian saya. Di daerah Pengkalan Hulu, Perak, terdapat kawasan kompleks Makam di-Raja yang mempunyai kaitan yang amat rapat dengan kerajaan Reman.

  9. Negeri Reman merupakan satu daripada 7 buah negeri kecil Negara Patani Darulsalam yang dpecah perintah oleh Penjajah Siam (sekarang Thailand) selepas berjaya menakluk negara Patani melalui satu perang besar 1786. Dalam 7 buah negeri Patani ini, Reman adalah paling besar dan paling hebat. Saya sebagai salah seorang anak Reman amat berbangga dengan warisan ini.

  10. Saya adalah cucuanda Al-Marhumah Engku Shariffah Saayah dari Kerajaan Melayu Patani.juga dari Keturunan Engku Syed Tok Patani,dari Kerajaan Melayu Patani.Salam Engku Syed Roselan Al-Idrus Al-Marhum Engku Syed Muhammad Abdullah Hanafiah Al-Idrus Al-Haj.

  11. Saya sangat bersetuju dengan am kerana pada pendapat saya ada pihak yang cuba untuk menutup dan menguburkan sejarah yang sebenar mungkin dengan niat yang tertentu, wallahualam.. kerana masih wujud keturunan Long Reman atau Tuan Lebeh! Mengapakah nama seperti Tuan Wook tidak wujud dalam sejarah??

    • Baru2 ni saya bertemu dengan YM Raja Zainal @ Mohammad yang berasal dari Krunei, Gerik dan mendedahkan bahawa beliau dari keturunan Tuan Lebeh melalui anaknda baginda Tuan Wook yang kemudiannya turun melalui Raja Bujur dan seterusnya Raja Zainal sendiri. Saya meminta sebarang bukti sejarah atau apa2 saja yang boleh membenarkan fakta tersebut. Beliau berjanji untuk mengemukakan sekeping geran tanah lama yang tertera nama ‘Tuan Wook bin Tuan Lebeh’! Raja Zainal juga ada menyimpan salah sebilah keris kebesaran Raja Reman. Wallahu’alam… saya masih menanti bukti tersebut untuk kajian selanjutnya.

  12. Salam Takzim,

    Mohon empunya blog semak semula salasilah Raja Reman, Tuan Tok Nik Tok Leh juga dikenali sebagai Tuan Mansur yang diangkat sebagai Raja Negeri Reman tahun 1810. Tuan Sulong adalah anak kepada Tuan Bayan dan bukannya anak kepada Tuan Lebeh.

  13. Tuan, saya adalah keturunan Luang Nik Zainal Abidin, mertua Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Kedah. Saya hanya ingat salasilah YM Sheikh Wan Abdullah bin Wan Ibrahim bin Shiekh Wan Abdullah ibni Luang Nik Zainal Abidin, Raja Reman Patani. Mohon respon dari sesiapa.

  14. saya keturunan ke 10 raja hulubalang petani mengikut susur galur silsilah keturunan…persoalan adakah raja hulubalang petani ada hubungan dengan raja reman atau jajahanya..memang ada diceritakan oleh moyang saya yang meninggal umur 100 tahun lebih semasa kejatuhan empayar pattani (zaman musuh siam) 1800 masihi raja hulubalang mengirim anaknya toh amar wan kasa pergi ke batu kurau dan membuka penempatan baru menjadi penghulu disitu pada tahun 1850….saya sudah bla siapakah sebenarnya raja hulubalang petani??? mungkin ada nama asalnya @ itulah nama asal beliau…

  15. Salam Tuan,

    Nama saya Syed Alfian Barakbah. Emak saya adalah Sharifah dari qabilah Al-Idrus yang juga mempunyai kaitan dengan keluarga Long melalui Tuan Lebeh. Saya kini membantu emak saya mencari semula salasilahnya. Masalahnya kini ialah kami tidak mencari connection atau kaitan antara qabilah Al Idrus dan keturunan Tuan Lebeh kerana salasilah keluarganya telah hilang. Harap pihak Tuan dapt membantu kami sedikit sebanyaksekiranya pihak Tuan mempunyai apa-apa information mengenai hal ini. Tuan dapay menghubungi saya samada di atau di facebook dibawah nama penuh saya. Terimakasih

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