The five families of Perak

Throughout the history of Perak, we would have heard of the names of:

1. Sultan Muzaffar Shah – the first Sultan of Perak descended from the Royal House of Melaka

2. Tun Saban – a Malay Chief of Hulu Perak who was said to have had an audience with Sultan Mahmud Shah in Kampar requesting that a prince be brought to Perak and made Sultan

3. Megat Terawis – the first Bendahara of Perak, descended from the great imperial house of Pagar Ruyung

4. Syed Hussain Al-Faradz Jamalullail – the first Orang Kaya Menteri of Perak who came to Perak in 1528, from the Perak House of Jamulallail said to be descendants of Fatima az-Zahra, the daughter of Muhammad SAW

5. Daeng Salili (Haji Besar) – the first Maharaja Lela Tan Lela Putera Panchong Ta’ Bertanya, bestowed by Sultan Muzaffar Shah III, and a Bugis Raja from Sulawesi

You may have read an entry SembangKuala posted in August on Megat Terawis, and since then we have received a genealogy chart from saudara Megat Iskandar Megat Zaharuddin, which shows the links between the families of the aforementioned five men.


To see the chart in PDF format, please click here.

A few interesting points of note can be gleaned from the chart (which is non-exhaustive):

1. The earliest ancestor of Megat Terawis seen here was a half-Sumatran, half-Javanese prince named Adityavarman who resided in Tanah Datar, West Sumatera in the 14th century. Adityavarman left numerous stone inscriptions, which were the first historical records of West Sumatra.

2. Yamtuan Raja Hitam, an ancestor of the current ruling house of Negeri Sembilan (to be exact, the great-great-great-great-great grandfather of DYMM Tuanku Muhriz) was the descendant of a daughter of Megat Terawis.

3. Eminent Megats like Dato Seri Dr Megat Khas and Tan Sri Dato Seri Megat Najmuddin (current president of MCOBA) are descendants of Megat Menjanas and Raja Kenayan Shah Alam, a daughter of Sultan Muzaffar Shah II of Perak. Megat Menjanas in turn was a descendant of both Megat Terawis and Tun Bongsu Bangsawan, daughter of Tun Saban.

4. Raja Chulan Raja Abdul Hamid (author of Hikayat Misa Melayu) was married to a grand-daughter of Daeng Salili and Raja Su, sister to Sultan Muzaffar Shah III.

5. Syed Shamsuddin bin Menteri Bendahara Syed Abu Bakar was married to Puteri Bulan binti Megat Mutabar, the grand-daughter of Bendahara Megat Pendia, one of the Perak generals who led the army in the war against Bugis in Bukit Gantang in the 1740’s. The other two Perak generals in this war were Raja Muda Iskandar (later Sultan Iskandar Dzulkarnain) and Raja Kimas (later Sultan Mahmud Shah).


The editors of SembangKuala would like to extend their sincerest gratitude to Megat Iskandar Megat Zaharuddin for providing the genealogy chart. Megat Iskandar is the secretary of The Megat Terawis Clan Association.


1. Wikipedia
2. Valley of Tanah Datar
3. About MCOBA.

15th Sultan of Perak: Paduka Seri Sultan Iskandar Dzulkarnain ibni Almarhum Sultan Muhammad Shah (1754-1764)

Paduka Seri Sultan Iskandar Dzulkarnain resided at Pulau Indera Sakti. His consort was Raja Budak Rasul, a princess to Sultan Mudzaffar III, who was made Raja Perempuan. He was also married to Che’ Puteh Selamah binti Panglima Kinta Tok Paloh, a commoner who was also known as Paduka Maha Dewi. Panglima Kinta Tok Paloh was then bestowed with the title Orang Kaya-Kaya Panglima Kinta Seri Amar Bangsa di-Raja.

Sultan Iskandar Dzulkarnain was known to have made Sharif Abu Bakar bin Sharif Jalaluddin as Bendahara, who held the title Bendahara Seri Maharaja, replacing Bendahara Megat Abu Kassim. However, it was not long until Sultan Iskandar Dzulkarnain made his younger brother, Raja Alauddin (Bendahara Penyengat Hitam), Bendahara and the title was changed to Raja Bendahara Paduka Seri Maharaja Wazirul Kabir. Interestingly, it was from this day henceforth that a Bendahara was appointed from those of Royal blood. The last Raja Bendahara was YAM Raja Abdul Rashid ibni Almarhum Sultan Idris Murshidul Azzam Shah. When YAM Raja Abdul Rashid mangkat in 1959, the post of Raja Bendahara was abolished and in its place was the title Yang Amat Berbahagia Orang Kaya Bendahara Seri Maharaja, the appointment of whom is made to a commoner.

Megat Iskandar Megat Zaharuddin, secretary of the Megat Terawis Association, had this to say, “Since the reign of Sultan Muzaffar Shah I until that of Sultan Iskandar Dzulkarnain, the title of Orang Kaya Bendahara had always been vested to the Megat Terawis clan. The last Megat who held the Bendaharaship was Megat Abu Kassim (posthumously known as Bendahara Hilang di Teluk). Sultan Iskandar Dzulkarnain instructed the Bendahara to build a palace*. It was said that the requirement was bilik seribu, tiang sebatang (a thousand rooms, but held up by a single pillar). Megat Abu Kassim tendered his resignation together with Orang Kaya Temenggong Tan Bantan and Orang Kaya Menteri Syed Hussain. During this time, the post of Orang Kaya Besar was vacant – due to the demise of Megat Mutabar (former Temenggong who later was appointed as Orang Kaya Besar and died in office).”

[* – According to Hikayat Misa Melayu, Sultan Iskandar Dzulkarnain had built his istana at Pulau Chempaka Sari (which was later named Pulau Indera Sakti).]

Megat Iskandar further added, “According to the order of rotation, the next in line to the Bendaharaship was Megat Mentaha (who is also known as Megat Lambat Makan di Kuala Kenas). Sultan Iskandar Dzulkarnain knew that the Bendaharaship is hereditary to the Megats. When he appointed his younger brother, Raja Alauddin as Bendahara, he compensated the Megat family by making the title of Orang Kaya Besar hereditary exclusively for the Megats. That’s why, Megat Mentaha Lambat Makan of Kuala Kenas was later appointed as Orang Kaya Besar.”

[An appraisal of the Raja Bendahara had been posted previously in SembangKuala here.]

Sultan Iskandar Dzulkarnain was a wise ruler and was concerned with the administration of the land and the well-being of his people. Together with the Raja Perempuan, they would visit the entire span of Perak, especially the districts along the banks of Sungai Perak, all the way to the coastal villages. A set of laws named Undang-undang Sembilan Puluh Sembilan (The 99 Laws of Perak) was compiled to aid in administration of matters pertaining to the state.

Makam Iskandar Dzulkarnain

Makam Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Dzulkarnain (Marhum Kaharullah) (Source: Laman Rasmi Pejabat Sultan Perak)

After his demise, he was interred at Pulau Indera Sakti with the title Marhum Kaharullah.

Megat Terawis


A page from the manuscript entitled 'Megat Terawih MS130', currently held at the DBP LIbrary. This manuscript was donated by Teh Fatimah.

Megat Terawis was the first Bendahara of Perak and was known by the title Orang Kaya Bendahara Paduka Raja. He was the son of the Daulat Yang Dipertuan Pagar Ruyung, a scion of the great imperial house of Minangkabau. In the army of the Sultan Muzaffar Shah, the first Sultan of Perak, Megat Terawis was a soldier of fortune.

It was said that Sultan Muzaffar had asked for the hand of Tun Merah, daughter of Tun Saban, but was refused. One day, Sultan Muzaffar instructed Tun Saban to look for materials in the jungle so as to build a palace for the Sultan. When Tun Saban was away, Sultan Muzaffar abducted Tun Merah and kept her in his palace. This so angered Tun Saban that he declared war on Sultan Muzaffar. Tun Saban built a fort at Kuala Temong from where he defied the forces of Sultan. Secure in the fact that his skin could not be pierced by any bullets (kebal), he used to laugh at the efforts made to shoot him down. It was described that he made a missile from a tualang tree which caused great damage to the istana of Sultan Muzaffar Shah.

Sultan Muzaffar then issued a proclamation that whoever could kill Tun Saban would be awarded with the highest chieftaincy in the state. Megat Terawis who was born with a silver bullet in each hand (each bullet bearing the inscription: “This is the bullet of the prince’s son of Pagar Ruyong: wherever this bullet falls, its owner will be made a chief.”), fired the bullets (using an istinggar) to strike Tun Saban but they fell to the ground without piercing Tun Saban’s skin. Tun Saban picked it up, read the inscription and knew that his hour of doom had come. He then named Megat Terawis as his heir, expressed regret for his past hostility to Sultan Muzaffar Shah and married Megat Terawis to one of his daughters, Tun Bongsu Bangsawan, after which, Tun Saban met his demise.

Megat Terawis was rewarded with the highest chieftaincy in the state by Sultan Muzaffar Shah, carrying the title Orang Kaya Bendahara Paduka Raja. His descendants were holders of the Bendaharaship of Perak for 200 years. One of his descendants, Megat Menjanas (Orang Kaya Bendahara Paduka Seri Maharaja), married Raja Shah Alam Sayong, a daughter of Sultan Muzaffar Shah II of Perak.

Some notable members of the Megat Terawis family include Dato’ Seri Dr Megat Khas Bin Megat Omar, Dato’ Megat Yunus Bin Megat Mohd Isa, Dato’ Seri Megat Jaafar Bin Megat Yunus and Tan Sri Megat Junid Bin Megat Ayub.

A manuscript about the story of Megat Abdullah, grandson of Megat Terawis, written in jawi entitled Megat Terawih[sic] is currently held at the Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka can be viewed here.

1. Wikipedia
2. SembangKuala: 1st sultan of Perak – Sultan Muzaffar Shah
3. Portal Raja Kita Perak Darul Ridzwan