The ruling house
of Malacca, and later Johor, was one that enjoyed the
highest prestige throughout the Malay world. The claimed
ancestry of the Royal House extends to Alexander the
Great. However, they seem to have actually originated
with the foundation of the ancient Hindu state of Tamasak
on the island of Singapore. The Royal family fled to the
area around Malacca after the destruction of the city by
the ruler of Palembang. The ruler of Malacca embraced
Islam during the early years of the fourteenth century,
taking the name of Sultan Iskander Shah.
The new sultanate rose to world prominence as a trading
empire during the rest of the century. Strategically
located in the middle of the straits, between Malaya and
Indonesia, it was well placed to earn enormous profits as
the entréport to the Indies. Using this wealth, the
sultanate was able to enforce its suzerainty over much of
peninsular Malaya and the islands. Her wealth soon earned
the jealousy of the European powers, the phrase "he
who holds Malacca, holds the throat of Venice",
encompassing those feelings, succinctly. The Portuguese
were the first to act, seizing the city almost by
accident during a wedding feast on 24th July
The Sultan and Royal family fled first to Kopak, but was
driven by the Portuguese from there to Kampar in Sumatra
in 1526. The Sultan was driven from Kampar and after
wandering from place to place, eventually established his
capital on the banks of the Johor river, in the extreme
South of peninsular Malaya. Thereafter, they were known
as Sultans of Johor. Their wealth and power slowly
diminished as the Portuguese and then the Dutch began to
control the trade of the Indies. The male line of the
ruling family died out in 1699. The Bendahara family then
assumed the Johor sultanate. They had frequently
intermarried with the Sultan's family and provided the
holders of the powerful office of Bendahara (Prime
Minister and Commander-in-Chief). However, the fame and
pre-eminence of the old line of Sultan's remained a
powerful force within the Malay world for centuries. Most
of the Malay ruling houses in Malaysia, Indonesia and the
Philippines proudly claim descent from them, however
tenuous their link may be.
STYLES AND TITLES:
The Sovereign: Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Sri Sultan (reign
name) ibni al-Marhim (father's name),
Sultan of Malacca later Johor.
The wife of the Sovereign (royal): Raja Permaisuri.
The wife of the Sovereign (commoner): Raja Perempuan.
The Heir Apparent: Raja Muda.
The other sons of the sovereign: Raja (reign name)
ibni al-Marhim Sultan (father's reign name).
The daughters of the Sovereign: Raja (reign name)
binti al-Marhim Sultan (father's reign name)
The other male descendants of the sovereign in the male
line: Raja (reign name) bin (father's title
The other female descendants of the sovereign in the male
line: Raja (reign name) binti (father's
title and name).
RULES OF SUCCESSION:
Male primogeniture, the sons of the chief Royal wife
(Raja Permaisuri) taking precedence over those of a
junior Royal wife or commoner.
ORDERS AND DECORATIONS:
See Malaysia, main page.
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