Saturday, 30 April 2011

Untold History : "Istana" Mayfair, United Kingdom


Don't get mistaken by it's appearances.. tthis 'modern' house were built sometimes in 1934-1935.  One of only few houses styled in modern 'art deco' existed in the west.

And it is not ordinary house.  It was built by HH Sultan Ibrahim of Johore for his girlfriend "Cissie".

This house become his rest stop whilst in UK from 1935 to 1942.


This house(s) contents 3 compound adjacent to each other.  The other 2 houses were located next to it.

Built in with greenhouse, studio and air-raid shelter bunker under it's garden, designed similarly to infamous Stanton Shelter, made especially for HH Ibrahim.  It survived the Nazi bombing in 1940's.


Besides the romantic tales surrounding the live of Cissie and HH Ibrahim, this house once attracted Michael Wilding, the famous US actor and husband to Elizebeth Taylor.

Michael Wilding fell in love with this house, knocked the door and ask to buy it.. but it was refused by the caretaker, AFB Allchin.


HH Ibrahim abandon this house after the tragic death of his girlfriend Cissie, entrusted to Florence, Cissie's mother till her death in 1973.

This house were then inhabited in 1975, but taken care by Cissie's sister that leave at nearby compound till 2005.

Since then, this house were administered by Canterbury City Council, because of it's historical value and romantic adventure of the past, between Cissie and HH Ibrahim.


Cissie was killed by Nazi bomb while shopping for her wedding.

Guilt by the tragedy, HH Ibrahim built 'another house' for her in form of marble tombstone at her grave in white and blue like Mayfair Court.

Sultan owned her grave until his demised in 1959.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Untold History : Lost Treasure of HRH Albert Baker II - The Infamous Golden Dining Sets of Lord Allenborough

"Lost" as it were not made known to public, that HRH Sultan Abu Bakar owned the infamous Golden Dining Set of Lord Allenborough, the Conquerer of Sind and Afghan.


The kollection of solid gold plates, cutleries, bowls and cups were fit for 50 attendee of long table in royal banquet.


Lord Allenborough served the Governor General of India from 1842 to 1844.   He occupied his tenure in the India's office with wars and iron fists.

The legend speaks that this 'gold' were made from war booty confiscated from personal kollection of dozen kings and queens from palaces of Emirs and Kings of Sind, Ghazni, Jalalabad, Gwalior and Sultan of Afghan in Kabul.  

This kollection of golds later melted, and casted  to make GOLD DINING SETS of Lord Allenborough as he himself has sworn to drink and eat from the skulls of Sultans and Kings of India.

Acquired by HRH Abu Bakar in 1865 from the unknown auctioner in London.  Now kept in the impregnable black steel safety in Istana Besar.  Last seen in 1959 during the Diamond Jubilee of HRH "The Brassball" Ibrahim.

Unknown to us, Istana Besar treasured the golds from the ancient Sultans of India and Afghan.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Untold History : HRH Ibrahim Vs Steels and Concrete

We often heard the Man versus Nature. 

But, this is not ordinary man.  He against the physic of engineering feats of steels and concrete.  He's the one and only HRH Sir Ibrahim "The Brassball" of Johore.

1909 - Steel Rainway Bridge of Buloh Kasap

Anecdotal accounts reported that, during the construction of this steel bridge in 1909, HRH Ibrahim was invited to officiate the opening.

He asked the British Engineer that the safety of the steel bridge structure, and the Engineer assure that the bridge is firms and secure.

With left hand, HRH Ibrahim shakes the structure... the whole part of the Bridge trembled!!!!

One could see even now, the base concrete on southern part of this Bridge have 2 layer of column to strenghten the bridge.  This mark the unforgettable event of the King shaking the steel bridge with his barehand. 

1924 - Tambak Johor

Similar occurance happened during the opening of Tambak Johore.

A question then asked by HRH Ibrahim about the safety of british engineering to British Advisors who accompanied him for the Opening Ceremony.

HRH Ibrahim later strucked his walking stick at the edge of the causeway - and the ballast stones which supporting the base of the causeway were fell apart!!!

Unknown to us, the causeway were later closed for 2 days for repairing works!


This occurance incidents of 2 places were interrelated.  It is a signed capability of Malay King and his "Daulat" so British could learnt a lesson not to interfere internal affairs of Johore State.

In 1909, Johore Government has to accept British plans for construction of railways, which runs thru the land of Johor.  British Government gave a loan of $24 000,000.00 to Johore to construct a railways to Singapore, which includes the construction costs of Buloh Kasap Steel Bridge and Johore Causeway.

British hopes that Johore unable to pay their debts - and accept the British Governors like the other Malay states. 

Unlikely, Johore Government managed to pay all their debts in 1930. And, HRH Ibrahim return back their 'favors' by destroying the structure built by British with his barehand. 

1930 - Parit Sulong Conrete Bridge 

Another occurance happened during the opening of the infamous Parit Sulong Bridge.

Local engineer from Johore PWD was instructed to built a bridge, the 1st in history.

Sceptical as he is, HRH Ibrahim held the bridge with his left hand - and the Bridge trembled!!!  The engineer then fainted!

This event witnessed by hundreds people, and the story of him shaking the bridges still live on.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Untold History : An Immortal Royal Guardian - Raden Diar Dhurmakusomo Ki Aji Ningrat

Familiar with Raden Mas legend?  One of the 'main character' was the formidable warrior named Raden Diar Dhurmakusomo Ki Aji Ningrat or known as the famous "DENDIAR".

He is one of the General of Pangiran Agung Raden Kesumowijoyo, 2nd in throne of Kanjeng Ratu Kediri (Giri?).

It is believed this events taken place sometimes in the Javanese Kingdom of Giri (1621-1626) under the Penambehan Agung (Kanjeng Ratu Giri), NOT during the reign of "Kediri" Kingdom which lasted in 1293. (Pic : Giri in 1800's)


Legend said :

Konnection with Javanese Royal Courts

-  Raden Kesumowijo and Raden Manosekoro were 2 sibling from different mother.
-  Kanjeng Ratu Kediri appointed Raden Kesumowijoyo to be Pangeran Agung, 2nd line in throne
-  Thus makes Raden Manosekoro frustrated
-  Then, Pangiran Agung (Raden Kesumowijoyo) married a dancer, "Mas Ayu".
-  This brought wrath from Radin Ratu Giri (Wife of Kanjeng Ratu Giri)
-  Radin Ratu Giri then plotted with Raden Manosekoro to evict "Mas Ayu" from her Keraton during hunting trip led by Pangiran Agung
-  Raden Manosekoro murdered "Mas Ayu" during the struggle and trying to burn the Keraton along with her newborn daughter - Raden Mas.
- The hunting party of Pangeran Agung arrive at the scene and found out that his Keraton were burning.
- He along with Raden Diar then run amoks through out the night killing Raden Manosekoro and his followers. No one left breathing.
- He managed to save Raden Mas, and his wife, Mas Ayu were died in his arm.,
- He then swore by her blood "I shall forbid my feet, even the dust in  my palms to touch the land of Giri"

His formidable fighter, Raden Diar and 6 his followers sworn to raze the land of Giri and its Kingdom until nothing living creatures shall live, but stopped by Pangeran Agung.

Pangeran Agung makes Raden Diar swear to protect Kingdom of Giri during his absent.  Then he left the land of Java, forever.

Konnection with Johore/Riau Kingdom

- Pangeran Agung then settling at Singapore as a peasant, at foot of Mount Faber (Bukit Larangan) with his daughter "Raden Mas" for 17 years after he left Kingdom of Giri.
- Raden Mas beauty was somehow becomes a highlight
- In one occasion, Pangeran Agung trying to save her daughter from harassment  perpetrated by members of Johore Royal Court.  He is summoned to Istana and punished.

 Raden Diar Comes!

- The same day, Raden Diar boarded his ship for search of supply.  The event become a news of the day in the market and reached his ear.
- He then went to see the public punishment of this 'peasant' at Telok Blangah
- From afar, he quickly noted the resemblance of this 'peasant' with his most respected long lost friend - Pangeran Agung, the Crown Prince of Giri
- He then shouted and leaping straight to the middle of the square with his Keris unsheathed.
- He introduce his name, "Raden Diar" the War General of Kingdom of Giri.. the crowd stood silence, as the name itself has bring terror - when hearing neighbouring Kingdom of Karimun which he defeated in total destruction few years before.
- Both of them shed tears, looking at the poor condition of Pangeran Agung, the formidable Raden Diar want to run amoks.
- Again, he was stopped by Pangeran Agung for a 2nd time.

Seeing such dramatic event, the Penguasa Singapore Sultan Abd. Jalil ordered to release the prisoner.

They apologized for the misfortune as they not know that 'peasant' is actually the Crown Prince of Giri.


Sometime later, Sultan Abd. Jalil arrange the marriage of his sister Tunku Khalijah with Pangeran Agung, as to joint 2 royal bloodlines, and to apologize for the mistreatment.

The event was celebrated in Telok Blangah, attended by Raden Diar Dhumakusomo Ki Aji Ningrat with his 6 followers.

Seeing the problem has been mended, Raden Diar then left for Giri, as he still bound to his oath to protect Kingdom of Giri during the absent of Pangeran Agung.

Pangeran Agung and Tunku Khalijah then bore a child named "Tunku Chik".


Mas Ayu still a priority in the eyes of Pangeran Agung.  And Mas Ayu has become a primadona in Malay archipelago for his beauty, and her royalty status.

This grows jealousy of his wife Tunku Khalijah.  While, Khalijah brother, Tunku Bagus were fall in love with Mas Ayu.

Then one night, Tunku Bagus invited Pangeran Agung for dinner and drugged him.

Pangeran Agung were sent to live at the well behind Istana.

Then Mas Ayu were forced to marry Tunku Bagus.


Few months later, a ship from Giri departed at Telok Blangah's port.  Raden Diar were coming to visit his friend, Pangeran Agung.

News reached the Royal Court of Telok Blangah with tremble.  The reigning Sultan comes with excuse that Pangeran Agung has went 'bersuluk'.

Tunku Chik (Pangeran Agung's son with Tunku Khalijah 6 years old) then said that his father was in the well behind Istana.  This shocked the band of Giri's. 

Raden Diar then rushing to save him. 

Seeing the terrible horror to come, Tunku Bagus then ran to the well and trying to kill Pangeran Agung to avoid him telling the stories so that he could destroy the evidence.

Seeing this, Mas Ayu rushed and block his father, the Keris then stabbed into her stomach.  Raden Mas died immediately.

Brokenhearted, Pangeran Agung then died with his daughter at his arm.


Seeing such atrocity, 7 javanese warrior sheathed their Keris and ran amoks.  Thousand died.

The Kings and their household set sails away from the island.  They can only watch the terror that Raden Diar brought from afar.

Singapore was burning for 7 days and 7 nights.

Yes.  The victims of scorching wrath of Dendiar was buried nearby.  They only discovered this ancient tombs in 2008.


Upon the advice by the elders, the Sultan sent Tunku Chik, son of the demised Pangeran Agung went ashore.

He said to Raden Diar "Raden.... if you kill everybody, who going to take care of me?"

Raden Diar stood still, then humbly kneel in front of Tunku Chik crying.

He then later sworn oath, with blood in his hands that...  "He.. Raden Diar Dhurmakusomo Ki Aji Ningrat,... shall serve and obey Tunku Chik and his bloodlines, like he serve Pangeran Agung, as sign of his never-ending loyalty to Pangeran Agung".

Thus this marked the beginning of this curse..... Dendiar become immortal!


Since then, Raden Diar has 'serving' all the Johore Royal Family.  The name "Dendiar" itself has left clues throughout the centuries, some has been recorded, some pictured.. but, real man itself could not been found by looking, but by accidents :


Stamford Raffles, the Founder of Singapore.

Upon the signing of the agreement with Temenggong, Stamford Raffles then ascend to "Forbidden Hill" or "Bukit Larangan".

The legend, throughout the centuries said, that the hill was haunted by thousand corpse (continue in Untold History : Mount Faber and Thousand Corpses), screaming and drum beating could be listened from afar at night.  No one would dare to enter it.

But, as recorded in Anecdotal History of Singapore ; 'someone' advise the Temenggung, then later advise Stamford Raffles to fire 12 gunsalute at the peak of the hill.... which Stamford Raffles follows, thus lift the bloody curse.. and "Forbidden Hill" then habitable again.

That 'someone' is Raden Diar.


Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim

No record abount "Dendiar" found during his reign, except... Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim managed to put down the piracy at Malacca and Johore Straits in total annihilation with help from formidable 'fighter'.. probably Dendiar himself.

Piracy was set to rest during his reign.


Sultan Sir Abu Bakar

More "Dendiar" related cases during his reign :

1.  Wars

Abu Bakar invested heavily in local politics.  He directly involved in 3 wars.. the Jementah War, Civil War of Selangor.. and Bendahara Pahang's War.

He earned favorable outcomes from Jementah and Selangor's war, but loosing Pahang's War -- but he managed to secure Pahang's land of Endau and Mersing, while Tioman was given back to Pahang.

It is believed that he sent Raden Diar to help of that 2 wars - while Raden Diar not helping him during Pahang's war because 2 of them were came from the same family of Johor royalty of whome Raden Diar served !

2. Construction of Istana Besar

Few gigantic marbles and stones were brought from London for construction of the Palace, and were lift by local Malay - "Wong Ah Fook - Builder and Enterprenuer"

3. Politics

During Abu Bakar reign, he managed to retain Telok Blangah compound, Tyersall and few other places from British upon the advise from 'someone'.

This person, 'teach' him to  subdue the British officer in the most honorable manners.

4.  Others

He managed to put down the threats from reputable Chinese Triad operated in Johore with the help of 'friend'.

No bloody incidents happened during his reign  unlike Singapore.


Major General Sir Ibrahim

The best recorded history Raden Diar was mentioned in "Clinton Morning Post" published in Scotland sometime in 1920's.

Sultan Ibrahim is known of his reputation as the most formidable hunter in history.  He used to travel by foot when go for hunting the big games.

One of his loyal company of the 'elderly of 50's'... = remember the story of Raden Diar going for hunting with Pangeran Agung??? 

Sultan Ibrahim were always success in finding his target within a day hunting, the tiger come to him, not the otherwise.. 

It is believed that Raden Diar were accompany him for hunting and call those beasty animals to show up.

WWII Story :

1.  When Istana Semayam was burning by retreating British Army, it is said that one elderly man was rushing back and forth try to put off the fire - using the "Gayung Upih".. that has many holes.  

One other legends says that, every evening, there will be one elderly men showering the plants and flowers at Taman Istana using the "Gayung Upih".. also had many holes, which could not holds any water.

2. HRH Ibrahim's resident at Bukit Serene, Istana Besar, and Bukit Timbalan (Tomb of Johor Royalty Bendahara Mutahin).. of which all the Japanese officer were stationed at, were not destroyed by Bombs dropped by British Army.

While, Istana Semayam which situated less than 100 metres from Istana Besar was destroyed by shelling.  


Sultan Ismail

No other record found about Dendiar during his reign.


Raden Diar is reportedly roaming the street of JB, seen by many :

1.  1970's - Hong Kong Bank Story

Hong Kong's Bank Manager was irritating when he saw an elderly chap was squatting at the entrance of his Bank. 

                                                   Old Hong Kong Bank in Jln. Ibrahim
He was later ask the Guard to chase the elderly chap out from his premise.  But the Malay Guard did not dare to do as many strange story emerged during 1970's around the town about the mystery elderly chap.

The Manager then himself chase the man out by throwing his Batik Bag to the street.  The men left.

Something unimaginable then happened, all monies inside his bank were turned to dry leaf and wood chips.  

He later reported the incident to Sultan Ismail, whom happened to be a major shareholder in Hong Kong Bank Berhad.

Instead of having the truth tells, the Manager was bitchslapped by the Sultan and ordered him a public apologize.    

1979 - Trip of the Unknown

Happened to Tn. Hj. Anuar Hj. Abdul Jalil, real life author of the "Untold History : Dead Men Diary".

In Friday afternoon sometimes in 1979, he took a cab to go back to Tiram from Johor Bahru old Bus Station.
He shared tHE cab with one elderly chap.  They were having their chats along the way back, about family, interests, hobby etc.

The 'elderly chap' told him that his name was "Raden Diar Dhurmakusomo Ki Aji Ningrat".. at 1st, it did not struck him any alarming notice as the name was not familiar popularized.
He said that he live in the 'old quarters' behind Istana Besar, quarter no. 13, beside the Barber Shop.  He worked as Gardener at Istana Besar and he is on his 'holiday'. 

When the cab arrived at Tiram Taxi Stand, they exchange a gift, Tn. Hj. gave the men 1 ring, then the men trade him a black small Keris.

The elderly chap then paid $10 fares to the driver for 2 passengers.  Tn. Hj. Anuar then reached his pocket to return the $5 his portion to the elderly chap, the men was gone.
Tn. Hj. Anuar then asked the cab driver "where did the old men go?".. 
The cab drive then replied "which old men?"
"The one sitting next to  me"  murmurred by Tn. Hj. Anuar..
Tn. Hj. Anuar then received a strange answer from him "there was no old guy sitting next to you..  he was young, i though he is your son"

Tn. Hj. Anuar left dumbfounded. 

Then something strucked him......... "Raden Diar Dhurmakusomo Ki Aji Ningrat" were actually the famous "Dendiar"!
He then rushed back to Istana Besar, forgetting his Friday prayers.

The whole evening, from 1.00 pm to 6.00 pm, he walking through Taman Istana at Istana Besar to find an old quarters no. 13 mentioned by the elderly chap in the cab that afternoon.. and the Barber Shop were demolished in 1930's. 

Nothing has been found... until 1985.

6 years later, while finishing handmade Keris ordered by his friend from Gelang Patah.  The man said that he unable to pay the price for the Keris work.

Considering that the man come from afar, Tn. Hj. Anuar then offered him to trade something in return, instead of paying money.

All he has just an old picture of Sultan Ibrahim in horse stable.  Tn. Hj. said it enough for him.

\Strikes by lightning, Tn. Hj. Anuar was amazed by the picture... showing that the 'old men' he meets in 1979 is actually in the picture which taken sometimes in 1920's. He seems never aged a day in 1979.  Stil in his 50's .

That' is the immortal Raden Diar.  Captured in the picture :

This original picture dated in 1920's still hang at his house in Ulu Tebrau, Ulu Tiram, along with small black Keris given by Raden Diar as gift while they were in the cab in 1979.

1981 - Street of JB

Few other occurance was reported by Johor's local about the mystery elderly chap.


Remember the story of Raden Diar's sworn oath = to protect "Tunku Chik" in 1600's ??????

Unknown to us, Sultan Abu Bakar's real name was "Unku Che Abu Bakar"... and Sultan Ibrahim was "Ungku Che Ibrahim"....

While.. the late Sultan Iskandar's nickname was called "Tunku Chik" by royal household... j

Koincidences?? think again.........................

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Untold History : Forbidden Wall of Johore in Singapore


In the heart of Singapore, at the foot of Mount Faber stood a fortified compound which become centerpiece of Johor Sultanate 200 years ago.  The remnant of Old Fort shed lights of another connection of Johore Royalty from Bendahara's decendant of Riau/Lingga with modern Singapore.

Those wall were built sometimes in early 1840's now surrounded by Banyan trees in complete ruins. 

Style in 'dutch' design and gates of Istana Pulau Penyengat, the wall stood strong for nearly 2 centuries.

On old Singapore's map describe this area as "Makam Diraja Johor, Bukit Kasita" and led to believed that this area retained the same status as part of the Telok Blangah compound which still under the State of Johore situated 1.5 km away.

The ancient compound become a royal burying ground for Johor Royalty of Bendahara's descendants. 

Most of Johor/Lingga royalty which sided Temenggong Ibrahim were buried here.

Most of Singaporean hardly knew the hidden 'treasure' behind their backyardAgain, by 'erasing' the historical fact of that area, no one would notice the influence of Johore's Sultanate in modern Singapore

Monday, 4 April 2011

Untold History : The Forgotten Palace of Temenggong Johore in Singapore

We are fed by lies that "Istana Kampung Gelam" was the last remnant of Temenggong Dynasty in Singapore.

Again, this is ongoing historical fable perpetrated by the British and ruling government.


There is another "Palace" constructed in Telok Blangah, 20 years prior than Istana Kampong Gelam.


This Palace were built by Temenggong Abdul Rahman and his followers sometime in 1824 in the slope of Teluk Blanga's Hill.

The only record survived shows that this Palace were design in European taste, in the exact location where the Temenggong Mosque now standing :


Upon the demised of Temenggong Abdul Rahman, Temenggong Palace were later demolished for construction of Audience Hall, pentagonal in shape to cater the growing influence of his son, Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim, father of the most brilliant ruler HRH Albert Baker.


Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim than later remove his office in Telok Blangah to Tanjung Puteri in 1866.  The "Pentagonal Audience Hall" then later converted into Mosque, and the compound were converted into Graveyard which still stand today. 

Some of it's remnant of this magnificant Palace still could be seen scattered in Temenggong' Graveyard :


Unknown to Sultan Ali and his follower, they had been cheated by British by accepting "Kampon Gelam" as their compound.

British reallocate his followers and new Istana away from Telok Blangah to reduce his influences amongst the local Malays in 1840's. The ruling party of Johore Sultanate then splitted into 2 seperate fraction. 

A year later, the British constructed 2 Opium Shops near his Istana - which makes the Sultan Ali's debt growing large.  This 'weakness' makes Sultan Ali incapable to rule Johore/Singapore Sultanate.

KONSPIRACY THEORY 2 - In Modern History

Unknown to us, "Telok Blangah" compound were still under the State of Johor, Malaysia.

The notice depicted the Royal influence coat-of-arm.. and the signage still mintain "Johore Darul Takzim" even in the hearth of Singapore.

The land were inherited by Temenggong Abdul Rahman by written agreement with founding father of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffle.  Thus make area of "Telok Blangah" untouchable for Singapore's authority.

By 'erasing' the historical fact of that area, and letting the remnant of old magnificent Istana left to rot, no one would notice the influence of Johore's Sultanate in modern Singapore.