The title Laksamana is basically the Malay equivalent of an Admiral. Since the glory days of the Sultanate of Melaka, the Laksamana played an important role in the government. In Melaka, the Laksamana is one of the Orang Besar Empat and one of the famous Melakan Laksamana was none other than the legendary Silat Master – Hang Tuah. We know that Perak inherits its government system from Melaka and indeed the titles of Orang Besar Empat, Orang Besar Lapan, Orang Besar Enam Belas and Orang Besar Tiga Puluh Dua were created similar to the structure used in Melaka. However, the Laksamana in Perak was placed as a member of the Orang Besar Lapan as opposed to Orang Besar Empat during the Melakan days.
The full title of the Laksamana in Perak is Orang Kaya-Kaya Laksamana Raja Mahkota. According to MS 40332 – Miscellaneous Papers kept at the School of Oriental & African Studies and later further elaborated by Wilkinson and Winstedt, the forefather of the Perak Laksamana was a Bugis Prince known as Nakhoda Hitam. In some records, he was alson known as Nakhod Hitam Toh Kuala Bidor. According to a genealogist from the Daeng Selili clan, this Nakhoda Hitam is said to be a younger brother of Daeng Selili.
One Megat Halim Azizi Bin Megat Noh – a descendant of Daeng Selili himself, quoted from Silsilah Wajo and Lontarak Sukunna Wajo that Nakhoda Hitam was a step-brother of Daeng Selili. It is said that the mother of Nakhoda Hitam was one We Camba – a raja from Camba (nearby the province of Wajo and Bone). Whatever the origin of this Nakhoda Hitam, in Perak History, he is considered as the forefather to the title holders of the Laksamana of Perak.
Nakhoda Hitam had two wives – Toh Epok and Puteri Puasa (a daughter of a Megat, but her ancestry is not known). Nakhoda Hitam was succeeded as Laksamana by his son Toh Chik (unfortunately, we don’t know Toh Chik’s real name). When Toh Chik died, he had one issue – Toh Rejab. Since Toh Rejab was very young during the death of Laksamana Toh Chik, the office of Laksamana was passed on to Nakhoda Hitam’s son-in-law – Toh Jambu who was also known as Keramat Tanjung Medan. Not long after taking office, Toh Jambu died and was succeeded by another son-in-law of Nakhoda Hitam – Tun Abu Esama.
Later, when Laksamana Tun Abu Esama died, he was succeded by the son of Laksamana Toh Chik – Toh Rejab. When Laksamana Toh Rejab died, he was succeeded by Toh Bongkok Lahab – son of Laksamana Tun Abu Esama. Laksamana Toh Bongkok Lahab had daughter named Long Telar. This Long Telar later married to Wan Abdul Rahman (Toh Muda Laksamana), son of Maharaja Lela Ngah Hassan. From this union, they were blessed with a daughter named Wan Ngah Mahtra.
As for Laksamana Toh Jambu, he had three children – Ngah Hassan, Che Uda Kechil Terkukor and Che Puteh. Ngah Hassan later became the Orang Kaya-Kaya Maharaja Lela Tanjana Putera Pancung Tak Bertanya – commonly known as the Maharaja Lela. We know that the title of Maharaja Lela is bestowed upon descendants of the Bugis Prince – Daeng Selili. Since Nakhoda Hitam is said to be a younger brother of Daeng Selili, then the appointment of Ngah Hassan as Maharaja Lela is justified as he belongs to the same clan as other Maharaja Lelas. His son – Wan Abdul Rahman married to Long Telar, daughter of Laksmaana Toh Bongkok Lahab as mentioned earlier.
Another son of Laksmana Toh Jambu is Che Uda Kechil Terkukor. His name suggests that during his childhood, he suffered an accident – ‘terkukor’ which resulted him to be physically handicapped. Che Uda had two sons – Alang Muhammad and Tok Chu Abdul Rahim. Alang Muhammad had an issue – Che Alang Abdul Wakaf who is also known as Alang Duakap. As for Tok Chu Abdul Rahim, he had 2 sons – Muhammad Salleh and Muhammad Taha; and one daughter named Ngah Majnun. The youngest child of Laksamana Tok Jambu is Che Puteh and this Che Puteh married the 18th Sultan of Perak – Sultan Ahmaddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Muhammad Shah. From this union, one Raja Abdul Malik was born. This Raja Abdul Malik will later be the 19th Sultan of Perak reigning as Sultan Abdul Malik Mansur Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Ahmaddin Shah.
When Laksamana Toh Bongkok Lahab died, he was succeded by Toh Janggut – a son of the late Laksamana Toh Rejab. This Laksamana Toh Janggut is married to Ngah Majnun – daughter of Toh Chu Abdul Rahim mentioned earlier. When Laksamana Toh Janggut died, the office of Laksamana was passed to the son-in-law of Toh Muda Wan Abdul Rahman i.e the husband to Wan Ngah Mahtra mentioned earlier. This new Laksamana’s name is Pandak Ibrahim. Later, Pandak Ibrahim was succeeded as Laksamana by Hj Sulaiman – son of Muammad Taha Bin Toh Chu Abdul Rahim. Wan Ngah Mahtra later married to Raja Ngah Jaafar (who later became the Sultan of Perak reigning as Sultan Jaafar Muazzam Shah). From this union, they were blessed with two children – Raja Nandak and Raja Abdullah. This Raja Abdullah later became the Sultan of Perak reigning as Sultan Abdullah Muhammad Shah II. After the Perak War, this Sultan Abdullah was banished to the Seychelles. The Sultan’s mother – Wan Ngah Mahtra accompanied him to the Seychelles.
When Laksamana Hj Sulaiman died, he was succeeded by Muhammad Amin – son of Alang Abdul Wakaf bin Alang Muhammad Bin Che Uda Kechil Terkukor. During this time, the late Laksamana Hj Sulaiman’s cousin was made the Raja Mahkota – an Orang Besar Enam Belas and heir to the Laksamana. This new Raja Mahkota was Hj Hussain. Laksamana Muhammad Amin had several children. A daughter of his – Halimah married the mining tycoon Orang Kaya Menteri Ngah Ibrahim Bin Long Jaafar. Another daughter of his – Hjh Mariam was married to the Orang Kaya-Kaya Shahbandar Uda Maamor. Laksamana Muhamad Amin had issue several sons namely Muhammad Arshad, Hj Muhammad Noh and Muhammad Ali Akbar.
After the Perak War, the British banished the Sultan Ismail to Johor, and Sultan Abdullah, Laksamana Muhammad Amin, Shahbandar Uda Maamor and Menteri Ngah Ibrahim to the Seychelles. After the banishment of Laksamana Muhammad Amin, the Raja Mahkota – Hj Hussain was made Laksamana by the British. The eldest son of Laksamana Muhammad Amin, Muhammad Arshad was made Toh Muda. This Muhammad Arshad is commonly known to the British as Orang Kaya Mat Arshad.
After the death of Laksamana Hussain (who died and burried in Ipoh), Orang Kaya Mat Arshad succeded him as the new Laksamana. However, Laksamana Mat Arshad’s term in office was not that long. He died in the mid 1920s and was succeeded by his son Muhammad Ali Wasi. Later, upon the death of Laksamana Ali Wasi, he was succeded by his cousin – Che Lope Bahauddin Bin Hj Muhammad Noh. This Laksamana Lope Bahauddin is married to the eldest child of Tengku Menteri Wan Muhammad Isa – Wan Aishah. Unfortunately, they had no issue.
The Laksamana Lope Bahauddin died on 4th December 1947 and was burried at Masjid Lama, Taiping, Perak. He was succeded as Laksamana by the son of Laksamana Ali Wasi – Dato’ Seri Mohd Razalli (former Menteri Besar of Perlis). The Toh Muda during Dato’ Laksamana Razalli’s term in office was Dato’ Muhammad Ali Akbar – the youngest son of the banished Laksamana Muhammad Amin. According to his personal documents, Ali Akbar was born in 1900 in Singapore and Laksamana Muhammad Amin died in Singapore in the year 1908.
Dato’ Seri Laksamana Mohd Razalli died in 1981 and was burried at Masjid Laksamana, Batak Rabit, Teluk Intan. He was succeeded by Dato’ Muhammad Ali Akbar as Laksamana. The late Laksamana Razalli’s son was made the Toh Muda and this Toh Muda’s name is Mohd Hamidi. In 1993, Dato’ Muhammad Ali Akbar died and was burried at Masjid Lama Taiping, Perak. He was succeded by Dato’ Seri Mohd Hamidi as Laksamana. Dato’ Ali Akbar’s son – Muhammad Amin Shukeri was made the Toh Muda in 1993.
However, in 1997, Laksamana Hamidi died and Toh Muda Amin Shukeri succeded him as the new Laksamana. Dato’ Seri Mohd Amin Shukeri is the present Orang Kaya-Kaya Laksamana Raja Mahkota of Perak. He is married to Datin Seri Wan Norniah Binti Dato’ Wan Salaiddin – a member of the Temenggong Clan of Perak. To date, there were two Toh Muda’s serving during Dato’ Seri Amin Shukeri’s term in office as Laksamana. Mohd Khairi Bin Ahmad Tazalli – nephew to Dato’ Seri Laksamana Razalli was made Toh Muda in 1997. However in 2010, following the death of Toh Muda Khairi in 2009, one Meor Redzuan Bin Mahayuddin was appointed as Toh Muda Laksamana. Unfortunately, I have no info on the ancestry of Toh Muda Meor Redzuan.