The Orang Kaya Menteri Paduka Tuan is one of the Orang Besar Empat of Perak. Based on present-day protocol, his position is next to the Orang Kaya Temenggong Paduka Raja. Originally, the title was bestowed on the descendants of Syed Hussain Al-Faradz – the ancestor of the Jamalullail clan of Perak.
The first recorded Orang Kaya Menteri of Perak was the great-great grandson of Syed Hussain Al-Faradz – one Syed Abdul Majid Jamalullail. This Menteri Syed Abdul Majid had two children – the eldest was one Syed Jalaluddin who was also known as Toh Tambak of Pulau Pisang. The younger child of Menteri Syed Abdul Majid was Siti Hitam. Siti Hitam was married to Syed Ibrahim As-Shahab of Siak and was blessed with a child named Syed Usman As-Shahab. This Syed Usman will later marry Tengku Badariah – a daughter of the Yang Dipertuan Besar of Siak, Sultan Azimuddin Shah (Marhum Bukit).
As for Toh Tambak Syed Jalaluddin, he was blessed with several children namely – Syed Hassan , Syed Abu Bakar, Siti Mariam, Syed Hussain and Syed Kassim. Syed Hassan Jamalullail was married to a sister of Sultan Iskandar Zulkarnain of Perak (Marham Kahar). From this union, they were blessed with a son named Raja Sharif Bisnu who later became the Sultan Muda of Perak reigning as Sultan Muda Shariff Alauddin. Syed Abu Bakar was made the Orang Kaya Menteri Paduka Tuan. This Syed Abu Bakar was the person appointed by the then Sultan of Perak – Sultan Iskandar Zulkarnain as Acting Bendahara after the Orang Kaya Bendahara Megat Abu Kassim resigned from the Bendaharaship. Later, The Sultan’s younger brother Raja Alauddin was appointed as the first Raja Bendahara of Perak. Not long after the new appointment of Bendahara, Syed Hussain – the younger brother to Syed Abu Bakar succeds him as the Orang Kaya Menteri Paduka Tuan.
The son of Menteri Bendahara Syed Abu Bakar later succeeds his uncle Syed Hussain as Orang Kaya Menteri and this new Menteri is known as Syed Muhammad Shamsuddin. This Syed Shamsuddin had two wives. Firstly, he married Che Tanjung – a daughter of Orang Kaya-Kaya Seri Adika Raja Toh Berolak. From this union, they were blessed with two children – Syed Hitam Besar and Syed Alang Muhammad Kecil.
Syed Hitam Besar was married to Puteri Long Jelusul – daughter of Orang Kaya Besar Megat Mentaha Lambat Makan of Kuala Kenas. From this union, they were blessed with several children which includes one Panglima Syed Jaafar. On the other hand, Syed Alang Muhammad Kecil was married to Che Anjang Irang (a Bugis Lady) and was blessed with two children – Syed Mentaha and Siti Hawa. Both were married to the daughter of Seri Adika Raja Toh Terosor Putih – Long Mariam and Seri Adika Raja Alang Juah respectively.
Menteri Syed Shamsuddin was later succeeded as Orang Kaya Menteri by his nephew Syed Usman Jamalullail – son of Syed Shamsuddin’s brother, Syed Ahmad. According to historical records, Syed Usman was the last Syed to be appointed as Orang Kaya Menteri of Perak. After the Menteriship was vacant following the demise of Menteri Syed Usman, the title of Orang Kaya Menteri was bestowed upon Ngah Ibrahim who later became the absolute ruler of Larut.
Ngah Ibrahim was a son of Long Jaafar, the mining tycoon of Larut. Ngah Ibrahim was made a Menteri during the reign of Sultan Jaafar Muazzam Shah of Perak. He was married to one Toh Puan Halimah – a daughter of Orang Kaya-Kaya Laksamana Muhammad Amin. From this union, he was blessed with two children – Wan Muhammad Isa and Wan Muhammad Nasir. Ngah Ibrahim was also married to two other women – Che Nensah and Che Sa’eah and begot one child each – Wan Yeop Abdul Shukor and Wan Sufiah respectively.
After the Perak War against the British, the then Sultan of Perak – Sultan Abdullah Muhammad Shah II, the Menteri Ngah Ibrahim, the Laksamana Muhammad Amin and the Shahbandar Uda Maamor was exiled to the Seychelle Islands. In the 1890s, they were allowed to live in Singapore. In 1895, the Menteri Ngah Ibrahim died in Singapore and was laid to rest at the Al-Junied Muslim Cemetery. The Laksamana and Shahbandar also died in Singapore. Only Sultan Abdullah survived and returned to Perak in the 1920s. Sultan Abdullah died in 1922 and was laid to rest at Makam Al-Ghufran, Bukit Chandan, Kuala Kangsar. (Later in 2006, the Government of Singapore allowed the remains of Menteri Ngah Ibrahim and Laksamana Muhammad Amin to be brought back to Perak. The remains of the Laksamana was interred at Makam Al-Ghufran, Bukit Chandan, Kuala Kangsar and the remains of the Menteri was interred at the Kota Ngah Ibrahim in Matang)
Although the British banished the Menteri Ngah Ibrahim, they allowed his sons to inherit the title of Orang Kaya Menteri Paduka Tuan. In 1896, Ngah Ibrahim’s eldest son – Wan Muhammad Isa was appointed as the new Orang Kaya Menteri Paduka Tuan. His younger brother – Wan Muhammad Nasir was made the Toh Muda. It should be noted here that Wan Muhammad Isa was the second Malay to receive the Imperial Service Order (I.S.O.) from the British Government. (The first receipient was the Seri Adika Raja Wan Muhammad Salleh)
Wan Muhammad Isa was married to one Mariam Chik – a daughter of the Klang Chief – The Orang Kaya Mahabijaya of Klang (also known as Tok Kaya Klang). From this union, they were blessed with several children – Wan Aishah, Wan Yuhanid, Wan Ahmad Rasdi, Wan Razalli, Wan Chik Madiani, Wan Su Raihani, Wan Teh Halimah, Wan Ibrahim and Wan Nong Chik. As for Wan Muhammad Nasir, he was blessed with a child named Wan Muhammad Noor.
Wan Muhammad Nasir died on the 30th September 1912 as Toh Muda Orang Kaya Menteri. He was succeeded by his nephew – Wan Ahmad Rasdi, son of the Orang Kaya Menteri Wan Muhammad Isa as Toh Muda. As for the other children of Menteri Wan Muhammad Isa, Wan Aishah was married to Laksamana Lope Bahauddin but both died childless. Wan Yuhanid was married to ASP Wan Othman Bin Wan Omar of Ijok. Although they were childless, the adopted ASP Wan Othman’s nephew (son of his elder brother). This adopted son was Wan Nurizan Bin Toh Paduka Raja Hj Wan Jaafar who will later be appointed as Toh Rakna Sakti of Perak. Wan Yuhanid changed her name to Hjh Wan Mariam after performing the Haj. After the death of ASP Wan Othman, Hjh Wan Mariam married an Ipoh man and later she was married to Megat Ibrahim Bin Megat Muhammad Ali of Kota Lama Kiri, Kuala Kangsar. Her adopted son later married Puteri Hamsiah – a daughter of this Megat Ibrahim.
Wan Chik Madiani married her first cousin – Wan Muhammad Noor, son of the Toh Muda Wan Muhammad Nasir. Wan Su Raihani married the Shahbandar Osman Bin Uda Maamor. Wan Teh Halimah married an MCS Officer Che Badaruddin Bin Alang Ahmad – son of Orang Kaya-Kaya Mahakurnia Indera Diraja Alang Ahmad. Wan Ibrahim became a Police Officer. His son-in-law is the famous tycoon Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Bin Abu Bakar – the Chairman of Emkay Group. Finally, Wan Nong Chik married Abdul Sani – a son of Tok Kaya Klang Abdul Hamid.
On 22nd Novemebr 1923, Orang Kaya Menteri Wan Muhammad Isa died at Kampung Jambu, Taiping and was laid to rest at the Masjid Lama, Taiping. He was succeeded as Menteri by his eldest son – Wan Ahmad Rasdi. The new Menteri’s brother, Wan Razalli was made Toh Muda.
Orang Kaya Menteri Wan Ahmad Rasdi died during the Japanese Occupation on the 27th December 1942. He was succeded by the Toh Muda Wan Razalli as Orang Kaya Menteri. Wan Muhammad Noor – son of the late Toh Muda Wan Muhammad Nasir was appointed as the new Toh Muda Menteri. The Orang Kaya Menteri Wan Razalli was one of the signatories for the 1948 Perak Constitution. He was involved with the Perak Government during the formation of the Malayan Union, the Federation of Malaya, and the formation of the Federation of Malaysia. He died in 1974.
After the death of Menteri Wan Razalli, he was succeeded by Wan Muhammad Noor. The Toh Muda was given to the eldest son of Menteri Wan Ahmad Rasdi – Wan Ahmad Isa Shukri. Unfortunately, Menteri Wan Muhammad Noor served as Orang Kaya Menteri for just 4 years as he died on 21st June 1978 at the age of 71.
In 1978, Wan Ahmad Isa Shukri was appointed as Orang Kaya Menteri succeeding the late Wan Muhammad Noor. The then Sultan of Perak appointed Wan Ahmad Isa Shukri’s son – Wan Mohd Isa as the Toh Muda. The mother of this new Toh Muda was Zainatun Akmal Binti Mohd Razalli – daughter of Orang Kaya-Kaya Laksamana Mohd Razalli Bin Mohd Ali Wasi. former Menteri Besar of Perlis. In 1993, Wan Ahmad Isa Shukri died and was succeeded by his younger brother – Wan Omar who was at that time serving as a lecturer at the International Islamic University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.
In 2003, Wan Omar died and Wan Mohd Isa – son of the late Menteri Wan Ahmad Isa Shukri was appointed as the new Orang Kaya Menteri Paduka Tuan succeeding his uncle. As Toh Muda, the Sultan appointed another Wan Mohd Isa – a son of the late Menteri Wan Razalli. Today, both the Orang Kaya Menteri and the Toh Muda share the same name – Wan Mohd Isa.