Neg. No: (GP) 7063
Neg. Size: 15"x12"
Neg. Date: 30-06-1911
Colonel HH Maulana Paduka Sri Tuanku Sultan Sir Idris Murshid al-Azzam
Shah Rahmatu'llah ibni al-Marhum Raja Bendahara Alang Iskandar,
Sultan and Yang di-Pertuan of the State of Perak, GCMG, KCMG, CMG,
GCVO (1849-1916) [Malaysia].
Image published in:
M Gullick, Malay Society in the Late Nineteenth Century,
Oxford 1989, p 69 n 92
Idris was the only one of the four FMS rulers who was able
to take part in the debates at the first meeting of the new
FMS Federal Council in 1909... As a young man he was one of
the rather raffish circle around his cousin, Sultan Abdullah...
He was an opium smoker whom Birch judged 'rather a debauchee'
(J W W Birch, The Journals of J.W.W. Birch, First British
Resident to Perak 1874-1875, edited by P.L. Burns, Kuala
Lumpur, 1976). The turning point perhaps came with the arrival
in Perak of Hugh Low in 1877. Within weeks Low concluded that
this was a prominent figure whom he would recommend - 'a good
berth to be provided for him' (H. Low, 'The Journal of Sir
Hugh Low, Perak 1877', edited by E. Sadka, Journal of
the Malayan/Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society,
27(4), 1954). Thereafter, there was an unbroken flow of high
praise from senior figures of the colonial regime - 'stands
for all that is best in the Malay ruling class... intelligence...
experience... great charm of manner... a fluent speaker...
a very earnest Muhammadan, without a trace of bigotry... a
high authority on questions of Muhammadan law and religion'
(F A Swettenham, British Malaya: An Account of the Origin
and Progress of British Influence in Malaya, London,
1907, p 343). Significantly Swettenham continues that 'In
all the Malay states there is no one who... has done so much
to promote the success of the new system of administration'
(ibid). Clifford's verdict is in similar terms -
'among the most enlightened rulers of the Native States of
the East, and a convinced apostle of British rule' (H Clifford, Bushwhacking and Other Asiatic Tales and Memories,
New York, 1929, p 192).
30 June 1911.
Royal guest for the Coronation of King George V, 23 June 1911.
& Medals: Star & sash of an Honorary Knight Grand
Cross of the Order of St. Michael & St. George (GCMG cr 1901).
& Props: -
Lafayette Ltd., 179 New Bond Street, London.
of photographer at work: -
No of poses:
V&A Provenance: Pinewood Studios; acquired
Biog: Who's Who; The Times, c. March 1916, p [ck]; J.M.
Gullick, Malay Society in the Late Nineteenth Century,
Oxford, 1989, p 38.
Occasion: The Times, 20 June 1911, p 8c; Hugh Montgomery, The
Coronation of Their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary in Westminster
Abbey, on 22 June 1911, London, 1912 (?), p 78.
& Medals: A.R. Litherland & B.T. Simpkin, Spinks
Standard Catalogue of British and Associated Orders, Decorations
& Medals, London, 1990, pp 35-36.