Kingdom of Reman
Kingdom of Reman or Kingdom of Rahman (Malay: Kerajaan Reman;
Jawi: كراجأن رمان; Thai: รามัน; RTGS: Raman)
was a landlocked traditional Malay kingdom established in the northern
Malay Peninsular. It became one of the seven states of Persekutuan
Pattani Besar (The Great
Pattani Federation) between 1810 and 1902.
Tuan Mansor, a member of the
Pattani aristocracy was ascended to the
throne of Reman in 1810. Until 1909, the boundary of the state was not
only confined to the present-day Raman District, but also covered most
Yala province in Thailand, Hulu
Perak and parts of Ulu Kelantan in
2.2 The Perak-Reman War of 1826
2.3 Post-War recovery and growth
2.4 Independence movement
2.5 Dissolution and Annexation
2.7 The Partition of Reman
3 Rulers of Reman, 1810–1902
4 Influence and Legacy
The name of the state may be derived from a
Pattani Malay word Rama' ,
cognate to standard Malay Ramai, meaning "a large assembly". It is
likely associated to the growing settlement founded in the area by the
late 18th century.
The earliest English-language reference of the state was made in 1818,
between an agreement by the Governor of Prince of Wales' Island, John
Bannerman to Tuan Long Mansur, the
King of Reman in Kroh. While the
second English-reference of the kingdom was written in 1824 by John
Anderson, a Scottish diplomatic agent that recorded Reman as one of
the seven states of Pattani. The territory also referred to as Rahman
and Rehman in English and Raman (รามัน) in Thai. Another
colonial entry was made in 1826, where Henry Burney, a British
commercial traveller and diplomat for the British East India Company
acknowledged that Reman as one of the fourteen polity that pay tribute
to the Siamese by the representatives in the superintending states of
Nakhon Si Thammarat and Songkhla.
The state of Reman was founded in
Pattani between the older
principalities of Pujut, Jalor and Legeh. It emerged as a single
polity under Tuan Tok Nik Tok Leh in 1810. Tuan Tok Nik, also known as
Tuan Mansor, a
Pattani nobleman, was appointed to observe the
mining-activities in the area during the reign of Muhammad Raja Bakar,
the Sultan of Pattani. Between the late 18th century, he and his
followers settled in the
Kroh Plateau, an area that already witnessed
a mass exodus of people fleeing from the civil unrest in the Pattani
plains since 1785.
By 1808, Tuan Tok Nik desiring to establish more political autonomy
and control in the area commenced a campaign to obtain an independence
Pattani suzerainty. The campaign rapidly spiraled into a civil
war within the domestic sphere. The Siamese, seizing the opportunity
of the unrest began to mobilised its force to attack the Kingdom.
Severely weakened by the incursion from both sides, this serves as a
fatal blow to the
Pattani Sultanate, as the Siamese was proved to be
victorious in the area.
The triumphant Siamese then led a reformation within the borders of
Pattani in 1810.
Pattani was morphed to become a confederation with 7
semi-autonomous Malay kingdoms. The states consist of Legeh,
Nongchick, Pattani, Reman, Saiburi, Yala and Yaring. Each state was
with awarded a high-degree internal autonomy and administrative powers
granted to the Malay king of the respected territory. A level of local
revenue sources was also expected to be returned to the Siamese.
Loyalty to the crown was observed and any rebellion against the
Siamese will be convicted.
In the new governance system, Tuan Tok Nik was affirmed as the ruler
of Reman. Spanning an area between the upper reach of Sungai Pattani
to Sungai Mas in the north and
Lenggong down south, Reman was among
the largest kingdom in the confederation.
The Perak-Reman War of 1826
The Perak-Reman war was an armed conflict due to the territorial
dispute between the two states in Kelian Intan and Kroh. Previously an
outpost between the border of
Pattani in the early 1780s,
the mineral-rich area was captured and developed pursuant to the rise
of Reman in 1790, becoming the heartland and integral part of state.
In 1826, Abdullah Muazzam Shah of
Perak sought the assistance of the
British East India Company
British East India Company to regain control of the resource-rich
territory. Shortly after, the Perakian forces was deployed to the
plateau and launch an ambush attack into Reman. The sudden attacks
caused the king of Reman, Tuan Mansor to retrieve from Kubu Kapeh to
Klian Intan and later to Kuala Kepayang. It took several years for
Reman to reconquer Kelian Intan and Kroh.
Post-War recovery and growth
The Elephants of Gerik, taken in c. 1900. The Reman Kings were known
to own hundreds of elephants, using the beast of burden as the primary
workhorse both in the field and in military.
The strategic inland location between the east and west coast of the
peninsular fuelled the growth of the kingdom during the post-war
era. It was followed by a period of relative stability and
unprecedented prosperity due to the restoration of mining activities
in the region monitored by Toh Nang Patani, a member of the Reman
aristocrat family. Despite a few major battles against
Perak in the
border, it was usually won by Reman militia, commanded by Mengkong
Deleha, a renowned Reman fighter.
In 1882, the hostilities between Reman and
Perak formally come to an
end when both parties sought to reconcile their respective borders.
Under the truce of 1882, both parties, led by the British government,
acted on behalf of the state of
Perak and Tuan Jagung, the king of
Reman as the representative of the Siamese, agreed that the new border
shall be located along Bukit Nasha, some 5 kilometres south of Gerik
town. Bukit Nasha "Nasha hill" is an abbreviation of Nak disahkan satu
perjanjian (for the ratification under an agreement). 
The agreement was later updated in year 1899, where both parties
mutually acknlowledged that the border shall be in Kerunai, an area
located north of Gerik. Several boundary markers were erected pursuant
to the agreement, with each pillars standing 1 metre high and 1 metre
wide. Each stones was set following the borders of Reman and Perak.
Tuan Lebeh, the Long Raya (crown prince) of Reman Kingdom. He was
convicted after the allegations of an uprising against the Siamese
rule in 1902.
The rise of Independence movement in Reman was largely progressed from
the wider Pan-
Pattani Malay Nationalism manifested in the region. It
was rooted from the loss of the
Pattani sovereignty under the Siamese
hands in 1810. The latter stage of 19th century to the early 20th
century was characterised for a restoration of an ideal sovereign
Pattani state, self-governance and a call for a full-autonomy, hoping
to protect the native Malay soil and interest without the interference
from the Siamese government.
In 1902, the Siamese, alarmed by the nationalist development in the
south began a major military crackdown against the Malay leaders who
were suspected to be plotting in the movement. Among the political
elites that were arrested by the Siamese forces includes Tuan Lebeh
Long Raya, the Raja Muda (crown prince) of Reman; Abdul Kadir
Kamaruddin Syah, the Sultan of
Pattani and Tengku Abdul Mutallib, the
King of Teluban.
Dissolution and Annexation
Tuan Lebeh was then charged in the Siamese court in Singgora. The
trial found the crown prince of Reman to be guilty of treason and he
was offered two sentence options: a 25 years imprisonment in Singgora
or 20 years in Bangkok. Tuan Lebeh opted for the second sentence. He
was then transferred to
Bangkok via a Siamese vessel, Chamroen (Thai:
จำเริญ). The ship sank during the voyage to
the prince was believed to be perished in the disaster. Devastated by
the news, the king died a few weeks later, without a heir apparent.
1902 also witnessed that the Siamese government stripped the sovereign
powers of all
Pattani Malay sultans, rulers and aristocrats in wake of
the uprising. The final blow was cultivated 4 years later in 1906,
when the Siamese officially deliver an ultimatum to abolish all of the
Pattani Malay states. All the seven states was then reunited under a
Pattani province (Thai: มณฑลปัตตานี;
RTGS: Monthon Pattani) and administered by a Siamese governor.
The newly created province was then divided into four territories
(Thai: จังหวัด; RTGS: changwat) Pattani, Yala,
Saiburi and Narathiwat, each headed by a high commissioner. Under the
new administrative system, Reman was fully absorbed into Yala.
"..Setul would not be of no great values to us, and although we might
do doubt put forward a very good claim to its part of Kedah and secure
it by insistence, I am inclined to think it would be more Politics to
turn our claim to account by agreeing to renounce Setul if the Siamese
Government will in its stead hand over to us the Lang-kawi Islands and
that portion of Raman which comprise the watershed of the
Both these would constitute more velueable posessions to us than
Setul. The Lang-kawi Islands furnish magnificent anchourages and such
have been coveted by various foreign powers, whilst the lower part of
Reman is rich in Tin"
— Ralph Paget, British Minister to Thailand, in the his letter to
Edward Grey, Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs (29 April 1907)
Ignited by colonial ambitions, the British aimed to expand its
territories in the far east. By the dawn of 20th century, it has
already acquired a collection of Malay polity consist of crown
colonies and protectorates in the central-southern Malay peninsular.
The British incorporated the areas into the
Straits Settlements and
Federated Malay States
Federated Malay States between 1826 and 1895 respectively.
In 1909, alarmed by the growing ties between the rivalling German
colonial powers and the Siamese government, especially in the
peninsular, the British then sought to enter an agreement with the
Siamese. The acquisition of the northern states was essential by the
British, as it was strategically located in the mouth of Straits of
Malacca and rich with tin, an important commodity to fuel the need of
British industrial revolution and trade by the late 19th century. This
led to the Anglo-Siamese treaty of 1909 that break the peninsular
between the Siamese and British territorial jurisdiction.
The flag of
Siam was last lowered in Reman Hilir (southern Reman) on
16 July 1909, marking the end of the Siamese rule in the territory.
One of the highly contested areas by the British includes Reman
district, which was then already absorbed into Yala territory in 1906.
The area was known to be rich in gold-deposit and holds the largest
tin reserve in the whole Peninsular. During the discussion
King Chulalongkorn, the
King of Siam; Ralph Paget, British
diplomat in Siam; Jens Westengard, Siamese Adviser in Foreign Affairs
and Prince Damrong, Siamese Ministry of the Interior, it was
acknowledged by all parties that the British agreed to relinquish it
Satun in exchange for
Langkawi and lower Reman area, the
British was also additionally required to provide a loan to finance
the construction of the south line of Siamese State Railway that cost
£4 million pounds (1909).
The Partition of Reman
The partition mark the birth of Reman into two separate jurisdictions,
Reman Hulu (upper Reman) retained under Yala and Reman Hilir (southern
Reman) absorbed into Hulu Perak. It was officially divided following
the transfer ceremony held on 16 July 1909 in Kroh. The ceremony was
attended by: Wan Muhammad Isa, Orang Kaya Menteri; Wan Muhammad
Salleh, Orang Kaya-Kaya Seri Adika Raja; E.W. Birch, the British
Resident of Perak; A.S. Jelf, MCS, Assistant Secretary to British
Resident of Perak; H. Berkeley, District Magistrate; G. Simpson,
Police Inspector of Kuala Kangsar; J.D. Kemp, Manager of Rahman
Tin Limited, Klian Intan and Keluong Wan Husain, a noble from
The reading of the proclamation was done by Wan Husain as the
representative for the Kingdom of Siam, declaring the sovereignty
transfer of the territory from
Siam to British. It was followed by the
flag exchange ceremony that symbolises the end of Siamese rule and
beginning of the
Perak sovereignty in the lower Reman area.
Rulers of Reman, 1810–1902
Throughout its history, Reman was ruled by the descendants of Tuan Tok
Nik Tok Leh, the founding father of Reman.
King of) Reman
Tuan Tok Nik Tok Leh/Tuan Mansur
DYMM Tuan Nik Ulu/Tuan Kundur
DYMM Tuan Timur
DYMM Tuan Jagung/Tengku Abdul Kandis
Influence and Legacy
Batang kenanga di tepi telaga,
Buat galah perahu Che Nyonya,
Seperti bunga di lengkar naga,
Carilah akal menyuntingnya.
Branches of Cananga, along the well,
Acted as an oar for Miss Nyonya,
Akin to a blossom, curled by a dragon,
Seek a way to win your desire.
A pantun from Raja Andak to Tuan Tok Nik, 1826.
A century rule of Reman has established a mark in the two separate
territories (Yala and Hulu Perak) that once form an integral domain of
the kingdom. The areas till today are marked by a Pattani-Reman
influence, bind together with a common culture, linguistic and
heritage as a result from the emigration from the
during the Reman period.
Several monuments can be witnessed as testaments of the former
splendor of the Reman Kingdom. This includes Istana Singgah (The
Visiting Palace), the palatial residence of the royal family in lower
Reman. It is credited as one of the best example of the traditional
architecture in the Kingdom. Located in Kampung Selarong, it was built
in the late 19th century as a secondary palace away from the
administrative centre of the kingdom in Kota Baru (in present-day
Yala). The manor was once a fortress of Tuan Lebeh before he was being
arrested by the Siamese authorities due to a suspected uprising plot
Pattani independence. The final resting place of Permaisuri Cik
Neng, the Queen of Reman is also located nearby the palatial grounds,
her death in 1915 was widely believed due to her devastation after the
demise of the crown prince. The residence is currently privately owned
by the descendants of Reman royal family.
The waves of migration from the plains of
Pattani also bought a strong
Pattani based linguistic heritage. The Reman dialect is largely based
Pattani form of Malay, nonetheless it has incorporated various
peculiar features that denotes influence from the Thai language,
Kedahan Malay dialects. It constitute as a dialect
continuum between the East and the West Coast Malay language. In
Perak, the variant is also known locally as Longat
Various namesake of areas in Hulu
Perak was derived from the Pattani
settles to Reman, this includes
Kroh (murky), a town that derives its
name from the muddy reservoir built by the Reman settes to clean the
domesticated elephants owned by the king. The area has been renamed as
Pengkalan Hulu in 1985. While Gerik, a major settlement
established in Reman during the rule of Tuan Jagong owes its name from
"Gerit", an onomatopoeia for the sounds made by the Bamboo rat, a
native rodent that can be found in abundance in area.
The Reman heritage is also widely survived in the local literature and
folklore. Among the prominent literature that composed during the
Reman period was a pantun crafted by Tuan Tok Nik Tok Leh to Raja
Andak, the wife of Dato’ Seri Lela, the commander of the Perakian
troops during the Perak-Reman war of 1826. The pantun between Tuan Tok
Nik to Raja Andak narrated the forbidden love between the two parties
from the two rivalling sides of the war. Another prominent figure
of Reman oral literature includes Mengkong Dehela, a local warrior, he
is a central figure that largely credited on leading and defending
Reman territories. Details of his epic battles are largely recorded in
the local lore.
Another visible legacy of the Reman period includes batu tanda
(boundary marker), built in 1899 under the agreement between
Reman, it signifies the historical border between the two states. The
pillars still standing today despite a major border reformation in
1909, a reminder of the bygone era.
^ a b Tiki Mambang 2016
^ a b c d e Boon 2010
^ a b c Orang Kelantan 2017
^ a b c d e Sembangkuala 2010
^ a b c Utusan
^ a b Khairul 2017
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^ AKSARA-The Passage of Malay Scripts. Exhibitions.nlb.gov.sg.
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