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Thursday, January 19, 2017


James Wheeler Woodford Birch (right), Frank Swettenham (left).

The site where Birch was killed at Pasir Salak, near Dato' Maharaja Lela's fort. Birch was at the bath house when several men led by Si Putom acting on the order of his master, Maharaja Lela, speared him to death. 

In February 1876, reinforcements were brought in from India and Hongkong. A month later, the British and Indian sepoys attacked Maharaja Lela's fortified village. Maharaja Lela was captured.

The trial of Si Putom, Si Gondah, Pak Indut (father-in-law of Dato' Maharaja Lela), Ngah Ahmad, Dato' Maharaja Lela, Dato' Sagor and others took about a year. The five named were hanged at Matang on March 30, 1877. Others implicated al beit on lesser grounds in the killing were banished to the island of Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.

It was many years before Sultan Abdullah was pardoned and allowed to return from in the Seychelles to Singapore where he died in 1922. While he was in the Seychelles, Sultan Abdullah, being an adept musician heard a tune, which would later be adopted as the Malaysian national anthem. As for Mentri Ngah Ibrahim and Laksamana Mohamad Amin, the British rejected their appeals. Later, both were removed to Sarawak and then Singapore. In the case of Dato' Shahbandar Uda Maamor, his fate was unknown. Ngah Ibrahim died on Feb. 4, 1895, while Mohamad Amin died in 1908. In 2006, the remains of both men were brought back from Singapore to be buried in Perak.

Raja Abdullah

At the site of Birch's deathplace is now Museum Pasir Salak.

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