History of the State Anthems of Malaysia
PERAK DARUL RIDZUAN
Title: Allah Lanjutkan Usia Sultan
Sultan Idris of Perak was invited by Queen Victoria to go to London in 1888, the year after he was proclaimed Sultan. He was accompanied by Sir Hugh Low, the British Resident of Perak and he took Raja Kamaralzaman ibni Raja Mansur (then aged about twenty four) with him as his ADC. When their ship reached Southampton a representative of the British Government came on board and asked Raja Kamaralzaman ibni Raja Mansur -in his capacity as the Sultan's ADC - to give him the music of the Perak State Anthem so that it could be played when His Highness was given a ceremonial welcome. Raja Kamaralzaman ibni Raja Mansur thought it would be undignified to reply that Perak had as yet no State Anthem, so he decided to create one. He explained that he had not brought the music with him but he could hum or play the tune if someone could take down the notes, and when the Bandmaster arrived he hummed the music of his favourite tune from the Seychelles. When the Bandmaster had gone ashore Raja Kamaralzaman ibni Raja Mansur went to the Sultan and told him what he had done and when they drove in state to Buckingham Palace he reminded the Sultan that when he heard the tune he must stand to attention himself as it was now his own State Anthem; from that day onwards Perak adopted this as its official Anthem. The tune is believed to have been composed by the famous French composer and poet PIERRE JEAN DE BERANGER (1780-1857), and was later officially adopted as the National Anthem of Malaysia in 1957.
JOHOR DARUL TAZIM
Title: Lagu Bangsa Johor
Armenian Bandmaster MACKERTICH GALISTAN ABDULLAH (1847-1921) was born in Semerang in the Dutch East Indies and he joined the Pupils' Corp of the Dutch Army when he was ten, then at the age of 18 enlisted in the army. Some time after 10 years' service he ended up in Johore as Bandmaster (where he remained as bandmaster from the late 1870's until his death in 1921), he later changed his name from Mackertich Galistan to Mackertich Galistan Abdullah as he had married a Malay woman. His widow was given an army pension in recognition of his 'nearly' 50 years' service. In 1879 he adapted the famous Malay tune 'Dondang Sayang', for the approval of His Highness Sir Abu Bakar, Maharajah of Johore (afterwards Sultan of Johore) which received the royal assent the same year and the arrangement has been used ever since. For many years it had no words, but in 1914 HUBERT ALLEN COURTNEY (1878-1959), the first Agent of the Hong Kong Bank in Johor Bahru, wrote the English words and HAJI MUHAMMED SAID bin HAJI SULIEMAN (1876-1955) wrote the Malay words soon afterwards. They received the royal assent from Sultan Ibrahim the following year in 1915.
SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN
Title: Duli Yang Maha Mulia
Very early in the 20th century Sultan Sulaiman of Selangor as Raja Muda, chose a Malay Tune named 'Chantek Manis' in consultation with Raja Haji Bot, and had it orchestrated by the Phillipino Bandmaster Daniel Ortego. But in 1908 after he had come to the throne, Sultan Sulaiman ordered the same Bandmaster to compose a tune of western type in place of 'Chantek Manis'. In 1967 Selangor adopted a new replacement State Anthem with music composed by Indonesian composer SAIFUL BAHRI (1924-1976).
NEGERI SEMBILAN DARUL KHUSUS
Title: Berkatlah Yang DiPertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan
Probably in 1911 the Yang Di-Pertuan of Negeri Sembilan, Tuanku Muhammad approved a composition by a young British Civil Servant, ANDREW CALDECOTT (1884-1951), who was serving as District Officer for Jelebu, for use as the Negeri Sembilan State Anthem. His brother rulers in Perak and Selangor, members of the Federation of the four central Malay States, where western style tunes were already in use may have influenced him in this matter. Prior to 1911, the Negeri Sembilan ruler had used an early version of the Malay tune 'Bunga Tanjong' when he wished to be received with musical honours. ANDREW CALDECOTT also composed the English words for the new Negeri Sembilan anthem but they have been slightly amended since the Second World War. He was later appointed Chief Secretary of Malaya from 1932 to 1934 and later still as British Colonial Governor of Hong Kong (1935-1937) and British Colonial Governor of Ceylon (1937-1944).
PAHANG DARUL MAKMUR
Title: Ya Allah Yang Maha Kuasa
In Pahang, the fourth of the Federated Malay States, a competition was arranged in 1923 to select a tune for the State Anthem. DOROTHY LILIAN SWORDER (1892-1982), the daughter of the Agricultural Officer in Pekan, who was paying her father a visit, submitted one of the entries. Dorothy Lilian Sworder was a talented musician and an LRAM and her composition was successful. She later married the well-known Medical Officer - Dr William Samuel Leicester and lived in Kuantan for many years.
The States which before the Second World War were known as the Unfederated Malay States and which maintained Malay Court procedure, free from western influence, for a longer period, did not adopt State Anthems until nearly 20 years after Selangor and Negeri Sembilan. The first to do so was Terengganu.
TERENGGANU DARUL IMAN
Title: Selamat Sultan
In 1927, Sultan Sulaiman instructed MOHAMAD HASHIM bin ABU BAKAR (1896-1962), an Assistant Teacher at the Malay Primary School at Paya Bunga, to compose a tune, which was to be played on the occasion of His Highness's birthday. MOHAMAD HASHIM bin ABU BAKAR was then the leader of a Boy Scout Band in Kuala Terengganu and later Bandmaster of the Terengganu Police Band. The music which he composed with accompanying words were submitted to the late Dato Sri Andika di-Raja, who was ADC to the Sultan and also a member of the Council of Ministers, and a few days later MOHAMAD HASHIM bin ABU BAKAR was commanded to appear outside the Istana Kolam, and he sang the anthem to the accompaniment of the Band of the Sultan Sulaiman Boy Scouts Troop in His Highness's presence. Not long afterwards MOHAMAD HASHIM bin ABU BAKAR trained a group of school children from Paya Bunga to sing the anthem and after he sang it a second time the Sultan accepted the music and words as the Terengganu State Anthem and commanded that MOHAMAD HASHIM bin ABU BAKAR should be rewarded. A slight amendment was made to the fourth and sixth lines during the Japanese occupation but the music and the rest of the words remained as they were originally composed.
KELANTAN DARUL NAIM
Title: Selamat Sultan
HAJI MOHAMED bin MOHAMED SAAID (1888-1939) the Goanese Bandmaster of the Kelantan Police Band was commanded to compose a tune to be played during the celebration of the birthday of His Highness Sultan Ismail on July 5th 1927 and this tune was accepted by His Highness the Sultan. The words were composed in 1930 by MAHMOOD bin HAMZAH (1893-1971) who was at that time State Secretary.
PERLIS INDERA KAYANGAN
Title: Amin Amin Ya Rabaljalil
In 1930, SYED HAMZAH ibni ALMARHUM SYED SHAFI JAMALULLAIL (c.1895-1958), Vice President of the Perlis State Council composed a tune which he asked R G Iles, the State Engineer to write down and harmonise, since he could neither read nor write music, though he played the violin with skill and ease. SYED HAMZAH ibni ALMARHUM SYED SHAFI JAMALULLAIL also composed the words. This tune was subsequently orchestrated by the Bandmaster of the Malay Regiment, Mr Lenthall and was officially adopted, as the Perlis State Anthem in 1935.
KEDAH DARUL AMAN
Title: Allah Selamatkan Sultan Mahkota
Early in 1937 J A REDHILL (REUTENBERG) who was of Russian Jewish extraction and the conductor of the Selangor Club Orchestra, was invited to compose the music for a Kedah State Anthem. Words to suit this tune were written by ALMARHUM TUAN SYED ABDULLAH bin SYED HUSSAIN SHAHABUDDIN (1871-1936). The music and words were officially approved by the Kedah State Council on March 22nd 1937. It was in this year that Tuanku Badlishah became Regent, owing to the prolonged illness of his royal father Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah, and it was in his honour that the new Anthem was first played, although Tuanku Badlishah did not become Sultan until 1943.
Every Malay state had now adopted an anthem of her own, but no occasion occurred for them all to be played by one band until after World War Two. Today both the Royal Federation Police Band and the Royal Malay Regiment Band are familiar with the complete sequence of thirteen state anthems plus one Federal Territories anthem and play them in order of royal precedence. Here as in many other circumstances the multi-racial pattern of Malayan life is to be observed. Thirteen of these tunes were composed by twelve men and one woman of nine different races: one Frenchman, three Malays, one Armenian, two Indonesians, two English, one Goan, one Russian, one Eurasian and one Pole; but all the tunes have become a part of the national heritage.
MELAKA DARUL AZIM
Title: Melaka Maju Jaya
Author: SAIFUL BAHRI (1924-1976) (Indonesian)
Composer: JOHARI SALLEH (b.1940)
Title: Untuk Negeri Kita
Author: JAMES W BOYLE (1922-1971) (Eurasian)
Composer: JAMES W BOYLE (1922-1971) (Eurasian)
SARAWAK BUMI KENYALANG
Title: Ibu Pertiwi Ku
Author: ISMAIL HASSAN (1922-1991)
Composer: WAN OTHMAN HAMID (b.1931)
Sarawak has had three previous State Anthems: 1st State Anthem 'Gone forth beyond the sea' (1872-c.1946) was composed and dedicated to Charles Brooke by GHITA in 1872 and has three verses. 2nd State Anthem 'Fair Land Sarawak' (c.1963-1973) has just a single verse, the name of both the author and composer are unknown. 3rd State Anthem 'Sarawak Bahagia' (1973-1988) also has a single verse, the author of the words is unknown but the composer of the music is JOHARI SALLEH (b.1940).
SABAH DIBAWA BAYU
Title: Sabah Tanah Airku
The State Anthem was selected based on a competition of 37 entries held early in 1963. The winning entry was first aired on the local radio station (then called Radio Utama) on July 19 1963. HENRI BONIFACE HERMANN (1888-1964) a Pole from Warsaw living in Singapore was a linguist and so he composed the music and also wrote the words.
FEDERAL TERRITORIES: KUALA LUMPUR, LABUAN, PUTRAJAYA
Title: Maju Dan Sejahtera
Author: WAH IDRIS
Composer: WAH IDRIS