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Penang's Minangkabau History

๐ƒ๐ข๐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐๐ž๐ง๐š๐ง๐  ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐š ๐ก๐ข๐๐๐ž๐ง ๐Œ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ง๐ ๐ค๐š๐›๐š๐ฎ ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ, ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐š๐ซ ๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ž๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Œ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ง๐ ๐ค๐š๐›๐š๐ฎ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐จ๐œ๐ข๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐๐ž๐ ๐ž๐ซ๐ข ๐’๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ข๐ฅ๐š๐ง?


๐ท๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘ข๐‘˜ ๐ฝ๐‘’๐‘›๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘œ๐‘› ๐‘…๐‘Ž๐‘—๐‘Ž ๐ฟ๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘ข, ๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘’ ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘  ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐ต๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘ข ๐‘ˆ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘›, ๐‘ค๐‘Ž๐‘  a ๐‘€๐‘–๐‘›๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘”๐‘˜๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘ข ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘Ÿ๐‘ก ๐‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘›๐‘๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘Ž ๐‘โ„Ž๐‘–๐‘’๐‘“๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘–๐‘› ๐‘“๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ๐‘š ๐ต๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘ข ๐ต๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž, ๐‘†๐‘ข๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž.


Datuk Jenaton's grave in Pesiaran Minden 1. Credit : Prof. Faridah Abdul Rashid USM https://www.facebook.com/faridah.abdulrashid

According to Prof A. Murad Merican, a sixth-generation member of the family, the history of Penang island began not after 1786 (the year Francis Light founded Penang) but much earlier โ€“ in the early 1700s before Batu Uban was called Batu Uban. Batu Uban was not only a settlement; it was a town and a port then. [1]



Datuk Jenaton's grave in Pesiaran Minden 1. An interested aspect about Dato' Jenaton's grave is that it is much longer than most Muslim graves. This is to denote his high status within the society as well as his position as founder of the settlement. Credit : Prof. Faridah Abdul Rashid USM https://www.facebook.com/faridah.abdulrashid

The Batu Uban of today is also the site of a number of high-rise residential properties such as Sunny Ville, Villa Sri Kenanga, E-Park and N-Park.



Prof A. Murad Merican is a sixth-generation member of the family. Credit: www.conference.unimas.my

โ€œJenaton was a Minangkabau court prince and a chieftain in Batu Bara, Sumatra, before leaving for Penang in early 1749,โ€ he said, adding that prior to that, Jenaton frequently travelled between Penang, Kedah and Batu Bara for trading activities.


Credit : Prof. Faridah Abdul Rashid USM https://www.facebook.com/faridah.abdulrashid

Dr Ahmad Murad said Jenaton was one of the earliest settlers in Penang after being awarded a 40.47ha piece of land by then Sultan of Kedah Sultan Muhamad Jiwa Zainal Azilin Muโ€™adzam Shah II.


โ€œThe land was a gift from the Sultan for Jenatonโ€™s help in strategising Kedahโ€™s war against the Achenese and the Bugis back then,โ€ he said.


He added that the land encompassed Batu Uban, Minden Heights and Bukit Gelugor, where Jenaton ventured into farming and trading by planting coconuts and sugar cane. [2]

Dato' Jenaton passed away in 1789 and was buried within his property in Batu Uban. As with many of the historic sights in Penang, the grave of Dato' Jenaton is today engulfed by urbanization and development. The land which he first cleared is today occupied by the Universiti Sains Malaysia and Minden Heights.[3]


An interesting aspect about Dato' Jenaton's grave is that it is much longer than most Muslim graves. This is to denote his high status within the society as well as his position as founder of the settlement. Another curious aspect is that it is not anywhere near the Batu Uban Mosque or Sungai Gelugor Mosque. There was probably a Muslim chapel or surau in its proximity when the graveyard was established, but this has long disappeared.


The great manโ€™s grandson: This is a drawing from the book by John Anderson (1826) Mission to the East Coast of Sumatra in 1823. The person sitting fourth from left is, was Datuk Muda Husin, the Datuk Bogak Batubara Tanah Datar, the grand son of Datuk Jenaton. Husin is the closest that we can get of the image of Datuk Jenaton. โ€“ Pix and caption courtesy of Prof A. Murad Merican. Credit: [1] https://newsstand.thestar.com.my/penang-s-history-my...

The Jenaton family has a Facebook page. Visit https://www.facebook.com/KeluargaDatoJenaton



๐‘ณ๐’Š๐’Œ๐’† ๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’‘๐’๐’”๐’•? ๐‘ฏ๐’†๐’๐’‘ ๐’–๐’” ๐’•๐’ ๐’๐’Š๐’Œ๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’”๐’‰๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’‘๐’๐’”๐’•!


Sources: [1] https://newsstand.thestar.com.my/penang-s-history-my... [2] https://www.thestar.com.my/.../a-family-gathering-like-no... [3] http://www.penang-traveltips.com/dato-jenatons-grave.htm Books to buy: https://kawahbuku.com/.../batu-uban-sejarah-awal-pulau.../ Site to read: https://262bandahilir.blogspot.com/2012_05_22_archive..

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