PAHANG, on the east coast of the peninsula, is situated between parallels 2 28' and 3 45' N. and 101 30' and 103 30' E. It is bounded on the N. by the independent native states of Kelantan and Trengganu; on the S. by the Negri Sembilan and Johor; on the E. by the China Sea; and on the W. by the protected states of Perak and Selangor. The coast-line is about 1 1 2 m. in length ; the greatest length is about 210 m., and greatest breadth about 130 m. The state is the largest in the peninsula, its area being estimated at 15,000 sq. m. The ports on the coast are the mouths of the Endau, Rompin, Pahang and Kuantan rivers, but during the north-east monsoon the coast is not easy of approach, and the rivers, all of which are guarded by difficult bars, are impossible of access except at high tides, xvu. 16 The principal river of the state is the Pahang, from which it takes its name. At a distance of 180 m. from the coast this river is formed by two others named respectively the Jelai and the Tembeling. The former is joined 20 m. farther up stream by the Lipis, which has its rise in the mountains which form the boundary with Perak. The Jelai itself has its rise also in a more northerly portion of this range, while its two principal tributaries above the mouth of the Lipis, the Telom and the Serau, rise, the one in the plateau which divides Perak from Pahang, the other in the hills which separate Pahang from Kelantan. The Tembeling has its rise in the hills which divide Pahang from Kelantan, but some of its tributaries rise on the Trengganu frontier, while the largest of its confluents comes from the hills in which the Kuantan River takes its rise. The Pahang is navigable for large boats as far as Kuala Lipis, 200 m. from the mouth, and light-draught launches can also get up to that point. Smaller boats can be taken some 80 m. higher up the Jelai and Telom. The river, however, as a waterway is of little use, since it is uniformly shallow. The Rompin and Kuantan rivers are somewhat more easily navigated for the first 30 m. of their course, but taken as a whole the waterways of Pahang are of little value. The interior of Pahang is chiefly noted for its auriferous deposits. Gunong Tahan is situated on the boundary between Pahang and Kelantan. Its height is estimated at 8000 ft. above sea-level, but it has never yet been ascended. Pahang, like the states on the west coast, is covered almost entirely by one vast forest, but in the Lipis valley, which formerly was thickly populated, there is a considerable expanse of open grass plain unlike anything to be seen on the western sea-board. 'The coast is for the most part a sandy beach fringed with casuarinu trees and there are only a few patches of mangrove-swamp throughout its entire length.
The ancient name of Pahang was Indrapura. It is mentioned in the history of Hang Tuah, the great Malacca brave, who flourished in the 16th century, and succeeded in abducting a daughter History of the then ruling house of Pahang for his master, the sultan of Malacca. Prior to this, Pahang had been ruled by the Siamese. When Malacca fell into the hands of the Portuguese in 1511 the sultan, Muhammad Shah, fled to Pahang, and the present ruling house claims to have been descended from him. The title of the ruler of Pahang was Bendahara until 1882, when the present (1902) ruler, Wan Ahmad, assumed the title of sultan, taking the name of Sultan Ahmad Maatham Shah. Up to that time the Bendahara had been installed on his accession by the sultan of Riau, and held his office by virtue of that chief's letter of authority. About 1855 the father of the present sultan died at Pekan, and his son Bendahara Korish, who succeeded him, drove Wan Ahmad from the country. After making three unsuccessful attempts to conquer the land and to dethrone his elder brother, Wan Ahmad at last succeeded in 1865 in invading the state and wresting the throne from his nephew, who had succeeded his father some years earlier. From that time, in spite of two attempts to shake his power by invasions from Selangor which were undertaken by his nephews Wan Aman and Wan Da, Bendahara Ahmad ruled his country with a rod of iron. In 1887 he consented to enter into a treaty with the governor of the Straits by which he accepted a consular agent at his court. This treaty was finally signed on the 8th of October 1887. In February of the following year a Chinese British subject was murdered at Pekan in circumstances which pointed to the responsibility of the sultan for the crime, and in October 1888 a Resident was appointed to assist the sultan in the administration of hiscountry, that being, in the opinion of the British government, the only guarantee for the safety of the life and property of British subjects which it could accept. In December 1891 disturbances broke out in Pahang, the nominal leaders of which were certain of the sultan's most trusted chiefs. The sultan himself took no part in the outbreak, but it undoubtedly had his sympathy, even if it was not caused by his direct commands. The rebels were driven to seek safety in flight in November 1892, but in June 1894 they gathered strength for a second disturbance, and raided Pahang from Kelantan, in which state they had been given shelter by the Mahommedan rulers. This event, added to the occurrence of other raids from across the border, led to an irregular expedition being led into Trengganu and Kelantan by the Resident of Pahang (Mr Hugh Clifford) in 1895, and this had the desired result. The rebel chiefs were banished to Siam, and no further breach of the peace has troubled the tranquillity of Pahang since that time. Pahang joined the Federated Malay States by a treaty signed in 1895, and the sultan and his principal chiefs were present at the federal durbar held at Kuala Kangsar in Perak in 1897.
The census taken in April 1901 gave the total population of Pahang at 84,113, of whom 73,462 were Malays, 8695 Chinese, 1227 Tamils and other natives of India, 180 Europeans and Eurasians, py,.,,;^/,,,, and 549 people of other nationalities. The population in 1905 was estimated at 100,000, the increase being due to immigration mainly from the states on the western seaboard. In former days Pahang was far more thickly populated than in modern times, but the long succession of civil wars which racked the land after the death of Bendahara AH caused thousands of Pahang Malays to fly the country. To-day the valley of the Lebir River in Kelantan and the upper portions of several rivers near the Perak and Selangor boundaries are inhabited by Pahang Malays, the descendants of these fugitives. The Pahang natives are almost all engaged in agriculture. The work of the mines, etc., is performed by Chinese and foreign Malays. In the Lipis valley the descendants of the Rawa Malays, who at one time possessed the whole of the interior in defiance of the Pahang rajas, still outnumber the people of the land.
The revenue of Pahang in 1899 amounted to only $62,077; ' n 1900 to $419,150. In 1905 it was $528,368. The expenditure in 1905 amounted to $1,208,176. Of this sum $736,886 was expended Finance on P ulj l'c works. Pahang is still a source of expense and Trade. to t ^ ie federation, its progress having been retarded by the disturbances which lasted from December 1891 until 1895, with short intervals of peace, but the revenue is now steadily increasing, and the ultimate financial success of the state is considered to be secure. Pahang owes something over $3,966,500 to Selangor and $1,175,000 to Perak, which have financed it now for some years out of surplus revenue. The value of the imports in 1905 was $1,344,346, that of the exports was $3,838,928, thus making a total trade value of $5,183,274. The most valuable export is tin, the value of which in 1905 amounted to $2,820,745. The value of the gutta exported exceeded $140,000, that of dried and salted fish amounted to nearly $70,000, and that of timber to $325,000.
The geological formation of the states lying to the eastward of the main range of mountains which splits the peninsula in twain General differs materially from that of the western states. At a distance of about a dozen miles from the summits of the mountains the granite formation is replaced by slates, which in many places are intersected by fissures of quartz, and in others are overlaid by vast thicknesses of limestone. Those of the quartz fissures which have been exploited are found to be auriferous, and several mining companies have attempted to work the deposits. Their efforts, however, have not hitherto been successful. A magnificent road over the mountains, with a ruling grade of I in 30, joins Kuala Lipis, the administrative capital of Pahang, to Kuala Kubu, the nearest railway station in Selangor. The road measures 82 m. in length. Pekan, where the sultan has his residence, was the capital of Pahang until the middle of 1898, when the administrative headquarters were transferred to the interior as being more central. None of these towns is of any size or importance. In the Kuantan valley, which lies parallel to the Pahang River, a European company is working tin lodes with considerable success. These lodes are the only mines of the kind being worked in the Federated Malay States. Pahang is fertile and well suited for agriculture of many kinds. The rainfall is heavy and regular. The climate is cooler than that of the west coast, and the full force of the monsoon is felt from October to February in each year. For administrative purposes Pahang is divided into four districts Ulu Pahang, in which the present capital is situated; Temerloh, which includes 80 odd miles of the Pahang valley and the Semantan River; Pekan, which includes the coast rivers down to Endau; and Kuantan. Each of these is under the charge of a district officer, who is responsible to the resident. The boundary with Johor and the Negri Sembilan was rectified by a commission which sat in London in 1897-1898.
AUTHORITIES. Journal of the Eastern Archipelago (Singapore) ; Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (Singapore) ; Maxwell, Proceedings of the Royal Colonial Institute, vol. xxiii. ; Swettenham, ibid. vol. xxvii; Clifford, ibid. vol. xxx. (London, 1892, 1895, 1899); Swettenham, About Perak (Singapore, 1893); Malay Sketches (London, 1895); The Real Malay (London, 1899); British Malaya (London, 1906) ; Clifford, In Court and Kampong (London, 1897); Studies in Brown Humanity (London, 1898); In a Corner of Asia (London, 1899); Bush-whacking (London, 1901); Further India (London, 1904) ; De la Croix, Les Mines d'etins de Perak (Paris, 1882); Bluebook, C. 9524 (London, 1899); The Straits Directory (Singapore, 1906) ; Skeat, Malay Magic (London, 1900) ; Skeat and Blagden, Pagan Races of the Malay Peninsula (London, 1906). (H. CL.)
II. NON-FEDERATED STATES In 1909 a treaty was made between Great Britain and Siam, one provision of which was the cession to the former of the suzerain rights enjoyed by the latter over certain territories in the Malay Peninsula. These territories consisted of the four Siamese Malay States: Kelantan, Trengganu, Kedah and Perlis, very ancient dependencies of Siam, all of which except Trengganu, were in a flourishing condition and had been administered by British officers in the service of Siam for some years prior to their transference. Though the four states were loyal to Siam and wished to retain their former allegiance, the change was effected without disturbance of any kind, the British government on assuming the rights of suzerainty placing an adviser at the court of each raja and guaranteeing the continuance of the administration on the lines already laid down by Siam so far as might be compatible with justice and fair treatment for all. The four states lie to the north of the Federated Malay States, two on the east and two on the west side of the peninsula.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)