Abdullah Mukarram Shah of Kedah

Paduka Sri Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah ibni al-Marhum Sultan Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin Mu'adzam Shah II (died 1 September 1797) was the 20th Sultan of Kedah. His reign was from 1778 to 1797. In 1780, he ordered the fortress of Kota Kuala Bahang that has been destroyed by Aceh in 1619 to be rebuilt in exactly the same as the original plan. The Sultan appoint Hafiz Sab as the architecture of the fortress.

Abdullah Mukarram Shah
al-Azizzu ul-Mulk al-Qadir al-Ghalib Ghahr al-Maghlub, us-Sultan Khalifatu’llah ‘Ala Da’irah Kedah
Sultan and Yang di-Pertuan of the State of Kedah Dar ul-Aman
PredecessorMuhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin Mu'adzam Shah II
SuccessorDziaddin Mukarram Shah II
Died1 September 1797
Istana Baginda, Alor Star
SpouseTengku Puneh
Wan Mek
Wan Kamaliah
Che’ Puan Paduka Bonda
Che Fatima Dewi
Che’ Chandra Sari
Che’ Bida Sari
IssueTen sons and eleven daughters, including:
Tunku Yahya
Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Halim Shah II
Tunku Bisnu
Tunku Ibrahim
Tunku Sulaiman
Tunku Kusu
Tunku Daud
Tunku Ya’akub
Tunku Ahmad
Tunku Muhammad Yusuf
Tunku Hitam
Tunku Chik
Tunku Zamzam
Posthumous name
Al-Marhum Kota Star al-Thani
FatherMuhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin Mu'adzam Shah II
ReligionSunni Islam

The threat of SiamEdit

The war between Burma and Siam lasted from the year 1753 to the year 1781. While the war was still ongoing, Kedah had stopped the delivery of "Bunga Mas" to Siam. After the war ended, Siam once again became a very powerful force and demanded Kedah to send more "Bunga Mas" to Siam. The Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Abdullah, felt threatened by the demands of Siam. He wanted to preserve the sovereignty of Kedah and welfare of the people. Sultan Abdullah had no choice but to seek military assistance from East India Company (EIC). Sultan Abdullah offered Pinang if the EIC was willing to protect kedah from the Siamese threat. Francis Light knows the importance of the Penang Port and Military Bases. The offer was irresistible, although EIC wanted to protect the interests of trade with Siam.

The agreement, occupation and betrayalEdit

Francis Light personally have come to an agreement with Sultan Abdullah in the year 1786. Sultan Abdullah let Francis Light to stay in Penang provided that he must provide military assistance for Kedah when needed.

The agreement consists of :

  • EIC has to provide military assistance for Kedah as long as Kedah is attacked by enemies.
  • EIC must not lead the enemies of Kedah.
  • EIC needs to pay as much as 30 000 Spanish Dollars each year to Sultan Abdullah as reparation.

On 11 August 1786, the Union Jack was raised. Francis Light named Penang as "Prince of Wales Island" and their settlement as "Georgetown".after the British King, King George III. This marks the start of the British Occupation in Malaya. The year 1786, Siam conquered Patani and threatens Kedah. Sultan Abdullah demanded military assistance from the EIC as the agreement indicated. The EIC refused to give assistance because Sultan Abdullah only agreed with Francis Light, but not the EIC. Sultan Abdullah forced Francis Light out of Penang. Francis Light was reluctant to let go of Penang and offered payment of damages but was rejected by Sultan Abdullah. In 1791, Sultan Abdullah with the help of Riau, Siak and Selangor, was able to prepare a navy to attack and retake Penang. Francis Light asked assistance from the British Military to attack the stronghold of Sultan Abdullah in Seberang Perai. Sultan Abdullah lost and had come to a peace treaty on the 1st of May, 1791. With this peace treaty, EIC officially annexed Penang. As a reward, EIC will pay as much as 6000 Spanish Dollars every year to Sultan Abdullah.


  • He married his first wife, H.H. Tengku Puneh binti al-Marhum Sultan Sallehuddin Shah, Tengku Besar, before divorcing two years later.
  • One son with Wan Mek
    • Tunku Yahya
  • Three sons and six daughters with Wan Kamaliah, Tuan Mas, daughter of the Dato’ Sri Paduka Raja Laksamana of Kedah
    • Tunku Ahmad Tajuddin
    • Tunku Bisnu
    • Tunku Ahmad
    • Tunku Hitam
    • Tunku Chik
    • Tunku Zamzam
  • Three sons and one daughter with Che Puan Paduka Bonda, a princess from Patani (daughter of Sultan Muhammad ‘Abdu’l Jalil Karimu’llah Mualim Shah, Raja of Patani?)
    • Tunku Ibrahim
    • Tunku Sulaiman
    • Tunku Kusu
  • One son with Che Fatima Dewi, Che Mas
    • Tunku Daud
  • Two sons and two daughters with Che’ Chandra Sari
    • Tunku Ya’akub
    • Tunku Muhammad Yusuf
  • Two daughters with Che’ Bida Sari


External linksEdit

Abdullah Mukarram Shah of Kedah
House of Kedah
 Died: 1 September 1797
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin Mu'adzam Shah II
Sultan of Kedah
Succeeded by
Dziaddin Mukarram Shah II