Jementah Civil War
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Jementah Civil War
Jementah Civil War
Date25 October 1879–30 December 1879
Muar, Kesang, Jementah and Segamat (all part of Johor)
Result Johor state government retakes Muar District
Johor Johor Sultanate
Supported by:
 United Kingdom
Muar under Sultan Ali Tengku Alam's faction
Commanders and leaders
Johor Sultan Abu Bakar
Johor Dato' Salleh bin Perang
Johor Ungku Ahmad
Sultan Ali Tengku Alam
Tengku Nong
Tengku Mat
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The Jementah Civil War broke out in 1879 in Jementah in northern Johor when Tengku Alam Shah, the heir of Sultan Ali of the autonomous principality of Muar refused to surrender the principality to the central administration of Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor (then Maharaja in 1879).

The aftermath of the conflict led to the opening of the town of Muar.


Before Sultan Abu Bakar became the ruler of Johor, Johor was ruled by Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim who was more favored than Sultan Ali. As a compromise, Sultan Ali was granted a fiefdom over Muar region, while Temenggong Ibrahim ruled the rest of Johor.

The war was triggered when Sultan Ali crowned his 11-year-old son named Tengku Mahmood as his successor, resulting in Tengku Alam's fury and envy. He also felt unsatisfied when Colonel Archibald Anson, then acting British colonial governor of the Straits Settlements, recognised the fiefdom of Muar as having returned to Maharaja Abu Bakar's central administration in Johor Bahru.

He began his moves by asking his cousins Tengku Nong and Tengku Mat to spread false information to the residents of Muar district to be on his side. He also gathered some powerful warriors for the battle.


Tengku Alam and his followers launched the first blow of the war by seizing Jementah town, just outside Segamat, on 25 October 1879. The headman or governor of Jementah reported to the ruler of Johor, Maharaja Abu Bakar, who responded by sending a powerful force led by his cousin, Ungku Ahmad. Ungku Ahmad was a great tactician who contributed to the Johor Government's rapid victory.

Dato' Mohammed Salleh bin Perang, also known as Dato' Bentara Luar, was deployed by the government on 2 December to assist the government army. As a strategy, he split the Johor government army into four units to fight enemies easier. Each unit contained about 100 men.

By mid-December, the government army conquered more enemy strongholds and finally gained total victory at dawn on 30 December after a surprise attack on the enemy's final redoubt. Since then, the original District of Muar, which then included Segamat, was reintegrated into Johor.

The aftermath of war

The most notable event that happened as a result of the Johor government's victory in the Jementah Civil War was the opening of the town of Muar by Maharaja Abu Bakar. Besides this event, the soldiers from both sides who later resided in the areas of Jementah and Segamat opened the residencies (mukim) of Pagoh, as well as some villages there.


  • YM Ungku Mohd. Zaman bin Tahir (1996). Segamat: Sejarah dan Mitosnya. Al-Kafilah Enterprise.
  • Perang Jementah - the complete explanation of Jementah Civil War in Malay

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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