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Sunday, 9 December 2012


Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Java in Indonesia, there lived a young Sultan and his brother Pangeran Adipati Agung. At a palace celebration, the Pangeran met and fell in love with a beautiful dancer. The Sultan disapproved of her as she was a commoner and a palace dancer. The Pangeran's love for her was too strong for any opposition. The couple married secretly and soon had a beautiful daughter named Radin Mas Ayu.

The Sultan was still unhappy with his brother's family and planned to break them up. He sent the Pangeran away to war, and ordered his men to burn down his brother's house. The fire killed the Pangeran's wife but a loyal follower saved his daughter.

The Pangeran finally returned from battle and was shocked and angry at what happened. Feeling that he could no longer live in Java, he fled with his daughter to Singapura, where they settled in Telok Blangah.

Puteri Raden Mas.

Puteri Raden Mas Ayu (Princess Mas Ayu) was a 16th Century Javanese princess. She was the child of Kanjeng Gusti Adipati Agung Raden Kusomowijoyo Diningrat (also known as Raden Mas) and Mas Ayu, a Javanese Court Dancer whose beauty was renowned throughout Java. 

Puteri Radin Mas Ayu History

They were married in the early 1500s. Raden Mas' parents- Raden Manosekoro and Raden Mas Ratu objected to this union because of the differences in status. They vouched to have this union dissolved. Under the pretext of a hunting expedition requested by his father, Raden Mas was made to leave his wife alone in the palace. Upon his return Raden Mas found his palace had been destroyed by a big fire. His beloved wife was killed along with it. Broken hearted, he left Java with his child Puteri Raden Mas Ayu who was still a baby. They resettled in Singapore as commoners.

Prior to their resettlement in Singapore, Raden Mas and Puteri Mas Ayu were Hindus. Through the tutelage and guidance of an ulama (Muslim Religious Scholar) by the name of Mawlana Shaikh Ismail both father and daughter embraced Islam. Raden Mas took the name Iskandar Shah (not to be confused with Sultan Iskandar Shah). His daughter Puteri Mas Ayu was given the name Siti Faridah.


One day, while still a young child, Puteri Raden Mas Ayu met Tengku Halijah, the daughter of the Sultan of Singapore. Some kind of altercation occurred between these two women which led to the discovery of these two settlers’ royal lineage. Upon this discovery, the Sultan of Singapore decided to marry his daughter Tengku Halijah to Raden Mas. 


The marriage between Raden Mas and his new wife Tengku Halijah was, however, beset with problems. Amongst the many issues, the new wife of Raden Mas was jealous of the closeness of the father-daughter relationship between Raden Mas and Puteri Raden Mas Ayu. It didn’t help that Puteri Raden Mas Ayu inherited the exceptional beauty of her mother. 

Soon after his marriage, Raden Mas was attacked by Tengku Bagus, a member of the Sultan of Singapore's family. His daughter Puteri Mas Ayu tried to defend him and was stabbed by Tengku's keris. She died from her wounds. The year was 1511. Her tomb, draped in golden yellow as a sign of her royal lineage, lies at the foot of Mount Faber in Singapore.

Credit: Tuah Bugis