18th century a raja of the royal house of Menangkabu came from Sumatra to rule over the federation of small states, each of which continued to be governed in all its local affairs by its own chief and by the village and other councils sanctioned by ancient custom. The Sumatran raja took the title of Iang-di-per-Tuan of Sri Menanti. Although they bore the name of the “Nine States,” only six seem to have belonged to the federation during the time of which history speaks. These are Sri Menanti, Johol, Tampin, Rembau, Jelebu, and Sungei Ujong. Later the two latter separated themselves from the confederation. Ancient tradition says that the names of the nine states were originally Klang, Jelebu, Sungei Ujong, Johol, Segamat, Pasir Besar, Naning, Rembau and Jelai. Of these Klang was annexed by Selangor, Segamat and Pasir Besar by Johor, and Naning by Malacca. During the last years of the 18th century the Iang-di-per-Tuan appointed an Iang-di-per-Tuan Muda to rule Rembau, and the state of Tampin was created to provide for the family of the new chief. In 1887 the governor of the Straits Settlements sent Mr Martin Lister to the Negri Sembilan, which had become disintegrated, and by his influence the ancient federal system was revived under the control of a Resident appointed by the governor. The states which formed this new confederation were Johol, Ulu Muar, Jempol, Terachi, Inas, Gunong Pasir, Rembau, Tampin and Gemencheh. Prior to this, in 1873, owing to a civil war in Sungei Ujong, Sir Andrew Clarke sent a military force to that state, put an end to the disturbances, and placed the country under the control of a British Resident. Jelebu was taken under British protection in 1886, and was thenceforth managed by a magistrate under the orders of the Resident of Sungei Ujong. In 1896, when the federation of all the Malayan states under British control was effected, Sungei Ujong and Jelebu were reunited to the confederation of small states from which they had so long been separated and the whole, under the old name of the Negri Sembilan, or Nine States, was placed under one Resident.
The population of the Negri Sembilan, which according to the census taken in April 1891 was only 70,730, had increased to 96,028 by 1901, and was estimated at 119,454 in 1905. Of these 46,500 are Chinese, 65,000 Malays, 6700 Tamils, and 900 Europeans and Eurasians. The births registered slightly exceed the deaths in number, there being a large Malay population in the Negri Sembilan among whom the proportion of women to men is fair, a condition of things not found in localities where the inhabitants are mostly Chinese immigrants.
The revenue of the Negri Sembilan amounted to only $223,435 in 1888. In 1898 it had increased to $701,334, in 1900 to $1,251,366, and in 1905 to $2,335,534. The revenue for 1905 was derived mainly as follows:—customs $1,268,602, land Finance and Trade. revenue $145,475, land sales $21,407, while the revenue farms contributed $584,459. The expenditure in 1905 amounted to $2,214,093, of which $1,125,355 was expended upon public works. The trade returns for 1905, which are not, however, complete, show an aggregate value of about $13,000,000. The value of the tin exported during 1905 exceeded $6,900,000, and the value of the agricultural produce, of which gambier represented $211,000 and damar $80,000, amounted to $407,990.
Seremban, the administrative capital of the Negri Sembilan, is connected with Port Dickson by a railway line, owned by the Sungei Ujong Railway Company, which is 24½ m. in length. It is also situated on the trunk line of the General. Federated Malay States, and is thus joined by rail to Selangor on the north and to Malacca on the south. Frequent steam communication is maintained between Port Dickson and the ports on the Straits of Malacca and with Singapore.
For administrative purposes the Negri Sembilan is divided into five districts, viz. the Seremban District, the Coast District, Jelebu, Kuala Pilah and Tampin. Each of these is under the charge of a European district officer, who is responsible to the Resident. The Iang-di-per-Tuan lives at Kuala Pilah, but the capital of the federation is at Seremban in Sungei Ujong, where the Resident is stationed. The hereditary chiefs of the various states aid in the government of their districts, and have seats upon the state council, over which the Iang-di-per-Tuan presides. The watering-place of Magnolia Bay, where excellent sea-bathing is obtainable, is one of the pleasure resorts of this part of the peninsula.
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 112 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.
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 seaboard. The coast is for the most part a sandy beach fringed with casuarina 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 of the then ruling house of Pahang for his master, the History. 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 his country, 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, and 549 people of other nationalities. The population 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 Ali 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