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Johore’s Dato’ Bentara Luar Passed Away

On this day in 1915, Dato’ Mohd. Salleh bin Perang or better known by the title Dato’ Bentara Luar  passed away.  His remains was later buried at the Bukit Mahmudiah Cemetery , Johor Bahru, Johore.  Dato’ Belantara Luar was born in Teluk Belanga, Singapore in 1841 and his family had a close relationship with the Johore Palace since the reign of Temenggung Abdul Rahman.  He received his education at an Islamic School, a Malay School and later at Mr. Keasberry English School.  During his lifetime, Dato’ Bentara Luar had contributed substantially to the government of Johore.  Among his contributions were the opening and developing of several districts such as Muar in 1884, Endau and Mersing in 1892 and Batu Pahat in 1893.  The districts he opened were provided with many basic facilities such as police stations, schools, mosques, water supply and well-designed roads, including border demarcation work.  In his effort to increase agricultural produce, Dato’ Bentara Luar introduced drainage systems in Muar and Batu Pahat to facilitate the production of agricultural produce such as betel nuts, coconuts, sago, fruits and forest products such as rattan and resin.  Dato’ Bentara Luar started as a clerk with the government service in 1856.  His efficiency and determination led to his appointment as a clerk at the Tanjung Puteri police station and, subsequently, as the Commissioner of Police beginning 9 December 1868.  Among his responsibilities were to maintain the peace and stability of the state as well as being responsible over the Gambier and black pepper estates in Johore.  He also studied surveying with Mr. Langley and Major McCulum together with Mr. Yahya Awaludin.  Knowledge in surveying greatly helped him in resolving the border dispute between the Kangkar and Kangcu Chinese.  Dato’ Bentara Luar was the first Malay to create detailed maps and in  Jawi scripture.  The accuracy of the measurements on the maps were  verified and certified by experts of the Survey Department in London.  Certainly, Dato’ Bentara Luar who passed away on this day in 1915, left behind a legacy of deeds in  the state of Johore.  In commemoration of his role as a  cultural, administrative and development figure of Johore, he was given the title of  Modern Johore Architect of Development.



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