Dato’ Jenaton | The great Gelugorians
On my recent trip back here, I noticed the road signage from the Penang Bridge leading to my kampung (village) all had been changed from Gelugor to Glugor. Not sure why and I’m not sure now which is the correct spelling. The kampung got its name from a tree Asam Gelugor whose scientific name is Garcinia Atroviridis.
Garcinia would have been a cool name for my village, don’t you think so? Anyhow, as a Gelugorian, it would be a shame if I did not mention something about Dato’ Jenaton because it was he who established the earliest settlements here. According to reports, he was a prince from Minangkabau, Indonesia. He was also a chieftain at Batu Bara (North of Sumatera) who travelled [sailed] frequently between Batu Bara, Kedah and Penang. In those days, Penang was under the reign of the Kedah sultanate. For the benefit of our foreign readers, Kedah is a state on mainland of northern Peninsula Malaysia. The Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Abidin Shah II, gifted him with 100 acres of land where Batu Uban and Gelugor is now situated. [We mentioned Batu Uban in the last few postings, it’s to the south of Gelugor on the east coast of Penang island.]
From this very smart and enterprising personality, we have got great Gelugorians like two brothers Aziz Ishak and Yusof Ishak who founded the country’s premier publication the Utusan Melayuin 1939. Yusof Ishak was also the first president of Singapore!
Their other brother Rahim Ishak served as Singapore’s state minister under Singapore’s President Lee Kuan Yew. The other two notable descendants of Dato’ Jenaton are former Supreme Court judge, Tan Sri Wan Sulaiman Pawanteh and the renowned diplomat Tan Sri Razali Ismail who was once Chairman of the UN Security Council and president of the United Nation General Assembly, in the late ’90s.
|Entrance to Dato’ Jenaton’s maqam
in Minden Heights, Gelugor, Penang