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100 years after 'death', Tok Janggut's descendants claim he was not killed by British

KUALA LUMPUR: Descendants of Malay warrior Tok Janggut believe that he did not die in a 1915 clash with the British, and had actually managed to escape, Bernama reported today.

Neither was the naked body of the warrior strung up and paraded around Kota Baru as was recorded in British accounts, claimed a descendent. Wan Asrul Wan Hussin, who is the grandson of Tok Janggut’s cousin, claimed that the warrior, whose real name was Mat Hassan Munas only sustained injuries to his left shoulder at the height of the clash with the British.



(File pix) Tok Janggut’s followers had spirited him away to Hulu Kelantan (Gua Musang) in order to save him, claims Wan Asrul.
He claimed that Tok Janggut’s followers had spirited him away to Hulu Kelantan (Gua Musang) in order to save him. “After he recovered from his injuries, Tok Janggut moved to Machang before the arrival of the Japanese to Malaya,” he claimed.Wan Asrul denied claims that Tok Janggut’s half-naked remains were paraded around Kota Baru and later strung up for three days.

He claimed that this was fabricated to scare the locals to ensure that there would not be any more uprisings.

“Most of the people in Kota Baru did not even know what Tok Janggut looked like, and only heard of news via word of mouth,” he claimed. Wan Asrul also questioned the authenticity of the picture of what was supposedly Tok Janggut’s remains.

The picture was obtained from the Bodleian Library in Oxford, United Kingdom by the late historian Prof Datuk Nik Anuar Nik Mahmud during his research there.

Tok Janggut’s grave in Tumpat, Kelantan, that was made by the British to deceive the locals that he had die in a clash with the British. Bernama photo


“Tok Janggut was a pure Kelantanese Malay. His mother Che Mah hailed from Pattani, while his father Munas was a Malay from Kampung Saring, Pasir Puteh. “No one in his family looked of Sikh descent, unlike the remains seen from the photograph,” he claimed.

Wan Asrul also tackled the question on why Tok Janggut chose not to reveal himself, unlike fellow warrior Mat Kilau, who did so in 1969.



Tok Janggut’s real grave that was marked with glass bottles during the British colonial era. The confirmation was made by the grandson of Tok Janggut’s cousin, Wan Asrul Wan Hussin. Bernama photo (File pix)
He claimed that Mat Kilau once met Tok Janggut at Kedai Lalat, Kota Baru in 1966.In that meeting, Tok Janggut allegedly voiced his disappointment over the administration’s decision to side with the ‘white folk’, and said it was better for him to remain anonymous.

Wan Asrul claimed that Tok Janggut was already 116-years-old at the time, and had felt that his task was already completed, given that the nation had already achieved its independence.
It was three years later - 1969 - that Mat Kilau shocked the nation by revealing himself to be alive, after Friday prayers at Kampung Pulau Tawar, Jerantut, Pahang.

Tok Janggut is usually regarded among historians as being among the pantheon of Malay freedom fighters, who had also included Mat Kilau, Datuk Bahaman, Tok Gajah dan Haji Abdur Rahman Limbong.
Tags: sejarah, tokoh
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