The history of the state of Kubu is closely linked with that of Pontianak. Both owe their foundations to and intrepid group of 45 Arab adventurers who set out from the Hadramaut in South Arabia, to seek fortune in the eastern seas. The ancestor and first Tuan (lord) of Kubu, Sharif Idrus, was the son-in-law of the Tuan Besar of Mampawa, and brother-in-law of the first Sultan of Pontianak. He established his settlement near the mouth of the Terentang River, in southwestern Borneo.

Like their Kadri cousins in Pontianak, the Idrusi grew rich through trade. They established particularly good relations with the British, during the Raffles administration of the Indies. These relations continued after the return of the Dutch and the establishment of Singapore. However, these were not viewed with favour by the Dutch, who formalised their control over Borneo through a series of 'contracts' with the rulers in 1823. Some members of the family found life increasingly uncomfortable. They left Borneo for Sarawak, or British territory, in order to continue their successful trading ventures. Those who remained, however, did not find life much easier.

The Dutch deposed Sharif 'Abbas in favour of his cousin, Sharif Zainal Idrus, in 1911. He proved equally difficult and abdicated without nominating a successor, eight years later. No successor was recognised for a number of years, and then only as "temporary ruler". In time, Sharif Salih, garnered great respect from the authorities, but then perished during the Japanese beheadings in Mandor, in 1943.

The state council and the ruling family could not easily agree on a successor to Sharif Salih. Therefore, the Japanese appointed a younger son of his predecessor, Sharif Hasan, as head of the state council. He received recognition as Head of State after the establishment of self-government in 1949. The state ceased to exist when abolished by the Indonesian Republic in 1958.

The ruling prince: Sharif (or Sayyid) (personal name) ibni al-Marhum Sharif (or Sayyid) (father's personal name) al-Idrus, Tuan Besar of Kubu (originally Yang di-Pertuan Besar).
The other male members of the ruling family, descended in the male line: Sharif (or Sayyid) (personal name) ibni Sharif (or Sayyid) (father's personal name) al-Idrus.
The female members of the ruling family, descended in the male line: Sharifa (personal name) binti Sharif (or Sayyid) (father's personal name) al-Idrus.

Selection by the council of state and senior members of the ruling house.


J. P. J. Barth, Overzicht der afdeeling Soekadana, Verhandelingen van het Bataviaasch Genootschap van kunsten en wetenschappen. Deel L, Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen, Albrecht & Co., Batavia, 1897.
J.J.K. Enthoven, Bijdragen tot de Geographie van Borneo's Wester-afdeeling. E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1903.
H. von Dewall, "Matan, Simpang, Soekadana, de Karimata-eilanden en Koeboe (Wester-afdeeling van Borneo)", Tijdschrisft voor Indische Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, Deel XI, Vierde Serie Deel II, Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen, Batavia, 1862.

D. Tick, Pusat Dokumentasi Kerajaan-Kerajaan di Indonesia "Pusaka". pusaka.tick@tiscali.nl
Mirza Hafiz
Copyrightę Christopher Buyers
Copyrightę Christopher Buyers
I would be grateful to hear from anyone who may have changes, corrections or additions to contribute. If you do, please be kind enough to send me an e-mail using the contact details at: Copyrightę Christopher Buyers
Copyrightę Christopher Buyers

CopyrightęChristopher Buyers, January 2002 - September 2008