Sultan Hamid II Biography: His Family History and Political Career

Biography of Sultan Hamid II – Friends of Gramed, do you know this figure? His name is indeed often regarded as an antagonist in Indonesian history. Few people know that he is the designer of the national emblem of the Eagle Rajawali–Garuda Pancasila, which is currently the symbol of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI), namely Garuda Pancasila.

“Maybe this is what I can contribute to my nation, and hopefully my first donation (national symbol) will be useful for the country we love.”

Those were the words uttered by Sultan Hamid II when he handed over the archives of the Draft State Emblem to Mas Agung, Chairman of the Idayu Foundation, Jakarta on July 18, 1974. The United Republic of Indonesia (RIS) itself established the Eagle Rajawali–Garuda Pancasila as the state symbol on February 11, 1950.

Furthermore, the original design drawings for the Indonesian State Emblem were later designated as National Cultural Heritage Objects through the Decree of the Minister of Education and Culture Number 204/M/2016 on August 26 2016. Now, the position of the national symbol is aligned with the red and white national flag and the national anthem Indonesia Raya.

The political career of Sultan Hamid II was indeed short and full of twists and turns. This was because he was a pro-Dutch and Indonesian figure, especially when this nation wanted to gain independence from the Dutch occupation of Indonesia.

The general assumption that is formed about him is someone who has been “stuck in a historical accident” or even more extreme, a “former convicted of a political case”. However, is that really the “stamp of history”?

Isn’t there a positive side for his contribution that deserves to be recognized and honestly rewarded in the course of the nation’s history? Have the historical facts of his national work really sunk in with the past political turmoil, so that his role has not been raised to the surface?

Sultan Hamid II indeed has a double face in his political career. He was pro for the Netherlands when he was able to achieve several quite prestigious positions. One of them is becoming the Chairperson of the Bijeenkomst voor Federaal Overleg (BFO) or the Federal Countries Consultative Council, which is a Dutch product.

However, its role for Indonesia in the Round Table Conference (KMB) is not solely to fight for BFO and federalism. He was able to persuade Queen Juliana that the Netherlands was willing to hand over the sovereignty of all of its former colonies in the Dutch East Indies to RIS.

On December 27, 1949, Queen Juliana officially handed over the sovereignty of the Dutch East Indies to the head of the Indonesian delegation, namely Mohammad Hatta, at a meeting at the Dam Palace, Amsterdam.

That is a bit of proof of the diplomatic shrewdness of Sultan Hamid II, who was also Adjutant in Buitenfgewone Dienst bij HN Koningin der Nederlanden (Adjutant in Extraordinary Services to Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands), which is the highest rank as assistant to the queen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

After being recognized by the international community, the transition to the establishment of Indonesia has resulted in a conflict of thought in initiating the form of a state. The conflict of thought was born from the disagreement between the concept of “unitary state” (federalist) and the concept of “unitary state” (unitary).

Sultan Hamid II in politics and fighting for the independence of a nation and state, believed that the Malay Archipelago (current Indonesia) was more appropriate to use a federal system in its constitutional system.

However, he faced opposition from the republicans (unitarians) at that time who were mostly in Java (especially Yogyakarta) who wanted centralized domination or a unitary system (unitarism).

To be clearer in knowing this one figure, let’s look together at a brief explanation of the biography of Syarif Abdul Hamid Alkadrie or Sultan Hamid II below.

Family History of Sultan Hamid II

If we talk about Sultan Hamid II at the historical level of Indonesian statehood, we cannot actually separate the existence of the Qadriyah Pontianak Sultanate, which is the only youngest sultanate in the archipelago, especially in West Kalimantan. The sultanate was founded on 23 October 1771.

Sultan Syarif Abdul Hamid Al-Qadrie or commonly known as Sultan Hamid II and Syarif Hamid II of Pontianak, was the 7th sultan of the Pontianak Qadriyah Sultanate (1945–1978). He was born in Pontianak, West Kalimantan on July 12, 1913, to coincide with the 7th of Sya’ban 1331 H.

He is the son of the 6th Sultan of Pontianak, Sultan Syarif Muhammad Al-Qadrie from his third wife named Syecha Jamilah Syarwani. Sultan Hamid II has a sibling named Syarif Machmud Al-Qadrie, father of Syarif Abubakar Al-Qadrie who is now the Sultan of Pontianak. In addition, he still has seven half-siblings from other mothers.

As a child, he was raised by an English female gouvernante named Miss Fox, who always called him Max . Sultan Hamid II grew up in the Qadriyah Palace, Pontianak Sultanate. He is a descendant of the founder of the Pontianak State named Sultan Syarif Abdurrahman Al-Qadrie.

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Syarif Abdurrahman Al-Qadrie became the first sultan of the Pontianak Sultanate from 1 September 1778 to 28 February 1808. His title as sultan was later replaced by his son, Sultan Syarif Kasim Al-Qadrie (1808–1819).

Subsequently, successively replaced by Sultan Syarif Usman Al-Qadrie (1819–1855) as the third sultan, Sultan Syarif Hamid Al-Qadrie (1855–1872) as the fourth sultan, Sultan Syarif Yusuf Al-Qadrie (1872–1895) as sultan fifth, and Sultan Syarif Muhammad Al-Qadrie (1895–1944) as the sixth sultan.

Sultan Syarif Muhammad Al-Qadrie reigned from 15 March 1895 until captured and killed by Japanese soldiers on 24 June 1944. After the interregnum ( vacant government) from 24 June 1944–23 October 1945, due to Japan’s position in West Kalimantan and at the same time as the World War II, Syarif Abdul Hamid Al-Qadrie (Sultan Hamid II) was appointed as the seventh Sultan of Pontianak.

When Japan defeated the Netherlands and the Allies on March 10 1942, he was also held captive until August 1945. He was released when Japan surrendered to the Allies and was promoted to colonel.

When his father died as a victim of Japanese aggression, he was appointed Sultan of Pontianak to replace his father on October 29, 1945 with the title Sultan Hamid II. His appointment as the seventh sultan of the Pontianak Sultanate was because he was indeed the only son of Sultan Syarif Muhammad Al-Qadrie who survived the Japanese capture and assassination.

Political Career and Contribution of Sultan Hamid II to Indonesia

1. RIS Cabinet Formation Council and Minister of State Portfolio in 1949

Photo of the United Republic of Indonesia (RIS) Cabinet.

Through Presidential Decree No. RIS. 1 of 1949 dated December 18, 1949, Sultan Hamid II was appointed as one of the forming cabinet together with Drs. Mohammad Hatta, Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung, and Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwana IX.

Furthermore, through Presidential Decree No. RIS. 2 of 1949 dated December 20, 1949, Sultan Hamid II was appointed Minister of State for Portfolio together with:

  • Drs. Mohammad Hatta as Prime Minister concurrently Minister of Foreign Affairs;
  • Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung as Minister of Home Affairs;
  • Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwana IX as Minister of Defence;
  • Prof. Mr. Dr. Soepomo as Minister of Justice;
  • Arnold Mononutu as Minister of Information;
  • Mr. S. Prawiranegara as Minister of Finance;
  • Ir. Djuanda as Minister of Prosperity;
  • Ir. H. Laoh as Minister of Transportation, Energy and Public Works;
  • Mr. Wilopo as Minister of Labor;
  • Mr. Mohammad Kosasih Purwanegara as Minister of Social Affairs;
  • Dr. Abu Hanifah as Minister of Education and Culture;
  • Dr. Johannes Leimena as Minister of Health;
  • KH Wahid Hasjim as Minister of Religion;
  • Mr. Mohammad Roem as Minister of State;
  • Dr. Suparmo as Minister of State.

On December 14, 1949, a session for the election of the RIS President was held at the Kepatihan Building, Yogyakarta by representatives from 16 States. The session was chaired by Mohammad Roem and Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung. Furthermore, the RIS Presidential election was held with a single candidate Ir. Sukarno on December 16, 1949.

Ir. Soekarno was finally elected as President of the RIS, who was then sworn in and sworn in on December 17, 1949 at the Sitinggil Ward, Yogyakarta.

On December 23, 1949, the RIS delegation chaired by Drs. Mohammad Hatta with members of Sultan Hamid II, Sujono Hadinoto, Dr. Suparno, Dr. Kusumaatmaja, and Prof. Dr. Supomo left for the Netherlands.

The Dutch government then handed over sovereignty over Indonesia to RIS on December 27, 1949. The ceremony for transferring sovereignty was held in two places, namely in the Netherlands by Queen Juliana as Queen of the Netherlands, Prime Minister Willem Dress, and Minister for Overseas AMJM Sassen to Drs. Mohammad Hatta as the leader of the Indonesian delegation (RIS).

The second transfer of sovereignty was carried out in Jakarta. The participants consisted of the Crown High Representative AHJ Lovink who handed over sovereignty to Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwana IX as the representative of the RIS government.

At the same time, Ir. Soekarno in Yogyakarta received the handover of the sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia into the RIS from the Acting President of the Republic of Indonesia Mr. Assat.

As of December 28, 1949 the center of government of the RIS (capital city) was in Jakarta, while the capital city of the Republic of Indonesia (NRI) as one of the states of RIS remained in Yogyakarta.

Entering the early 1950s, it was recorded as an important period for Sultan Hamid II, because it was very decisive for his career on the stage of the national political arena later on.

2. State Coat of Arms Committee of 1949

Sultan Hamid II was appointed Minister of State Zonder Portfolio or without special assignments (without departments) in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Mohammad Hatta, based on the Decree of the President of RIS, Ir. Soekarno, Number 2 of 1949, December 20, 1949.

As Minister of State Zonder Portfolio, Sultan Hamid II was only given the task of preparing various needs for cabinet meetings and was tasked with coordinating the design of the State Emblem. The determination of cabinet member personnel is carried out by Ir. Soekarno seven days before the official transfer of sovereignty from the Kingdom of the Netherlands to RIS.

As Minister of State, Sultan Hamid II remembered Ir. Soekarno, that the state symbol should reflect the nation’s view of life and the basis of the Indonesian state. The precepts from the basis of the state, namely Pancasila, are visualized in the state symbol.

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On January 10, 1950, a technical committee was formed under the name Committee for State Emblem under Coordinating Minister of State Zonder Portofolio Sultan Hamid II with the composition of the technical committee, namely Muhammad Yamin as chairman and Ki Hajar Dewantara, MA Pellaupessy, Mohammad Natsir, and RM Ng. Poerbatjaraka as a member.

This committee is tasked with selecting proposals for draft state symbols to be selected and submitted to the government.

3. Designer of the State Emblem in 1949

Ir. Soekarno on July 22, 1958 addressed the assembly at the State Palace in order to socialize Government Regulation no. 43 of 1958 concerning the Use of the State Emblem, which was promulgated by the Minister of Justice GA Maengkom.

In State Gazette No. 71 of 1958 and its explanation in the Additional State Gazette No. 1636 In 1958, he proudly repeatedly pointed to the symbol hanging in front of the audience:

Brothers, look at our National Emblem on the back. How magnificent. How great and beautiful. Eagle Eagle, Garuda, which has 17 wingspans on the right and left wings, with 8 tails on the 17th of the 8th month, and the one wearing a shield on which Pancasila is depicted, below which is written a verse made by Empu Tantular “Unity in Diversity” “, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika “many kinds but single “.

Garuda Pancasila which was inaugurated on February 11, 1950, without a crest and the position of the claws is still behind the ribbon.

RIS established the Eagle Rajawali–Garuda Pancasila as the State Symbol as of 11 February 1950. Four days later on 15 February 1950, Ir. Soekarno introduced the national symbol for the first time to the general public at the Des Indes Hotel (now the Duta Merlin Shop, Jalan Gadjah Mada, Central Jakarta).

This is the greatest work of Sultan Hamid II which was specially commissioned by Ir. Soekarno to design the state emblem, after being appointed Minister of State Zonder Portfolio, effective 20 December 1949.

In connection with the determination of the State Emblem, an exhibition was held at the Des Indes Hotel, Jakarta. The exhibition was directly initiated by Ir. Soekarno as his deepest satisfaction with the process of making the Eagle Eagle-Garuda Pancasila State Emblem by Sultan Hamid II, Sultan of Pontianak-West Kalimantan.

Hotel Des Indes was chosen as the venue for the exhibition because at that time it was known as the most luxurious and prestigious hotel in Jakarta. Operated from 1856 to 1950 in Weltevreden, Batavia (Jakarta). Many important events were held at Hotel Des Indes, including the location where the Roem-Roijen agreement was signed on May 7, 1949.

Due to political reasons, for quite a long time Sultan Hamid II was not recognized as the designer of the Indonesian State Emblem (Elang Rajawali–Garuda Pancasila).

The official acknowledgment of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia for the work of Sultan Hamid II as the Designer of the Indonesian National Emblem, was marked by the steps taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia and the Museum of the Asian-African Conference, in Bandung, West Java Province, to publish a small color book, measuring 11 centimeters x 20 centimeters, as thick as 48 pages in early 2012.

The pocket book states that the design made by Sultan Hamid II was selected by Ir. Soekarno as the National Symbol, which became known as Garuda Pancasila.

There are four parties that play the most role in strengthening historical evidence that Sultan Hamid II was the designer of the Garuda Pancasila State Emblem, including:

First, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Sultan Hamid II Foundation (Sultan Hamid II Foundation), who is also the Private Secretary of Sultan Hamid II, namely Max Yusuf Al-Qadrie who is still very neat in storing data and supporting documents left by Sultan Hamid II.

Second, Solichin Salam, a journalist for the Morning Buana Jakarta Daily, who received important documents from Sultan Hamid II. Sultan Hamid II asked him to publish the materials sent in the Berita Buana Daily.

Don’t put the state symbol on your house before the state recognizes that symbol, just draw a twig ,” wrote Sultan Hamid II’s letter to Solichin Salam in Jakarta on April 15, 1967.

So, that’s a brief explanation of Sultan Hamid II’s Family History, Political Career, and Contribution to Indonesia . Appreciating the services of national figures, like Sultan Hamid II, is not only by remembering and thanking them in their hearts, but also by emulating their attitudes and actions.

Sinaumed’s can visit sinaumedia’s book collection at to get references about other heroes, starting from their life background, education, and struggle history.

The following is a recommendation for sinaumedia books that Sinaumed’s can read to learn about Indonesian history so they can fully interpret it. Happy reading.

Author: Fandy Aprianto Rohman

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