A Brief History  


  Prior to the establishment of the Malacca Sultanate, Pahang was in control of the southern areas in the Malay Peninsula. The Majapahit people at that time reffered to the Peninsula simply as 'Pahang'. At the beginning of the 16th century, the period when the Malay State of Johor was established, the borders of Pahang were as follows; in the south at Sedili Besar, in the north reaching Terengganu. It's western borders of Pahang were as follows; in the south at Sedili Besar, in the north and west borders of Pahang are a chain of mountains, i.e. the Main Range. On the east side is the South China Sea.   
  Pahang is the largest state in the Malay Peninsula. Total land area is 35,515 square kilometres. There are 11 districts in Pahang; which are Kuantan, Maran, Pekan, Rompin, Temerloh, Jerantut, Bentong, Raub, Lipis ,Cameron Highlands  and Bera. People of various religions and races make up the population.

The Origin Of It's Name

  Pahang Darul Makmur was called differently many centuries ago. A Chinese writer called it as Pang-Hang Peng-Heng, Pang-Heng, Pong-Fong, Phe-Hang, Pang-Kang and others.  
  In 1225, Choa Ju-Kua wrote the book 'Chu-Fan-Chi'. He wrote that amongst the states invaded by San-Fo-Chi was one called Peng-Keng, i.e. Pahang.   
  The Arabs and Europeans at that time called it as Pam, Pan, Phang, Paam, Poa, Paon, Phamm, Paham, Fanhan, Phang and Pahagh. G.R Tibbets, a historian who commented the story written by Mas'udi thought that Fanjab (in Mas'udi's book) was  Pahang. He preferred to call it Fanhan, Panghang/Panhang, rather than Fanjab.  
  Certain people said that the name 'Pahang', originated from the language of a Siamese aborigines tribe, meaning 'ore'. The aborigines used to live here and opened up several mining areas, especially in Sungai Lembing.  
  According to an old Malay story, at the place near the Pahang River, on the opposite side of Kampung Kembahang, a large 'mahang' tree fell across the river, thus the name ' Pahang originated'.  
  Pahang was also known as 'Inderapura', otherwise called Pahang Inderapura. It's infamous Royal Town and once of the Malacca Sultanate, Pekan was known as 'Pura'. 

  The Pre-Historic Period   

  Archeologists had done many researches and excavation works in various sites in Pahang. Popular archaeological sites are caves, mountains, river banks, old mining areas and a few open spaces. Amongst the artifacts discovered were stone implements, ceramics / earthen-wares, bronze and iron implements.  
  The well known archaelogical sites in Pahang are; Kota Tongkat, Kota Gelanggi (near Jerantut); Gua Kecil (Raub); Gunung Senyum, Bukit Chintamanis (Karak); Sungai Lembing, Tersang (Kuala Lipis); Sungai Selinsing, Sungai Tui, Nyong, Teluk Lubuk Puai, Batu Pasir Garam, Bukit Jong and Kg. Pagi (the meeting point of Sungai Tembeling and Sungai Pahang). Most of the artifacts discovered underneath the ground were artifacts made of stone; made and used by the mesolithic people.  
  Archaeologists believed that the mesolithic people lived in caves and mountains. They were the first to arrive at the Asian Mainland and Malay Peninsula. The Malay Proto group, started to live in the Peninsula about 3000 / 2000 B.C.  
  Several agricultural implements were found underneath the ground. Archaelogists belived that they were made by the people from the last Stone Age. The implements were the heads of spears, knivers, scythes, hoes and other unusual iron implements.  
  These artifacts were found of several places; by the Sungai Lembing , Teluk Lubuk Puai and Bukit Jong (by Sungai Lipis). In Kampung Batu Pasir Garam (by Sungai Tembeling), archaelogists discovered a fraction of an ancient drum made of bronze or Dong S'on Drum. It was used by the people who observed the Bronze Culture. Dr. Linehan stated that this Dong S'on Drum was made in Indo-China and brought over from Funan to Ulu Tembeling sometime in the 3rd century together with implements made from ancient irons.  
  According to anthropologists and historians, the deutro Malays were the ancestors of the Malays living in the coastal districts of the Malay Peninsula. In ancient times, besides the aborigines ( the Semang tribes ), Pahang was inhabited by the Middle Age men and the Last Stone Age ( early Bronze Age men).

  State Monarchy and Ruling

  The system of monarchy was established in Pahang many centuries ago. The first Sultan was Sultan Muhamad Shah ( 1469-1475 ), the prince of the Sultan of Malacca. His descendants continued to hold the throne of Pahang for more than 200 years. The last from the family was Sultan Mahmud Shah, who died in 1699.  
  Following his death, power was taken by the family of Bendahara Tuan Habib Abdul Majid, Padang Saujana. They established the independent  influence of Riau-Lingga.

The English came over and established their hegemony over Pahang in the late 19th century. J.P.Rodger was appointed as the first Resident in October 1888. Top priority was to centralize all administrative works Pekan was first chosen, but after 3 years, it was transfered to Lipis.   
  In 1901, a plan was made to transfer the centre to a new and permanent site. Final decision was taken on 2nd March 1953. The State Government considered 2 sites, Temerloh / Mentakab and Kuantan. The former had a problem of uneven land; wich required vast amount of money to develop. It was settled Kuantan was to be new capital.  
  The late Sultan Abu Bakar proclaimed the new state capital on 27th August 1955. On 28th February 1970, all administrative works were centralized in the newly constructed Wisma Sri Pahang.

   The Early Transporation System

  In the past, the river of Pahang, Kuantan, Bebar, Rompin, Endau, Tembeling, Jelai, Semantan and other small ones were used as the main transportation way for travelling between districts and to other states. Somebody going to Kelantan may use the Tanum River (of the Jelai River) or using the Sat and Sepia River (both the tributaries of the Tembeling River). The Sepia River can also be used to go to Terengganu. The way to Perak is harder, using the Bertam and Lipis Rivers (of the Jelai River). The Semantan River and it's tributaries were used to travel to Selangor.  
  The main way used in the past was the one connecting Pahang with the districts in Hulu Muar and Malacca.This river route goes upstream of the Pahang River through it's tributary called Bera River then through Serting River. At the end of Serting River the boat has to be pulled onland for three hundred yards. That place is called 'Penarikan' meaning a place where travellers pulled their boats onland. Then the route follows down stream Jempol River and to Muar River. From Muar one can go to Malacca and other places on the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia. This is the route followed by Sultan  Mahmud Shah of Malacca and his son Sultan Ahmad when they were defeated by the Portuguese in 1511 at Pagoh and Bentayan. This some route was used by Sultan Ali (the son of Sultan Husain Shah of Singapore) from Umbai Malacca to Pahang to meet Bendahara Wan Ahmad Pahang (Pekan) in 1863. Gadinho de Eredia an author and a Portuguese officer in Malacca in 1613 stated that "From Malacca to Pahang via 'Penarikan' takes six days to and fro".  
  Perahu jalak ( small boats ) were used to carry both cargoes and passengers. These boats could accommodate 12 passengers and about 15 tonnes of cargo. The rent for each journey from Kuantan to Kuala Pahang was $25.00. The Sungai Lembing Mining Company (PCCL) started the daily transportation service between Kuantan and Pasir Kemudi, the passengers and cargoes were transported by train to Sungai Lembing.   
  Before the road from Jerantut to Kuantan was completed, the officers in Ulu Pahang travelling to Kuantan or Pekan had to use boats ( perahu ) and rafts heading towards the down stream direction of the Pahang River.   
  After a few years under the English administration, construction works to build roads were started. By the end of 1910, a road of 18 miles long from Kuantan on 5 September 1910. In 1918, the Jerantut-Kuantan road was extended to link it with Kuala Lipis. In the later period of 1933, the road from Pekan to Kuantan was officially opened.   
  The transportation  and communication system in Pahang was further imporved with the construction of roads bridge, airport and port. These had shortened and facilitated the journey and communication from one place to an other in Pahang Darul Makmur, Malaysia and the neighbour countries like Singapore (in the south) and Thailand (in the north).