ACEH THE FIRST SOVEREIGN COUNTRY TO RECOGNIZING THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE NETHERLANDS
Provinciealse Zeeuwse Courant, published in Middelburg (The Netherlands) on October 25, 1978, recounts the ceremonial event of a monument established in the town of Middelburg, in memory of the Ambassador of the Sultanate of Aceh Darussalam, Tengku Abdul Hamid, who died in the Netherlands on 10 August 1602.
According to the newspaper, the inauguration ceremony of the monument to the Sultanate Ambassador took place solemnly. Attended by civilian and military authorities. Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia in the Netherlands represented by Charge d’Affair Drs. Garnawan Dharmaputera, while Aceh province represented by Drs. Teuku Iskandar, Abubakar, and Doctor Teuku Hasan Ubit.
Among the important guests present, namely Prince Bernhard (husband of Queen Juliana), Drs. A.J. Piekaar, Lieutenant General F van der Veen (Chairman of Stichting Peutjut Fond), Commissioner van de koningin dr. C. Boetien and Middleburg Mayor Drs. P.A. Wolters.
Establishment of memorial memories to Abdul Hamid in the Netherlands must be viewed in terms of the history of the greatness of the Indonesian nation as the first chain of genealogies forming Indonesian representation abroad, especially in Europe.
Prince Maurice’s letter to the Sultan of Aceh
At the end of the 16th century until the early seventeenth century the Dutch freed themselves from the Spanish colonialism, Prince Maurice proclaimed the establishment of an independent and sovereign Republic of the Netherlands. As a result, the Dutch people made a long war against the power of Spain as the largest imperialist state at the time.
At that time, countries in Europe have not dared to recognize the independence of the Netherlands, for fear of the power of Spain. So Prince Maurice as the newly established chairman of the Republic of the Netherlands is making friends and support to other parts of the world, Asia.
The Republic of the Netherlands took a decision to establish diplomatic relations with the Sultanate of Aceh Darussalam. To implement the decision Prince Maurice sent a delegation led by State Commissioner Gerard de Roy and Admiral Laurens Bicker, with four ships, Zeelandia, Middelburg, Langhe Bracke and de Sonne. They left for Aceh on 29 January 1601 and arrived on 23 August 1601.
The delegation of Gerald de Roy brought a letter from the Head of the Dutch Republic Prince Maurice, which meant that the new Republic of the Netherlands wanted to be friendly with the Sultanate of Aceh Darussalam. Here’s the letter:
“In the new year passed, 1598 AD, on the order of two ships from this country, with the intention of holding trade in the East Indies, which ship had arrived there on August 15 of that year.
It has been reported to me how kindly the greeting given to them by the Sultan and how meticulous the ministry was given to them when they arrived in the kingdom of Aceh, besides that, they also received news that by fulfilling the rules and with all honesty they have carried out the trade intentions.
But when the Portuguese who became citizens of the Kingdom of Spain, our enemies, got word that they were getting protection and assistance promised by Sultan, they then told the lies, to mislead the Sultan, among them said that the merchants The Dutch were pirates, and that their arrival was to usurp the kingdom of Aceh.
The result of the deception, Sultan had caught the arrest of Frederick de Houtman, the captain of one of the vessels, along with some of the crew, and detained them, which resulted in their suffering.
With confidence in the mercy of Sultan to them, I want to convey my hope that the Sultan should give them good care, as well as to every citizen who visits the kingdom of Aceh, who is free to return, may the prisoners who are now in the country of Aceh can get their freedom back.
It is also reported to me that the Portuguese had waged war against the kingdom of Aceh on the orders of the King of Spain, with the aim of seizing the land and making its citizens servants severely, as they have done for more than 30 years in our country. But the Almighty God has never wanted to do so, and instead we have taken up arms against the occupation and will do it until it succeeds.
It was for this reason that I pleaded with the Sultan not to trust the Portuguese, and that Sultan should not suspect any more to the citizens who came from my country and to have the opportunity to trade, so I assigned some of my representatives to this letter, composed of delegates plenipotentiary. Four captains, namely Cornelis Bastiaanse, Jan. Tonneman, Matthys Antonisse and Cornelis Adriaanse, along with several commissioners (zaakgelastigden), Namely Geradl de Roy, Laurens Begger, Jan Jacobs and Nicolas van der Lee, all of whom set out with four ships on my behalf, held talks with Sultan, to discuss what help was wanted to crush the enemies.
Likewise to them I have given permission to give the usual gifts to the Sultan as proof of my desire to make friendship with Sultan. I beg that the gifts sent to be received. And with this I pray to God for Sultan and kingdom of Aceh to expand in accordance with his wishes.”
It was published in Den Haag, Netherlands, on December 11, 1600
Hand kissed by his servant
Signed Maurice de Nassau
Delegation of Tengku Abdul Hamid
The contents of Prince Maurice’s letter to the Sultan of Aceh, at that time the Sultan Alaidin Riayat Syah Saidil Mukammil (997-1011 Hijri / 1589-1604 AD) was discussed by Sultan in the Council of the Kingdom, then decided among other things:
- Accept both the wishes of Prince Maurice as the Head of the Dutch Republic to establish diplomatic and economic relations with the Netherlands;
- Acknowledging the Republic of the Netherlands as an independent and sovereign State;
- Sends a delegation to the Netherlands, in return for a visit.
The Aceh delegation was led by Tengku Abdul Hamid, a prominent cleric and statesman, Admiral Sri Muhammad, an experienced high-ranking Marine officer, Mir Hasan a diplomat and statesman to Wizarah Badlul Muluk (Foreign Ministry), Leonard Werner aka Pusque Camis, descendants of Luxemburg Interpreters and a number of officers and Navy soldiers.
On the way to Holland, a Dutch ship carrying an Aceh delegation was intercepted by a Portuguese “San Jabo” ship, resulting in a sea battle, in which soldiers and Acehnese officers were involved in this battle. The ship “San Jabo” can be defeated and the goods in it are seized and taken to the Netherlands. On July 20, 1602, Dutch Ships arrived safely at Zeeland.
When the Aceh delegation arrived in the Netherlands, Prince Maurice was at his war headquarters in a village called Grave. According to Dr. Wap in his book Het Gezantschap van den Sultan of Aceh, on 10 August 1602 due to air exchange, was interred on August 11, 1602, in St. Pieter in the town of Middelburg. Abdul Hamid’s death before meeting with Prince Maurice, Admiral Sri Muhammad replaced him later as Chairman of the Delegation. On the gravestone Abdul Hamid inscribed:
Hic Situs Est
Abdul Zamat Princeps Legationis
A Rege Tabrobanae Seu Sumatrae
Sultan Alcien Raietza Lillo Lahe
Felalam Ad Illustriss Princip
Cum Duap. Navi. Zeeland Quae
In Dedit. Acceper.
Vixit An. LXXI Obiit Anno CI]I] II
Here is buried
Abdulhamid, Head of Delegation of
Sultan Alaiddin Riayat Shah
Messenger to meet
The Honorable Prince Maurice with
The ship Zeeuw, who has been robbed
Close the age of 71 years, died
The East India Company made a mark
Submit a Letter of Trust and a Letter of Recognition to The Republic of Netherlands
After the mourning period over the death of Tengku Abdul Hamid, on 1 September 1602, the Aceh delegation under the leadership of Admiral Sri Muhammad faces Prince Maurice at his headquarters
On the occasion, the Head of Delegation of Aceh handed a letter to Prince Maurice, Credentials and Recognition of Sultanate of Aceh to the Republic of Netherlands, also submitted with solemn gifts from Sultan Alaiddin Riayat Syah Saidil Mukammil.
The Aceh Delegation acceptance ceremony is held with solemn and festive. Completed formal talks with Prince Maurice, to the Aceh Delegation shown the results of the war against Spain, also reviewed the towns and villages in the Netherlands. According to historical records, Aceh is the first sovereign state in the world to recognize de facto and de jure Dutch independence.
Honey is repaid with poison
In 1872, when the Dutch made preparations to attack the Sultanate of Aceh Darussalam, in letters to the King of the Netherlands, Multatuli once recalled the events of Aceh’s recognition to the Dutch Republic, even Multatuli spoke at a meeting in Wiesbaden: “When the Dutch struggled for independence from Spain, The Kingdom of Aceh was the first to recognize the Netherlands as an independent nation.”
Apparently, honey is rewarded with poison!
Nevertheless, in 1978 the good and greatness of the soul was once again shown to the Dutch, when the Governor of Aceh A. Muzakkir Walad on behalf of the people of Aceh requested the Dutch Ambassador to order the corpse of Major General Kohler whose grave was evicted in Jakarta brought to Aceh and buried again in Peucut Aceh.
For those who do not live the life of the Acehnese, it may not be understood why Major General Kohler, who led the first assault on Aceh as “Commander-in-Chief” and died while leading the burning of the Baiturrahman Great Mosque, after Jakarta displaced his grave, Peucut in Banda Aceh willing to accept his main enemy.
For those who do not deepen the soul of Aceh, may not understand why Major General Kohler, who led the first assault to Aceh as “Commander of Aggressors” and died while leading the burning of Baiturrahman Great Mosque, after Jakarta displace his grave, Peucut in Banda Aceh willing to accept the main enemy.
Peucut Cemetery is a place for the planting of so many high-ranking officers and middle-ranking officers and Dutch soldiers who died in decades of fierce warfare between the Netherlands and Aceh.
To organize and restore Peucut cemetery, in the Netherlands was formed a foundation named “Stichting Peucut Fonds” (Foundation Peucut Fund), which was established and led by retired Dutch officers who had once been in Aceh, such as Lt. Gen. F. van Der Veen, Colonel JHJ Brendgen and others.
In order not to say “honey returned poison” Stichting Peucut Fonds took the initiative to establish a monument for Tengku Abdul Hamid, Chairman of the Delegation of the Kingdom of Aceh Darussalam who died in the town of Middelburg on 10 August 1602.
Stichting Peucut Fonds succeeded in mobilizing the Dutch government and society to correct past mistakes, among others by establishing a monument which on October 24, 1978, was inaugurated by Prince Bernhard (husband of Queen Juliana) in the name of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In marble stones attached to the recorded monuments of writing as follows:
Ter Nagadachtenis Aan
Abdoel Hamid Hoffd van het Atjehse Gezantsechap
Sultan Alaoeddin Riajat Syah Lillahi Fil Alam
Naar Prins Maurits Met de Zeeuwse Sechepen
De Zeelandia en de Langhe Barcke
Hij Was Oud Een-en-zeventig Jaar Overleed in 1602
En Werd Bigezet In de Oude Kerk te Middulburg
De Stichting Peutjut Fonds Heeft Dese Dedenkplaat
Doen Plaatsen 24 Oktober 1978.
Memories to Abdulhamid
Chairman of the Aceh Mission who was sent
By Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah Lillahi Fil Alam
To Prince Maurits who departed with ships
Zeeland de Zeelandia and Langhe Barcke
He died at the age of 71 years
Buried in an old church in Middelburg
The Peucut Foundation makes this monument
On October 24, 1978.
The Meaning of Tengku Abdul Hamid Monument
In the first bit of history, it is clear that the Memory Monument to Abdul Hamid, Chairman of the Sultanate of Aceh Darussalam, as the Ambassador of Indonesia, has a very important historical understanding in the history of our nation’s diplomatic relations.
As quoted in the speech of the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Netherlands, represented by Drs. Garnawan Dharmaputera who in his speech said, “For the Indonesian nation is certainly considered very important, because Tengku Abdul Hamid is the Ambassador of Indonesia who first lead the diplomatic mission in the Netherlands, so he and other members of the mission. Is a pioneer in the formation of representatives of the Republic of Indonesia today in the Netherlands.”
It is also certain for the Dutch people that the event is considered very important and historic too, so the inauguration was done by Prince Bernhard himself, not for example by the Mayor of Middelburg.
Today, the inauguration of the monument Abdul Hamid, which took place on October 24, 1978, in Middelburg we are revealed again to be known to all Indonesian and Dutch people, as well as citizens of the world.
- Ali Hasjmy; Aceh The First Sovereign Country to Recognize the Independence of the Netherlands; Sinar Darussalam No. 10 May / June 1979 edition.
- Provinciealse Zeeuwse Courant Newspaper published in Middelburg (The Netherlands) on October 25, 1978.
- Mohammad Said; Aceh Throughout the Ages; Page 128-129.
- Wap; Het Gezantsschap van den Sultan Aceh.
About Aceh :
- CUMBOK WAR, A SOCIAL REVOLUTION IN ACEH (1946-1947)
- CIVILIZATION WITHOUT WRITING
- DUTCH RAID OPERATION AGAINST CUT MEUTIA (1910)