Abu Bakar of Johor
Sultan of Johor
Died when: 62 years 121 days (748 months)
Star Sign: Aquarius
Sultan Sir Abu Bakar ibni Almarhum Temenggong Seri Maharaja Tun Daeng Ibrahim (Jawi: المرحوم سلطان سير ابو بكر ابن المرحوم تماڠڬوڠ دايڠ إبراهيم سري مهاراج جوهر; b.3 February 1833 – d.4 June 1895), also known as Albert Baker , was the Temenggong of Johor. He was the 1st Sultan of Modern Johor, the 21st Sultan of Johor and the first Maharaja of Johor from the House of Temenggong. He was also informally known as "The Father of Modern Johor", as many historians accredited Johor's development in the 19th century to Abu Bakar's leadership. He initiated policies and provided aids to ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs to stimulate the development of the state's agricultural economy which was founded by Chinese migrants from Southern China in the 1840s. He also took charge of the development of Johor's infrastructure, administrative system, military and civil service, all of which were modelled closely along Western lines. Abu Bakar was noted for his diplomatic skills, and both the British and Malay rulers had approached him for advice in making important decisions. He was also an avid traveller, and became the first Malay ruler to travel to Europe during his first visit to England in 1866. In particular, Abu Bakar became a lifetime friend of Queen Victoria in his later years. Abu Bakar's friendship with Queen Victoria played an important role in shaping Johor's relationships with Britain, and was the only state by the end of the 19th century in the Peninsular Malaya to maintain autonomy in its internal affairs as the British Colonial Government pushed for greater control over the Malay states by placing a British Resident in the states. He was also an Anglophile, and many of his personal habits and decisions were aligned to European ideas and tastes. Abu Bakar became the sovereign ruler of Johor when his father, Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim died in 1862. Six years later, Abu Bakar changed his legal state title of "Temenggong" to "Maharaja". In 1885, Abu Bakar sought legal recognition from Britain for another change in his legal state title of "Maharaja" to a regal title of "Sultan", and was proclaimed the following year. In all, Abu Bakar's reign lasted for 32 years until his death in 1895.