History of Syed Mohamad Alsagoff


Jalan Alsagoff, Main Street of Pontian, named after Syed Muhamad Alsagoff.

The role and contribution of Tuan Syed Muhammad Alsagoff in the pioneering the cultivation of Kukup and Pontian should not be forgotten.

To commemorate the contribution of Alsagoff, the main road situated in the centre of Pontian town, starting from the Pontian Kecil River Bridge and ending at the Pontian Besar River Bridge was named Jalan Alsagoff (Alsagoff Road).

Syed Muhammad Alsagoff was the grandson of Syed Abdul Rahman Alsagoff, an Arab businessman from Hadramaut. Syed Abdul Rahman came to Singapore with his son Syed Ahmad in 1824, a few years after Singapore was found by the British Company.

Syed Abdul Rahman was active in the spice trade between Malacca, Singapore and Java, as well as plenty of the Indonesian islands. From the trading of spices, Syed Abdul Rahman had become a rich man, establishing a company named Alsagoff & Company in Singapore in 1848. The Company traded in spices, rubber, sago, coffee, coco, pineapples and others and esported them out of the country.

Alsagoff & Company had its branches such as Perseverance Estate in Geylang Serai of Singapore, Straits Cycle & Motor Company and Express Sawmill in Timur Jauh. At that time, the sawmill was suppose the biggest in Timur Jauh.

Syed Abdul Rahman also owned many cargo ships dealing in import and export business. His business activities and richness made him well known and respected not only among the ordinary people, but among the nobles and the rulers.

When Syed Abdul Rahman died in Gersik, Surabaya all his business were inherited by Syde Ahmad. Syed Ahmad married Raja Siti, the daughter of Hajah Fatimah, Goa in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Hajah Fatimah herself was a rich business woman owning many cargo ships.

Hajah Fatimah migrated to Singapore and built her own residence at Jawa Road in Kampong Gelam, Singapore. She became not only a rich person, but a generous charity contributor. She built mosques and many houses for the poor. Until today, the Masjid Fatimah mosque in Jawa Road, Singapore still standing firmly in place.

When Hajah Fatimah died, her business was run by her son-in-law Syed Ahmad. He became richer as he had already inherited his father's wealth, and now his mother-in-law's wealth added his richness.

Syed Ahmad's marriage with Raja Siti resulted with 4 children namely Syed Muhamad, Sharifah Rogayah, Sharifah Aishah, and Sharifah Khadijah. When Syed Ahmad died in the year 1875, all family wealth was passed down to Syed Muhamad.

Syed Muhamad became famous internationally. He was appointed as the Konsol Jeneral Kehormat by the Singapore Turkish. At the same time, he also ensured good relationship with the Malay sultans in Siak, Langkat, Pontiananak and Johor.

His good relationship with Sultan Abu Bakaer of Johor brought him Land Concession in Kukup area. This piece of land was then cultivated with agriculture corps like rubber, sagu, coco, pepper and others. He brought in Jawa workers to work for him in his consession land. Later Kukup became a district. He also possessed consession land in Johor Bahru which he named Nong Chik.

Syed Muhamad Alsagoff was also a generous charity contributor. He contributed to built the Sekolah Arab Alsagoff, Jalan Sultan (Alsagoff Arab School) in Singapore, Rumah Anak-anak Yatim Islam Singapura (The Singapore Islam Orphanage). He also help the Acheh people to fight against the Dutch.

Syed Muhamad Alsagoff died on 31st July, 1906 at the age of 70 years old in his own house in Bukit Tunggal, Thomson Road Singapore becuase of heart disease.


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