Located at the foot of Mount Faber, Keramat Radin Mas commemorates Radin Mas Ayu, whose father was a crown prince. Her name directly translates to “Beautiful Golden Princess”.
The keramat is sheltered within a simple roofed structure and adorned by a metal frame decked with translucent drapes. The shrine is marked by a pair of tombstones wrapped in yellow cloth, which sits on a raised platform. A spring used to exist in the vicinity and was believed to have healing properties. The spring has since closed as it attracted too many visitors, creating disturbance to the nearby residents.
The Legend of Radin Mas Ayu
Radin Mas Ayu (aka ‘Golden Princess’) was born out of a secret marriage between Pangeran Adipati Agung—the brother of a sultan—and a commoner who was the lead dancer of a dance troupe. Their relationship was frowned upon as Pangeran chose to marry a commoner. The sultan was furious when he found out and wanted to punish the commoner.
He attempted to murder the entire family, but Radin Mas and her father managed to survive. Together with a loyal servant, they set sail to Temasek (Singapore) and settled in Telok Blangah.
While in Temasek, Tengku Bagus, the nephew of the Radin Mas’s stepmother, was in love with Radin Mas. Together with Radin Mas’s stepmother, who wished to get rid of Radin Mas, they plotted to imprison Pangeran and threatened Radin Mas to marry Tengku Bagus or her father will be killed.
The scheme was eventually revealed and Pangeran was rescued by Radin Mas’s stepbrother, Tengku Chik. However, Tengku Bagus was afraid of revenge and attempted to stab Pangeran. Radin Mas lunged forward to shield her father and the keris (asymmetrical dagger) was plunged into her heart instead.
Radin Mas’s Legacy
Radin Mas’s legacy has lived on in many small ways after her death. In 1959, a movie—which featured some of the greatest movie stars of that time—was produced by Cathay-Keris Films to commemorate the life of this extraordinary princess.
A few places in Singapore are also named after her, such as Masjid Radin Mas, which closed in 2001, Radin Mas Primary School, and Radin Mas Single Member Constituency, an electoral division.
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