Sultan Hussein Shah is known mainly today as the Sultan who signed two treaties with the East India Company that culminated in the founding of Singapore. Munshi Abdullah sketched the physical transformation of Hussein after becoming Sultan: “… his small head and neck buried under so much fat that it looked as if he had no neck, his round face squinting eyes, button nose, wide mouth, spreading chest, paunch distended with layers of flesh, thighs which met in the middle, spindly legs without any flesh, splay feet and raucous voice jarred on the ears.”
Munshi Abdullah wrote of a certain peranakan Indian from Melaka named Abdul Kadir bin Ahmad Sahib. He enjoyed the confidence of the Sultan to such an extent he was given a place in the royal palace. This improper conduct created uneasiness and jealousy among the chief ministers and the people of Singapore. Riot broke out. Rumours of people plotting to murder Abdul Kadir began to spread. Abdul Kadir was eventually smuggled out of KampungGelam in a carriage. He dressed in women’s clothes to avoid suspicion. After Abdul Kadir sailed to Melaka, Sultan Hussein became mournful like a father who had just lost his son. Sultan Hussein passed away in 1835 and was buried at Tengkera Mosque. His coffin was accompanied by a military parade and mourners.