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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hang Li Po, Hang Tuah were just myths?


Princess Hang Li Po: Prove me wrong, Khoo tells detractors

KUALA LUMPUR- A historian has asked his detractors to prove him wrong in his claim that Hang Tuah and other historical figures never existed.

“If you do not agree with me, bring out sources to show that I am wrong.

“You cannot simply say that you don’t agree. What is the basis?” Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim asked when met at the Interna-tional Conference on the Global Movement of Moderates here yesterday.

Prof Khoo, who is in a committee which will look into the present History curriculum in schools, said legends like Hang Tuah and Princess Hang Li Po were not real because there were no reliable sources to confirm their existence.

On Hang Tuah’s grave in Malacca, Prof Khoo said there was no way of telling it was him unless the grave was dug up and the corpse examined.

“I know there is a Hang Tuah well in Malacca too but it was built by the local people and they go there at night to ask for lottery numbers,” he added.

Prof Khoo, who is from Universiti Malaya, said it was sad that Malaysians were becoming more ignorant of history but were “good at confrontation”.

Asked on the proposed move to allow undergraduates to participate in politics, Prof Khoo said he was worried that if students were given such opportunities, they would be “used” by politicians and would not have time for their studies.

On Monday, Prof Khoo said there was no written record of Hang Li Po, Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat and the stories that have made it into the history books were just myths.

If Hang Li Po, Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat  can't be proved their existence, should we totally ignore what we know before. There were so many stories about them and there were also movies made based on the stories. There were no legitimate sources to confirm about their existence since our past history was mainly on stories that had been told from one generation to another. 
But I still like the stories about Hang Tuah and his friends. They were the Malay heroes even though they were just based on myths. We do have a lot of myths that we believe like Puteri Gunung Ledang, Puteri Santubong, Mat Lela and Mat Chincang and also Mahsuri in Langkawi. They were popular as the folklore and have been accepted as part of our society. 
I just wonder then what kind of "Hang" really exist? Hang Man? "Hang Tu"? "Hang Buah"?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Menurut Andaya (2002), Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat dan Hang Kasturi adalah pemimpin ulung kaum Orang Asli. Kekuasaan Orang Asli dalam pemerintahan Melaka serta kerajaan-kerajaan melayu yang lain mengalami kemerosotan dengan kematian ketiga-tiga tokoh ini. Pendapat ini dipetik dari Pagan Races of the Malay Peninsula, Macmillan, London 1906 karangan Skeat, W.William and C.O. Blagden.

Andaya juga memetik pendapat Juli Edo, seorang ahli antropologi dari etnik Semai yang mengatakan bahawa Hang Tuah dan Hang Jebat adalah Orang Asli. Hang Tuah ialah Orang Jakun (Winsdtedt, 1935). Hang Tuah dan keluarganya berpindah ke Hulu Perak selepas kematian Hang Jebat.