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Monday, February 13, 2012

Some evidence about the existence of Hang Tuah.


I want to share what I just read from FB about the evidence to prove that Hang Tuah really exist. We'll see what Prof. Khoo Kay Kim will say about this. As a Malay, I always believe that he was a legend and there must be some explanations to his existence even though it's hard to find the documentations.

The mystery of Laksamana Tuah

SEVERAL years ago Arkib Negara held a month-long exhibition titled “Dunia Persuratan Melayu” (The World of Malay Letters) at the National Library in Kuala Lumpur.

Most of the exhibits were manuscripts written by scribes in Jawi in the 13th to 17th century, i.e. before, during and after the Malacca Sultanate era.

The display notes stated that for many years Arkib Negara had painstakingly sourced the original manuscripts from many countries that had traded or have had links with the Malacca Empire and especially from Portugal and Netherlands that had once colonised Malacca.

I spent about three hours reading each of the manuscripts. Without realising it, I was the last visitor to exit the exhibition hall during the closing time on that day. Perhaps I was among the very few who could read and write Jawi.

Several manuscripts described the Malacca sultan’s visits to Siam (Thailand), China, Majapahit (Indonesia) and other regions in the Malay Archipelago. During those visits, the sultan was often accompanied by one personality named Laksamana Tuah (Admiral Tuah) in the entourage.

If I had simply browsed or glimpsed at the manuscripts like most visitors, I could have missed the name Tuah, but by studying the manuscripts and the language flow of that era meticulously, I noticed the hidden jewel.

My eyes literally lit up when I detected the name. I checked the other manuscripts and was happy to discover the name Tuah really existed, and his status was shown as an admiral.

There was logic in the status, because the Malacca Empire had controlled the Straits of Malacca, the Sulawesi Sea and some portion of the South China Sea. The ancient Malacca naval forces must have been big.

I made a comparison to Admiral Cheng He, who visited ancient Malacca not in a single vessel, but with an armada. The host country emperor, king or sultan often requested duels between their able warriors and the Malacca sultan’s warriors. Wong Chun Wai in his ‘On the Beat’ column (Sunday Star, Jan 29) wrote that he believed Hang Tuah as one of the sultan’s greatest of all admirals and a ferocious fighter. I, too, believe he was.

It was during one of the duels in Majapahit that Hang Tuah was awarded the famous Keris Taming Sari by the Majapahit ruler after he had defeated and killed its great warrior owner. I also learned that Hang Tuah’s own Keris was named Tempa Melak

The manuscripts were not like the Hikayat Melayu (Malay Annals) that narrated events, but were actually correspondences between individuals or sultans or kings which chronicled real events of the period.

The manuscripts did not elaborate much about Hang Tuah. I had pieced together the descriptions from several manuscripts here and there. I had sort of deciphered the hidden messages in the manuscripts.

I believed that during the exhibition visit on that day, I had discovered Hang Tuah, who was humble and mysterious but well-respected among the martial arts exponents during his era.

Till today, people in the Malay martial arts world keep remembering him or try to emulate his prowess, agility and mystical skills. That is why he is a legend.

I thank our Arkib Negara officers who had done a very good job of acquiring some of the valuable documents thus far. Hopefully, other manuscripts could reveal more about Hang Tuah.


kakyong said...

LIKE ths post..

Affieza said...

Mmg cite ttg Hang Tuah ni xkan pupus sehingga ke anak cucu kita's legend

transformed housewife said...

nak tengok apa kata Khoo Kay Kim.