History / MUST READ

Tales of Hang Tuah

by Maharaja Setia Tun Kasturi.

Related to Tun Sri Lanang through the writings of Laksamana Khoja Hassan. Translated to Old English for HRH King James I of England in 1616 by Sultan Iskandar Muda of Acheh. Compiled and edited by Abdullah Abdul Kadir in 1819 for the benefit of Sir Stamford Raffles.

(note : All dates which were once depicted in Hijrah years, had been changed to Gregorian calendar)


Gempak gempita negeri Melaka

Guruh berdentum bumi bergegar

Jaguh tersanjung bertarung nyawa

Rasuk ajal teman pendekar

pantun from ‘Hikayat Raja Raja’

This is the story of a person whom I respect the most. His name was Tuah bin Mahmud. I am pleased to tell the story about this towering Malay who had shaped the history of the Melaka Sultanate and became the source of inspiration to thousands of people.

Hang Tuah was a humble Malay. An ‘Orang Laut’ to be exact. Son of Hang Mahmud and Dang Merdu Wati. Born in Bentan, his family migrated to Sungai Duyung, Melaka when Tuah was still a toddler. He had lived through the reigns of 6 Sultans – Sultan Muhammad Shah, Raja Ibrahim, Sultan Muzaffar Shah, Sultan Mansur Shah, Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah and died during the reign of Sultan Mahmud Shah.

He was born in the mid 1430’s. We first met him at a wedding of Jebat’s eldest sister right after the coronation of Raja Kassim (Sultan Muzaffar Shah). He was older than the 7 of us although I suspect Jebat was slightly older than him because his voice broke much earlier than Tuah. Jebat was our group leader then. The rest of us were myself, Lekir, Lekiu, Hassan, Hussain and Iskandar. Jebat’s sister had just married Bentara Hamzah Datuk Bongkok. Hamzah was recently appointed as Bentara in the new Sultan’s court and we all aspired to be just like him.

During the day, we imagined ourselves as the young Melaka heroes who would vanquish the armies of Siam or fight the Javanese pirates singlehandedly and save Melaka from any invaders. And at night, all 8 of us would gather at Hamzah’s house and listen to his adventures in the palace.

Through the advice of Hamzah, we were sent to Gunung Ledang to learn martial arts from his former mentor, Sang Adiputra. We stayed there for 2 years. Hassan, Hussain and Iskandar did not come with us as their parents moved to Inderapura (Editorial note: now Pahang).

I remember Sang Adiputra once foretold that Jebat would have been a greater warrior than Tuah but his own recklessness will be his downfall. Jebat was clearly a stronger warrior than Tuah. But he was impatient at times and where Tuah lack in strength, he made it up with tremendous agility and cunning. Thus, a stronger warrior does not mean a better one. It was there in one of the caves in Gunung Ledang that Tuah was made our leader. Sang Adiputra told Jebat to listen to Tuah and never doubt his actions. To Tuah, he advised him to be sincere and serve Melaka as he sees fit. Above all, he wanted all of us to take care of each other.

Upon our return, Melaka had a new Bendahara whom everyone had proclaimed a hero upon his victory over the Siamese armies up north. Tun Perak was indeed a charismatic Bendahara. He was in his 30’s when he became the Bendahara. Tall and almost regal in nature, he inherited the qualities of his late father, the old bendahara during Sultan Muhammad Shah’s reign.

When a group of ‘orang laut’ ran amok in the main market near the docks, Bendahara Tun Perak had just came out from the Syahbandar’s meeting hall. It was unfortunate that he brought only 3 guards with him. Eventhough Tun Perak could easily strike down a few of them, the overwhelming numbers of the orang laut had joined in and started to encircle the helpless Bendahara. All five of us, not more than 16 years old, fought along beside the Bendahara and his guards while waiting for help.

In the end, nearly 20 of the orang laut had been killed while Jebat and myself were slightly wounded in the legs. Lekir lost his little finger in the process. Only Tuah was left unscratched. Tun Perak was so impressed that he appointed all of us as Biduanda and we worked as Tun Perak’s special retinue from henceforth.

We were living in an exciting times as Sultan Muzaffar Shah was the first of the warrior sultan in the dynasty. All his previous ancestors were more of a merchant than a warrior. Melaka was in the midst of expansion and we were swept along with it. We traveled a lot during those days. All of us even followed the younger brother of Tun Perak (Tun Perpatih Putih) to the Forbidden City as part of an envoy to help bolster the diplomatic relations between Melaka and China. Emperor Zheng Tong was so pleased with the eloquent speech of Tun Perpatih Putih and the gifts by Sultan Mansur Shah that he gave one of his niece, Li Poh to become a wife to the Sultan.

At first Princess Li Poh was not pleased and would show her sadness openly during our voyage home. But during the journey, Jebat would use his charm and tell funny stories to soothe her worry. We even called her ‘Hang’ Li Poh just to make herself feel accepted as one of us. In later years, her son Paduka Mimat would help Tuah in his adventures of finding the elusive Puteri Gunung Ledang.

One of the best adventures to have been taken place was when we went to Majapahit two years after Sultan Mansur Shah was coronated in 1459. Tuah was already a Laksamana replacing Tun Hamzah Datuk Bongkok who was sent by the Sultan as the Governor of Inderapura. Sultan Mansur wanted an ally to fight off the repeated threats from Siam. He offered to marry one of King of Majapahit’s daughters in exchange of safe trading routes in Selat Melaka for Majapahit’s vessels. Not pleased with the apparent blackmail, Raja Girisawardhana  wanted to test the strength of Melaka warriors first. If our warrior loses, then Majapahit will not need the Sultan’s protection. If we win, then he will bestow his daughter, Raden Galuh Chandera Kirana to Sultan Mansur as wife.

The next day, back from the borders of Majapahit, fresh from the rest after the battles with neighbouring kingdoms, Taming Sari, the greatest of all Majapahit warriors, stood face to face with our Hang Tuah in the crowded palatial courtyard. It was mid morning. The sun was shining brightly. Tuah hated the weather in Majapahit. It was too hot, too soon. Some say Taming Sari’s keris had magical properties. At first glance, it was nothing more than a simple keris, with wooden hilt, and almost rustic looking. But the blade was gleaming menacingly. It was longer than any common keris. It curves 7 times before it reaches the tip.

The preferred weapon in the region at the time was the ‘golok’ (Editorial note: a long curvy sword). But since both men wanted the fight to be more intimate, they opted the keris as the weapon of choice.

Eventually, Taming Sari was slain by Tuah near twilight that same evening by his own blade. Raja Girisawardhana was in awe with Tuah’s prowess. Taming Sari’s keris was broken at the hilt during the fight. The Majapahit King decreed that a new hilt of gold and pink rubies be made. But the blood of Taming Sari that had stained upon its blade was very difficult to disappear. It gave the blade an eery dark brown and deep red hue. It was said that the blood of Taming Sari was the reason that gave the keris its magical powers.

The keris was presented to Laksamana Tun Tuah in a highly decorated manner; with so much grandeur and dignity. We were so proud of him. Tuah then gave his own keris, Pamung Sari to Jebat. Upon our return to Melaka, Jebat was promoted to the rank Temenggung while I was promoted as Bentara Kanan. The vile Patih Kerma Wijaya came into existence as an envoy of Majapahit and chief adviser to the new bride from thereon.

Tun Perak tolerated Patih Kerma Wijaya but we hated him. His opium smelled breath made me nauseous sometimes.

In the 15th year of his majesty’s rule, Tun Tuah was sentenced to death for treason. Patih Kerma Wijaya had skillfully wedged himself into the inner circle of the Sultan and planted the seeds of his treachery while the 3 of us were away on duty in Riau. Upon our return, Tuah was about to be executed in Sungai Ujung. Only Jebat managed to secretly  see him in his confinement. The rest of us had to protect the Sultan from the angry mobs that had surrounded the palace.

I realized the minute I saw Jebat’s face after his rendezvous with Tuah that he will plot vengeance. When Tuah was about to be executed by the orders of the Sultan, his last words to Jebat was – ‘buat baik berpada pada (do a lot of good), but before he could finish the sentence, Jebat furiously screamed at him with words – ‘buat jahat biar kepalang!’ (yet unleash a lot of evil) and then left him abruptly. Jebat had always been the brooding type. He was more temperamental and sarcastic in nature as compared to the mild mannered Tuah.

I disagreed with Jebat’s plan but chose to remain quiet. Jebat pacified the angry mob outside the palace and met with the Sultan and his family within. The Sultan was grateful that Jebat had understood why Tuah had to be killed. The law is the law and no one is above it, so said the Sultan. At that juncture, Jebat grabbed Taming Sari and killed the Sultan’s youngest son, Raden Kelang (son of Raden Galuh) in one swift motion. His voiced had turned cold when he whispered menacingly to the Sultan;

“Engkau yang dilaknati, minta ampun pada Tuhan!” (You who are damned by God, ask for His forgiveness!)

But before his blade touches the Sultan’s chest, Lekir managed to sidestep Jebat and they both fell awkwardly. I quickly rounded up the Sultan and his family to the exit and herded them to a safe place. By then, Jebat managed to kill a few Royal Guards. Lekir was injured and had to be taken out of the palace. Jebat looked at me one last time before screaming;

“Raja adil kita sembah, raja zalim kita sanggah!” (We submit to a fair King, but we fight against a cruel King!)

Jebat wanted Patih Kerma Wijaya’s blood in exchange for the palace. Most of the Sultan’s concubines decided to stay with Jebat for reasons I do not know. Jebat was indeed quite good looking and was popular with the ladies in the court. Pateh Kerma Wijaya was holed up in Bendahara’s house for a couple of weeks. Although Tun Perak despised him, he was still a diplomatic ambassador from an allied nation.

At the end of 1473, Pateh Kerma Wijaya was killed in an ambush by Jebat two days before the monsoon season. Running scared, the Sultan asked the 3 of us to confront Jebat. Reluctantly, we obeyed the orders. But Jebat would not fight us or even listen to us. The palace that he reigned supreme now was like a fortress.

One night after a full cycle of the moon, Tun Perak summoned me to his house. He was grief strickened and wanted me to find an old hermit called Sang Rajuna Tapa. I reckoned Tun Perak was delirious from having a high fever. Sang Rajuna Tapa was certainly no hermit. He was the legendary Bendahara during Parameswara’s rule in Temasik. How could he still be alive? He must close to be a hundred years old by then. But in haste I did go to Ulu Melaka.

I was shocked that Tun Perak had been hiding Sang Rajuna Tapa and Tuah in Ulu Melaka. Sang Rajuna Tapa was indeed an old man and had disguised himself as an old imam called Syeikh Mansur. Years ago, he was banished from Temasik and was told never to come back. Tuah had been learning some secrets of the art from him. He looked refreshed there in Ulu Melaka. I was overjoyed upon seeing him. But sad at the same time. Tun Perak should have not kept this secret from us. But then again, Tun Perak and Hang Tuah were of the same breed of warriors.

The day Tuah fought Jebat was not as what was depicted by the storytellers. Although it has been nearly thirty years, I can still remember it vividly.

Back then, Jebat had become more bloodthirsty by the minute. He was practically ruling Melaka with an iron grip. Traders shunned our ports and the coffers dwindled. The Majapahit King was rumored to prepare an assault to Melaka for letting his grandson murdered. Through Jebat’s extensive reach as the Temenggung, the Sultan’s distant cousins from Kampar, Siak and Indragiri had been secretly communicating with his men so that one of them can be installed as a puppet Sultan for Jebat. A number of foreign envoys hungry for power had also started to cut a deal with Jebat. Something had to be done.

It was after the Friday prayers when Tuah reached the palatial gates. With Pamung Sari in his hand, we and about 200 of us swarmed the locked main entrance. Tuah called on Jebat to come out. It took him about an hour to answer Tuah’s challenge. By this time, the people of Melaka had surrounded the palace, wanting to see the duel. I estimated about 20,000 people had come to watch them fight.

Jebat was happy upon seeing Tuah. But his laughter was not only hysterical, it was tinged with madness. Jebat then killed one of the concubines just to whet Taming Sari’s appetite. Jebat offered to fight on the courtyard but Tuah declined. He said it’s better to fight inside the palace so that the people will not see the death of either one of them.

Storm raged Melaka that night. We knew that a terrible duel was taken place above the howling wind. We waited outside till the next morning. Sometimes they would rest, sometimes Jebat would let Tuah pray undisturbed. Tuah later on told me that Jebat declined to pray because his sins were already too great to be forgiven by God. By late afternoon, we heard the death cries of Jebat from the inside. Tuah came rushing out. His face was ashened while his body was covered in blood. He threw Taming Sari to me and ran towards the parted crowd.

We went inside the palace thinking to find a dying man but lo and behold! Jebat was still alive! But his stomach was badly wounded. He was busy wrapping the angry wound with a piece of cloth so that his gut wouldn’t spill out. Jebat was a strong warrior as ever. Seeing his death face, Lekiu, Lekir and myself left him there attending to himself as the sight was too much for us.

It was hard enough for Tuah to contain Jebat when he was angered and it was extremely difficult for the Royal Guards to subdue the wounded Jebat. Nearly two hundred innocent people died in his rampage in search of the Sultan. Finally exhausted, Jebat came over to Tuah’s house. We were there when Tuah lifted him up into one of the rooms. Jebat managed to ask forgiveness from all of us for his treachery and for acting without our consent. We shed a few tears then. Jebat died in Tuah’s arms as the wrappings were undone. Blood flowed freely from his mouth, nose, ears, eyes and every pores of his body. He was just 37 at that time.

From that day onwards, Tuah became a different man. He became deeply religious. He followed the Arab traders back to the heart of Ottoman Empire in Istanbul just to learn more about Islam. The death of Jebat changed him. Jebat was his conscience at times. Sometimes, his wild streak. He was more ferocious when Jebat was fighting alongside him. The death of Jebat showed him how greatly Jebat was needed. During the reign of Raja Hussain (Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah), Laksamana Tun Tuah had always wanted to leave the life of the royal courts. But not until Raja Hussain was poisoned to death in Pagoh did Tuah left in such agony. His heart broke yet again when he was unable to prevent the death of the young Sultan.

I was made Maharaja Setia (deputy Bendahara) and Jebat’s only son, Khoja Hassan took over as Orang Kaya Laksamana Melaka in 1488. Incidentally, Khoja Hassan was also Tuah’s son in law. Tun Tuah was called into service one last time during the reign of the petulant Sultan Mahmud Shah as the head of retinue to find Puteri Gunung Ledang.

Until this day, the day I find rest at last, I am glad to have Hang Tuah as my brother. His steadfast loyalty and unwavering stance to protect the system was like a beacon in the days we weathered through. Tuah was given a terrible choice which he then chose as he saw it fit. Hopefully, the new Bendahara, Tun Mutahir will find new breed of young Malay warriors to protect what we have now against the dark days ahead.

Merga Paksi tujuh bersaudara

Pencak silat Kertala Sari

Lihat lenggok Tuan Laksamana

Dibuai kilas Taming Sari

pantun from ‘Hikayat Raja Raja’

Addendum by Jebat Must Die

1. Hang Tuah never met Puteri Gunung Ledang. He was already in his 60’s when the young Sultan Mahmud asked him to be the head of retinue to propose the mythical (non existent) Puteri Gunung Ledang for her hand in marriage. Halfway to the top of the mountain, Tun Mamat (some say it was actually Paduka Mimat – the Sultan’s uncle) continued his way upwards alone, leaving the tired Tun Tuah and the rest of the retinue at the foot of the mountain.

2. Hang Tuah did not kill Hang Jebat during that final fight in the Sultan’s palace. Hang Jebat died a day after the fight because of the heavy stomach wound inflicted by Hang Tuah. Hang Jebat managed to wrap the wounds around his stomach before he ran amok and killed more innocent people on the streets of Melaka. He then went straight to Tuah’s house where Hang Tuah was meditating and seeking repentance. Hang Jebat died in the arms of Hang Tuah when he released open the wrappings around Jebat’s stomach to ease the pain.

3. It was not Hang Tuah who had kidnapped Tun Teja from Pahang for Sultan Mahmud but rather, it was his son in law, Hang Nadim. It was unlikely Hang Tuah could even entice the lovely Tun Teja to elope with him at that time because he was already an old man. Remember, Hang Tuah was already in his 60’s when Sultan Mahmud started to reign. At that time, Hang Tuah had past his prime and Melaka was under the watchful eye of Laksamana Khoja Hassan, the son of the late Hang Jebat whom he had adopted as his own. Khoja Hassan eventually became his son in law. His other son in law, Hang Nadim was second in command.

4. He was not a Chinese as some speculated. The story of a DNA tested on the bones of Hang Tuah by a Michigan based forensic society was a hoax. The society does not even exist. The theory of having the same surname as Princess Hang Li Poh does not hold water. The name ‘Hang’ was a monicker for ‘teenager’ in the past. Which in turn will stick to the owner way past their adulthood. When Hang Tuah was bestowed the title ‘Tun’ upon his promotion to become a laksamana, people called him Tun Tuah, instead of Tun Hang Tuah.

The story above is a work of fiction based on all the statutory declarations in Sejarah Melayu, Hikayat Hang Tuah and Tuhfat Al Nafis.

79 thoughts on “Tales of Hang Tuah

  1. JDM,

    A wonderful thread. All I can say, biar bangsa Melayu dengan budaya indah dan sejarah begitu cemerlang menjadi teladan kepada generasi buat masa ini dan akan datang.
    That Melaka is no more a Sultanate is an irony and a greater wonder.

    Many thanks


    • percaya sangatla dengan kata kapir lahanat tu..pejuang islam katanya pengganas,orang kita bugis katanya lanun tapi…portugis,prancis omputeh inggeris tu tak lanun????


  2. jmd- very engrossed reading your tales of Hang Tuah. so surreal that it mirrors reality. at least tuah made a choice albeit a terrible one. someone today refuses to make even a choice preferring the easy way out. Yes lets hope the new bendahara will find a new breed of Malays able to carry and work the system. thanks for the story.

    JMD : Thank you Sir


  3. What a beautiful story! I wish I can write one like u. Thank u.

    JMD : If you’re passionate about something, all else don’t matter. Just write!


  4. Jebat Must Die,

    This kind of posting is truly a remarkable piece.

    I thank and salute you!

    Azman Mohd Isa
    Shah Alam

    JMD : Thank you for reading it.


  5. very entertaining and heartbreaking story. feel like it is almost close to the real one. The perspective from the story teller makes the characters close to the readers.

    very very good post.


  6. mmm.. can help but cry little bit (only little bit aa..).
    Nice story telling. even in those days people still dream of a greater malay warrior and lands. Mann… seems like ” lord of the ring” and “Narnia” kind of story telling.
    to die for your brothers or country. Adiputra said “above all take care of each other”.


  7. Thank you for this. Lovely story.
    Forgive my ignorance, but was this taken from the Malay Annals? But from your reply to a commentator, it would seem that you wrote it. If you did, that was great writing.
    Did you watch the wonderful play staged by tiara jacquelina? I’ve forgotten how that storyline went. In the end, Tuah got the Putri Gunung Ledang?
    Hope someone can help.

    I remember years ago, there was some discussion about Hang Tuah. That nobody knew when or how he died? That he just “disappeared” and that’s where the saying “takkan Melayu hilang di dunia” came about. And was there something about his keris, a myth?

    (ps, a friend of mine who read Sejarah Melayu 3 times over said he could not find the “takkan Melayu hilang di dunia” phrase anywhere in the book. And yet this saying is very much linked to Tuah. Go to our muzium negara , see it inscribed on the Tuah sculpture.
    Thank you

    JMD : Yeah I wrote it. Thanks for reading it. Anywya, PGL the musical as well as the film do not follow the real storyline.


  8. “Kalau dapat kupintal awan dilangit,
    akan kupintal nama Dr. Mahathir dan Dr. Siti Hasmah”

    Kah kah kah kah……! syahdunye!


  9. JMD,

    Sorry to be off topic but need a post from you regarding todays SUN newspaper headlines. Even ever patient I am, all the expletives came rushing to my head.

    Thank you

    JMD : You mean the Rais vs Rice news? Well what is there to say? US had always been the master of double talking. Their human rights records are more appaling than any other nations in the world. Just take a look at Guantanamo Bay and their two faced meddling in the Israel and Palestine conflict.

    To be fair, I don’t remember the US was this much interested when Kasitah Gadam was brought to court due to his alleged corruption some time ago. The US already made the presumption that Anwar will never be guilty of anything. And that is very peculiar in itself.

    We shall see whether Rice would be as this interested when in the future there is a rape victim who lodge a police report here in KL.

    Thank you for highlighting this.


  10. Great writing. I truly enjoyed reading it. Setiap titis darah nenek moyang kita yang tumpah, biar Jebat mahupun Tuah, menyuburkan semangat patriotisma kita dan menyemarakkan rasa sayang kepada bumi tercinta ini. Justeru setiap kisah harus diceritakan dan ceritanya biar berterusan jangan putus di mana mana di kala mana. Dan ceritanya harus disampaikan sebegini dengan penuh rasa cinta dan kesungguhan. Sejarah perjuangan jangan terpadam dimakan zaman, tapak sejarah harus digemilangkan sebagai pusaka generasi muda. Patriotisma tidak membenih dengan sendiri malah harus dipupuk berterusan.

    I may have disagreed with you on many things but for this one, you can have my blood and soul. Great work.

    JMD : Thank you!


  11. JMD,

    Thank you. As always some comedy relief even if off topic.

    “Kepada pihak berkenaan.
    Per: Kondo Leeza Rice
    Sila siasat: 1. Kondo ini ada berlaku jenayah seks sejenis jantina perempuan. 2. Jenis beras haram yang telah seludup ke Malaysia.
    Yang benar

    JMD : So I see that you’re a Reds fan. Brilliant 🙂


  12. JMD,

    I salute to you , my friend for such a beautiful piece.
    Allah Swt has given you this great gift, please use it well.
    Keep producing great work.

    JMD : Wow.. thank you for the vote of confidence. But I still am merely a blogger. If people perceives this as great work, I am really glad and humbly gratified. Thank you.


  13. Freddie Kevin…
    i think this story is not about Rais vs Rice, but Najib, Abdullah Badawi and his belove son-in-law KJ.
    Tuan, Jebat, Lekir and Lekiu is Putri Hang Li Po bodyguard ad from China, except Kasturi. The reason is their name (pronounced as three letter): Hang Li Po; Hang Tu Ah (Hang Tuah); Hang Je Bat (Hang jebat); Hang Le Kiu (Hang Lekiu); Hang Le Kir (Hang Lekir). But not (four letter) Hang Kas Tu Ri (Hang Kasturi).
    Or maybe five of them is from Kedah. Kedahan always call HANG to refer to their friends.
    hemm… but story hang is A++

    JMD : Thanks Hard T! But I still believe them as Malays. Reason being among others, they have been around long before HLP came to Melaka.

    Btw, too bad Inul’s concert was cancelled eh? Was quite curious to see some youngsters having sex by the roadside (as succintly put by the PAS FT youth head) after the concert 🙂


  14. jmd & kevin, i posted a brief write up regarding rais/rice in my wordpress if u want to read. Btw, this is the second time i read this jebat/tuah post. I am really carried away with the ending. The one which mentioned tuah prayed and jebat didnt is so dramatic in extreme contrast within the same scene. I read elsewhere that the fight last for 7 days.

    JMD :Thank you for the article.

    Yup, you heard that from the Hikayat Hang Tuah book. There are 2 other main source of reference for the Tuah story – Sejarah Melayu and Tuhfat al Nafis with slightly different versions.


  15. Hi jebat …..sweet post

    Ever heard of a version in which they fought for days to no end n eventually jebat went to his knees n said to tuah..if u really want to kill me please do so n he dropped his keris n tuah gladly did so…. N .this is already after taming sari in in tuah’s hand..

    JMD : Thank you. Yes there are versions that they fought for days. If you read all the versions, it ranged from Jebat enticing Tuah to rule Melaka together (much like how Darth Vader tried to lure Luke into the dark side), to Tuah playing reverse psychology on Jebat, Jebat sending Tuah on a guilt trip, to Tuah feigning injury and snatched Taming Sari from Jebat’s hand.

    But what is certain, Tuah killed Jebat in the end.


  16. So all these time we were blinded from the actual story or was that they have a different version of the story? Which 1 shld be believe?

    The Puteri Gunung Ledang movie (acted by Tiara & M.Nasir) has not followed the actual history? Even in the extended edition in the VCD have a short clip shows that Tuah abducted Tun Teja. So all these were not true? Hmm…

    Shldn’t this story be retold & corrected in the KBSR & KBSM history books?

    JMD : My dear Impreza. Your curiosity is acknowledged. As you may know, Hang Tuah’s story was told from 3 main sources which are – Sejarah Melayu (compiled and edited by Tun Sri Lanang circa late 1500 or early 1600 – he actually based it from documents of an unknown writer which was written in 1526, 2 years before the last Melaka Sultan died), Hikayat Hang Tuah (written in late 17th century by an unknown writer) and Tuhfat Al Nafis (written in early 19th century by Abdullah Abd Kadir, also known as Munshi Abdullah).

    People should not make the these stories as historical facts. They are there purely for its literature. Why do I say this? Because, up till now, there are many contradictions found between each sources which do not correalte with each other. Eg., in Sejarah Melayu, Hang Tuah killed Hang Kasturi, but in Hikayat Hang Tuah, it was Jebat who was killed. Tuhfat Al Nafis stated Jebat’s name too.

    Secondly, and this comes from pure disappointment on the subject. The Malaysian Government, since thetimes of Tunku had not made any comprehensive study on gathering facts to determine the true stories of happenings during the Melaka Sultanate.

    When I said comprehensive study, I do not mean to study these old literature texts, but to go out there in the field and gather artifacts or search for missing documents, find more historical sites, visit them, preserve them. There was an initiative done during the times of Za’aba in the 60’s but it was put on hold indefinitely due to lack of budget.

    We Malaysians especially our historians do not seem to have the hunger for knowledge, for historical findings, to learn the truth unlike our English counterparts. There in England, almost on monthly basis they found new evidence on what happened in their history. They made extensive research and found numerous evidence based on artefacts found or reclaimed documents which in the end, their knowledge of their forefathers were so complete, they would even know what their ancestors were eating for lunch back in the 11th century!

    We on the other hand, based our studies mainly on those 3 books. Although they had helped us tremendously in the past, they also created more questions. Which may be left unanswered.

    Why is this vital? Because, in the event when some smart aleck trying to discredit histroy or change it, we have no hard evidence to fall back on. To counter their arguments.

    Take for eg. an alleged study was made some time ago claiming that Hang Tuah and his mates were in fact Chinese whom had came together as bodyguards for Hang Li Poh.


    Anyone who studied those main references would know that Hang Tuah and his mates were not Chinese. The chronology didn’t make sense. But where are the historians to prove this? In turn, the Malaysians unnecessarily were thrown into confusion.

    Therefore, to conclude, the story of Hang Tuah is to my own analysis is just a legend. He as a human being do exist. He is a Malay warrior. But some of his adventures were greatly exaggerated to give it a more delicious tale to tell. King Arthur and his excalibur is one such victim. No doubt King Arthur exist. But his story was embellished over the centuries and lost it’s true historical elements.

    If no effort is to be done soon to expunge the fallacy and to differentiate what is true and what is not, then we can never learn about our legacy from a golden era long gone.

    Thank you.

    P.S : Impreza, PGL was made just for entertainment purposes. You must never equate it as what had truly happened in the past. It follows the popular notion that Tuah was secretly in love with PGL. But there are no known evidence for this to substantiate it. In fact, in Sejarah Melayu, only Tun Mamat/Paduka Mimat along with Sang Setia who went to the top of Gunung Ledang. Tuah waited at the foot of the hill.


  17. Aahh…only you could tell us how the story of the Puteri Gunung Ledang(Non Existing) conditions got through to the Sultan.
    Me being a non story teller… on lighter side of this wonderful write up, could only come up with..
    “paduka mimat being too tired, looking for a non existing princess, came up with a ludicorous story to thwart the nincampoop SUltan lust. thus having relaying the so called Princess, asking of a golden bridge from the palace to ophir Mountain (Gunong Ledang) seven tempayang air mata anak dara, seven dulang hati nyamuk/kuman and a bowl of the royal prince blood ”

    JMD : If you read the many thesis and disertations by scholars, majority of them agreed that Paduka Mimat was teaching the Sultan a lesson.

    Nobody had seen PGL except that she came into the Sultan’s dreams. That is all. And this was verified in Sejarah Melayu and Hikayat Hang Tuah.


  18. Incredible writing!

    You captured all the plausible nuances of the time, the heroics and heroisms, the palace intrigues and treacheries, the heartbreaking choice between duty and friendship, the horror of seeing a cherished friend succumbing slowly to madness brought about by sadness and rage…

    How Tuah dealt with the tragedy and the change Kasturi observed in him is a sensitive touch. In fact, using the plaintive yet at same time proud voice of Kasturi to reminisce makes it all too hauntingly real. Brilliant!

    Your trademark meticulous attention to chronology and detail (even when existing references are known to be rather ambiguous) definitely gives the legend a realism never seen or felt before, in my opinion lah.

    I don’t care what controversies continue to dog the legend of Hang Tuah and his five brother warriors, your version is how I want to believe it all happened.

    But… Tuah will always look like the P. Ramlee in my mind… and Jebat, the handsome Ahmad Mahmud(?)… while the other three, the actors who played them in the Shaw Bros version (I will have to check their names from the credits on the CD I brought from Malaysia). 😀

    Thank you, JMD!

    JMD : Dear Mekyam, the other 3 actors were Nordin Ahmad as Hang Kasturi, S Shamsudin as Lekir and Aziz Satar as Lekiu.

    Anyway, a lot happened after Jebat took over the palace. The Majapahit King was rumored to prepare an assault to Melaka for letting his grandson murdered (just an excuse to invade Melaka), the Sultans distant cousins from Kampar, Siak and Linggi were secretly communicating with Jebat’s spies (remember, Jebat was a Temenggung then) so that one of them can be installed as puppet Sultan for Jebat, and a number of foreign envoys hungry for power had started to cut a deal with Jebat. So, something had to be done quick.

    Anyway, if you have the free time, please read :


    Btw, thank you for reading my article.


  19. Brilliant writing. So much parallel between Jebat running amok and Anwar going to the streets in 1998.

    Life has a way of repeating itself. The players have change, situation is different but the story is about the same.

    Tuah, was wise to understand the importane of putting the State above himself.


  20. Hi, it’s me again.
    I’ve reread yr story. Many layers in this story. You’ve crafted it well.
    Pls tell me how the expression “tak kan Melayu hilang didunia” came about?
    Anyone pls? My friend who did Malay lit seems stumped too.
    thank you

    JMD : I think that expression was from an epilogue in Hikayat Hang Tuah. Not in Sejarah Melayu.


  21. aku suka cerita yang Jebat Must Die menulis! Tapi bagiku Jebat hero yang menentang kedzoliman Sultan Mansur Syah yang akan dilaknati oleh sesiapa yang membaca kisah Tuah dan Jebat.


  22. felt a lump in my throat after reading this post. what a sad and tragic story. but in real life, who is our Hang Tuah? who is our Hang Jebat? Can we hope that all of us learn from history, and not let Malaysia end up like Melaka, it lost its sultanate, conquered by foreign powersfor more than 400 yrs. where’s the hope?


  23. JMD,

    the link you provided says: “The website may no longer exist, or may have moved” though your pop-up snapshot do show that the site exists.

    you won’t happen to have another link to the sg nat lib infopedia?

    JMD : Sorry MekYam, I seemed to have lost that website. Maybe their server is down for the moment. But it was quite a good read. It’s about Singaporean historians made a highly credible research on the Sejarah Melayu and it’s author Tun Sri Lanang. It’s remarkable that Tun Sri Lanang had in fact sent a letter to King James I of England describing the histroy of Melaka Sultanate! And the document now resides in one of the British Museum. I do not know whether this is true or not but you can judge it for yourself. However, the writer sits on the National Library Board of Singapore.

    What I recommend is, you type in Google the words “Tun Sri Lanang King of England 1526”. The 1st website on the list should be the one I stated just now. But instead of pressing the website, press the ‘cached’ button.

    It will take you straight to the website.


  24. I must salute JMD for the tremendous effort in simplifying the storyline into layman terms.
    Agree with your statement that all the Malay warriors were not Chinese. The fact that they even exist before HLP arrival in Malacca will shut down all the hypothesis made by some “chinese propaganda supporters”.
    JMD, I wish you can summarize all the three hikayats. Then readers can make their own judgment which is the most logical hikayat.

    JMD : Whoa! There now, lets not get overzealous shall we? 🙂 Thank you for the kind comment but to summarize all 3 hikayats would be a tall order in deed… 🙂 It had been done though. Scholars had put it nicely. Do you want the link?
    Just click to :


    Please note that each book wrote slightly different storyline about Hang Tuah. So as you said, it is up to the readers to make their own judgment.


  25. Hi JMD,
    Sorry, but the expression “Tak kan Melayu hilang didunia” is not in Hikayat Hang Tuah. I checked with a teacher friend.
    Anyone with any ideas?
    JMD, sorry if this is boring you. I’m a bit like the Little Prince who when he asks a question will never let it go.

    JMD : Really? I was certain it was in there somewhere. Will re read the relevant chapters in Sejarah Melayu and the Hikayat. Are you a student? Feel free to browse this website which I find most useful in order to have a crash course in the Malay literature:




    Thank you.


  26. How about writng another epik – Megat Sri Rama, Laksmana Bentan who killed Sultan Mahmod, the last of the Malacca Sultanate decendant in Johor, known as Marhum mangkat di julang? The people in this epic do exsist. Their thombs could be found in Kota Tinggi. This is a story of conflicting loyalty too – that of Bendahara Tun Habab (the uncle) against the sultan and the worrior Megat Sri Rama whose wife was killed by the Sultan for a mere jake fruit. The result is the lost of the Kingdom of Johor to the Bugis Dinasty! Read the book Salalatus Salatin – Hikayat Raja-Raja Johor by Yam Tuan Muda Raja Ali Haji. The voice over is that of Yam Tuan Muda Raja Ali Haji when he told the story of how a Siak Prince came over to Johor as the pretender in 1722. Raja Kecil dari Siak claimed that he was the son of Sultan Mahmood who was….hmmmmm a GAY …baginda berahi kepada peria…..(quotation from Salatus salatin). Cerita ini lebih mengamcam. Saya ingin menulis sebuah novel tentangnya, tapi baru mula sikit. That’s why saya kagum dengan tuluisan anda……

    JMD : Can’t wait to read the finished novel Hanturaya!


  27. Thank you, JMD, for the links.
    I’m not a student but someone who grew up mostly reading English lit. And now I’m trying to catch up on the hikayat of my own people. It sounds sad, isn’t it?
    In a comment above, you have pointed out our academics’ weaknesses. As for me, I must say (at the risk of offending people) is that I’m put off when I hear some of our academicians/sastrawan talk. A lot of “isma” this and that, sampai saya yang kurang pengetahuan ini just tune off. Why can’t they talk like ordinary people?
    Many are commenting that you should write more. I join them. Imagine: A collection of our hikayat in English written in your inimitable style. Salute.

    Also, I’m discovering our own folk music. Right now am listening to a group called dewangga sakti. You can listen to them at http//:www.myspace.com/dewanggasakti. These guys are truly talented.


  28. Pingback: Tak Melayu Hilang Di Dunia « hidup ini nostalgia dan nostalgia itu hidup

  29. Sdr jmd, terima kasih kerana menulis satu penglipur lara yang menghiburkan. Edgar Allen Poe pun akan terkedu kalau baca cerita yang tuan lakarkan. Dalam pada tu mungkin banyak cerita cerita lain yang boleh tuan tulis untuk menghiburkan kami seperti cerita tilam dalam mahkamah, gadis dari mongolia, raja yang suka tidur dan para menteri yang takutkan raja yang suka tidur di khalayak ramai.

    JMD : 🙂 I probably will do it!


  30. Reading through this thread, images of glorious days gone by came flooding into my mind like a movie. Damn good descriptive writing!! Keep it up.

    BTW, out of curiousity – where is Hang Tuah’s grave?
    And about Taming Sari, the weapon – Is the kris in the Sultan of Perak’s regalia, it?

    JMD : Hang Tuah is situated in Tanjung Keling, Melaka. He grew up however in a small village further south (Kampung Sg Duyung), where you can see his well (Perigi Hang Tuah) as well.

    Taming Sari is one of Sultan Perak’s regalia. You can read about the keris here : http://silat-melayu.blogspot.com/2008/06/taming-sari.html

    There was also a description of the keris in one of Raja Zarith Sofia’s article here : http://disudutkamarhati.blogspot.com/2007/04/raja-zarith-sofia.html

    Thank you.


  31. hi this is my 1st time dropping by this blog. Great writing!!~ I believe that it’s imperative to be reminded of these tales (whether true or false) to inculcate the values into our generation esp. young generation!! thanks again for the post!

    JMD : Thank you for reading. God bless.


  32. Does anyone knows whether the original manuscript of Sejarah Melayu is still exists or not?

    JMD : Can try find it in Arkib Negara altho i doubt it.


    • Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) is the custodian and the owner of Sejarah Melayu (the Malay Annals) . They have two version which are:
      a. Sejarah Melayu (ms86)
      b. Sejarah Melayu (ms86a)

      I just wanna add that the Sulalatus Salatin (Sejarah Melayu) was written/compiled by Tun Sri Lanang based on Hikayat Melayu.

      Hikayat Melayu was the “original” Sejarah Melayu which was saved and fled away by the Sultan of Malacca and his people after the attacks on Malacca. Then the Portuguese hijacked/seized Hikayat Melayu but then it was saved again by Orang Kaya Suguh from Goa (believed to be in Gua, Kuala Lipis of Pahang or Sulawesi).

      Actually, Tun Sri Lanang only rewrite, compile, and repair the damage occured to the original copy (naskhah). This is based on the preface of Sulalatus Salatin (Sejarah Melayu) which he himself mentioned in the preface.


  33. Dear JMD,
    Ever visit one of the villages in Hilir Melaka ?( If not mistaken ).The old folks around there believed the existence of Tuah & Jebat.Its not mere a legend.The “Benggali Putih” had succeed indeed in wiping out the “spirit of Jebat & Tuah ”

    ‘Perkuburan Tua” is actually where the “Makam Hang Tuah ” is.Otherwise, they would have cleared it out what they had done to “Kota Melaka” & “Istana Sultan”-wipe all out anythings that related to the Melaka Sultanate.

    Now, again even the “Kementerian” withdrew back & I think Most Malay also categorized it as “hikayat” .Do you JMD ?

    JMD : Hang Tuah is not a legend. Even the Indonesian history acknowledge his existence. They even named roads in Jakarta after him.

    Villages in Hilir Melaka would be Kampung Ujung Pasir?

    To me Hang Tuah IS a legend based on a historical figure. We have to discern the facts from the fabled ones in order to get a clear depiction of the man and his adventures.


  34. Dear Jebat,

    It has been only two days since I stumbled accidentally on your website (am not the surfing kind) and instantly liked what I stumbled upon. I have read with unbridled enthusiasm your prose on Tuah and I must say it is very inspirational, informative, as well as heartwarming. At the risk of literal envy, I would say I would have wished I had written it myself. You would probably underestimate your own works, but I must say that this writing smack of prize-winning-class prose. I sincerely implore that you consider sending it to some kind of competition or publication and in order to do that I would like to propose the following:

    • Do a little bit of touch-up on the entire ambient story-telling. Make it as though Kasturi is now a bent old man with failing health but staunch mind, telling his part of the escapades to a younger generation, perhaps Laksmana Khoja Hassan himself (“I am old, Hassan, and my memory is failing me. But these things I hear about Tuah and Jebat and all, they are not letting me die in peace. Some acehnese are making degrading pictures out of the five of us while the inderapuras tell them as though we are all demigods (dewas). So listen, my son. I am going to straighten the story once and for all and if God had given me the blessings of literacy I would have written that account myself … bla bla bla…”). It’s like Yoda giving his all to Luke Skywalker, except that perhaps Anakin is Jebat, The Emperor the Sultan, Amidala PGL and the Force is of course Silat. I fail to analogue Jabba the Hut.

    • Weed out the spelling and grammatical errors (His *opium-infested breath*. We were living in *an?* exciting times. Lekir managed to sidestep*ped?* Jebat. Jebat had indeed *became?* more bloodthirsty). They do not come from your expert self, but rather from the fact that your speed of typing or writing lag behind your thinking processes.

    • Make the transliterations a bit more melodramatic while still maintaining the true meanings. For example,

    ‘buat baik berpada pada (do a lot of good), ‘buat jahat biar kepalang!’ (yet do a lot of evil) could probably be alternatively written as

    If goodness it is you want to do, do it in abundance
    If evil it is that you wish, do it in measure (or do it in pittance. Or perhaps, do it without doubt etc)
    “Raja adil raja ku sembah, raja zalim kita sanggah!” (A fair King I submit to, A cruel one I fight (or oppose, or detest, or bring down, or kill)

    • Increase in your mind, the variety of audience reading your prose. Mahathir-like punchiness and straightforwardness is good if only Malaysians (who demand less sophistication but more meat) are reading it, but to a larger and more shakespeare-induced global audience, perhaps what we need is an Anwar-type long-windedness and beat-around-the-bush verbiage crypticity, just to spice up the gab a little bit. (Hahaha. Am I out of place in a no-Anwar website? Hehehehe. Fret not. Am only referring to writing styles, not to political manouvers.)

    • It is only 7 pages long in Microsoft word but have you considered expanding it to more, like in an expanded short story or novella or even, if it is not too taxing, a novel? (Come to think of it. How many english-based novels coming out from Malay Malaysians, especially touching on historical re-tellings can you count in one hand?). If you have then perhaps you can narrate in bit more details about the slanderous treachery account of Tuah’s plight, the overtly-romantic Teja and PGL episodes, even the undocumented childhood stage of Tun Tuah. After all we ARE talking about fiction, aren’t we?

    • And SEND them for publications!! I’ll be your first buyer !

    Incidentally, may I have your permission to post this writing on my blog? I was just in the process of setting up one (and not the web-building type either) majoring in prosas like these (retellings of historical events) when I read about yours. I will promise to credit it necessarily and link your blogspace address. (“There’s more where that came from, folks. He even has a 21st century Jebat-reincarnation saga discussions ongoing as we now speak!” )

    Incidentally too, can I topple Atila’s supreme reign to become your favourite all-time commenter? LoL.

    I wish your good self long life of happiness. Wassalam.

    a azm

    JMD : Thank you for the well thought suggestions.


  35. Salaam Syawal dan Selamat Hari Raya JMD,

    I was googling on Hang Tuah today becoz over the recent Hari Raya holiday just found out from my mom that on our tok nek side are related to Hang Tuah.
    Wah liau eh.. I am so glad she told us this while she is still alive..otherwise none of the children wud know!

    I’ve never had the chance to read the Hikayat Hang Tuah and my google search led me to this particular page on your blog. This is very interesting reading! especially since it was Hang Kasturi who related the story w the who’s who during that time and all the little details ..makes it very real for us.

    When I heard about the Hang Tuah connection, my first thot was “darn it! better to have Jebat’s blood..”, but now after reading the page on yr blog.. yes Hang Tuah is indeed the perfect choice Sang Adiputra has chosen wisely and lived up to his name. Also am glad after reading this, clear all that crap about Hang Tuah et al having Chinese blood! Infact am glad Li Poh was the one given the title Hang by the 5 friends.


    I must find the copy of the book to go thru all the details. If you know where we can buy the copy or which library has it in their archive, please email me at tunteja01 at gmail.com

    I also hope you don’t mind me reproducing this particular Hang Tuah page that you have researched on my blog 🙂

    Now I really need to find out about my anchestor’s family tree and susur galur.. we sort of have an inkling we have pahlawan bloodline thru our anchestors but I never really thot much of the Melaka connection, since our family has more northern ties, while I was born and bred in KL. It is a good idea to take time to chat and listen to stories of our elders ..one wl be surprised of the info we may find out. The recent political development of the country and the kurang ajar manners of some group has made me inclined to read as much on our history and learn as much of my own anchestry. We must all learn our SEJARAH well.

    Perhaps I may even have Tun Teja’s blood hehehe

    Also I have just realized my blog is on your blogroll list!

    Such an honor. Thank you 🙂

    17 October 2008

    JMD : Please also read the commentary section of this article. There are some valuable information there. Yes, you were among the first whom I added in my blogroll. Thank you.


  36. Thanks JMD. I feel humbled indeed. Now must do a better job of my blog hehehe err..w better usage of words.. I am normally a very bersopan person ..it is just during these VERY trying times of trying to kick Pak Lah out..well since 2006 and the Jambatan Bengkok fiasco.. the words beruk etc becomes very easy to express my frustations. heheheh

    Normally when I read something of interest I wl read all the comments as well 🙂
    So your blog wl fill most of my times now hehehe


  37. hehe have read each comments on this thread and even check out the other links..

    wah.. YOU WROTE this incredible tale! INCREDIBLE! Aummmm tabik hormat to you.

    I also read that article by Raja Zarith Sofia (now this is one grad that makes Oxford proud) on Puteri Gunung Ledang and I agree w her 100% ! That Tiara Jacquelina shud have been stopped from producing that one distorted version of PGL. I remembered grimmacing when watching that movie, it was so beladi obvious not much historical research was put into it, nor does it gives any credits to its Malay origin.

    Firstly, how can the Majapahit Kingdom has a newly built BRICK great wall of China in one of the movie scene depicting the Majapahit palace. Malay architecture is steeped in wood.

    Second the depiction of the PGL as a Javanese princess was preposterous!

    Thirdly, showing Islam as an invasive party to the non-Islamic Majapahit when history shows that Islam came to the Malay region in the most peaceful manner, via sufi traders.

    That is why it is important as you rightly said for our authorities and intellectuals to do proper research and archiving of our history and have proper allocations for it. It is important to invest in our own history and ancestries. We don’t want another Pulau Batu Puteh where we shud have a copy of the letter from Johor to Singapura.

    We lost our dignity, our maruah and our island to that little island that was also ours (double jeopardy or what?) for not being abled to provide that small but very important piece of evidence coz our archiving of our history is NIL!

    I think you need to champion this cause.


  38. “A number of foreign envoys hungry for power had alo tried to cut a deal with Jebat”.

    Present time will be the U.S. trying to cut a deal with DSAI.


  39. my mother showed me your story – it’s very moving and feels real. the historical detail is wonderful and the tone of the story fits my conception of Hang Kasturi from Hikayat Hang Tuah.

    i always considered him the sensible one, the one who was good and trusty enough to be taken on Hang Tuah’s missions (for example, he went into the Chinese emperor’s audience hall with Hang Tuah, but Lekir and Lekiu stayed behind in the ship), but somehow avoided all the conflict and confrontation.

    JMD : I’m glad you love the story. Thank you for visiting.


  40. Pingback: Raja Adil & Raja Zalim « On da street

  41. Bro JMD,
    A piece of history which is well written by you! I can almost imagine how Tuah & Jebat look like just based on your descriptions.
    The end part where Jebat died in Tuah’s arm was..so…*ishh habuk suddenly went into my eyes lah. .

    Oh…i don’t want this tragic part of history repeat itself in this country anymore. Ever! Amin.

    JMD : Thank you for the comment. Glad you love the story.


  42. Hang Tuah never met Puteri Gunung Ledang. He was already in his 60’s when the young Sultan Mahmud asked him to be the head of retinue to propose the mythical (non existent) Puteri Gunung Ledang for her hand in marriage. Halfway to the top of the mountain, Tun Mamat (some say it was actually Paduka Mimat – the Sultan’s uncle) continued his way upwards alone, leaving the tired Tun Tuah and the rest of the retinue at the foot of the mountain.

    Sebenarnya Tun Tuah menarik diri daripada kumpulan Tun Mamat selepas mengetahui yang Tun Mamat telah berbohong pada Sultan berkenaan Puteri Gunung Ledang (non existent) walaupun atas sebab sebab yang berasas. Oleh sebab tidak sanggup menghadapi Sultan atas pembohongan itu maka Tun Tuah pun menghilangkan dirinya dan kembali beserta dengan Sang Rajuna Tapa.

    JMD : Terima kasih. Akan tetapi dari mana saudara mendapat cerita ini? Ia amat berlainan sekali dengan buku Sejarah Melayu atau Hikayat Hang Tuah (atau mungkin saya sendiri kurang jelas apabila membaca buku-buku tersebut). Ini kerana, mustahil Hang Tuah ‘menarik diri’ dari kumpulan mendaki gunung tersebut hanya selepas Tun Mamat berbohong kepada Sultan mengenai kewujudan PGL. Bila masa Tun Mamat hendak berjumpa Sultan dan berbohong kepada baginda? Di dalam buku Sejarah Melayu, Hang Tuah tidak menghilangkan diri tetapi meninggal kerana sakit tua.


  43. Dear JMD

    I did not realised that I practically held my breath from the first word to the last .
    A great piece that invites great comments. I would have miss this if not to the link. Super.
    Thank you


    JMD : Thank you for the comment.


  44. Great story mr. JMD! Maybe it is a historical fiction, but it should be given a chance. Because, the scenario nowadays is that, the youth were simply not appreciated our historical stories, fables, tales nor legend. Historical fiction is the best way of telling this youth to open their eyes on our culture, thus developing nationalism. Indeed, it is a fiction, but it is a good start, like the PGL movie. After I surf in the net, I realised that it was totally a fiction, but I am not disappointed with this piece and instead, I was proud of it. It was born from us, the Malaysian, this huge production! Proud to be Malaysian! This kind of piece should be given a wider chance of converting it to films and dramas, like the Japanese Taiga’s drama so that we, the current Malaysian learnt that the past also need to be implemented in our modern life so that we will never forgotten our own moral and culture values. I myself writing a piece like this and I do need some input. I honestly think that you can be a success film producer in the future and I am honoured to read your piece and I am glad that there are people who still appreciate our own Malay History. Keep up the good work!

    JMD : Thank you Suppie for reading this. Really appreciate it.


  45. Eheh, sorry forgot to mention. Okay, after I read again those comment’s from the viewer’s I realise that there are too, too many kinds of versions of the Hang Tuah. Ranging from the Hang Jebat’s to the PGL arc, there were too many version of it. And until today, people who were still debating on it. As for me, it is good for debating something like this because it may lead to other new discovery. For writers like us, it is informed that we should be careful on what we were writing, but sometimes we should squeeze some ideas from this many verse of stories. Generating ideas from the circumstances is not a fault. So, again, what I am trying to say is that, accept the comments and learn from it. If you ask me, this was way to little since it is not included with the folk stories. Hence, keep up the good work. I like the way you interpreted the stories and the way you are writing it, it was totally amazing and inspiring, after all it was based on friendship’s stories. It does makes me felt like crying.


  46. salam…pretty details but only on physical aspect of it…how about the spiritual part + unwritten + intentionally hide. I might be wrong, just guessing
    – real name Huang Tu Ah from Chinese/Malay ancesstors
    – close ties w Admiral Mohammad Cheng Ho
    – Whre’s the 7 underground tunnel n melacca
    – Where’s the Sea water pocket which protects melacca being sodomise by westeners
    – 500yrs +- ago, melacca has appx 5000 “meriam” weapon & where does it goes
    – Muhammad Cheng Ho park their fleet of vessels (appx 1000 vessels) in melacca, how big was the port back then
    – who destroy it, british, dutch, portugese those days to wipe out the history
    – why in Da’Vinci diary tells hang Tuah’s name in it, was told that HT even taught DV of how to paint, then onwards his oaintings diff post mtg up HT
    …………any explanation, just guessing

    JMD : Where did you get all these 8 “guesses”? Admiral Cheng Ho first came to Melaka 50 years before Sultan Mansur Shah was even coronated as Sultan. How on earth could you even say he has close ties with Hang Tuah when he died several years before Hang Tuah was even born (Cheng Ho died in 1433).

    And please show me the report about Da Vinci’s diary which had Hang Tuah’s name in it. The rest of your guesses are simply not true unless you can show me the links pertaining to their validity. Thank you.


  47. Dear JMD,
    wow…… i salute u to this brilliAnt work u have done…
    impressive . It’s contains a lot of important event that anak melayu don’t know….


  48. akhir.. ada juga yg seperti saya.. bangga menjadi anak melayu.. jujur aja.. pada saya memang patut hang jebat di beri iktiraf seperti hang tuah.. kalau kita renung kembali.. kenapa hang tuah tidak menyembunyikan hang jebat? kenapa hang tuah tidak mau berdiplomasi? satu tanda tanya yang akan terus menjadi misteri….

    JMD : Kerana Hang Jebat melakukan kesalahan besar. Melakukan zina bersama dayang dayang istana dan membunuh rakyat Melaka sesuka hati. Kesalahan yang boleh membawa hukuman mati ketika itu. Terima kasih.


  49. yeahh.. that sounds cool enough to negate the theory of Hang Tuah being a Chinese.. the part about “hang” as a mere address of a teenager and also being used for Li Po….. good stuff

    JMD : Thank you for the comment. In Sejarah Melayu, there are so many other warriors with the name ‘Hang’. We have Hang Nadim, Hang Isap, Hang Husin Jong, Hang Isa Pantas etc. Are these warriors chinese as well? The story that Hang Tuah and his friends were chinese was a hoax. Thank you.


  50. Assalamualaikum to JMD and all readers.

    firstly i want to give a big clap to JMD because your writing fascinate me.

    i am also in progress of researching about the legendary warrior Hang Tuah which all the facts and information will be turned into comical painting. Which it means i need some of further reading. Perhaps you can help me to completely states all the references you had in here which it’s could benefit us all. i believe there are lot’s of researcher still in searching of writing about Hang Tuah and his friends.


  51. The ‘Chinese Hang Tuah’ theory is just what it is. A theory, full stop. One proposed by Prof. Khoo Khay Kim, Head of UM’s History Faculty.

    All he has is his belief that the ‘Hang’ in the names of Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat etc. iss a Chinese surname, as in ‘Hang Li Po’, and that the title ‘Hang’ does not exist in Malay culture and customs. But the good Prof. is wrong here, cos the title ‘Hang’, as well as its female counterpart ‘Dang’, did exist among Melakan Malay gentlemen and ladies of that time.

    Some people propose that ‘Hang’ is derived from the first part of ‘hangkau’, the original version of the Malay word ‘engkau’ (English: you). They say the northerners (Kedahans, Perlisians, Penangites) have taken the first part ‘hang’, while the southerners (Johorians, Melakans) have taken the second part ‘kau’.

    Tuah’s father was named Hang Mahmud, his mother Dang Merdu. In case Prof. Khoo has conveniently chosen to forget, there’s also a female TV news presenter named Dang Suria, still working with TV3.

    Whether the Hang Tuah tale was a true story or a mythical legend is not that important. More important is that we learn from its lessons. To me, both Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat have their good and not-so-good qualities.

    Every nation needs a mythical superhero. Hang Tuah is the mythical superhero for the Malay nation. But there were also many other heroes before him.

    Tun Perak, for instance, was the real hero of the Melaka Sultanate. He led the warriors of Melaka to defeat two Ayutthayan Siamese invasions, one by land, the other by sea. Which was what really paved the way for the rise of of Melaka as a respected regional power. He was also the real power behind the throne, the ultimate kingmaker-strategos-general, if you like.

    But Tun Perak’s exploits have not been glorified to the same degree as Hang Tuah’s. I think this is something that needs to be strongly addressed by our historians, politicians and other powers that be. Tun Perak is my man, any day.

    Every one of us has a Hang Tuah and a Hang Jebat in him. The thing is to keep both characteristics in good balance. Nobody can be perfect.


  52. Dear JMD.

    Of late, blogs which finally speaks for malays are mushrooming. Thank God for that. Yours is a good example. NOt many bloggers are as mature as your level, while maturity is a spectrum of achievement on spiritual growth, you represent a better level.

    But then again, blogging can only do so much. It may increase the confidence of certain parties, incite hate in some. Source of truth, or smokescreen the truth for others.

    I wish someone as mature as you could embark us all, malays and non-malays alike on action-based activity instead. This is what i mean/propose-

    While blogging may clear part of our conscience about who is right/wrong and who has the rights to claim on ownership, it does not address current problems. Malays may have or demand all the rights they want, but the non-bumi can’t care less. They shit on our rights, and you know why, because they control the economy, which in turn makes them control malays. Now imagine if we have no power i.e singapore…. We’ll be slaves in our own land. Somehow, the reality just does’nt sink in to the thick malay skull that, slowly but surely the chinese will take over.

    So, to claim our rights, why don’t we start with improving ourselves for the better. Unite, work hard, let go of small disputes.

    Better still, with the internet, why don’t we start networking better. Control the supply chain. Inform of good deals, and malay based locations of business. Thats what the chinese did anyways.

    Use mosques to network people. And for God’s sakes, please forget about multilevel marketing a.k.a ponzi schemes which these blind malays think are making them rich. In reality, every rm 10k they make, the controllers who are mostly non-malay gets 100k.. Wake up!!!!

    Someone’s got to remind the malays that while this land is their birth-right, the chinese also have rights to do everything within their power, to increase their strangle-hold on even this malay soil.

    And while some may disagree with me, some of the country’s so-called ulamaks better brush up and keep up with the times, or get the hell out of our lives. Some of them argue the stupidest things, while making us malays engrossed in unimportant things such as how to stir your cup of tea (apparently following the kaabah tawaf), how to make love (are their wives satisfied?) how to be better people (really? no wonder the muslims are so much better off).

    We need a concerted effort. Otherwise, blogging will just be another arena of malay’s “jaguh sorak”

    And now i must humbly apologise if this offends you or anyone.


  53. Responding to Adzim above:

    Jaguh Sorak?!! Bro, relax. Change is not an easy thing. The most effective method is via mass communication. Since the government controls the press very tightly, blogging is a good way of expressing. I must say that what JMD has been doing is good enough as a catalyst to a much bigger realisation amongst Malays. Who knows the actual person behind JBM is someone who actually does all sorts of things in the name of Malays? You just don’t know.

    I must give an example how blogging is similar to previous efforts when it comes to politics,… Malay politics. The Independence spirit did not appear over night. It involved numerous mass communication to act as subtle education to the public. The Malays started writing, in what was the first Malay press, Jawi Peranakan. Those writings, as read by numerous Malays, ignited the Independence spirit. That gave strength to the course, and the eventual Merdeka. Similar to any political change subsequently, literature has, have been and should always be the tool to ignite the spirit for change,.. of course change for the better.

    Therefore, I hope you can appreciate what JMD is doing as a blogger. He, ie the staged virtual man JMD, need not expand his efforts beyond writing because he, the person himself, only uses JMD as a tool to communicate and ignite the ideas. Individuals of all levels in the Malay society should take actions in their own lives within their own powers to make the change.

    I blog as well; but in my own “real” life, I fight for Malay advancement in the corporate world for the past 14 years in the profession that I am in. So we all have a role to play in society. Let’s not label JMD as “Jaguh Sorak” for his voice, is a noble one.


    JMD : Thank you Kopi Hang Tuah for the kind words. Will take both you and Adzim’s comments as food for thought. Thank you again for visiting.


    • Thank you kopi hang tuah. That’s good to know. What i would like though, is to link up with these people.
      Anyways, i had no intention, of calling JMD ‘jaguh sorak’. He is noble. In fact, if you read carefully, i am just saying collectively how bloggers may veer into that path. Not specifically anyone. But thanks for pointing that out too.
      May we meet someday, and fight for our religion, race, and country.


      • Did I read wrong? Sorry Adzim, people speed read and most of the time, they pick up “perception” of what was written rather than intentions. You made your intention clear now. Sorry I must apologise. But yeahhh,.. berilah seniman (eg bloggers) suatu kelainan di dalam peruntukan mereka sebagai pembentuk masyarakat dan kesinambunagn pembangunan bangsa


  54. Good fiction… an alternative view on the legend, but not as a history (history, as real as Muhammad Rasul Allah). You can turn your fiction into a movie script you know. It can be a good movie about friendship (& principles) that became the victim of a moronic, non-Islamic Sultan.

    Could you be kind enough to state the reference/footnote of your addendum? I need to see the facts (like Rasul Allah sunnah & sirah, they got indisputable & trusted Sanad). If the addendum is your own postulation, its okay then.

    JMD : The footnote number one to three are based on Sejarah Melayu itself. Point number four is through simple deduction whereby the Michigan society was discovered do not exist. Thank you for the compliments. Really appreciate it.



    JMD : Comment moderated with apologies. Thank you.


    • HIs father’s name was Hang Mahmud while his mother’s name was Dang Merdu Wati. Do you have other names that we do not know about? Thank you.


    • I apologise for the confusion. But like stated in the comments area, this is the work of fiction but main arc of the story is based on Sejarah Melayu. Thank you.


  56. Perhaps it was not entirely coincidence that the Singapore Straits Times (www.straitstimes.com) published an Op-Ed column titled “Debating Malay History – Legend of Hang Tuah: fact or fiction?” on 30 Jan 2012.

    The column was authored by Salim Osman (salim@sph.com.sg), a Senior Writer at the paper.

    By the way, this is not the first Op-Ed column by Salim on developments in Malaysia.

    Second of all, he has the guts to put his name, photo and email address on his Op-Ed columns. Not like some commentators in the Malaysian media who choose to remain anonymous!

    Be that as it may. Let me quote, SELECTIVELY, from this particular column (the full text can be accessed by paid subscribers to the paper’s website):

    “…But legendary Malay warrior Hang Tuah never existed. He is just a myth. As were his four friends and Chinese princess Hang Li Po, who married the Sultan of Malacca in the 15th century…

    “The tales of Hang Tuah are found in the Sejarah Melayu or Malay Annals, a semi-historical record of Malay history and the Hikayat Hang Tuah, regarded as a work of fiction of the 16th century.

    “The Sejarah Melayu was deliberately written on royal command with the intention of recording for future generations the accounts of the deeds and customs of the Malay rulers.

    “But the authors went a step further by portraying Malay kings as having divine origin and suggesting that Hang Tuah personified the undivided loyalty towards the ruler…

    “Many scholars believe that the character of Hang Li Po was created by the authors of Sejarah Melayu to glorify the Malacca sultan and his ties with the Chinese Emperor. There has been no record of her existence in the Ming Chronicles of the Ming Dynasty.

    “It is natural for those who learnt about the exploits of the warrior in schools in the 1970s and 1980s, to feel betrayed by the historian’s (Emeritus Professor Khoo Kay Khim) remarks that Hang Tuah never existed. It leads Malaysians to wonder if there were other elements in Malaysian history that were myths too and had never existed…

    “Whether or not Hang Tuah is a fact or fiction, the tales of the warrior are politically important for Umno, leader of the ruling Barisan Nasional, and other Malay rightwing groups today, as they have been in feudal societies of yore.

    “The stories of Hang Tuah and other tales in Malay history and literature have been used by Umno and other Malay nationalists as proof of the “Malayness” of Malaysian history, buttressing their claim that the country is Malay.

    “Hang Tuah’s famous quote “Takkan Melayu hilang di dunia”, or “Malays will never vanish from the earth”, has been the rallying cry of Umno to galvanise Malay support behind the party.

    “Malaysian academic Farish Noor, in his Facebook posting, observed that for decades the Hang Tuah myth was used “as a vehicle for all sorts of nefarious and dubious ideological ends: as a testament to ethnic majoritarianism, as a primordial claim to land and belonging, as a means to proclaim ethnic dominance”.

    “The Hang Tuah story is also important because it runs deep in the nationalo consciousness of many Malays who view the figure as a legendary warrior in Malay history.

    “The man and his friend Hang Jebat are seen as symbols of heroism and patriotism worth emulating by Malays today. Among royal circles, Hang Tuah represents Malay loyalty and deference to the rulers. Such loyalty strengthens the institution of Malay monarchy.

    “In a country where politics is always seen in racial terms, a seemingly innocuous suggestion that Hang Tuah is a myth will be met by a spirited defence of the legend by Malay groups.

    “In fact, these groups had already been up in arms over a suggestion some years ago that the warrior could not have been Malay. Those casting doubts on his ancestry had pointed out that Hang Tuah shared the same surname as the Chinese princess, and that he practised a form of martial arts which Malays of his time had never seen before.

    “The suggestion was dismissed. This only shows one thing – the legend of Hang Tuah could well be more fiction than fact. But many Malays, including some academics, remain steadfast in their belief of their legend. For at stake is not only a historical fact; but notions of identity and nationality”.

    Interesting stuff. It may even prompt some doctoral and post-doctoral theses at the Malay Studies Department at the National University of Singapore!


  57. Pingback: rima osiana's blog » Blog Archive » Hang Tuah

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