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 Sejarah Melayu Hikayat Hang Tuah, Hikayat Raja-Raja Pasai

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PostSubyek: Sejarah Melayu Hikayat Hang Tuah, Hikayat Raja-Raja Pasai   Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:38 pm

Sejarah Melayu
The Malay Annals



The Sejarah Melayu
(Malay Annals) is clearly the most famous, distinctive and best
classical Malay prose to be ever produced, sharing in the great
literary tradition other Malay works such as the Hikayat Hang Tuah, Hikayat Raja-Raja Pasai and the Hikayat Marong Mahawangsa
(Kedah Annals). It chronicles the establishment of the Malaccan
sultanate, charting a course of more than 600 years in a solid compact
book filled with intricate details regarding royal protocol, royal
lineages, weaving in various historical, mythical and legendary figures
and episodes in a compendium that still captivates its audiences three
centuries later. Not historically connected, the collection of stories
focuses on the activities of the Melaka sultans, their ancestors, their
courts, government officials, allies and enemies. Certainly, foreign
rulers were also described, as were Malacca's foreign relations and its
importance as a regional trading centre. A noteworthy omission was the
absence of any mention of peasant life.

Attributed to Tun Seri Lanang
as its first editor, the work was commissioned by Sultan 'Ala'u-d-din
Ri'ayat Shah of Johor. It was claimed to have been begun in on Sunday
May 13, 1612, in Pasai, Sumatra, where the Sultan was being held
captive Mahkota Alam of Acheh. However, some scholars think that the
original text was written prior to 1536 and underwent changes in 1612.


Scholars agree that its
well-written narrative and characterisation of personalities makes it a
world-class literary classic. Like any literary work of the medieval
age, it has its downright boring moments - the endless geneaologies of
rulers, every girl must be of peerless beauty, no army or fleet numbers
less than "the thousands past counting".... But, on the other hand, the
sheer narrative power is electric in many passages. It is most
brilliant when the author admires the cunning (cherdek) of the peoples
of the peninsula - time after time, the "men of Melaka" are just too
clever for the foreigner and there is sheer artistry, wit and humour
when the author has his gentle digs at the foreigner (gunting makan
di-hujung!). Tales abound of the Melaka men (and women) outwitting,
outflanking and befuddling all and sundry - from the Emperor of China
to the largest Siamese fleets.

It is also an important
historical source about Malacca and the Malay world prior to Malacca's
defeat by the Portuguese in 1511. Although the Sejarah Melayu mentions
only one date, events described in it can be verified by other
historical sources. Much of the material found on this website is
derived from the Sejarah.

However, the main aim of this
work was, undoubtedly, to laud the spleandour, greatness and
superiority of the Melaka Sultanate - and it was written at a time when
the Johor court, successors of the Melaka sultans, were being attacked
by Portuguese and Achinese, their capital sacked many times and having
to be moved from one part of the Straits to another. The court was
frequently on the run from marauding invaders, their territories being
overrun. The Sejarah Melayu was probably an attempt by the Johor court
to overcome its sense of lost fortunes by regaining the past glories of
a mythical golden age that was less than a generation past. It still
serves to inspire the Malay of today - and to remind them of the
heights that they can be, and have been, capable of reaching.

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