Suddenly what was history is now fiction
Published:  Jan 18, 2012 1:29 AM
Updated: 3:27 AM

YOURSAY 'Does Professor Khoo Kay Kim mean to say all that we have studied about the history of the Malacca Sultanate were in fact lies?'

Don: Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, and Hang Li Po are myths

your say YF: What basis did Professor Khoo Kay Kim use to make such a rash claim? There is Bukit Cina, there is Perigi Hang Li Po, there is Zheng He and there is the ‘Sejarah Melayu'.

Though Hang Li Po is nowhere to be found in the China's historical records, it's highly probable that she was not a princess but one of the court maidens selected by the Chinese emperor for establishing relations with minor foreign empires.

So is she a myth? The facts show otherwise. As for Hang Tuah and his friends, there are tombs of Hang Kasturi and Hang Jebat that are still visible today. So are these myths too?

What they did are recorded in ‘Sejarah Melayu' (‘Hikayat Hang Tuah' is more of a fictional write-up than a historical one), and whether they are Chinese or Malay, it doesn't matter.

They used the weapons and follow the customs of the then Malacca culture - a culture that united the various races in the Malacca empire and treated them as equals.

Obviously, there are many people here who have never paid attention during Sejarah class, nor read the ‘Sejarah Melayu', nor visited Malacca and viewed all the historical evidence that give support to the existence of Hang Li Po, Hang Tuah and his fellow warriors.

As for the Malacca palace, it was burnt to the ground during the Portuguese invasion. The replica we see in Malacca today is built based on historical evidence.

This is what happens when Umno starts rewriting our history books. We lose sight of the rich Malaysian culture and instead fed with the tainted Umno one.

One Hand Cover the Sky: What is prof Khoo talking about? Does he mean to say all that we have studied about the history of the Malacca Sultanate during my schooldays in the 70s were in fact lies?

What were our learned historians doing at that time? So is even the Srivijaya empire also fictitious, just for 'shiok sendiri' reading like the Chinese stories in ‘Si Yu Kee' or ‘The Monkey Goes West'?

MrM: Come on, why all the personal attacks against the professor? Is anything Khoo said untrue? There is no known proof of Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, etc. For quite a long time, Hang Li Po has been known to not exist, at least not in the way the Malay fables say so.

More likely, she was a servant of the emperor not a daughter, and the Malaccans got tricked into thinking she was someone great.

Till today no one knows where the graves of the sultans of Malacca are. The ‘Sejarah Melayu' is more fiction than fact.

Mangodurian: The Malay supremacists should be happy to accept this since it has been thrown into rightful doubt that the Hangs are even Malays in the first place, especially given that:

1) How Chinese sounding their names are.

2) There's no Ming dynasty record of a princess called Li Po.

Even if they did exist, chances are they were big-time cons from the Zheng He convoy. This is a great chance for the likes of Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali to have a face-saving way to distance themselves from this folly.

The Rover: A fascist mind-set cannot tolerate that the Hangs were not Malays and that ‘silat' was actually a Chinese martial art (perhaps originating from India).

So history had to be rewritten - and this announcement is a prelude to the revamping of the history syllabus in schools and the obliteration of any reference to the Hangs.

To make what they plan to do appear respectable, they need sycophants to air their scholarly views.

Ben-ghazi: Yes, the Hangs are as mythical as the dragon, but no offence intended to my Chinese brethren.

For hundreds of years, Malays have been 'fed' with the story of the mythical hero (Hang Tuah); and then later Hang Jebat was hailed as the real hero because he proved to be loyal to the sultan, unlike Hang Tuah, who rebelled against an unjust sultan.

Even though the professor has gone past his shelf life as some have said, I have no objection to his statement.

Cloudnine: I would like prof Khoo to explain what he means by ‘written record'? Would the prof say there are written records on Buddha, Jesus, Shih Huang Ti, Alexander the Great, and all the emperors in China and India.

Is there any written record on Adam and Eve? If there aren't any, then would they all become myths? Perhaps if you could explain your stand on written records, then you could prove your theory better.

Anticommunalist: It is very interesting to note that after recent rumours that Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, etc, are in fact warriors from China who were sent to protect the Malacca Sultanate and their names are in fact Hang Tu Ah, Hang Je Bat, Hang Le Kiew.

It is rather surprising that the learned prof had all these years never bothered to unearth this information, but now very strangely he comes out with these ‘startling' new findings.

I will put my bet that Hang Tu Ah was real and definitely from China.

Danny Lazaroo: It's a pretty much well-known fact that Malaysian history, as it goes in the school history books, is pretty biased and inaccurate in a number of things.

I totally agree 100 percent that there is a strong need for us to educate our young with history that is actually factual in nature, and that which is not based on lies or half-truths.

The professor makes sense - why should we continue to believe and educate our children on lies and myths and legends?

And for that matter, our entire education system needs to be revamped to move away from being politicised, and to instead be based on solid academic principles.

I would also like to see our history syllabus contain within it more recent global issues, incidents and events that have led to shaping our world the way it is today, and for these to be present factually and as in an unbiased way as possible.

Podeh: Prof Emeritus Khoo, in one fell swoop you have removed what I was taught 60 years ago. Now I have very little time left to catch up on Malayan/Malaysian history. What a pity, but I'm still willing to discover the truth.

That will take quite a while seeing how the Education Ministry is continuously manufacturing its own Malayan/Malaysian history. Pity the children of today.


The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. Over the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now .

Read more like this :
Most Read
Most Commented
Most Recent