Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Melaka Part 2: Melaka Sultanate Comes to Life

1. Istana Kesultanan Melayu Melaka
The fact that this building was built based on original techniques with no use of nails at all render this place as one of the must-visit location while you are in Melaka. No, this is not the original palace of Sultan Mansur Shah, but rather it was erected as an honour to the glory of the Malay Sultanate centuries ago and to document the history of the glorious Melaka. With minimal entrance fee of RM2, it was worth the visit. 

In coming out with this replica, historians, architects, archeologists and other experts were gathered to study and come out with a plan of how would the palace of Sultan Mansur Shah look like. Using high quality local resources such as kayu cengal, kayu resak and kayu nyatoh, this building was completed and officially opened in 1986 for public view. 

Life in the Palace of Sultan Mansur Shah
This palace was also erected to bring back to life all of the environment and ambience in the palace centuries ago, including the Balairong Seri (where important occasion, procession and discussion on state affairs before the Sultan took place) and Balai Beradu (where the Sultan sleep). It was interesting to note that no one was allowed to enter into the Sultan's bedroom without the Sultan's permission and this was no exception even to the Permaisuri (the queen)! 

Traditional Attire of the Malays
There were also male and female mannequins dressed in traditional Malay attire according to all States in Malaysia. This is where you can clearly see the variety of Malay traditional outfits from one state to another (and Kelantan has the most interesting outfit). 

The remaining male mannequins with no female counterparts were dressed with the attire of traders from various countries, who came to trade in Melaka. They came from China, Thailand, Gujerat, Arab, Java and others, with their respective unique goods to be traded with the local people as well as the other traders. 

Life during the Reign of Malacca Sultanate
As I walked deeper into the palace, the series of mannequins displayed were later subsided, replaced with series of paintings, depicting the life in Melaka during the reign of Malay Sultanate. Among others, there were paintings showing the legal sanctions for criminals, and it was pretty obvious that Melaka, once practised hudud or Islamic criminal law e.g. lashing non-married adulterers, death penalty for married adulterers, cutting hands for thief (for those who stole highly valuable items) and public humiliation for petty offenses. 

Hang Tuah
Takkan Melayu Hilang Di Dunia (Malay will never vanish from the earth) has been the moto or the famous quote of Hang Tuah, which has also rallying cry for Malay nationalism. But such quote has rarely been used today in Malaysia given its nationalism now consisted of various races. 

Still, speaking of Melaka, the whole historical elements would not be complete without the warrior of the Malay Sultanate - Hang Tuah. The symbol of Malay bravery, the stories of Hang Tuah was also properly documented via paintings. As the ultimate legend of Malay warrior, with loyalty to the Sultan as  his salient feature, Hang Tuah remained as the prominent legendary figure. 

Alongside with his fellowship of the Malay warriors named Hang Jebat, Hang Lekiu, Hang Lekir and Hang Kasturi, these five friends were appointed as warriors to ensure peace and safety in Melaka. But Hang Tuah was accused of having an illicit affairs with one of the dayang, so the Sultan sentenced him to death without fair trial. But he was never executed as the Bendahara secretly disobeyed the command of the Sultan and hid Hang Tuah in a remote place. Believing his beloved friend was unfairly executed to death, Hang Jebat went amok and unstoppable even by the Sultan himself. The Sultan was later informed that the only one who could defeat Hang Jebat was Hang Tuah himself who was still alive. The Sultan instructed Hang Tuah to kill Hang Jebat and after days of dueling  Hang Jebat died in the hand of his beloved friend, Hang Tuah. 

Tour Ended
The story of Hang Tuah had officially ended our tour inside the palace. Getting to know the history of Malacca Sultanate is actually getting to know our Malay ancestors. They notably taught two points. Despite innocent people being unjustly killed, we never really learnt the lesson. One - loyalty should be at its place. Second - envious heart, reflected through action to bring the other people down by all means will never be a happy ending. 

Again, we never really learn the lesson. 

Completed an hour. Another two hours to go.

Hairi Tahir

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4 Nukilan:

dzuchan said...

why I didn't find this museum during my visit to Malacca? maybe i'm too tired and nyampah with massive traffic jam :-D

Janggel / Rain said...

lama dah tak singgah muzium ni.

Hairi Tahir said...

Oh, it's just beside the A Famosa. Oh, traffic dia mmg hebat. I was trapped for like almost an hour. Parking pun susah.

Hairi Tahir said...

Nothing much have changed since my last visit in 2002.

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