Monday, January 30, 2012

Hang Tuah, and his detractors

                                                Hang Tuah's mural in Muzium Negara

I knew about the story of Hang Tuah when I began to read Utusan Kanak Kanak, the children's paper which was circulated by Utusan Melayu during my early schooling years. Then a play on Hang Tuah was put up at the Lake Gardens in Seremban where my late uncle Hashim Amir Hamzah who was actively involved in its production, and I presumed that made Mubin Sheppard who was then the British Adviser in Negri Sembilan gave him a good recommendation for a job as a radio announcer in the then Radio Malaya at Singapore.
So I just cannot understand the fuss over Khoo Kay Kim's notion that Hang Tuah did not exist. Of what importance did he now bring up the subject-matter is a mystery to many. Just because he is the chairman of the committee which reviews the history syllabus for our schools does not confer on him the right to disturb the authenticity of his contributions to his ruler, Sultan Mansur Shah. He could well be just a myth, but to the Malays he is more than that. Hang Tuah is part of the Malay cultural heritage as pointed out by my ex-residential college mate in University Malaya, Prof. Ghouse Nasaruddin.
If Mubin Sheppard had his way, he probably wanted Hang Tuah's bust be put up in front of Muzium Negara and not just his mural, when he was heading  the museum. He would be turning in his grave if he reads on the statements now made by Hang Tuah's detractors   including  those who said that Hang Tuah was a Chinese.
This is what happens when we are not proud of our past. After all not everything of importance need to be proven by empirical evidence and facts, because for all we know if we were to dig for them, they are buried deep under the Straits of Malacca, one of the busiest sea-lanes in the world. That is perhaps the reason why our treasure hunters have quietly carted away many of the artifacts found off our shores because they could well disguised their ships as a passing vessel. It is better for us to keep the legend as it is, because it is already a museum piece.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Muhammad Zarrif Shah, a new addition to the family.

                                                        Muhammad Zarrif Shah


Last Sunday 08 January 2012 at 4.59 p.m. saw the arrival of Muhammad Zarrif Shah, my fifth grandchild and the third child from my son Husni and daughter-in-law Chik Laynnia Zamir. Alhamdulillah both of them, the baby and mother are already discharged from SJMC in Subang. But since the doctor recommended a longer light therapy for the baby's jaundice, he is admitted closer to their home at Tropicana Medical Centre in Kota Damansara.
As a grandfather, I am quite relieved to welcome the new addition to the family after a few false alarms where the doctor told Laynnia that if the baby is not born by Thursday 12 January, then he has to induce the birth, but Alhamdulillah he arrives earlier.
I am grateful to ALLAH S.W.T. for fulfilling my prayer that both of them are well. Now it is the time for us to lend a hand in helping out whenever required since they do not have a helper at home.