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Tony Boey johorkaki@gmail 🇸🇬 Singapore active senior food, travel & lifestyle diary

Sultan Mudhafer Shah & Sultan Mansur Shah 📖 War & Peace with Siam 📖 Sejarah Melayu Chapter 13

Chapter 13 of the Sejarah Melayu relates the triumph of Sultan Mudhafer Shah and Sultan Mansur Shah over invasions by Siamese as well as their eventual peace accord. The chapter also contains accounts on Malacca's conquest of Pahang.

*I am studying the Malay Annals for insights into the roots of Malay cuisine.

Sultan Mudhafer Shah ruled Malacca sultanate from 1446 to 1459.
Sultan Mudhafer Shah supported by Tun Perak of Klang repelled a large invasion force from Siam. Sultan Mudhafer Shah rewarded Tun Perak by appointing the latter prime minister of Malacca sultanate. Sultan Mudhafer Shah eased the incumbent prime minister, Tun Ali out of his appointment by acceding to the latter's request to marry the sultan's wife.

The Siamese launched a second invasion in 1456 but was defeated at the battle of Batu Pahat.

The Siamese planned a third attack against Malacca but it was aborted when the prince leading the intended invasion died suddenly before setting off.

The extent of the Sultanate in the 15th century

Sultan Mudhafer Shah died in 1459 and was succeed by his son Sultan Mansur Shah who ruled from 1459 to 1477. Sultan Mansur Shah expanded the territory and influence of Malacca sultanate by conquest or forming alliances through marriages with royalties of Pahang, and kingdoms across the Malacca Straits in Sumatra. Sultan Mansur Shah also secured peace with Siam by forming a military alliance.

Sejarah Melayu compiled in Jawi by regent of Johor, Yang di-Pertuan Di Hilir Raja Abdullah in 1612, translated into English by Dr. John Leyden in 1821. The Malay Annals has 30 chapters.

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Original translation of Sejarah Melayu by Dr John Leyden

Chapter 13 of 30

IT is related, that there was a raja of the land of Siam, which in ancient times was named Seheri Navi, and had all the regions under the wind dependent on it, and the name of this raja was Bubunyar (P'hu-bun-yang). It was reported to him in the land of Siam that Malaca was a great country, and did not own his allegiance. 

Then Paduca Babunyar sent to Malaca to demand a letter of submission, but Sultan Mudhafer Shah refused to send any submission. The raja of Siam was highly indignant, and immediately prepared to attack Malaca. 

The name of the general was Awi Chacri, (T'ha-wi-chacri,) and his host exceeded all communication. Information of the intended attack was conveyed to the raja of Malaca, and that the Siamese champion and his host were advancing by land, and had already reached Pahang. Then the raja ordered the inhabitants of all the suburbs and boys of Moar, to be assembled in Malaca, and Tun Perak brought up the inhabitants  of Calang, with all their wives and children to Malaca. 

Then the people of Calang presented themselves before the raja, and related to him their whole state and condition; and they represented to him that only the males had come up to Malaca from every other place except Calang, but that the people of Calang, who were under Tun Perak had been brought up with all their wives and children.  

The raja, on hearing this representation, directed Sri Amarat, a bentara, to inform Tun Perak of the complaints of the men of Calang, when he should come to the hall of audience, but not to inform him that it was done by his  advice. This Sri Amarat the bentara, was originally of Pasei in the land of Samatra, and he was a man who was skilful in his speech as an orator, which had been the occasion of his rising to the rank of bentara, when he had received the name of Sri Amarat and had a low seat appointed him near the raja's knee, it being his office to bear the sword of authority, and to communicate the royal messages.  

On a day Tun Perak presented himself at court, and sat on the ground along with the rest who were present, and Sri Amarat took an opportunity of stating to him, that a person of Calang had complained to the raja of his conduct in bringing up their wives and children, while only the males had come up from other quarters. "Pray, what could be your motive in this proceeding?" Tun Perak answered not a word.  

He asked him again, and he gave no answer: but, the third time, Tun Perak replied,  "Pray, Sri Amarat, take good care of yourself, and of the sword which you bear; let it not rust, nor eat the eyes of the steel; but, how should you know anything about the concerns of us men of business? His Majesty, the Prince, is seated in this country, with his wife and family, and all his apparatus; but, had I not brought the wives and children of the men of Calang, what should they care about you, whatever might befal you. The reason I have brought their wives, and all their families is, that they may contend with a true heart against the foe. And, even if the raja were disposed to shrink from the combat, they would only be the more eager to prevent the slavery of their wives and children. For this cause they will contend strenuously against the enemy."  

Sri Amarat reported this conversation to the raja, who smiled, and said, "It is very true, what Tun Perak said."Then the Prince took betel-leaf from his own box, and sent it to Tun Perak, and said to him, "Tun Perak, you must not live any longer in Calang, you must come and live here."The men of Siam however, arrived, and engaged in fight with the men of Malaca. The war continued for a long time, and great numbers of Siamese perished, but Malaca was not reduced.  

At last, the whole Siamese army retreated; and, as they took their departure, they threw down large quantities of their baggage rotans in the district of Moar, where they all took root; and that is the origin of the name of Rotan-Siam. Their stocks, which were formed of fig-tree wood, likewise took root in a place in the vicinity of Moar, where it still exists. The rests for the Siamese cooking-places also took root and  grew up, and are to be seen at this day, at the place named Tumang Siam. 

After the Siamese army had retreated, all the Malays of the suburbs and villages returned to  their own homes, but the raja would not permit Tun Perak to return to Calang, but he continued to reside at Malaca.  

There was a kelenger, who alleged that he had been injured in some respect by Tun Perak, and complained to the raja, who directed his bantara, Sri Amarat, to enquire concerning the matter of Tun Perak. He did so accordingly; but, Tun Perak remained silent, till he had asked him the third time, when Tun Perak said, "Mu Sri Amarat, the raja has made you the bantara of his own person, and given you his sword of state to bear, and you are well versed in this office; therefore, apply to it carefully, and suffer not the sword to rust, nor let its eyes be eaten out; but, as for my business of government in this country, how should your worship be acquainted with it? If it be right or wrong, it is according to the custom  of the country. I have done what I conceive to be right, and am the person answerable for it.  His Majesty, likewise, approves of my conduct, and does not think it wrong. If, however, His Majesty is inclined to censure me in this case, let him first break me, and then censure my conduct; if, however, I am not to be broken, how can a person in my situation be censured? 

"The raja, when this answer was reported to him, highly approved of it, and said," It is not proper for this Tun Perak to remain any longer in the condition of a bentara, he must be appointed Pradhana Mantri. "He accordingly conferred on him the title of Paduca Raja, and ordered him to take his seat next to Sri Naradi Raja, on the edge of the hall of audience, while Sri  Naradi Raja moved a little within the floor, till at last he was stationed on the right hand, and the Paduca Raja assumed the place of the bandahara. 

Sri Naradi Raja even unto his old age had no son, but he had by his wife the daughter of Sri Amir al di Raja, a daughter named Tun Puti, who married Raja Abdallah.  

By a concubine, however, he had a son, but concealed the circumstance for fear of his wife. The name of this son was Tun Nina Madi. It happened one day, that Sri Naradi Raja was sitting in the hall of audience, in the presence of a great many persons, and Tun Nina Madi happened to come there, when Sri Naradi Raja called him to approach him, and ordered him to sit down near him, when he took him on his knee, and declared in the presence of all, that he was his  son, and all who were present declared, "We know this to be truth, but as you did not acknowledge, we were unwilling to show it." Then Sultan Mudhafer Shah conferred on Tun Nina Madi the title of Tun Vigaya Maha-mantri.  

Thus Paduca Raja became a great man, and half of the Malays leaned towards him, and half of them sided with Sri Naradi Raja, for they were equally men of family. Sri Naradi  Raja, however, did not wish to admit his equality, and the two constantly bore enmity towards each other. 

How often did Paduca Raja enter the inclosure of the house of Sri Naradi Raja during the night. The king was informed, and was greatly distressed at the terms on which Paduca Raja and Sri Naradi Raja were with each other.  Thinking that the country would be ruined by the contentions of the head men, he laboured hard to reconcile them. He summoned Sri Naradi Raja, and proposed to him to marry again. He said, "Very well, if you desire it." He  said, " What say you to Tun Bulun, the the daughter of the black orangcaya. He said, "Excuse me Sire, if you please." 

He said, "What think you of Tun Racna Sun-deri the sister of Paduca Raja." He said again, "Please to excuse me." The raja said "What think you of Tun Canaca, the sister of the bandahara Sriwa Raja."He said again "Excuse me," and he gave the same answer when the raja proposed the daughter of any other great man. The raja again asked him "Would you have Tun Cadu, the daughter of the bandahara Sriwa Raja, and the sister of Paduca Raja?" He said, "May it please your highness, the wife of the raja is to be sure very handsome, but her eyes squint a little."  

As soon as the raja heard this, he gave her a divorce, sent her back to the house of Paduca Raja, and ordered every thing to be prepared for the celebration of her marriage with Sri Naradi Raja. All the family of Sri Naradi Raja with his children said to him, "How can your highness propose to marry a young wife, when you are so old, and when your eyebrows and eyelashes are both white?" He replied, "How do you all know (that it is needless for me to marry) if so then my father expended uselessly a cati of gold in the Kelang country when he married my mother.  

When the lawful term of the divorce was expired, Sri Naraldi Raja married Tun Cudu, and was cordially reconciled to Paduca Raja, and these two conducted themselves as brothers. Then Sri Naraldi Raja said to the Raja, "Please Your Majesty, it is very fit that the Paduca Raja should be appointed bandahara, for he is  the son of the former bandahara."The Raja said, "very well, "and Paduca Raja became bandahara. He was a wise man in his conversation, and celebrated for wisdom in his time, in which there were three wise men in three different countries, which were reckoned equal to each other. The first of these countries was Majapahit, the second Pasei, and the third Malaca. 

In Majapahit there was Pati Aria Gaga Mada; in Pasei there was the orangcaya Raja Kenayen; and in Malaca, the bandahara Paduca Raja. Sri Naraldi Raja became the pangulu, or chief of the bandaharas.  

How long a period was it before the Siamese again returned to attack Malaca? Their general was named Avidichu this time. As soon as the news reached Sultan Mudhafer Shah in Malaca, he ordered the bandahara Paduca Raja to drive the Siamese out of the country, and he directed Sri Vija al di Raja, with the rest of the hulubalangs and champions, to accompany the bandahara.  

This Sri Vija al di Raja was a native Malay, and named originally Tun Humzah. He derived his origin from the cows' vomit, and he was commonly nicknamed the crooked Datuk or chief, from the habit of walking or sitting in a bent position. But he could set himself up briskly with strength and courage whenever there was any word of the enemy. 

Sultan Mudhafer Shah had given him the title of Sri Vija al di Raja, and he had become a famous champion, and took his seat before all the champions. As soon as he was ready, the bandahara Paduca Raja proceeded for the expulsion of the Siamese, with Sri Vija al di  Raja, and all the hulubalangs.  

Meantime the Siamese had nearly reached Batu Pahat, or the hewn stone. There was a son of Sri Vija al di Raja, who was extremely brave, and was named Tun Omar, but naturally very wild and mad in his conversation. He requested permission from Paduca Raja, to be allowed to go as a spy to get information concerning the enemy.  Tun Omar went alone in the kind of prow named Ulung Alang. 

As soon as he fell in with the first Siamese prows, he attacked them, and beat two or three on his way to the farther side. He immediately returned to attack them again, and again he beat two or three more, after which he returned. The Siamese were greatly astonished to observe the valour of Tun Omar, but still Avidichu advanced, and drew near about evening tide. 

Then the bandahara Paduca Raja ordered them to cut bacan, nyiri, and tangar trees, and ordered a fire-brand to be tied to every tree.  When the Siamese beheld these innumerable fires, the Siamese champions said, the preparations of the Malays are immense. If they advance, what a fine situation shall we be in, especially as we found ourselves today unable to contend against a single prahu of theirs? 

Avidichu said, "What you say is very true; since matters are so, let us directly return to Siam, since it is not yet morning. "Then all the Siamese returned. There is a stone tank at Batu Pahat which was hewed out by the Siamese. In their retreat they were pursued by the bandahara Paduca Raja as far as Singhapura.  Then the bandahara Paduca Raja returned to Malaca, and presented himself before Sultan Mudhafer Shah, and related all the affair to His Majesty. His Majesty was greatly delighted, and conferred an honorary dress of the finest sort on the bandahara Paduca Raja, and also conferred dresses of honour on all the champions who accompanied him, according to their rank. 

When the Siamese host reached the land of Siam, Avidichu went in and presented himself before the raja, and related to him all the circumstances of the expedition.  Paduca Bubanyar was greatly enraged, and wished to proceed himself against Malaca. There was, however, a son of Paduca Bubanyar, named Choupandan (Chaw-pan-dam) in the presence, who requested to be sent against Malaca. Let Your Majesty order me to make ready and I will proceed against Malaca. 

Then His Majesty ordered the phra-klang to get ready eight hundred vessels of the kind named Sum, with innumerable prahus of smaller size, and they were only waiting for the proper monsoon. The news reached Malaca that Choupandan, the son of Paduca Bubanyar, was ordered to proceed against Malaca, and make war on it.  

Now there was a servant of God, a man of Arabic extraction, in Malaca, who was named Seyyad Arab, and this person was constantly accustomed to amuse himself with shooting the war-arrow, like a madcap who lives by reciting verses. Wherever he went he was accustomed to carry his arrows along with him. This person, Seyyad Arab, happened to be present before Sultan Mudhafer Shah, when the information was received, and he immediately rose up and discharged an arrow towards the land of Siam. 

As he placed his arrow in the rest, he said, "Choupandan is a dead man."The raja said, "if Choupandan dies, then you certainly possess miraculous power."Choupandan was still in the land of Siam, he felt himself struck on the breast as if with an arrow, and he sickened immediately, vomited blood and died. On account of the death of Choupandan, the invasion  of Malaca by the Siamese was prevented. The circumstance is thus alluded to by the poets, "Choupandan the son of Bubanyar wished To proceed to attack Malaca, There is a ring set full of flower-posies But the flowers are bedewed with the water of tears." 

It was soon reported in Malaca, that Chou-pandan was dead, after being struck on the breast as if with an arrow, and vomiting blood, and Sultan Mudhafer Shah was fully convinced that Seyyad Arab was a man of God, and how much did the raja praise him, and express his gratitude to him! 

After reigning the space of 42 years, Sultan Mudhafer Shah died, and was succeeded by Rajah Abdallah, his son, who assumed the name of Sultan Mansur Shah. The age of this Prince, when he acceded to the throne, was twenty-seven years, and he had married the daughter of Sri Raja di Raja, named Tun Pati Nur Poalam. Before his marriage, however, he had a daughter by a mistress, and she was named Putri Bacal. 

The new Sultan, Mansur Shah, was extremely handsome, and had no equal in this world among rajas of the present time, in respect of his justice and humanity.  

The author to whom the composer of this work refers, states, that there is it Pahang, a city named Pura, the river of which is shallow, the sands beautiful, and the water fresh, till it falls into the sea. Towards the source of this river, there is a mine of gold-dust. Towards the interior, landward, there is a plain of great extent, and the woods abound in elephants, rhinoceros, and apes. It is said that the nilghau and the ape are only about one-fourth inferior to the elephant. Formerly Pahang was an extensive country, dependent on Siam, and its raja was named Maha Raja Dewa Sura, of the same lineage as Paduca Bubanyar.  

When Sultan Mansur Shah heard of this country, he became very desirous to possess himself of it, and he directed his bandahara Paduca Raja to invade it. The bandahara immediately advanced against it, accompanied by Tun Vicrama, and Tun Vijaya Maha Mantri. Sri Vija al-di Raja, and Sri Vija Vicrama, and Tun Sri al-di Raja, and Tun Amer al-di Raja, and Tun Vija al-di Raja, and Tun Vija Satia, and Sang Vija Rakna, and Sri Satia, and Sang Nyaya, and Sangguna, and Sang Juya Vicrama, and Sang Haria, and Sang Rakna Suara, and Sang Suara, and Sang Jaya, and Sang Suara Pahlawan, Tun Haria, Tun Viji Vicrama, and all the other champions, to the number of two hundred prahus, was the equipment.   

How long did they advance till they reached Pahang, when the Malaca men engaged those of Pahang with great eagerness, and defeated them with the greatest ease! The whole of the Pahangers took to flight, and Maha Raja Dewa Sura fled into the interior, leaving behind him a daughter named Putri Wanang Sri, of exquisite beauty, who was taken by the bandahara Paduca Raja, and conducted on board a prahu, where she was treated with the attention due to her rank. 

The bandahara dispatched in pursuit of the fugitive prince Tun Vicrama, Tun Vijaya Maha Mantri, and Sri Vija di Raja, and Sri Vija Vicrama, and Sura di Raja, and Tun Amer al-di Raja, and Tun Vija di Raja, and Tun Vija Satia, and Sang Vija Rakna, and Tun Rakna, and Sri Satia, and Sangyaya, and Sanggunn, Sang Jaya Vicrama, Sang Haria, Sang Rakna  Sura, and Sang Juya, Sang Sura Pahlawan,  and Tun Haria, and all the rest of the champions.   

They were ordered to pursue vigorously, and every one who wished to earn a reward, pushed on as who should be first. Sri Vija di Raja also went on the pursuit, but he amused himself with catching the wild buffalo, piercing the rhinoceros, and snaring the ape, and wherever the sand of the river was fine, there he amused himself in fishing with nets and hawls. 

His followers represented to him that this was a strange mode of continuing the pursuit, to be amusing himself, while every one was so hotly engaged." If any body else take the fugitive Prince, he will have the reward, and we will get nothing." Sri Vija di Raja replied, "how do you youngsters know? On trying his name by the power of numbers, it is subservient, and his time is also subservient to mine. How then can he escape from my hands ?" 

Maha Raja Dewa Sura, in his flight, had his boat pushed along with poles to a great distance, till he conceived he was out of all danger of the pursuit of the Malaca men, when he brought to at the foot of a mound, at the mouth of a small river, when he exclaimed, "kwoi! kwoi!"  which in Siamese, signifies "gently, gently."  Hence the name of this mound is still "Jaram-kwoi." 

Here the Malaca-men came up with him, and being unable to escape by water, he went on ashore, and wandered three days and three nights in the forest, without either eating or drinking. At last he reached an old woman's house, of whom he asked rice. "Where should a poor body like me find rice; stop till I prepare a hash of greens, and look for a little fish?" She accordingly set the pot on the fire, and the old woman then took her staff, and went down to the shore, in order to catch some young fry. 

The Malaca men who were in pursuit, had all gone on before, except Sri Vija di Raja, who was still behind, and who fell in with this old woman, and seized her, saying, "where is the Maha  Raja Dewa Sura?" The old woman said, "pray be not angry, he is at the house of your slave."  Then the champion went up towards the house, and one of his men seized the Maha Raja, and they descended the river, and delivered him up to the bandahara Paduca Raja, without having either fettered or bound him, but having treated him according to the custom of Princes. The bandahara likewise treated him according to his dignity. 

His elephant of state, named Kurichak had been conducted already to Malaca. The whole host then returned to Malaca, with the bandahara conducting the Maha Raja and his daughter, and the bandahara presented himself before Sultan Mansur Shah, with all his hulubalangs, conducting Maha Raja Dewa Sura.  

The Sultan was highly pleased, and presented the bandahara and the hulubalangs who had accompanied him, with rich honorary dresses, according to their rank; and he ordered Sri Vija di Raja to go and reside at Pahang, and permitted him to use the drums of state, viz. the gandang and nobet, excepting the nagarets, and also a royal umbrella, as the reward for his having taken the Maha Raja. Then Sri Vija di Raja went out of Malaca, and as soon as he had passed Pulow Malaca, he caused his nobets to sound. As soon as he arrived at Pahang, he assumed the seat of royal authority, and governed like a sovereign prince, coming every year, to visit the Sultan at Malaca. 

Maha Raja Dewa Sura was entrusted to the care of the bandahara Paduca Raja, who did not confine him, but treated him with great respect. Paduca Raja then trusted him to the care of Sri Nara al-di Raja, who confined him in a corner of his public hall, but in every other respect conformably to his rank, accommodating him with a couch and large pillows, and causing him to be served at his meals by a person bearing the tetampan on his shoulder.  

It happened one day,  that Sri Nara al-di Raja sat in his hall, and a great company were present, when Maha Raja Dewa Sura said, "when Sri Vija al-di Raja took me in my own country of Pahang, he treated me in such a princely stile, as if I had not lost my kingdom.  When I was delivered up to the bandahara Paduca Raja, I was treated with still greater consideration than by Sri Vija al-di Raja; but when I came into the custody of this old kelinger, then I found myself, for the first time, shut up in a cage."  

Then replied Sri Nara al-di Raja, " Oh! Maha Raja Dewa Sura, where is the similarity between the persons you mention, and I? Sri Vija al-di Raja was a fierce warrior, who has likewise subdued your kingdom, and what difficulty would he find with regard to you, who are only one man? As for the bandahara Paduca Raja, he is a great man, and backed by all the people of the land, and had Your Honour taken to flight, how could you have effected you escape? As for me, who am a poor fakir, if Your Honour were to betake yourself to flight, whom could I order to pursue you. Were you to escape, His Majesty would be enraged at me, and I would bear the blame from all."The Maha Raja replied, "what Your Honour says is very true, and you are a faithful servant of your sovereign."  

Sultan Mansur Shah espoused the Princess Putri Wanang Sri, and by her he had two sons, the one of them named Raja Ahmed, and the other Raja Muhammed, of whom he was extremely fond, and whom he wished to succeed him. 

It happened one day that the elephant Kurichak, as they were conducting him to be bathed in the river, approached the cage of the Maha Raja Dewa Sura, who called out to him. The elephant approached, and the Maha Raja accurately viewed him, and observed, that one of his nails was wanting, and said, "from my long neglect of this elephant, I deserved to lose my kingdom."  

The state elephant of Sultan Mansur Shah, named Canchanchi, fled into a forest, and how many persons were sent by the chief of the elephants, Sri Rama, in search of it, but without effect; and if it was seen it constantly stayed in deep marshes, and impenetrable thorny thickets, and could not be caught by any body. Sri Rama said, "there are people who are acquainted with the interior of this country," and he related the whole affair to the Prince.  

The Sultan ordered enquiry to be made in the country of Malaca, if there was any one acquainted with elephants ; and he was told the Maha Raja Dewa Sura was exquisitely versed in this knowledge. He then sent to the Maha Raja to desire him to recover this elephant, and he requested the messenger to say, that he would undertake the business if released from his cage. The message was conveyed to the Raja, who ordered him to be released, and the elephant was caught.  

The Sultan ordered the sons of the head men to attend Maha Raja Dewa Sura, in order to acquire the knowledge of elephants, for it was this Sultan's custom to direct the young chiefs to attend persons who were skilful respecting elephants, horses, or the exercise of weapons, in order to acquire such kinds of knowledge; and the raja defrayed the expence of such attendance.  

Sri Rama, the chief of the elephants, was a native Chatriya, and his place was to sit at the right hand side of the raja, and to have his betel carried by a person who wore the tetampan; and when he presented himself before the raja, the raja ordered him usually some refreshment, when arrack was brought him in a goblet of Suasa brass, and presented by a person with the tetampan.  Sri Nara al-di Raja begot on Tun Cudu, the elder sister of Paduca Raja, three children; the first a son, named Tun Taher, the second a daughter, named Tun Senaja, and the youngest a son, named Tun Mutaher, extremely handsome. 

Afterwards Tun Cudu returned unto God's mercy, leaving her children still very young. Sri Nara al-di Raja married again, and had three children, two sons and one daughter, named Tun Sadah. As long as Sultan Mansur Shah reigned in Malaca, the Siamese never returned to Malaca, nor did Malaca men interfere with the Siamese. 

One day the Sultan was reflecting with himself on the consequence of this want of intercourse between the two countries, and he determined to summon his bandahara Paduca Raja, Sri Nara al-di Raja, and all the rest of his ministers and warriors.  They all assembled in the hall of audience, and then the Prince came out, and all of them retired to the ground, and saluted him. Then the Prince seated himself on the throne of authority, adorned with gold and jewels, and the Bentaras then arranged the head officers in their places, and the bandahara and Sri Nara al-di Raja, and all the other head-officers ascended the dais or elevated floor, where the raja's throne was placed, and seated themselves in their several places according to the ancient custom. The Bentaras all arranged themselves, standing below the dais, holding their swords on their shoulders, with their loins girded. All the Nackhodas of consequence, and all the aged servants of the rajas seated in the lesser hall, and the two spears of authority were placed erect in the side galleries, the bearers wearing the tetampan.  

Then the raja ordered all his head officers to say if they approved of sending an ambassador to Siam: for what would be the consequence of this estrangement as there was neither peace nor war, nor any species of intercourse between the countries. Then all the paramantris and head officers said, that great friendship was preferable to great enmity. The raja then asked the bandahara who would be a proper person to send ambassador to Siam? The bandahara said that his own son, Tun Talani, would be a proper person for the purpose. Tun Talani was accordingly directed to prepare for the journey. He was employed at Suyor, at this time, and having fitted out at Suyor, twenty lancharans with three masts ; when all was ready, he proceeded to Malaca. 

Concerning the armament at the river Suyor, the poets recite the following verses. "Here is the lalei (jib-stay) but where is the bubutan (haulyards,) Aye, both the bubutan, and the kalati (lower-stays) too Mr. Talani is present, but where is the sea-skipper," The skipper is still at Tanjung Jati (Jati-point)." 

Then Sultan Mansur Shah ordered the bandahara Paduca Raja, to write a letter to be dispatched to the land of Siam, which may neither contain greeting nor salutation, nor which could even be considered as a friendly letter. The bandahara directed the letter to be composed according to this import, but none of the pagaweis, or men of business, were equal to the task. Everybody was consulted, even down to those who brought ducks and goats to market, but none were equal to it.  

The bandahara was therefore compelled to compose it himself, and thus it ran: "It is desirable that there should be no farther wars, for there is reason to fear the loss of life, and verily Paduca Bubanyar is to be dreaded in war, but there is great hope of his forgiveness and favour. 

Accordingly Tun Talani and the Mantri Jana Patra are sent for this purpose. "This was followed by a great deal in the same strain, and the raja highly approved. When the epistle was prepared, it was ordered to be conveyed a-ship board on an elephant, by the mantri. It was accordingly conveyed on board, accompanied by two white umbrellas, with drums, trumpets, flutes, and nagarets, only the bugle did not accompany it. Tun Talani and his companion also took leave of  the Sultan, and were presented with honorary dresses, after which they took their departure, and how many days were they before they reached the land of Siam!  

The arrival of the ambassadors of Malaca was quickly made known to Paduca Bubanyar, and he ordered the phrakhalang to go and conduct the letter to court in proper stile. When it reached the hall of audience, the interpreter was ordered to read it, and the Prince was highly gratified at the contents, and asked Tun Talani who it was that had composed this epistle. He replied, "Sire, the Manco-bumi of the Raja of Malaca."Then Paduca Bubanyar enquired what was the name of the Raja of Malaca. Tun Talani said, Sultan Mansur Shah. He then enquired what the name Sultan Mansur Shah signified. Tun Talani  was silent, and the mantri Jana Petra replied, "the raja to whom God gives victory over all his subjects."  

He then asked how it happened that Malaca had not been conquered, when it was attacked by the Siamese? Then Tun Talani called an old man of Suyor who had the elephantiasis in both his legs, to display his skill in the spear before Paduca Bubanyar. He tossed up spears in the air, and received them on his back without the smallest wound. "That Sire," said he, "is the reason that Malaca was not conquered by the Siamese, for all the men of Malaca have backs of this description."Raja  Bubanyar thought " this person is certainly the meanest of the party, how much superior then, may the best men be to him."

After this, Tun Talani and the man-tri  Jana Petrar returned to their prahus.  After some time Paduca Bubanya (sic) proceeded to attack a country in the vicinity of Siam, and was accompanied by Tun Talani  and mantri Janapetra, and all their men. And the raja of Siam stationed all the Malacca men in a hazardous situation, where the fort was very strongly fortified and furnished with arms, and where the access was on the side of the setting sun, (the dying of the eye of day.) Then Tun Talani consulted with mantri Janapetra, sayings, "what is your advice, seeing we are ordered to attack a difficult post, and our men here are very few." The mantri Janapetra said, "let us go and state our sentiments on the subject to the Phrachaw, or emperor."  

They accordingly presented themselves to Paduca Bubanya, and represented to him, that being of the religion of Islam, and accustomed to turn their faces to the west in their devotions, it was very inconvenient to fight in this position, and therefore  they requested to be allowed to make their onset on some other place. 

Paduca Bubanya desired them to change their position, if they did not wish to attack on the west. He allowed them to make their attack on the east, where the troops opposed to them were not so numerous, and the place not so strongly fortified, and through the power of God the Malaca men conquered the place.  As it was the Malaca men who began the battle, when the country was conquered, they all received rich rewards from the raja of Siam ; and a lady named Wanang Menang Hong was given as wife to Tun Talani, who bore to him Tun Ali Haru, who was the father of Laksamana Datuk Panjang, whose daughter was Tun Chandra Pachang, who married Tun Perak. Tun Perak begot Tun Kyai, surnamed Sri Ayara Raja, who died at Achi.  

Then Tun Talani asked permission of Paduca Bubanya to return, and Paduca Bubanya returned a letter with presents, which was conducted a-shipboard.  Tun Talani set sail, and how long was he till he arrived in Malaca, and Sultan Mansur Shah caused the letter to be brought up with due honours, on an elephant, and it was read by the Khateb, in the public court to this purport. 

"This letter of the Phrachaw of Udaya is sent to the Awei of Malaca,"and so on. The Sultan was highly gratified, and said, "now my heart is at rest, for my enemy is converted into my friend;" and all who were present admitted that it was a singular instance of the favour of God towards him.  

Then the Prince, with great pleasure, conferred on Tun Talani and mantri Janapetra, and all the Siamese' embassy, which accompanied them, honorary dresses; and when the monsoon for returning arrived, the Siamese ambassadors asked permission to return, and Sultan Mansur Shah presented them with honorary dresses, and sent a letter and presents to the Siamese raja, and so the Siamese returned. God knows the whole, and to him be grace and glory.

Written by Tony Boey on 16 Jun 2021


Map of Malacca sultanate courtesy of Wikipedia. Image of Batu Pahat courtesy of Wikipedia. Map of Sukhothai courtesy of Wikipedia.

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