The legend of Hang Tuah and his four sworn brothers, Hang Jebat, Hang Kasturi, Hang Lekir and Hang Lekiu, was said to have served the Malacca ruler Sultan Mansur Shah in the 15th century.
But a wrong turn separates the brotherhood, believing Hang Tuah to have been unjustly murdered by the Sultan of Malacca, Hang Tuah’s good friend and loyal aide Hang Jebat goes on a rampage against the Sultan. However, unknown to him, Hang Tuah is still alive and in hiding. When the Sultan discovers this, he pardons and recalls Hang Tuah, and commands him to kill Hang Jebat. The final showdown of the famous duel between Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat remains a debatable topic until today.
So is Hang Tuah or Hang Jebat a man or a myth? A fact or a fable? Reality or fiction?
Recently historian Emeritus Prof Tan Sri Khoo Kay Khim stated that there was no written record of Princess Hang Li Po, Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat and the stories that have made it into the history books are just myths.
In spite of the lack of studies as proof, a host of experts and academics are defending the existence of Hang Tuah, Many academics believe that the 1537 version Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals) offers proof of Hang Tuah’s existence.
A true study of history uses facts and figures to ascertain intent and draw conclusions. Many things are simply not cast in stone. Things are seldom black and white even in history except for dates of birth and death, wars, treaties and the like.
Value systems play a huge role in what is considered to be wrong and right and part of the challenge is to discard values to be objective about what happened.
Malay culture holds the Hang Tuah legends in extremely high regard.The Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat story, whether completely true or not, represents a paradox in the Malay psyche. In fact, one of the hottest debates in Malay literature centres on the duel between Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat. Hang Tuah is a symbol of absolute loyalty to a ruler while Hang Jebat symbolizes truth and justice. Hence, there is the question of who is right.
In history, most people are not completely right or completel wrong it it just based on the perspective - every coin has two sides.
Folk heroes like Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat have become embedded in the people’s collective memory for their bravado and heroic exploits, but more importantly for the values they upheld – loyalty, valour, love and honour. To debunk these cultural heroes would be to remove a slice of the people’s pride and what should be a part of our national identity.
Note:- “Kalau nak menurut biar berakal,kalau mengikut biar pintar"