This blogspot is a medium to share my thoughts and adventures apart from promoting my books. Below are the books which have been written or authored and published by myself.

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Mencari Diri dan Erti".

ISBN 983-42031-0-1, Jun 2006

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Membela Syiar yang Asal"

ISBN 983-42031-1-x, May 2007

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Sirih Pulang ke Gagang?"

ISBN 978-983-42031-2-2, November 2007

It is interesting to note that while these books were written in Malay it has gained enough attention to merit being part of the collections of the American Library of Congress and National Library of Australia. Look here and here.

While the first three books were published by my own company, the fourth titled "Rumah Azan" was published in April 2009 by a company called Karnadya with the help of the Malaysian national literary body Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. It features beautiful pictures along with stories behind selected mosques which could be related to the history of Islam and the Malays alongside the formation of the Malaysian nation. Look at the article A collaboration of old collegemates - the book "Rumah Azan".

My fifth book "Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and Malay Sultanates", an English translation and adaptation of the Malay book "Ahlul Bait (Keluarga) Rasulullah SAW dan Kesultanan Melayu" authored by Hj Muzaffar Mohamad and Tun Suzana Othman was published early 2010. Look here... My 5th book is out! Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and the Malay Sultanates... . For more information check out my Malay blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU.

Like my fourth book "Rumah Azan", the sixth book "Kereta Api Menuju Destinasi" is also a coffee-table book which is published by the company Karnadya with the cooperation of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (the main Malay literary body in Malaysia). Coming out January 2011 it features pictures and stories on the adventure travelling by train to all of Peninsular Malaysia along with the interesting places which could be reached this way.

My seventh book "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" in turn is a coffee-table book which is written, editted, designed and has pictures taken by me. Coming out of the factory October 2011, this book which combines family history with history of places such as Singapura, Johor, Batu Pahat, Muar and in fact the history of the island of Java and England has been reviewed with me interviewed live in the program Selamat Pagi Malaysia at RTM1. Look at the article Siaran langsung ulasan buku "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" dan temu ramah di Selamat Pagi Malaysia. Some selected contents have been featured in Sneak peek "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah".


The "Berpetualang ke Aceh" series of novels could be obtained in e-book form. Enter http://www.e-sentral.com/, click general novel and go to page 4. You can also type the word "Aceh" at the search box. Or click straight Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The reason behind the fall of Melaka

Often the Malays, in fact the whole world are told the kingdom of Melaka (the West like to spell it as Malacca), a very important Malay kingdom which dominated the Eastern part of the world in the 15th Century was conquered by the Portuguese in 1511 AD because they lack modern firepower. The Portuguese were supposed to represent the "more advanced" Western culture while Melaka was supposed to be backward in every way and thus was ripe picking for the day. Is that truly the case or is there something the so called academic historians (which happens to represent the Western Occidental view of the world) fail to take note?
Here is an alternative view taken from the Malay novel "Berpetualang ke Aceh: Mencari Diri dan Erti". The translation (and/or adaptation) below follows from a story on how the brave king Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah was actually betrayed by his own noblemen and forced to exile himself somewhere far from the court of Melaka. And thus his adult son Raja Munawar was sidelined from the throne, instead the prince's half-brother who was still a baby was promoted as the king Sultan Mahmud with the nobles actually in charge.
Sultan Mahmud grew up to be spoilt brat who made impossible demands on his people. It is within this unhealthy climate that city of Melaka finally fell to the West. Here is the story from the novel...

Have you ever sincerely ask, why the city of Melaka which the West called "The Venice of the East" can be conquered so easily? Wasn't it noted by many as the most affluent city in this part of the world at that time? And in order to protect it, didn't Melaka had a great army including the biggest and most advanced naval force in the Malay world? So how could it fell to the Portuguese who according to the stories came with only a few ships? Is it possible Melaka is that weak?
Official history often say Melaka was conquered because the modern war equipments of Portuguese hold sway over the ancient ones of the Malays. They had high-powered cannons, pistols, armour and shield made from iron while the Malays allegedly depended only on spears, swords and keris (a special Malay blade)... And the Malays were wearing the soft Malay traditional clothes which can be easily penetrated... Unlike the Portuguese whose iron-made war-clothings were practically indestructible. So of course it's natural for the Malays to lose isn't it given the "fact" they are backward and behind the times?
But do ask yourself sincerely and with an open mind. Is it possible, Melaka which at that time have received visitors and traders from big and advanced civilisations like the Islamic Empire in the Middle East, China and India can be so backward? They have long established diplomatic ties with kingdoms which were far more advanced that the West of the time. Is it acceptable the Malays don't understand the strategic needs to protect a port city which is practically the jugular vein of the Malay world, in fact the whole world? Can the Malays be so stupid and backward?


"Nay! Melaka didn't fall because the Malays were behind the times," Rasyid (the main character in the book) argues like a champion of his people in front some acquiantance. “For a long time Melaka had cannons and pistols which can be bought from the Middle East of China and knew iron-clad armour. In fact I’m confident the Malays already knew how to produce all these war equipments themselves. Do you actually think the Malays are so stupid?”
“Meanwhile, those who choose to fight using keris, spears and such were no mere fighters,” he continued. “It’s not that they never saw modern weapons or their thinking backward, it’s just believe it or not, they have certain ways to beat these weapons.”
The Melaka naval force which routinely patrolled the whole length of the Straits of Melaka, the world’s busiest trade route till now, was noted for its efficiency. Under the leadership of such illustrious figures like the Bendahara (something like the Prime Minister) Tun Perak and Admiral Hang Tuah, it had succesfully foiled attacks from Siam and any hostile forces.
“Isn’t it big and strong enough to ensure the safety of the populace, visitors and traders along the length of the Straits of Melaka?” Rasyid asks. “After all, the Melaka navy controlled the route from the uppermost northern parts of the Peninsula until down south near the island of Java, observing and able to sniff out any hostile activities before the enemy can go anywhere near the administrative centre at the city of Melaka?”
So how come Melaka did fall? And even more perplexing, where were the local navy when the city was attacked? A golden question which had many of his acquaintances totally dumb-founded and at lost for words.
“Go and read any literature on the fall of Melaka including the lop-sided Western accounts,” the guy now challenges. “The navy was nowhere in sight allowing the city to be pounded by Portuguese cannons from the sea. Not a single ship from Melaka tried to stop them, there were no obstacle at all to stop the enemy from advancing. Isn’t this strange?”
This should be enough food for thought isn’t it?
“Well. This is what happens when a stupid and irrational king is raised to the throne while corrupt officials hold sway over the nation,” Rasyid went on. “Those with real capabilities were sidelined while the remaining officials with clout became disillusioned. So how can the defence mechanism be employed to the fullest? Maybe the people of Melaka themselves were ready to change sides and barter their loyalty along with the foreign traders? Or maybe for a long time, there already exist traitors within the ranks just biding their time and that’s why the Melaka navy were rendered useless?”
Now, there are some old accounts from some Malay old folks saying most of the ships which attacked Melaka were not even Portuguese but were Malay-owned, in fact coming from the Melaka navy! Rasyid had also read somewhere, there was a Portuguese account saying they saw an armada which was recognisable as belonging to the Malays being prepared for seige somewhere along the Straits of Melaka. Maybe its true what the rumours say… That Tun Mutahir (the Bendahara alias Prime Minister executed by the king of the time on charge of treason) was making preparations to seize the throne or maybe there were other parties planning this but accused the Bendahara of doing so? Whatever, there sure were traitors in the fold.

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