Sejarah Melayu (Malay History) – Chapter 1

Sulalatus Salatin (Genealogy of Kings) 1

It happened on a time that Raja Iskandar, the son of Raja Darab of Rum, of the race of Makaduniah, the name of whose empire was Zulkarnain, wished to see the rising of the sun; and with this view he reached the confines of the land of Hind. There was a raja in Hindostan, named Raja Kida Hindi, who was very powerful, and whose empire extended over the half of Hindustan, and immediately on the approach of Raja Iskandar, he sent his prime minister to collect his forces, and marched out to meet him. The armies engaged, and a fine battle ensued, as is recorded fully in the history of Raja Iskandar. In fine, Raja Kida Hindi was defeated and taken prisoner, and embraced the true faith according to the law of the prophet Ibrahim, the friend of God; after which he was sent back to his own country. This Raja Kida Hindi had a daughter extremely beautiful and handsome, whose face glittered and shone like the sun, and whose understanding and qualities were equally remarkable, and she was named Shaherul Beriah. After sending his head minister, Perdana Mantri, to consult with the prophet Khizei, who was the minister of Raja Iskandar, he married his daughter to Raja Iskandar, who agreed to pay as her dowry 300,000 denars of gold, and carried her with him on his visit to the rising sun, after tarrying ten days in honour of the ceremony. On his return, however, her father requested her to remain some time with him, to which Raja Iskandar agreed, and took his departure. It is stated by the relater of this story, that the Princess Shaherul Beriah, the daughter of Raja Kida Hindi, became pregnant by Raja Iskandar, but Raja Iskandar was unacquainted with this circumstance, nor was the princess acquainted with it herself, till a month after her return to her father. She at last informed her father that a cessation of her courses had taken place for two months, at which he was greatly delighted, considering that her pregnancy was by Raja Iskandar, and therefore treated her with all requisite attention. At the expiration of the months, the princess was safely delivered of a son, whom Raja Kida Hindi named Araston Shah, and who in every respect was the perfect picture of his father Raja Iskandar Zulkarnain.

Raja Araston Shah married the daughter of the king of Turkestan, by whom he had a son named Raja Aftas. After the space of forty-five years, Raja Iskandar returned to Makedonia, and Raja Kida Hindi died, and left as his successor on the throne, Raja Araston Shah, who reigned 350 years, and then died. He was succeeded on the throne by his son Raja Aftas, who reigned 120 years, and then died. He was succeeded by Ascayinat, who reigned three years and died. He was succeeded by Casidas, who reigned twelve years, and died. He was succeeded by Amatubusu, who reigned thirteen years. He was succeeded by Raja Zamzeyus, who reigned seven years, and died. He was “succeeded by Kharus Cainat, who reigned thirty years, and died. He was succeeded by Raja Arhat Sacayinat. After his death, he was succeeded by Raja Cudarzuguhan the son of Raja Amatubusu. After him reigned Raja Nicabus, who reigned forty years, and died. After him reigned Raja Ardasir Migan, who married the daughter of Raja Nashirwan Adel, sovereign of the east and west, by whom he had a son, named Raja Derma Unus. After him succeeded on the throne, his grandson Tarsi Bardaras, the son of Raja Zamrut, who was the son of Shah Tarsi Narsi, who was the son of Raja Derma Unus, who was the son of Ardasir Babegan, who was the son of Raja Cuduri Gudurz Zuguhan, who was the son of Raja Amatubusu, who was the son of Raja Sabur, who was the son of Raja Aftas, who was the son of Raja Araston Shah, who was the son of Iskandar Zulkarnain.

Raja Narsi Barderas married the daughter of Raja Salan, the king of Amdan Nayara, who, it is asserted by some, was the grandson of Raja Nashirwan Adel, the son of Raja Kobad Shah Shahriar, who was king of the east and west. This Raja Sulan was the mightiest prince of the lands of Hind and Sind, and of all the rajas under the wind (i.e. towards the west, the wind being supposed to rise with the sun). By the princess his daughter, Raja Narsi had three sons; 1. Raja Heiran, who reigned in the country of Hindustan. 2. Raja Suran, whom Raja Sulan took and installed in his own place. 3. Raja Panden, who reigned in Turkestan. After a short time Raja Sulan died, and his grandson Raja Suran reigned in his place in Amdan Nagara, with still greater authority than his predecessor, and all the rajas of the east and west acknowledged his allegiance, excepting the land of China, which was not subject to him. Then Raja Suran Padshah formed the design of subjugating China, and for this purpose his men at arms, and the kings dependent on him, assembled from every quarter with their hosts, to the number of one thousand and two lacs. With this prodigious host, he advanced against China, and in his course, the forests were converted into open plains; the earth shook, and the hills moved; the lofty grounds became level, and the rocks flew off in shivers, and the large rivers were dried up to the mud. Two months they marched on without delay, and the darkest night was illuminated by the light of their armour like the lustre of the full moon; and the noise of the thunder could not be heard for the loud noise of the champions and warriors, mixed with the cries of horses and elephants. Every country which Raja Suran approached, he subdued and reduced under his subjection, till at last he approached the country of Gangga Nagara, the king of which was named Ganggi Shah Juana, which city is situated on a hill of very steep approach in front, but of easy access in the rear. Its fort was situated on the banks of the river Dinding, in the vicinity of Perak. When Raja Ganggi Shah Juana heard of the approach of Raja Suran, he summoned all his vassals, and ordered the gates of his fortresses to be shut, and stationed his guards for their protection. He also directed his moats to be filled with water. The host of Raja Suran quickly surrounded his fortresses, and attacked them sharply, but were vigorously repulsed. On this, Raja Suran mounted his huge elephant, and approached the gate of the fortress, notwithstanding the showers of spears and arrows with which he was assailed; he smote the gate with his chacra, and it immediately tumbled down, while the king entered the fort with all his champions. When Raja Ganggi Shah Juana saw Raja Suran, he seized his bow and smote the elephant of Raja Suran on the forehead, which instantly fell down. Raja Suran quickly sprung up and drew his sword, and smote off the head of Raja Ganggi Shah Juana. After the death of the king, all his subjects submitted to Raja Suran, who married Putri Gangga, the beautiful sister of Raja Ganggi Shah Juana. From Gangga Nagara, Raja Suran advanced to the country of Glang Kiu, which in former times was a great country, possessing a fort of blackstone up the river Johor. In the Siamese language, this word signifies the place of the emerald (Khlang Khiaw) but by persons ignorant of this language, it is usually termed Glang Kiu. The name of the king of this country, was Raja Chulan, who was superior to all the rajas of the countries lying under the wind.

As soon as he heard of Raja Suran’s approach, he summoned all his vassals, and marched out to meet him with a host, like the sea rough with waves, and elephants and horses like the islands in the sea, and standards like a forest, and armour plated in scales, and the feathering of the spears like the Bunga lalang. After having marched about four times as far as the eye can reach, they arrived at a river; when he saw the host of Raja Suran extending like a forest, on which he said, in the Siamese language, “call them,” and the river still retains the name of Panggil, which in Malay has this signification. When the Siamese troops engaged with the troops of Kling, a dreadful noise arose, the elephants rushed against the elephants, and the horses bit the horses, and clouds of arrows flew across each other, and spears pierced spears, and lances encountered lances, and swordsmen encountered swords men, and the descent of weapons was like the rapid fall of rain, and the noise of the thunder would have passed unheard in the combat, from the shouts of the combatants, and the ringing of weapons. The dust ascended to the heavens, and the brightness of the day was darkened like an eclipse. The combatants were all so mingled and blended, that they could not be distinguished, amokas madly encountered amokas, many stabbed their own friends, and many were stabbed by their own partizans, till multitudes were slain on both sides, and also many elephants and horses. Much was the blood which was shed upon the earth, till at last it allayed the clouds of dust, and the field of combat was light, and the fierce amokas became visible, none of whom on either side would fly. Then Raja Chulan advanced his elephant, and broke into the ranks of Raja Suran, which exceeded all power of calculation. Wherever he approached the corpses swelled in heaps over the ground, till great numbers of the Kling troops perished, and unable to maintain their ground, they began to give way. He was observed by Raja Suran, who hurried forward to meet him. Raja Suran was mounted on a lofty elephant eleven cubits in height, but the elephant of Raja Chulan was very courageous, and they fiercely rushed together, roaring like the thunder, and the clash of their tusks was like the stroke of the thunderbolt. Neither of the elephants could conquer the other. Raja Chulan stood on his elephant, brandishing his spear which he aimed at Raja Suran; he missed him, but pierced his elephant in the fore flank, from side to side ; Raja Suran rapidly discharged an arrow at Raja Chulan, which struck him on the breast, and pierced him to the back, and Raja Chulan fell down dead on his elephant. When the host of Raja Chulan saw their master dead, they quickly took to flight, and were hotly pursued by the Kling forces, who entered with them into the fortress of Glang-kiu. Raja Chulan left a daughter of great beauty named Putri Onang-kiu, whom Raja Suran took to wife, and carrying her with him, advanced to Tamsak. Then, it was reported in the land of China, that Raja Suran was advancing against them with an innumerable army, and had arrived at the country of Tamsak. The king of China was alarmed at hearing this intelligence, and said to his mantris and chieftains, “If Kling Raja approach, the country will be inevitably ruined; what method do you advise to prevent his approach?” Then, a sagacious mantri of China said, “Lord of the world, your slave will fall on a device.” The king of China desired him to do so. Then this mantri ordered a vessel (pilu, i. e. the Chinese mode of pronouncing prow), to beprepared, filled full of fine needles, but covered with rust; and planted in it trees of the Casamak and Bidara (Bér) plants; and he selected a party of old and toothless people, and ordered them on board, and directed them to sail to Tamsak. The prow set sail, and arrived at Tamsak in the course of a short time. The news was brought to Raja Suran, that
a prow had arrived from China, who sent persons to enquire of the mariners how far it was to China. These persons accordingly went, and enquired of the Chinese, who replied, “When we set sail from the land of China, we were all young, about twelve years of age, or so, and we planted the seeds of these trees; but now, we have grown old and lost our teeth, and the seeds that we planted have become trees, which bore fruit before our arrival here.” Then, they took out some of the rusty needles, and showed them, saying, “When we left the land of China, these bars of iron were thick as your arm; but now they have grown thus small by the corrosion of rust. We know not the number of years we have been on our journey; but, you may judge of them from the circumstances we mention.” When the Klings heard this account, they quickly returned, and informed Raja Suran. “If the account of these Chinese be true,” said Raja Suran, “the land of China must be at an immense distance; when shall we ever arrive at it? – If this is the case, we had better return.” All the champions assented to this idea.

Then Raja Suran, considering that he had now become acquainted with the contents of the land, wished to acquire information concerning the nature of the sea. For this purpose, he ordered a chest of glass, with a lock in the inside, and fixed it to a chain of gold. Then, shutting himself up in this chest, he caused himself to be let down into the sea, to see the wonders of God Almighty’s creation. At last, the chest reached a land, denominated Zeya, when Raja Suran came forth from the chest, and walked about to see the wonders of the place. He saw a country of great extent, into which he entered, and saw a people named Barsam, so numerous, that God alone could know their numbers. This people were the one half infidels, and the other true believers. When they saw Raja Suran, they were greatly astonished and surprised at his dress, and carried him before their king, who was named Aktab-al-Arz, who enquired of those who brought him, “Whence is this man?” And they replied, “He is a new comer.” — “Whence is he come?” said the king. “That,” said they, “none of us know.” Then Raja Aktab-al-Arz asked Raja Suran, “Whence are you, and whence have you come?” – “I come from the world,” said Raja Suran ; “and your servant is king of the whole race of mankind; and my name is Raja Suran.” The king was greatly astonished at this account, and asked if there was any other world than his own. “Yes, there is,” said Raja Suran ; “ and a very great one, full of various forms.” The king was still more astonished, saying, “Almighty God, can this be possible?’’ He then seated Raja Suran on his own throne. This Raja Aktab-al-Arz had a daughter named Putri Mahtab-al-Bahri. This lady was extremely handsome, and her father gave her in marriage to Raja Suran, to whom she bore three sons. The king was for some time much delighted with this adventure; but at last he began to reflect what advantage it was for him to stay so long below the earth, and how he should be able to carry his three sons with him. He begged, however, his father-in-law to think of some method of conveying him to the upper world, as it would be of great disadvantage to cut off the line of Iskandar Zulkarnain. His father-in-law assented to the propriety of this observation and furnished him with a sea-horse named Sambrani, which could fly through the air as well as swim in the water. Raja Suran mounted this steed amid the lamentations of his spouse, the Princess; the flying steed quickly cleared the nether atmosphere, and having reached the upper ocean, it rapidly traversed it; and the subjects of Raja Suran quickly perceived him. The mantri of Raja Suran perceiving on what sort of animal his master was mounted, quickly caused a mare to be brought to the shore of the sea. On perceiving the mare, the steed Sambrani quickly came to the shore, and as quickly did Raja Suran dismount from him, on which he immediately returned to the sea. Raja Suran then called a man of science and an artificer, and ordered the account of his descent into the sea to be recorded, and a monument to be formed which might serve for the information of posterity, to the day of judgment. The history of this adventure was accordingly composed, and inscribed on a stone in the Hindustani language. This stone being adorned by gold and silver, was left as a monument, and the king said that this would be found by one of his descendants who should reduce all the kings of the countries under the wind. Then Raja Suran returned to the land of Kling, and after his arrival he founded a city of great size, with a fort of black stone, with a wall of seven fathoms in both height and thickness, and so skilfully joined that no interstices remained between the stones, but seemed all of molten metal. Its gates were of steel adorned with gold and gems. Within its circumference are contained seven hills, and in the centre a lake like a sea, and so large that if an elephant be standing on the one shore he will not be visible on the other; and this lake contained every species of fish, and in the middle was an island of considerable height, on which the mists continually rested. The island was planted with trees, flowers, and all kinds of fruits, and whenever Raja Suran wished to divert himself, he used to frequent it. On the shore of this lake was a large forest, stocked with all sorts of wild beasts, and whenever Raja Suran wished to hunt, he mounted his elephant and proceeded to this forest. The name of this city was Bijnagar, which at the present time is a city in the land of Kling. Such is the account of Raja Suran, but if all his adventures were to be related, they would rival those of Hamdah.

In process of time Raja Suran had, by the lady Putri Onang-kiu, the daughter of Raja Chulan, a daughter of exquisite and unrivalled beauty, named Chanduwani Wasias. By the lady Putri Gangga he had three sons, one of them was named Bichitram Shah, another Palidutani, and the third, Nilumanam. His daughter, Chanduwani Wasias, was asked in marriage by Raja Hiran, for his son Raja Chulan; Raja Suran placed his son, Palidutani, in the government of Amdan Nagara; and his son, Nilumamam, in the country of Chandukani. On his eldest son, Bichitram Shah, he only conferred a territory of small extent; and the young prince being displeased at this measure, resolved to abandon his country. Bichitram Shah accordingly embarked, with twenty vessels fitted out with all the apparatus of war, determining to conquer all the maritime districts. After conquering several scores of countries, he at last reached the sea denominated Silbou, where, being caught in a dreadful hurricane, his fleet was dispersed, and the half of them returned to the country of Chandukani, but the fate of the other half is unknown. The adventures of this prince were very numerous, but here they are only alluded to briefly.


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Singapore Was Founded By A Descendant Of Alexander The Great

According to ‘Sejarah Malayu’ (Malay History), Singapore, Lion City, was founded by Sang Nila Utama in or about the year 1160. According to Malay history, a certain Raja Bachitram Shah (afterwards known as Sang Seperba), with two followers, suddenly appeared at a place called Bukit Siguntang Maha Meru, in Palembang, Sumatra, and the Raja described himself as a direct descendant of Alexander the Great. The story was accepted, and Sang Seperba became a son-n-law of a local chief; but, not content with ruling over Palembang, he sailed to Java, to Bentan, where he left a son, Sang Nila Utama, and finally back to another state in Sumatra, named Menangkabau.

Sang Nila Utama, having married the daughter of the Queen of Bentan, left that island and settled in neighbouring island of Singapura, where he founded the Lion City in 1160 A.D.

Singa is Sanskrit for a lion, and pura for a city.

The fact that there are no lions in Singapore cannot disprove the statement Sang Nila Utama saw in 1160 an animal which he called by that name – an animal more particularly described by the annalist as “very swift and beautiful, its body bright red, its head jet black, its breast white, in size larger than a he-goat.” That was the Lion of Singapura, and whatever is doubtful, the name is a fact; it remains to this day, and there is no reason why the descendant of Alexander the Great should not have seen something which suggested a creature unknown either to the Malay forest or the Malay language. It is even stated, on the same authority, that Singapura had an earlier name, Tamasak (Temasek), which is explained by some to mean a place of festivals. But that word, so interpreted, is not Malay, though it has been adopted, and applied to other places which suggest festivals far less than this small tropical island may have done, even so early as the year 1160. It is obvious that the name Singapura was not given to the island by the Malays, but by colonists from India, and if there were an earlier name, Tamasak or Tamasha, that also would be of Indian origin. The fact proves that the name Singapura dates from a very early period, and strongly supports the theory that the Malays of our time are connected with a people who emigrated from Southern India to Sumatra and Java, and thence found their way into the Malay Peninsula.

It seems to be accepted that Sang Nila Utama founded or developed a famous city by the river and on the hill of Singapura, where he lived for many years, and died in 1208. He was succeeded by his lineal descendants, and the city grew and prospered, and attracted trade from West and East, till a jealous neighbour, the Raja of Majapahit, in Java, sent an expedition to attack Singapura. The attack failed miserably, and the Javanese were beaten off.

According to the annalist, in 1252, the then Raja of Singapura, one Iskandar, or Alexander, by name, publicly impaled one of his wives for a supposed offence, and the lady’s father, Sang Ranjuna Tapa, a high official named the Bendahara, was so enraged, that he invited the people of Majapahit to come over, and promised to open the gates of the citadel for them. The Raja of Majapahit eagerly accepted this offer, sent over an immense fleet and army, and, the gates being duly opened in the dead of night, the Javanese entered and put most of the inhabitants to the sword. A few escaped from the city and the island, and after wandering through the Peninsula, settled at Malacca, where they founded a new city, from which their descendants were driven by Albuquerque and the Portuguese in 1511.

It is also interesting to note that the first mention of Singapore in any ancient map is found in the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum of Abraham Ortelius, dated Antwerp, 1570, where the island appeara as Cincapura.

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