Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Our professors, our universities!

In 2012 Professor Dr Khoo Kay Kim dismissed the belief that the Malay much-vaunted hero, Hang Tuah, had ever existed, stating there was not a reliable source (other than stories) to support the belief in the popular myth.

an un-named Malacca grave allegedly that of Hang Tuah

Sun Daily - Khoo: Show me proof that Hang Tuah existed

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 18, 2012): Renowned historian Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim has asked critics disputing his findings to show proof that legendary Malay warriors such as Hang Tuah existed.

"If you don't agree with me, bring out the sources to show I am wrong. You cannot simply say you don't agree (but) on what basis?

"I am saying that these things were not true because no reliable sources confirmed they existed," Khoo told reporters when met after the at the Global Movement of Moderates conference at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre today.

The Universiti Malaya don on Monday created a stir when he said in a radio interview that there is no written record of Hang Li Po, Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat and the stories that have made it into the history books are just myths.

Three days later (also in 2012) Malaysian Archaeologists Association president Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Nik Hassan Shuhaimi Nik Abdul Rahman stepped into the debate and was reported by The Borneo Post as follows:

"I believe he existed but we can’t be sure of the era; if we look at the Hang Tuah tales, he existed during the era of a sultanate. The name ‘Hang’ does indeed exist in the Malay world."

"However, further studies on his four peers (Hang Jebat, Hang Kasturi, Hang Lekir and Hang Lekiu) may be needed. The name ‘Hang’ exists in Padang Lawas Sumatra, Indonesia.”

He said although there had been no specific studies carried out on the matter, indirect ones indicated that the warrior did indeed exist.

“And then there is also the Hang Tuan tomb. We can’t deny that it is not. Although there is no specific name written on it, it is from the 15th century,” he told reporters at a convention on the Malay cultural roots here yesterday.

Historian Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim had previously said that Hang Tuah might be mythical and that there were no strong evidence to prove the warrior’s existence.

Dr Nik Hassan said DNA tests on the remains in the tomb might prove to be difficult due to religious sensitivities.

“This is a Muslim tomb. We don’t want to disturb this tomb because there may be sensitivities involved in terms of religion. We can perform tests on pre-historic findings,” he said.

For a start, I find it difficult to accept that said unnamed tomb belongs to Hang Tuah just because it's from the 15th Century. Was Hang Tuah the only person existing in 15th Century Malaya? I'm quite taken aback that an archaeologist would lean towards such an assumption.

And even if Islamic authorities permit a DNA on corpse, how would that be done? More of this soon so please hang on for a wee while, wakakaka.

Then late last year Dr Rohaidah Kamarudin, from the Malay Language Department, Faculty of Modern Language and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia, asked for funding of more than RM1 million to continue with its project to prove the existence Hang Tuah.

She said: “The fund is needed because there are a lot more to be done to prove Hang Tuah’s existence, including to look for the necessary evidence, like in Indonesia, Turkey and Japan, and to conduct DNA tests on them.

The Japanese connection is about a keris there, which is believed to belong to the Malacca Malay Sultanate and thus may have connection with the existence of Hang Tuah.

While Hang Tuah's keris, as legend tells us, was appropriated by Tuah after he somehow killed the Javanese warrior Taming Sari (the original owner of the keris who gave his name to the legendary keris), it is also believed to be now in the possession of the royal House of Perak.

which one is the real Taming Sari? 

A wee digression - The keris Taming Sari is said to have magical properties and would always ensure its owner would be protected from harm, thus I wonder how then in the world did Hang Tuah defeat and kill Bapak Taming Sari, its original owner, who was then holding the so-called magic weapon?

On top of that, when Taming Sari was in the possession of Hang Jebat, how did that so-called magical keris allow him (the then-owner) to be defeated and killed by Tuah?

These are typical kaytee questions that had gotten me, when I was a young laddie, slapped or at the very least angry stares for asking such annoying, irritating and difficult to answer but quite reasonable queries of logic, as I mentioned in my post Midnight at Batu Lanchang published in my other blog KTemoc Kongsamkok. Wakakaka.

But back on track to Dr Rohaidah Kamarudin's request for RM1 million to conduct research which will include a DNA test, I believe that she and archaeologist Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Nik Hassan Shuhaimi Nik Abdul Rahman were the ones who mentioned DNA testing to identify and confirm the existence of Hang Tuah, and not Dr Khoo as alleged by the following news:

FMT - No need for DNA test to prove Hang Tuah’s existence:

MALACCA: There is no need to prove Hang Tuah’s existence through deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing as the legendary Malay warrior’s existence has already been proven through various studies by local and foreign historians, about 60 years ago.

Malaysian Institute of Historical and Patriotism Studies (IKSEP) chairman Professor Dr Mohd Jamil Mukmin said Hang Tuah’s existence was also evident in local books such as ‘Sejarah Melayu’ and ‘Hikayat Hang Tuah’, as well as other documents from abroad.

“There were many world-famous heroes from the Greek empire, China and so forth in the past, but no DNA tests were done to confirm their existence,” he said at a special press conference here today.

As mentioned by Professor Dr Khoo years back, the issue of the Hang Tuah existence has been in the absence of reliable sources testifying to his existence and not about DNA testing - more about the latter soon, wakakaka.

So would Sejarah Melayu and Hikayat Hang Tuah be reliable sources? I'm not sure about the former but I would consider the latter as only story telling.

In ancient Egypt, Greece and China, there were ample documentary evidence and artifacts from reliable sources which may still be found today in the historical-archaeological archives, museums and historical sites of those countries.

For example, the Chinese classical literature Romance of the Three Kingdom is only a work of fiction authored by Luo Guanzhong but based on the (real) historical Three Kingdom period in Chinese history (AD 220 to 280), which existence, events and personalities have been supported by ample and reliable historical documents, artifacts and historical sites.

Alas, one glaring example in Egypt (or its omission) has led to the now questionable existence of the Hebrews in that ancient land, where the Bible is its only source but a religious document, one which scholars don't automatically rely upon because of its 'unreliability' in the academic world, but for kaytee this has to be another story, wakakaka.

However, in the meantime for your reading pleasure about reliable historical and archaeological sources, the following extract was from an article in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz written by a Jewish World blogger, Josh Mintz, in 2012:

The reality is that there is no evidence whatsoever that the Jews were ever enslaved in Egypt. Yes, there's the story contained within the bible itself, but that's not a remotely historically admissible source. I'm talking about real proof; archeological evidence, state records and primary sources. Of these, nothing exists.

It is hard to believe that 600,000 families (which would mean about two million people) crossed the entire Sinai without leaving one shard of pottery (the archaeologist's best friend) with Hebrew writing on it.

It is remarkable that Egyptian records make no mention of the sudden migration of what would have been nearly a quarter of their population, nor has any evidence been found for any of the expected effects of such an exodus; such as economic downturn or labor shortages.

Furthermore, there is no evidence in Israel that shows a sudden influx of people from another culture at that time. No rapid departure from traditional pottery has been seen, no record or story of a surge in population.

Indeed, apart from the fact that the ancient Egyptian who were fastidious, meticulous and prolific in keeping all sorts of records, from flooding, droughts and bountiful (or lousy) harvests to royal coronations to war and victories, births and deaths, and religious and secular-political issues, etc, yes sir, in a land of such fastidious recording of events, there was NOT one single line of hieroglyph or hieratic or demotic in Egypt’s famed and vast repository of recording and artifacts, mentioning the existence Hebrews or Israelites, let alone their slavery or their mass exodus from Egypt.

Only the Judeo-Christian Bible has that.

But DNA testing to prove the existence of Hang Tuah interests me lots, wakakaka. However, instead of writing my own views on this so-called academic approach, why don't I copy and paste a few comments (extracts only) on subject from Malaysiakini of 2012, as follows:

James Khor: ... How can DNA testing prove that the remains from the tomb in Tanjung Kling are those of Hang Tuah?

To determine the origin you need another verifiable sample as cross reference. Is there such a sample? Can such a sample be found?

There is no one living today who can conclusively prove they are even remotely related by blood to Hang Tuah.

So without such persons to collect a sample from, how can you prove that the remains in the grave are those of Hang Tuah's? Do please enlighten?

Multi Racial
: ... Prof Nik Hassan Shuhaimi Nik Abdul Rahman's argument is based on the assumption that Hang Tuah is a Malay warrior and his tomb has been found. Therefore he existed.

In the case of Prof Nik's argument, even if we manage to exhume the remains of the so-called Hang Tuah grave. How are we going to prove it is Hang Tuah?

And the best of the lot, I thought, would be:

HangTuah: What are you going to do with the DNA sample from the grave? Compare it with a sample from Hang Guan Seng of Prangin Road Market, Penang?


Yes sir, I wonder about our universities!


  1. Just another cloyingly bad howler designed to divert attention from two of the gravest and most serious issues of governance facing Malaysia.

    - Is the Prime Minister guilty of crimes in diverting Billions of Ringgit in public funds through the most deliberately complex and secretive channels into his personal bank accounts ?

    - Is the Chief Minister of a Malaysian state guilty of crimes by procuring a multi-million ringgit house at way below market price through a "willing seller" quid-pro-quo deal with the property owner, whose Principal business partner was previously awarded a lucrative land deal by the State Government , for land originally earmarked for affordable public housing ?

    1. since you know everything, why don't you tell us instead of waiting for this blogger whom you have frequently accused of being pro BN and now pro DAP, wakakaka

  2. A research is still a research. It can be hypothetical or can lead to Chinese DNA or India DNA. At least is a research. Why not! So Einstein say time relativity and gravity versus speed of light is just his dream work. Still scientists proved it till today with research. Start somewhere or because they are all Malay professors that have no class.

    1. there can't be a DNA test unless the scientist can get hold of Hang Tuah's corpse or bones or hair. Furthermore, even if they can, how will they be able to compare it to a modern-day so-called descendant to prove the corpse is Hang Tuah?

      Hang Tuah doesn't have any descendant, nor does anyone know where he's buried.

      My post is about the flabbergasting cock-talk of people who talked carelessly and recklessly about DNA test without even understanding what would be involved in one.

      As I have written in above post, I reckon the best comment in Malaysiakini regarding the topic is one by a commentator who called himself or herself "HangTuah"

      He or she said: What are you going to do with the DNA sample from the grave? Compare it with a sample from Hang Guan Seng of Prangin Road Market, Penang? [...]

      Wakakaka, in that sarcastic comment, "Hang Tuah" (the commentator, not the mythical person) showed his/her sarcasm and disdain for those cock-talking professors.

  3. Correct me if I'm wrong. But there isn't any evidence that jesus exist either

    1. for a start the name 'Jesus' is in Greek language. In English it would be 'Joshua' (same as the bloke who was said by the bible to have taken over from Moses and led the Israelites into Canaan. The Judean name for the New Testament (NT) biblical figure known as Jesus was Yehoshua ben Yosef, sometimes shortened to Yeshua ben Yosef [note: New Testament because the Jews didn't and still don't recognize him as the messiah]

      He might have been a real person during that time, but if he was as the NT bible said he was, then to the Jews he was a heretic.

      Some biblical scholars believed he was a Judean rebel (fighting against the Roman overlords) and was caught by them and crucified for his 'crime' against the state.

      Some, especially the Mandeans, believe he was irrelevant and that his cousin John (the Baptist) was the real messiah and he was only a follower of John [now I don't want anyone quoting the NT Bible to tell me what John said, because the NT was written from a believer's point of view, wakakaka, and that's not objective]

      Christians believe Jesus did not die but was resurrected after 3 days. following his 'death'. He then 'disappeared'.