The flight of the Parameswara from Singapore and the Founding of Malacca
Friday, July 18, 2008
Parameswara's subsequent expulsion form Tumasik, and his flight to Malacca, was therefore likely to have occassioned by a Siamese and not, as suggested by the Malay Annals, as a Javanese attack. Sir Richard Winstedt, the leading scholar of Malayan history, in his A History of Malays [revised and enlarged edition, Singapore 1962, 42] argues congently that the Malay source is in error in ascribing the attack to Javanese origin:'...the story in the Malays Annals agrees neither with the Chinese nor with any of the Portuguese sources except one (whose author was a librarian at Goa and had acess to the Malay Annals), nor does it tally with the salient dates in the life of Parameswara. There can be no doubt that his flight from Singapore to Seletar thence to Muar and finally to Malacca was due to a Siamese expedition sent to avenge his killing of Siam's governor on landing at the island.'
The following reading is taken from Sejarah Melayu [Translated by C.C. Brown, Journal of the Malayan Branch Royal Asiatic Society,xxv,2-3.1952,51-2.]
And Sultan Iskndar Shah [=Parameswara(?)having been expelled from Singapore] came to Muar, where he took up his abode at a certain place. As soon as night had fallen a vast horde of monitor lizards came, and when day dawned the place was seen to be covered with them. People killed them and threw them into the sea, though they ate some. That night however the monitor lizards came again in great masses and the following night they came again. And so great was the stench there that to this day the place is known as Biawak Busok.
And Sultan Iskndar Shah moved from there and went on to another place. There he had a fort built, but by night of the very day on which it was built the fort had fallen into decay. Wherefore the place is known as Kota Burok to this day. And Sultan Iskandar moved a few days to Sening Ujong. And perceiving that this was a good place he left a minister there-which is why the place has a minister to this day-and from there he went straight back to the sea shore, to a river called Bertam. And as the king, who was hunting, stood under a tree, one of his hounds was kicked by a white mouse-deer. And Sultan Iskandar said, "This is a good place, when even its mouse-deer are full of fight! We shall do well to make a city here."
And the chiefs replied," It is indeed as your Highness says." Thereupon Sultan Iskandar ordered that a city be made, and he asked , "What is the name of the tree undr which I am standing?" and they all answered, "It is called Malaka your Highness"; to which he rejoined, "Then Malaka shall be the name of this city."
And Sultan Iskandar Shah took up his abode at Malaka, where he established a system of court ceremonial. It was he who first instituted the appointment of four ministers who were to sit in the hall of audience and hold inquiries; and the appointment of heralds who were to stand on the steps leading up to the throne, forty on either side, and transmit any command given by the king; and the appointment of youths of good family as pages, their duty being to act as bearers of the Raja's personal; requisites.
Now as for Sultan Iskandar Shah, when he had just completed 3 years on the throne, Singapura fell to the Javanese and he went to Malaka, where he was establsihed as Raja for twenty years. And after he had ruled in all for twenty -five years , then in the process of time he died and was succeeded on the throne by his son Raja Kechil Besar with the title of Sultan Megat.
Extracted from "Malaysia-Selected Historical Readings compiled by John Bastin and Robin W.Winks, Kuala Lumpur, Oxford University Press 1966