Warning: I intend this post in good humour. If you find this post to be insulting, deragotory, inconsiderate or otherwise ISA-worthy, then allow me to apologize. Someone hacked into my account and posted this under my name. As music artiste Shaggy said, it wasn’t me. Anyway, this is based on a joke routine I invented way back in Form 3. I still remember it clearly. Here goes…
Any born-and-raised Malaysian ought to know who Parameswara is. The founder of the Malacca Sultanate, legend holds that he founded the empire where he saw a kancil defend itself from a hunting dog by pushing the dog into the river. The tree he was resting under was a melaka tree, and so he named the city Melaka.
But where did Parameswara come from? The following I recall quite clearly from the Form 3 Sejarah textbook that we used back then. It was a dull orange or orangey-brown in colour, written in rambling story format and quite useless for scoring in exams. Too rambling you see. I sucked at Sejarah until I got a revision book. Nevertheless, this post is based on the contents of the textbook.
There are three origins described in the orange Sejarah book. The first is the generally acepted theory, that Parameswara was a Srivijayan prince who fled from Majapahit conquest. He arrived at the island of Temasek (where Singapore is today) where the Siamese-appointed ruler Temagi welcomed him. He repaid this kindness by killing Temagi and taking over. The threat of Siamese retribution forced him to leave, and thus some time later found Melaka.
The second theory is more unlikely, but still forwarded by some sources outside the orange Sejarah book. Legend has it that on one of his conquests in India, Iskandar Zulkarnain made it as far South as the Semenanjung. He sired several offspring, one of whom was Parameswara.
The third theory I have only ever encountered in the orange Sejarah book. To be fair, it was only mentioned in passing in the book. According to legend, at a certain village near the Melaka area one night the villagers saw lights descending onto a hill. Upon investigating, they met bidadari (fairies) who came and lived with them. After some time, the bidadari left the way they came, but Parameswara was descended from them.
And so, drum roll please… Who was Parameswara, founder of the Malay Malaccan Empire? He was:
a) An Indonesian
b) A kuai-lou (Caucasian)
c) A space alien
Thank you, and good night folks!
Clarification on Iskandar Zulkarnain: Many scholars equate him to Alexander the Great based on his accomplishments. Alexander, founder of the Greek Hellenistic Empire, is therefore considered a pious Muslim, even though he died almost a millenium before Islam was founded and was notoriously a polytheist in the best classical Greek style. Also, he apparently rode his horse to chase after the setting sun and found that it submerges in a pool of murky water, whereupon it becomes night. Um, wow. Too bad, Galileo, looks like you got your astronomy wrong after all.