KUALA LUMPUR: No archaeological evidence has been unearthed to prove that Hang Tuah, Malacca’s 15th-century legendary admiral actually existed, says Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.
“The ministry has carried out archaeological studies through the Heritage Department on Kota Melaka and discovered artefacts related to its existence. However, no archaeological evidence has so far been discovered connected to Hang Tuah,” the Tourism and Culture Minister said in written reply to a question by Sim Tong Him (DAP-Kota Melaka) in Parliament Thursday.
However, he said references to Hang Tuah could be found in numerous local and foreign historical documents.
He noted that research by the National Library found that the legendary character is mentioned in both local and foreign historical sources.
He said Hang Tuah is mentioned in Hikayat Hang Tuah and Sulalatus Salatin, Rekidal Hoan (Japan), Vijayanagara (India), Commentaries of Alfonso De Alburquerque (Portuguese) and Ming Shi (China).
Nazri also said a majority of local historians agreed on the existence of Hang Tuah’s mausoleum in Tanjung Kling.
“Hang Tuah’s Keris Taming Sari is now part of the Perak’s royal regalia,” he added.
He said that Hang Tuah’s character was ingrained in the Malay community and part of its cultural heritage.
“He is part of our written tradition and has ben celebrated in poetry and sayings,” he added.
He said that the character played a role in the nation’s culture and is still considered an icon.
Nazri said that research on Hang Tuah would continue.