Sunday, December 1, 2019

Sultanate of Malacca

Alone among Malayan townships Malacca may claim to be regarded as ancient and sedate. The greatest local power of the third quarter of the fourteenth century, the Javanese empire of Majapahit, decided suddenly to play a leading part in history and to take a high place among the conquering nations of the worldly. It sent out its fleets, swept down on the thousand year-old Malay kingdom of Falembang, and. overthrew it utterly.

Malay tradition tells that when a fugitive king of Singapore was fleeing from 'his foes, he sat under a tree by the banks of the river Bertam. From his sea the watched a little mouse deer turn upon the hounds pursuing it and fling them back into the water. "A fine site this, or a city," said he, "this place that breeds bravery; let us make it a settlement for ourselves." His followers agreed.- "And what is the name of the tree against which I am leaning?"- "A malaka tree, Your Highness."-Then, we will call our town Malacca."

And in time, the Chronicle tells, "Goods were brought to Malacca from all the neighboring countries and from the lands beyond the Sea, and the port became so frequented that the Arabs named it Malakat, 'the Mart.'"

The fugitive styled himself Parameswara or king, but a years later he became a Muhammadan and took the name of Sultan Muhammad Shah, the Shadow of God upon Earth." He was a keen man of business and made at least one voyage to China in pursuit of his own ends.

During his reign, Sultan Muhammad Syah was very fair in his dealings with everyone. Therefore Malacca grew and prospered, and the territory under its rule expanded.

Westward it extended to Beruas Ujung Karang, eastward it stretched to Terengganu. Malacca’s reputation spread to other countries from below the wind to above the wind, that Malacca was big and prosperous. Thus, traders came from all sides to Malacca.

The desire of the foreign traders to enjoy conducive trading conditions along the vital sea-lane across the Selat Malacca and the closure of the caravan route by Temerlane in 1398 A.D., were two major factors which contributed significantly to Malacca's importance. On the mainland of the Malay Peninsula, other ports such as Kedah, Kuala Brang (Fo-lo-an), Takuapa or even Bruas had faded into insignificance as a result of Malacca's economic and political ascendency.               
Sultanate of Malacca
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