Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Golden Age

Assalamualaikum and Peace be upon all of you
Welcome to my blog.

I have post an article about Siamese Kedah Pasai Ma a few hours ago. And now, it is the time for me to post an article about the Sultanate of Malacca. Which one is true? Like I said before, it is up to you to decide. In my blog, I will post both of the history as a comparison. Both empires have one thing in common, one of the Muslim Empire in the South East Asia. The only difference is, the Malacca Sultanate is widely taught in school today. But, the Siamese Kedah Pasai Ma is not been told until recently. Why? I will cover it in the future.

Golden Era of Sultanate of Malacca

The Sultanate of Malacca during its golden era

The Sultanate of Malacca reached its golden age during the reign of Sultan Mansur Shah. The Malaccan Empire emerged as one of the important entrepot empire in the region. The Malaccan port at that time thrived as many traders from east and west come and traded. One statement said that:

"All traders from the West and the Orient came to Malacca. The whole city at that time, full of people."

The illustration of Malaccan port

One of the factors that contributed to the rise of Malacca was the monsoon winds that enabled Arab and Indian traders from the west to travel to China in the east and vice versa. At the height of its power, the Sultanate encompassed most of modern day Peninsular Malaysia, the site of modern day Singapore and a great portion of eastern Sumatra. It was also the center of Islam in the eastern sphere, where imams and ustazs came to discuss religion and the like. Muslim missionaries were also sent by the Sultan to spread Islam to other communities in the Malay Archipelago, such as in Java, Borneo, and the Philippines. Most of South East Asia at that time was Hindu.

The replica of Malaccan Royal Palace

The Sultanate's most important regional rivals were Siam in the north and the declining Majapahit Empire in the south. Majapahit was not able to control or effectively compete with Malacca within the archipelago, and came to an end during the later 15th century. Siam on the other hand attacked Malacca three times, but all attacks were repelled.

At the same time, Malacca had a good relationship with Ming, resulting in Zheng He's visits. Parameswara had met the Ming emperor to receive a Letter of Friendship, hence making Malacca the first foreign kingdom to attain such treatment. In 1409, the sultan paid tribute to the Ming emperor to ask for protection against Siam and Malacca was made as protectorate of Ming China. Moreover, Sultan Mansur Shah even married a Ming princess named Hang Li Po. This Sino-Malacca relationship helped deter Siam from further threatening Malacca.

Sultan Mansur Shah and Bendahara Tun Perak received a delegation of Princess Li Po

During this era, a famous Bendahara and Laksamana of Malacca, Bendahara Tun Perak and Laksamana Hang Tuah has contributed to help the empire grew stronger.

Sculpture of Admiral Hang Tuah


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