‘Hang Tuah was my forefather’

Mohd Khalid Husin claims he is a descendant of legendary warrior Hang Tuah

(New Straits Times) – THE saying “do not anger your ancestors” carries extra weight for Mohd Khalid Husin as one of his distant forefathers was none other than the legendary warrior, Hang Tuah, or so he claims.

  Khalid, 50, claimed that he and with his relatives were the descendants of Tun Perak,  who was Hang Tuah’s father-in-law.

  “My late grandmother told me when I was a boy that our family was descendants from these historical figures.”  

  Khalid, who lived in the same village as Hang Tuah (Kampung Duyung), said it was through word of mouth that the knowledge of his family’s lineage was preserved.

  He claimed that after Malacca had fallen to the Portuguese in 1511, the immediate family members of high-ranking officials, such as Bendahara Tun Perak and Hang Tuah, fled to avoid persecution.

  “The Portuguese soldiers would kill anyone they believed to be Hang Tuah’s kin, including those who were affiliated with Tun Perak.

  “Those who remained kept the memories of their forefathers alive through word of mouth.”

  Khalid’s family had also kept a salasilah or a lineage record, which detailed their ancestors’ names.

  “There are almost 100 names on our salasilah, starting with Tun Sedang followed by Tun Kudu, Tun Perak and Tun Perpatih Puteh.

  “My late grandmother’s name is Haji Puteh,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.

  Khalid claimed that the original salasilah was finally written down in document-form during the British colonial era, and that the one they had constantly updated was only a copy.

  Khalid had also formed the Persatuan Sejarah dan Warisan Melayu Duyung, or Duyung History and Malay Heritage Association  (Pesawad) in 2010, which he is the president of, in the hope to locate others who were also the descendants of Hang Tuah and Tun Perak.

  “Hang Tuah was married and had children.

“After more than 500 years, there is bound to be a number of us scattered around the region.”  

  He said he had met with the others from all over the country, including Selangor, Johor and Singapore, adding that sometimes if the “connection was strong” between a seemingly distant relative, the sensation from a mere handshake was enough to convince him that the other person was also a blood kin.

  He also alleged that some of his cousins and extended family members had kept heirlooms — trinkets and artifacts — from the days of the Malaccan Sultanate.

  “My cousin, who is also a descendant living in Singapore, has an old kris, which he said was passed from generation to generation after Tun Perak.”

  Khalid also said that his grandfather had a copy of an “original” Hikayat Hang Tuah (The Hang Tuah Epic).

  “It was passed down from one generation to another,  before my grandfather got his  hands on it.”

  Khalid said that, however, his grandfather had given the artifact to his brother in 1936.

  “The contents were written in Jawi and the book was very old.”

  When asked where was the book now, he claimed that his cousin had “given” the artifact to the National Archives because its condition was deteriorating.

  Khalid said he had announced his claims to members of the public when he formed Pesawad, but, so far, no one had come forward to investigate or argue with him with regards to Hang Tuah’s existence.

  “I welcome historians or academics to come and study or debate my family’s lineage.”