Origins of Hang Tuah ( and
Hang Jebat Hang Lekiu etc)
By John Chow
This is what I heard:-
Findings of the team of scientists, archaeologist, historian and other
technical staff from the United State, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Yemen
The graves of Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, Hang Lekiu and their close friends have been found and their skeletons had been analysed. Their DNA had been analysed and it is found
that Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat,
Hang Lekiu etc. are not Malay, but Chinese
(Islamic Chinese, just like the
famous Admiral Cheng Ho). Malacca was a
The Sultans of Malacca was directly
descended from the Parameswara from
For confirmation please
The Federal Association of Arc & Research of
John Chow’s notes:-
an unusual surname or name for a Malay.
It sounds like s corruption of a Chinese surname.
In fact, Chinese names start with
the surname first, and given names last.
Malay names start with the given names first, and the father’s name last (as in Ahmad bin Yusuf which means “Ahmad, the son of Yusuf”). There is no surname in traditional
Malay! There is no surname to carry
forward to the next generation.
We also need to examine the genealogy.
We know that Hang Tuah’s father was Hang Mamat. Here, we do not see a Malay name transmission. We see a name being carried forward. It is also noted that the placement of the
name that is carried forward is in front.
This indicates that the surname is “Hang”. It is the transmission of Chinese names.
We also know that Hang Tuah’s son is Hang Nadim. Again, the name “Hang” is carried forward, and yet again, auspiciously in front, as a Chinese name would be, with the surname in front. There is no indication of a Malay naming
Note that Hang Nadim
is also known as Si Awang (Malays would colloquially refer
to others as “Si”. “A” or “Ah” is a common prefix for referring
to others in Chinese. Thus, a person with
surname Wang/Huang would be referred to as “Si Ah Wang” in
Note that Hang Tuah’s
mother is Dang Merdu.
“Dang” would be quite an unusual surname for a Malay also. However,
“Dang” or “Tang” is a common
Chinese surname. Note that the name
“Dang” is in
front, signifying that this is a Chinese
naming convention, yet again.
Some Malays will argue that “Hang”
is an honorific term (Humba) for those that serve the
royal courts. http://www.freewebs.com/suaraanum/0506b02.htm This argument is
not tenable. Firstly, where is the precedence in sultanates that
preceded the Malaccan Sultanate?
Secondly, where is the evidence
that this is so in succeeding sultanates?
Thirdly, where is the evidence
that this practice was carried out in the sultanate of that time? And has that Sultan given it to other court
official and the royal family and their court officials and courtesans? Where is the evidence? Fourthly,
since Hang Tuah’s father is called Hang Mamat, then he would
have served the Sultan prior to Hang Tuah. But there is no evidence this is so. In fact,
there is evidence that Hang Tuah was a very
poor kid in the village. His father was
not a high court official, and he was
not brought up in the court. In
addition, since if Hang Tuah’s father Hang Mamat had
already served as a high court official,
why must Hang Tuah be educated in Bahasa Melayu and court etiquette
etc. again since the family is already indoctrinated in royal protocol?
orang Melayu semasa zaman kesultanan Melaayu Melaka, tiada terdapat nama-nama seumpama Hang Tuah, Hang Kasturi, Hang Jebat, Hang Lekir, Hang Lekiu, ringkasnya ringkasan yang bermula dengan ¡®Hang¡¯. Sejarah juga telah
mencatatkan nama-nama dari bangsa Cina
yang bermula dengan Hang,
Tan, Maa dan Lee. Ia bergantung kepada
suku kaum atau asal-usul keturunan mereka dari wilayah tertentu
The last sentence loosely translates as, "There's the possibility to propose that the term "Hang" conferred as a honorific by the Malay Kings also has no basis."
Moreover, before the time of the 5 warriors with their
close families during this close period of relationship with the Chinese, there are no Malays with this name.
Note that the Chinese ‘princess’
who married the Sultan of Malacca was called “Hang Li Po”. Here,
we not only see the same name,
but the name is also in front,
indicating a Chinese naming convention.
Hang Li Po brought along with her many servants and bodyguards from
There is an old Chinese tradition
where warriors or servants in the royal palace were given or re-issued with
surnames given by the emperor, to
signify that they belong to the emperor,
or to one of his offsprings. Therefore,
it is possible that some very special bodyguards of the emperor or the
royal family, have the same surname to
signify that they are a unit formed especially to protect that one owner. Since the Princess Hang Li Po was given away
in marriage to a strategic partner whose land the emperor wanted to ensure is
safe and stable, he
assigned a group of able warriors to the Princess Li Po, and he gave their families the same
surname. This is not an unusual practice
for the Chinese emperor.
As for Hang Kasturi having 4 characters in his name, it is unusual, but it does happen that some Chinese have only 2 characters, and some have 4 characters in their names. For example, my paternal grandmother had only 2 characters in her name.
In the GENEALOGICAL TREE OF THE ROYAL FAMILIES OF
that traditional Malay naming conventions do not carry the name of the father
no surname to carry forward
name nor surname are placed in front.
genealogy of the early part of the lineage tree makes reference to Chinese
This proves there has been early Chinese links in the Malay/Indonesian
races and aristocratic lineages.
One Malay argued that Hang Tuah was already in the service of the Sultan before Hang
Li Po was sent to Malacca. However, there is not evidence of this. A probable reference is the semi folklore Hikayat Hang Tuah, whicjh is
not very reliable as it has many contradiction to Sejarah
Melayu. . From
the Ming Dynasty chronicles does not mention Hang Li Po or Hang Tuah but did mention the trip of Sultan Mansur Shah. See: http://thepenangfileb.bravepages.com/histr36.htm
It is even possible that Hang Li Po was a minor “princess” (ie. only a daughter of a court official) who the
emperor ordered to be given away to marry a vassal sate in order to ensue
loyalty and close diplomatic relation.
The whole event was blown up to given the foreign king a big ego boost
that the great Chinese overlord gave him his own daughter in marriage! (It is doubtful that the conservative Chinese
emperors would give their daughters away to somebody living in a foreign land
very far away). It has happened before in
the history of
The 5 sworn brothers who studied and practised Silat
Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, Hang Lekir, Hang Lekiu and Hang Kasturi.
– History of the
Parameswara and the founding of the Sultanate of Malacca by John Chow
This is my limited understanding of this subject matter.