The beautiful Princess Hang Li Po
In the voyage to Melaka
Crying in agony
So young and so tender
To be torn from her mother
Like a shoot from its root
She’d rather die
Drowned by the ocean
Then to lose the loving touch of her parents
Is this her fate her destiny
To be delivered as a gift, wrapped as a commodity
Shipped to Melaka
As a bride and a donation
That would strengthen the nation
Her mother, Her Majesty, The Maharani
Had spoken in tears
My beloved Li Po, please be brave
This fact we have to face
You and me what we are born to be
As queens and princesses
We do not own ourselves
Marriage for us is not a personal decision
It is a state arrangement, a political mission
Do not cry for your father
He is a man, and a king
He loves you as a daughter
But his kingdom is everything
He laughs and cry for the nation
The kingdom demands his attention
First the reign over his land
Family happiness come second
Yes Li Po
Look what history has written
Of empires and nations
Built and strengthened
At the sacrifice and tears of women
While many brought to the end
By misdeed and greet of men
Original tittle: pelayaran Hang Li Po
Translated by the poet.
Tun Mamat
Convey this message to the Sultan
Bring these as my dowry
If he wish to marry me
Build me a bridge of gold and another of silver
Bring me germs and mosquitoes seven trays of their hearts
Vessels full of tears and juice of young beetle nuts
From the king and his prince a bowl each of their blood
I knew from the start
That he is willing to construct the bridge of misery
Let the people carry the trays of agony
And bear the burden of heavy vessels of tears
Rack their life with flame of his own desire
Provided he could escape the fire.
Tun Mamat,
These conditions only show my rejection
As his queen I refuse to be
Seeing my life a murky reflection
I am not  Tun Fatimah
With the skill to forgive cruelty
I am not Tun Kudu
Who could be forced to  agree
It’s enough with Hang Li Po
Wrapped up as a gift, a legacy
Or Tun Teja who trip and fall
The lover she follow was only a shadow
Let Mount
Ledang  stand  tall
, a reminder to all
Of a flower that survived and remain free
Untouched by the royal fancy
Even a woman can choose to disagree
Even a king has his turn
to admit being beaten
( note: Sultan Mahmud,
the last emperor of Melaka fell in love with Puteri Gunung Ledang (Princess of Mount Ledang)
who appeared in his dream. The Sultan sent his men up the mountain to ask for
her hand in marriage causing much hardship and unnecessary death. The beautiful
princess send her famous message to the Sultan through Tun Mamat, the only man
who made it to the top of the mountain
Tun Fatimah: agrede to
marry the Sultan after he had killed her family
Tun Teja:  eloped with Hang Tuah only to find out that
she was to be bestowed to the king.
Tun Kudu:  the queen who was given to a statesman  in exchange for stability
Hang Li Po:The Chinese
princess  sent as a bride to the Sultan
of Melaka
Tun Mamat
Sampaikan pesanku kepada Sultan
Jika aku ingin diperisterikan
Perbuatkan jambatan emas jambatan perak
bawakan tujuh dulang hati kuman, hati nyamuk
air mata dan air pinang muda setempayan
darah raja dan anak raja semangkuk
aku telah menduga
dia akan sanggup merentang jambatan derita
dia merelai negeri menjadi dulang sengsara
membiarkan rakyat memikul tempayan air mata
kehidupan terbakar dalam api berahi
selagi kepanasan tidak terpercik ke tubuhnya
tun Mamat,
sebenarnya aku memberi syarat ini
kerana aku tidak sudi menjadi permaisuri Sultan
dan hidup bercerminkan kekeruhan
aku bukan Tun Fatimah
yang pandai memaafkan kezaliman
aku bukan Tun Kudu
yang tahu merelakan paksaan
cukuplah dengan puteri Hang Li Po
yang terbungkus menjadi persembahan
dan tersungkurnya Tun Teja
ketika menangkap bayang-bayang cinta
Biarlah Gunung Ledang berdiri mengingatkan
ada bunga yang tidak dapat digubah
sesedap titah
seseorang perempuan pun ada kalanya
berhak memilik kebebasan
seorang Sultan pun ada kalanya
harus tunduk kepada kekalahan
I did not resist when they come with the keris
To take my life
If that’s Your Majesty’s wish
After all it is my own saying
That the Malays never disobey their king
But I do regret
That Your Majesty should forget
As every tree has its root
Everything has its beginning
The start and the origin
Demang Lebar Daun installing the first king
Sang Sapurba
They come to a treaty, an agreement
It shows that a king is made by his own man
Since then Demang came second
A Bendahara in
status and rank
Even more he was the king’s his father-in-law
In the state protocol
Sang Sapurba is above all
But by family relation
Demang in a higher position.
Form there
To Singapura and Melaka
Bendaharas  are addressed by their tittles
Seri Maharaja, Paduka
Seri Wak Raja
Which means king’s father, guardian of the ruler
For it is  true bendahara are pillars
The strength of the nation
The king heads the country
The Bendahara in
The king wears his crown
The Bendahara guarded his ground
The sharp keris of
His Majesty
Pierced through the Bendahara’s
The madness of the action
Has wounded a nation
A king is but a servant
To the rules that make him a king
Bendahara: a post
equivalent to Prime Minister. They gained much respect even from the kings as
they were usually uncles and father-in-laws of the kings.
Keris: a Malay weapon
Please God,
Give me the wisdom
To understand it all
Why the salmons frail and small
Made to fight the tide and struggle
Braving the meanders
And pebbles
Tearing scales of his chest
And wounded breast
After a long journey
He reached an unfamiliar beach
Exhausted and lonely
Regretting and longing for home
Thus with the rest of his life
He battled against the current
To make a return
Please God
Give me the wisdom
To understand it all
Why the salmons frail and small
With life so short
And body so tender
Make to fight the odds
In the mighty water
(riuh ayam)
They have long criticized me
For being too noisy
Even though they may not agree
My loud voice is a warning
To safeguard my offspring
To them it is more acceptable
To be quiet like the turtles
Until they loss their little ones
And deprived off their rights one by one
(inspired by Rimba Harapan- a novel by SN Keris Mas)
They have come
With power and dollar
To widen their mines and estates
Pushing us to the jungle lands
Pushing us to the hill slopes
So the jungles became our friend
And the hills our only hope
We have written our life story
A tale of misery
The shacks, our shelter shivers
In the rain of tears
Our crops crushed
By flood and blast
All these years we have taken
What the fate has written
But today we are utterly beaten
This is the biggest disaster
We have lost it all
Our land, our inheritance
Oh jungle of hope
Oh river of strength
My people are holding on
To their last lines of defense
Janda Baik situated in the state of Pahang is the location
of the novel Rimba Harapan

( Jungle of  Hope)
by Keris Mas. SN stands for Sasterawan Negara, the highest award conferred by
the government of Malaysia
to literary writers.


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