The myths and legends of Laksamana Hang Tuah has long been the subject of conjecture at universities. Many historians, including notable ones, are divided in the belief of Hang Tuah’s existence.
As explained in the Hikayat Hang Tuah and Sejarah Melayu , Hang Tuah held the position as Admiral of Melaka or Commander of Melaka or Navy Commander, sultan’s bodyguard and envoy or ambassador for the Malacca Malay Sultanate. ln the Sejarah Melayu or Malay Annals, Hang Tuah was portrayed as a hero with an excellent character, who was versatile and perfect. He was mighty, wise, intelligent, sharp-minded and possessed great vision. As a warrior, he had many tactics in defeating the enemies.
Hang Tuah was also a polyglot who could speak Malay, Arabic, Chinese, Tamil and Javanese. Hang Tuah often achieved success in every mission summoned by the sultan except the mission known as “Puteri Gunung Ledang’s Marriage Proposal.” Apart from being a hero who had full loyalty to the sultan, Hang Tuah also helped Bendahara Paduka Raja Tun Perak build Melaka into a gloriﬁed empire in Southeast Asia during the 13th till the16th centuries. This was in line with his role as Admiral of Melaka, serving under three sultans, Sultan Mansur Syah, Sultan Alauddin Riayat and Sultan Mahmud Syah. During that time, the Malaccan Empire consisted of the entire Peninsula, South of Siam, also regions in East Sumatera, namely Kampar, Siak, Aru, Rokan, Siantan, Manjung, lndragiri, Jambi, Lingga and Riau. The kingdoms which had trade and diplomatic relationships with Malacca were Siam, Burma, Arab, Persia, lndia, China, Japan and Turkey (Rome). At that time Melaka was also a centre of trade and of Islam.
Generally, this bilingual book (Malay and English) is divided into three parts. First, a “Brief Life Story of Admiral Tuah“; second, “Strengthening Evidence Of Admiral Hang Tuah’s Existence and third, ”Enlightening Questions on Admiral Hang Tuah”. Although the questions brought up in this book are nothing new, they have been presented in a simple and easy way for the benefit of the present generation who seem to have forgotten past heroes of the nation including Admiral Hang Tuah. Hopefully, it will serve to a better understanding of Hang Tuah’s myth, in the face of a handful of intellectuals who have disputed his existence.