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Malay Tradition and Manners, from a perspective of great literary work "Customs Of The Malay Kings (Raja)"

The relevant clause presents characteristics or qualities of personality excellence or Malay character.

By Datuk Zainal Abidin bin Borhan, Yayasan Karyawan

Translated by Raja Izz

Picture: Pemangku Raja Pahang KYDMM Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah


This paper will specifically examine a manuscript called "Adat Raja-Raja Melayu" which was composed by Datuk Zainuddin a Malay Captain in 1,193H or 1,779 AD when Melaka was controlled by Melaka. This manuscript was written at the request of the Governor Dutch De Bruyn because he wanted to know about the customs of kings (Raja) and dignitaries during the old days. With the help of Lebai Muhit from Tengkera, Datuk Zainuddin was able to write about the customs. Datuk Zainuddin and Lebai Muhit have saved the dignity of the people of Malacca at that time from being humiliated because some did not know about the customs of Malay kings. (Panuti Sudjiman, 1982:10).

Because the manuscript was written around 268 after Melaka lost to the Portuguese (1511-1641), then Melaka was controlled by the Dutch (1641-1795, 1798-1824), so usually if the country loses, the king retreats together with all the equipment or regalia greatness and all customs to the new region or state.

According to Panuti there are 10 copies of the Custom of the Malay Kings that have been identified. There are two copies in Singapore, one in the Raffles Museum and the other in the National Library Archives. Three copies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, two copies at the Royal Asiatic Society of London. A copy from the Royal Asiatic Society in the Library of the University of Leiden, one at the Jakarta Central Museum and the other at the Bibliotheque Nationales in Paris. All manuscripts are written in Jawi script.

Yayasan Karyawan has obtained two copies of the "Customs of the Malay Kings" (Adat Raja-Raja Melayu) SOAS version and PNI version. A copy of the SOAS manuscript was obtained with the help of Professor Dr. Jelani Harun, while a copy from PNI was obtained with the help of Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr. Abdullah Zakaria Ghazali. The Karyawan Foundation has appointed Datuk Dr. Zainal Kling for edit and write an introductory essay on the customs contained in the manuscript.

Descriptively, this manuscript specifically comments on the "customs of the king", which has been a tradition for hundreds of years, because the origins of this custom come from the land of Palembang, such as 2 revealed in Sulalat us-Salatin or Malay History. The king's customary system was put in place by the king is not based on the legendary figure Datuk Perpateh Nan Sebatang or Datuk Kertamanggongan or Datuk Temenggong Treasurer Kaya. Manuscripts of Sulalatus Salatin and The Malacca Customary Law clearly stipulates the implementation of this "custom of the king". Wilkinson (Hooker, 1970: 6-37) and Abdullah Siddik (1975: 158) think that this custom of the king originates from Palembang (Sriwijaya).

It should be realized that the description about the king's customs has been expressed a lot in various manuscripts or Malay masterpieces such as Hikayat Raja Pasai, Sulalat us-Salatin, Hikayat Aceh, Hikayat Malay Mass, Canon Law Melaka, Hikayat Pahang, Hukum Kanun Pahang and others. However, the whole custom of the king or the king's customs originated from Palembang and moved to Bintan, then to Temasek and finally to Melaka, which then continued to Johor and Perak. King custom this is what is used to organize and govern the state including all customs ceremonies performed to explain all the greatness and sovereignty of kings Malay. This paper will try to display two aspects of the king's custom as described the author in several clauses or chapters, and aspects of ethics as found in clause 'The Origin of Malay Names'. Both of these aspects reflect the image of superiority high Malay culture as expressed by the masterpiece Adat Raja-Raja Melayu.

In the Customs of the Malay Kings (Raja) there is a Clause called "The Origin of Malay Names". Captain Zainauddin as the author got the information from a Riau named Abdul Arif. Anyone who reads this clause will get it understand and interpret the meaning of etiquette, polite, civilized, cultured and civilized as well as people of nationality. Literally I quote the clause:

The clause on states that the meaning of Malay is that it is self-serving, that is which the ancients likened from the Malay meaning, there is something like a wooden stick who burns himself and not his lahu because of heat or fire. His language with this alone he is self-serving, i.e. he humbles himself and is absent wants to raise himself, both from his orderly manners or from his courtly language and from his eating and drinking manners and his travel and his position whether in the council or in another place. So from that matter, nothing was done with doubt, but it is with his meek nature, no with overflowing and with that deficiency is what it is.

Shahadan then there are those who are required by the ceremony of the Malays and are considered children of the majlis, i.e. when there is one, it is
based on a behavior other than with moderation in everything, i.e. from all behavior and actions and clothing and the words and the food and the journey once were not with the overflowing and shortcoming unless it is held with simple conditions. So that person is called the son of the council; in addition to his good manners save himself, then there are many lendibs or sidibs, as hukama says: "You should punish your throat in the meal and punish your eyes when you see women and strengthen your tongue from many words that be vain and turn your ears away from vile words". So when a person reaches all these conditions, he is the person whose name is called and so on the words of all the people who are 'wise and kind to this weak servant.'

Kapitan Zainauddin, author of "Fasal Mulanya Nama Melayu"

Picture: Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatudin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Pemangku Raja Pahang, KDYMM Tengku Mahkota Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah

What was expressed by Kapitan Zainuddin in the Custom of the Malay Kings is not a record of physical characteristics or place of origin but rather is Notes on custom, manners, behavior, personality, conduct and pronunciation. One a non-physical record that is an internal aspect of Malays. A statement which describes a typical Malay mannerism or character. A few things which is interesting to think about at a time when the Malays are facing a crisis distrust of their language, a crisis of confidence in most core values themselves, the cultural crisis of their identity and self-identity. Among them:-

a. Self-authenticity - i.e. humble yourself, don't want to aggrandize yourself, good in terms of etiquette, spoken language, eating and drinking etiquette, travel and position.

b. Gentleness - i.e. gentle (not rude), not excessive, not lesser.

C. Child or person who is part of Majlis - moderate either in terms behavior, actions, words, clothes, food and travel.

d. Manners on keeping oneself composed - good at controlling oneself, controlling one's speech, control behavior.

The relevant clause presents characteristics or qualities of personality excellence or Malay character. The phrases 'malay yourself' and 'son who is the majlis' are conception to the superiority of Malay morals and character. Author's perception towards the superior character of the Malays is reflected in the meaning that the Malays are either the king, the dignitaries and most of the people are cultured, civilized, moral and ethical. In accordance with the concept, there is a concept that has been integrated with the Malays, it is even an underlying Malay philosophy and ideology Malay meaning 'budi'.

Budi is a concept that describes the nature of the soul that controls and regulate thoughts, feelings, considerations and decisions, morals and behavior as well as speech words and pronunciation. Budi is a ray of wisdom that explains to make a choice the true or the false, the fine or the coarse, the good or the wrong, and etc. Because virtue is the inner and outer Malay structure or structures which emanates from the highest beam of wisdom that is Allah s.w.t.

In such a case 'common sense', 'heart', 'discretion' are the realm of the mind determine the sanity of the mind and the clarity of the feelings of the heart and soul to make decisions, true consideration and action, right and wise. While 'good character' and 'good manners' language' is the practice, behavior and pronunciation of words that describe nobility of mind, heart and discretion. Because that's 'self indulgence' and 'son who majlis' is a whole of internal and external structures. The external structure can be seen and observed from the pronunciation and speech as well as the conversation, etiquette and order, decency, manners, customs, customs, verbs, behavior and treatment, behavior, actions and decisions, or overall human physical behavior that occurs at various levels of interaction social and communication of each person.

The concept of 'self-care' and 'child who is responsible' is a concept that explains the character of Malay people who are 'gentle'. The application of noble values ​​aims to give birth Malay people who are moral, ethical, moral, noble-hearted, civilized, civilized, intelligent, Knowledgeable, wise, know how to repay kindness, teachable enough, and most importantly faith and fear Allah s.w.t. So because of that 'self-care', 'the son of the party', 'kindness' and 'budiman' is the core of Malay humanity, morality and ethics centered on monotheism and divine. It is the character or characteristic of the Malay superiority that is able to place return to the rank, dignity and dignity of the Malay people in the highest places in the world and the afterlife. This prestigious features are what makes a Malay a Malay.

Although this masterpiece may not be as beautiful as Sulalat us-Salatin/Sejarah Melayu or Hikayat Hang Tuah, even Hikayat Misa Malay, but it was written by a person whose name is clearly known, namely Kapitan Zainudin, a Malay Captain when the Dutch occupied Malacca City. He is not a noble descendant such as Tun Seri Lanang and Raja Chulan who recorded the king's customs because they are inside the palace. The custom of the Malay Kings provides custom information and customs of Malay kings even though the author does not state the kingdom or sultanate which is referred to as a source of information. When he wrote with the help of Lebai Muhit from Tengkera, the Sultanate of Malacca is gone and replaced by the Sultanate of Johor and Silver. However, the king's customary information at that time can be cross-referenced with other Malay masterpieces. The customs of the Malay Kings complement the Malay masterpieces other in his time.


Source: ADAT DAN TATASUSILA MELAYU DARI PERSPEKTIF KARYA AGUNG “ADAT RAJA-RAJA MELAYU” https://www.pnm.gov.my/pnm/resources/pdf%20file/PKMM/Adat%20dan%20tatasusila%20Melayu%20dari%20perspektif%20karya%20agung%20Adat%20%20Karya%20Agung%20Adat%20Raja-Raja%20Melayu.pdf

Reading Resources:

Abdullah Siddik , 1975, Pengantar Undang-Undang Adat di Malaysia, Penerbit Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.

Abdul Samad Ahmad, 1979, Sulalatus Salatin (Sejarah Melayu), DBP, Kuala Lumpur.

Abu Hassan Sham dan Mariyam Salim, 1995, Hukum Kanun Melaka, Perbadanan Muzium Melaka.

Hadidjaja, T, 1964, Adat Raja-Raja Melayu, Pustaka Antara Kuala Lumpur.

Hooker, M.B, 1970, Adat Laws in Modern Malaya, Land Tenure, Traditional Government and Religion, Oxford University Press.

Sudjiman, Panuti, 1982, Adat Raja-Raja Melayu, Penerbit Universiti Indonesia.

Wolters, O.W, 1999, History, Culture and Region in Southeast Asian Perspective, Cornell Southeast Asia Program Publication.

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