Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Panglima Awang (2)

This is my understanding and opinions about Panglima Awang based on my reading of the links given in the first post by Ahmad Fuad on Panglima Awang.

  1. Panglima Awang was a Malay warrior at the time of the Malacca Sultanate when Sultan Mahmud was the ruler (sultan). This was around 1509-1511, before the Portuguese attack on Malacca.
  2. When the Portuguese attacked Malacca in 1511, they also attacked the palace of Sultan Mahmud and captured the court officials (hamba raja = hambarajas/hambarajes/ambarajes).
  3. One of the captured court officials was Panglima Awang. If he was very dark, then he would be known as Panglima Awang Hitam. If he was slightly darker than the Portuguese Caucasians, then he would be just Panglima Awang. Awang is a common call name but it is uncommon to call a youth Awang in Malacca. Awang is used in Kelantan dialect to call a young boy, a youth, or a young man.
  4. Even though Panglima Awang was a Malay court official of the Sultan Mahmud's palace, as with many court officials, they could come from any of the nearby regions surrounding Malacca. Most Malay warriors were Bugis if they came from the east (Borneo, Moluccas/Celebes, Papua New Guinea side). Otherwise they would be Minangkabau from Paya Kumbuh, a popular origin of the Malays of Malaysia. However, the Muslim warriors of the Minangkabau palace of Paya Kumboh, Sumatra only arrived in Malaya after the Dutch forces attacked Malacca; ie, circa 1641. So it is most likely that Panglima Awang was a local man from Malacca, and who worked for the court of the Malacca Sultanate under Sultan Mahmud at the time of the Portuguese attack on Malaccca.
  5. The Portuguese forces defeated the Malacca Sultanate and captured Malacca and its people, including court officials, eg Panglima Awang. There maybe other court officials who were captured by the Portuguese but we may not have the entire history about the fall of Malacca to the Portuguese under Alfonso d'Albuquerque.
  6. European captors such as the Portuguese in Malacca made their captives accept their religion. In the case with Panglima Awang, he was either forced or freely accepted into a new faith, the faith of his Christian conquerors. If he was a slave, he would have been forced and that could be for his own protection and/or safety. If he was not a slave and treated just like a friend, he probably merely followed the 'religion' of his non Muslim masters but never converted to Christianity. Even though Muslims do not convert to any religion, in those times and in times of battle or after losing battles, captives have no choice and follow the instructions of their captors with a heavy heart.
  7. Did Panglima Awang accept Christianity and converted to Christianity? No. A Muslim remains a Muslim. Once a Muslim, always a Muslim. A apostate (murtad) would suffer grievous punishment.
  8. What language(s) did Panglima Awang speak? He definitely spoke Malay (Bahasa Orang Melayu).
  9. Why wasn't Panglima Awang able to communicate with the people in Cebu, Philippines? Cebuans speak their own language or dialect which is different from Malay. Tagalog contains common Malay words but Tagalog is a more recent language, arising from Malay.
  10. If Panglima Awang was a Malay Muslim, and if he had died after arriving in the Philippines or Malacca, or anywhere in the Malay Archipelago, where were his siblings? Where is his grave today? If he was a Hindu and not a Muslim, what was his Hindu name?
  11. Is it possible to have a small Filipino community in Malacca? Yes. There are Malacca Malay-Filipino marriages. One which I attended in Malacca was that of Mahani Mahabob's eldest brother who married a Filipino lady. She spoke English to us (Malacca children and teenagers).
  12. Is it possible to have a small Portuguese community in Malacca? Yes. There is Portuguese Settlement in Malacca today. This is some distance from my village in Banda Hilir. People form that Settlement have assimilated into the larger Malacca mixed society today. These Portuguese descendants appear more Indian than Europeans but they have Portuguese surnames and British first names.
  13. Could Panglima Awang come from any of the small communitites? Yes, indicating he was from overseas, most probably Sumatra, a large island in close proximity to Malacca. The passage from Sumatra to Malay is usually from Batu Bara to any of the ports on the Malayan western coastline. In this case Malacca, a popular seaport and famous trade centre.
  14. Panglima Awang was said to be derived from a Sumatran lineage and his descendants resided in Rembau, even today. Panglima Awang himself married a Pahang lady. This is common knowledge for people who are descended from the royal household of the Minangkabau princes of Paya Kumboh. There should be approximately the 10th generation or more today in Rembau itself and proximity.
  15. Panglima Awang was nicknamed Datuk Laut Dalam (Master of the Deep Seas) to avoid being found by the European captors. Much later, Mat Kilau did the same and used the nickname Mat Siam.
  16. Why did his captors name him Enrique or Henry the Black? He was made their affiliate and he worked for them.
  17. Was Palingma Awang a loyal servant to his Portuguese captain? Yes. Malay men, especially warriors, are loyal to their masters. They don't defect or they will die as traitors. 
  18. Was Panglima Awang a traitor to his Portuguese master and his crew? No idea.
  19. Was Panglima Awang murdered in Mactan? No idea. Probably not. He was not an enemy of the locals so they wouldn't kill him. He did no harm to them. Malay communities do not kill unless it was a  feud or battle or something they would stick their neck & life for. Malay men (warriors) are known to be loyal, rational and civilised.
  20. Was Panglima Awang the sole survivor of the Mactan Massacre where Magellan died of wounds from (poisoned) arrows? No idea. He was probably the sole survivor of that massacre.
  21. Did Panglima Awang plot Magellan's death? No idea. Usually no. It is a yes if the murder was for ransom.
  22. Did Panglima Awang collude with Raja Humabon to kill or murder Magellan? No idea. A Malay warrior knows whom to side with, and usually he is loyal to his Malay fellows or countrymen.
  23. Was Raja Humabon a Malay? Probably a Bugis and therefore the language was Bugis Malay. Humabon itself sounds like 2 words = Huma (tanah or land) + bon (a place or land called Bone in Sulawesi). I think this is old Malay.
  24. Did Panglima Awang meet any Sulu ruler while in the Philippines? No idea. The British Queen was said to have married a Sulu ruler. This could mean that the issues and descendants are all related to the British Crown and nobility. They could pass as locals with black hair or other hair colours, and with black (iris) eyes or with colourful irises (blue, brown, dirty green or hazel).
  25. Did Panglima Awang return to Malacca or his village (Rembau in Negeri Sembilan) to take revenge on his captors? No idea.
  26. Is Panglima Awang a hero? No idea. He was the first to circumnavigate the globe but this is controversial from the European quarters who contend that Magellan was the first to do so. 
  27. Which nation shall claim the famous Panglima Awang as its national hero? No idea. He was a Malay hero shared by 3 nations - Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. He was a hero of the Malay World or the Malay Nation.