I have doubt the existence of Princess Hang Li Poh since I was in primary school.
The reason is simple, the princess of Ming emperor should be with surname, Chu or Choo. Hang Li Poh could be a royal title to a princess or any concubine in the palace. Unfortunately, no such Ming empirical record mentions any princess or concubine with the name or royal title, Hang Li Poh.
“Hikayat Hang Tuah” was written after two or three hundred years later is fulled with stories, folktales and legends. No historians except Bolehland historians take such accounts as true and authentic historical facts.
Another funny thing is there are royal families claim they are Melaka sultan descendants, but no one come forward to claim he/she is a Hang Tuah descendant.
Since there is so-called Hang Tuah tomb is Tanjung Keling, DNA testing on his remain should confirm Hang Tuah existence and his bloodline.
The only proof to say the existence of Hang Tuah is “Sejarah Melayu” [another problem is there are more than 20 versions of Malay Annals available] where Hang Tuah got no supernatural power and Hang Kasturi, not Hang Jebat was killed by Hang Tuah unlike those legend in the “Hikayat Hang Tuah”.
Ibrahim Ali got chance to be elevated as a new Malay hero to replace Hang Tuah.
‘Hang Li Po, Hang Tuah did not exist’
Historian Prof Khoo Kay Kim says that the Ming dynasty’s records do not mention the princess or the famous warrior. He also points out that early Malaysian history is based on stories.
PETALING JAYA: According to history, Chinese Princess Hang Li Po was the fifth wife of Malaccan Sultan Mansur Shah who reigned from 1456-1477.
During this period, there was also the legend of the Sultan’s five famous warriors, Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, Hang Kasturi, Hang Lekir and Hang Lekiu. It is a tale of friendship and loyalty, which every Malaysian had heard.
However, renowned historian Prof Khoo Kay Kim told radio station BFM this morning that Hang Li Po and the five warriors never existed.
Speaking to FMT later, he explained: “The Chinese Ming dynasty of the 16th century does not have records on them. These are very well preserved records.”
The KDU college chancellor also said he had read the writings of two Western historians and another prominent historian Wang Gung Wu on the Ming records which did not mention the characters either.
“History must be based on empirical records. Historians must only accept written records,” he said, adding that empirical records available here were at best “skanky”.
“There is no evidence in the Malaysian records,” he said. “These are stories. Early Malaysian history is based on stories.”
“We have had many stories. Only recently historians have taken the trouble to research the early Malaysian history period. A lot of stories accepted in the past cannot be proven,” he added.
Khoo also told FMT that there are rumours that the Malacca kingdom was founded in 1292 even though there were records to prove that it was formed in the 15th century.
He added that the government had instructed the syllabus committee to go through the school history syllabus to rectify the errors.
The syllabus, said Khoo, would be introduced in the year 2014.