Locals youths need to understand and emulate Malay heroes

Locals youths need to understand and emulate Malay heroes

MELAKA: Western superheroes like Ironman, Superman, Batman and their likelihood are known to the local millennial generation but are they as familiar with Malay warrior legends such as Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat or Panglima Awang (Henry the Black) who sacrificed for the people?

Duyong Malay History and Heritage Association (Pesawad) chairman Khalid Hussin said the younger generation only know of these names but not their struggles to fight colonialism and protect the dignity of the religion, race and nation.

He said the current younger generation recognises and admires the western superheroes who are actually just characters in the film industry, created for the purpose of entertainment and profit.

“I believe many have heard the stories of Malay heroes such as Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat and Panglima Awang or even the wisdom of Bendahara Tun Perak but they do not understand the struggles of these personalities,” he told Bernama.

However, he said, it would be unfair to blame the younger generation for their ignorance because they were not exposed to these personalities to really understand the messages in the stories about them.

Khalid hoped that all the relevant authorities would play their parts in passing on the historical narrative to the youngsters and not leave it ‘locked’ in archives such as libraries that are only opened for research purposes.

He said the task of educating today’s generation was a shared responsibility.

Khalid also reminded the authorities concerned to study local references on these Malay personalities and not depend solely on western references.

Meanwhile, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) has taken the initiative to make Admiral Hang Tuah an icon and identity of the university.

Its deputy vice-chancellor (student affairs), associate professor Dr Nurulfajar Abd Manap said this was aimed at instilling values such as strong fighting spirit, integrity and upholding knowledge embodied by Hang Tuah in all UTeM students.

She said Hang Tuah was the personification of the characteristics the university wanted its students to possess – Tangkas (agility), Unggul (excellence), Adaptive and Holistic.

“These values will be instilled in every UTeM student, making them unique, so all UTeM students are TUAH,” she said.

She explained that their students should stand out in every aspect; academics, co-curricular activities and in their personalities. Also, she said, after graduation, they will travel to all corners of the country and the world, taking with them UTeM’s inspirations and values.

She added that the spirit of Hang Tuah was not limited to the male or the Malays but cuts across gender, race, religion and background.

“Apart from students, the concept of TUAH is also applied in every staff of UTeM,” she added.

This is because the university hopes to produce a community that is highly professional, ethical, compassionate and competitive.