Ever heard the Puteri Gunung Ledang legend? It doesn’t matter if you heard it when you’re small, you read it in literature class, you read it from books, you watched the movies, you went to the theatre, or if you was there when she gave the 7 almost impossible conditions (if you were there, please report to the JPN so you can get your name in the books of records..). The point is, you must know the legend to understand what I’m trying to say.
For the uninitiated, this was a legend set in the height of the Melaka Empire. Sultan Mahmud Shah, the Sultan of Melaka, was to marry Gusti Putri Retno Dumillah, A Javanese princess who ran to Gunung Ledang in Johore, to meet her love of her life, Hang Tuah. The marriage was to form a bond between the Melaka Empire and the Majapahit Kingdom, which was in a turmoil, at that time.
So, in order to gracefully but not irrespectably reject to the marriage proposal, Gusti Putri, also known as Puteri Gunung Ledang, offers to marry the Prince of Demak, whose country was in war with Majapahit. Sultan Melaka, however, could not accept it, as it would humiliate him. So he makes sure that Gusti Putri, will marry him at all cost.
Ironically, Hang Tuah, who was the Laksamana (General) was sent by Sultan Mahmud Shah to propose to Gusti Putri, thus resulting in a dilemma. Hang Tuah, was very obedient and loyal to the Sultannate, that he had once killed his best friend Hang Jebat when Hang Jebat ran amok after the Sultan condemns Hang Tuah to a death sentence. That, is another story.
Thus, unable to reject, Gusti Putri accepts, but with a catch: Sultan Melaka must fulfil 7 almost impossible conditions set in 7 riddles. After solving the riddles (with help with the countries best minds, of course), the Sultan goes on to realize all the conditions, which one, including him killing his one and only son which was the hardest and the only one he didn’t do. In the end, Gusti Putri had to tell the Sultan in the face that she do not want to marry him. Thus she was condemned to stay in Gunung Ledang, unallowed to meet any male. If she did, then she and the male will die a horrible death.
Okay, fast forward to present moment. about a decade ago, we wanted to replace the Causeway Bridge linking Singapore and Malaysia. We have built a second bridge in the process. And Singapore keeps on giving almost impossible terms for the building the bridge. We have been to a point where a Customs, Imigration and Quarantine Complex 90% done, and a half “scenic bridge” had almost been bulit. Sounds similar, these two tales, doesn’t it?. The difference is, we, not Singapore, canceled the bridge idea. No suprise there, actually, we seem to learn from the Puteri gunung Ledang story.
It’s a shame though, that we flaunt around, how we’re at the upper hand by cancelling the idea. I’d hope the minister’s and the media would stop that. It’s like how the Sultan Melaka was embarresed when he was told off in the face by Gusti Putri. I think the Puteri Gunung Ledang movie and musical theatre was timely, as it may have something to do with the Cabinet‘s decision.
And that, is just my 2 cents (or 7.34 sen, to date.).