Group: Missing documents could shed more light on Melaka history


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 12 Jan 2020

Martin Theseira

MELAKA: Are the two missing Portuguese documents about Melaka linked to the bygone Ruler Zamorin (Samoothiri) of Calicut?

Save The Portuguese Action Committee chairman Martin Theseira said the answer could be obtained from Lisbon Military Museum in Portugal.

“I believe that there are narrations on Zamorin’s link to Malacca Sultanate in these missing documents, “ he said in an interview.

He said the Portuguese had influence in Calicut (modern day Kerala in India) before conquering Malacca in 1511.

Theseira said the museum in Lisbon has one cannon exhibited as “Peca de Malaca” (Piece of Melaka).

“Based on records from University of Lisbon, it stated Alfonso de Albuquerque’s writing on thousands of Malay cannons and guns were sighted when the Portuguese conquered Melaka.

“The large ones were apparently presented to Melaka Sultan by Zamorin, ” he said.

He said based on historical records of Peca de Malaca, the large cannon at the museum was reinforced by thick iron ring cast.

Theseira said there was also a dragon head carved on the tip of the cannon, which could fire a range up to 3km.

“We also want to know where to view the Portuguese documents and manuscripts that were translated by the late Parish Father M.J. Pindato, who was also a historian, in the 1980s, ” he said.

He said Father Pindato was commissioned by the Malacca government then to translate Portuguese documents and manuscripts to English.

“We will seek an appointment with the Chief Minister (Adly Zahari) to get his blessing before we pursue to obtain the missing documents from Lisbon.

“I believe the state government should make attempts to recover these historical items, ” he said.

On Friday, Theseira said he would work with representatives from Portugal Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, in search of these documents.

The embassy also oversees Malaysia.

The interest to search these documents was fuelled after talks emerged recently that the documents had vanished since the 1990s.

The Portuguese Government reportedly handed over the two documents to Melaka in 1980s.

It is believed that the documents narrated the social landscape during the era of Malacca Sultanate, before the conquer of the state by the Portuguese.

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