Annotated Hikayat Hang Tuah conventionals.
English edition of the epic of legendary Melaka Empire hero Hang Tuah was launched recently at the Frankfurter Buchmesse (Frankfurt International Book Fair), the world's most important and biggest event for the publishing industry. A large gathering of representatives of publishing houses, media and the Malaysian community cheered the formal launching of the book by the Kuala Lumpur-based publishing and translation house Institut Terjemahan Negara Malaysia (ITNM). Applauding the efforts of the publishers, this English edition is described as a literary milestone.
The launch of the book was a brilliant move on the part of the ITNM, given the unique importance of the fair as a platform for launching new literary products. Hence, a better platform for the launch could not have been found as that Hang Tuah's importance in Malaysia's literature was unique.It is reported that the publisher have received business enquiries from undisclosed individuals even before the English language edition was formally launched. Only five copies of the voluminous English edition was appearing at the fair but according to sources, ITNM plans to produce 3,500 copies in the first installment. This English edition would be priced at roughly RM200 per copy.
This work by Kassim Ahmad and Noriah Mohamed was authored between 1641 to 1736 and is the only Malay epic which represents the Malay race itself in its aspirations, ability and attitudes towards life during a decisively significant period of time. Hang Tuah epitomises the uniqueness of the Malay race as a cultured and civilised people by demonstrating the self-esteem, courage, astuteness and fine manners of the Malay people, which gained respect and acknowledgement from foreign peoples and governments who were among the early sources of contact with the Malay civilisation before the Portuguese invasion of Malacca. The author ends his work on a spirited and enduring note which has left an indelible mark in Malay minds until today : Takkan Melayu Hilang di Dunia.