Hang Jebat was the closest companion of the legendary Malay hero Hang Tuah. He is well known for his vengeful rebellion against the Malacca Sultan whom he served. After Hang Tuah was sentenced to death, Hang Jebat was conferred by the Sultan of Malacca with the Taming Sari, a sacred kris formerly used by Hang Tuah. Believing that Hang Tuah was unjustly murdered by the Sultan he served, Hang Jebat turned against the Sultan to avenge his friend’s death. No one knew, however, except the Bendahara who went against the Sultans orders and hid Hang Tuah in a remote region of Malacca that he was still alive.
With the kris in his possession, Hang Jebat became invincible and there was not one person in the entire Malacca Empire who was capable of killing him. Hang Jebat’s revenge had forced the Sultan of Malacca to abandon his palace. Jebat seduced the women of the palace and spent his days eating, drinking and sporting with them. All the warriors sent by the Sultan to challenge him were killed. Even his friend Hang Kasturi was driven out when Hang Jebat realized that the other man hadn’t come to join him in merrymaking.
After learning from the Bendahara that Hang Tuah was still alive, The Sultan had him recall Hang Tuah and gave Hang Tuah full amnesty. The Sultan then ordered Hang Tuah to kill Hang Jebat. Being unquestioningly loyal to the Sultan, Hang Tuah obeyed the Sultan’s bidding and went on to challenge Hang Jebat. After fighting in a battle that lasted for seven days, Hang Tuah eventually managed to reclaim the Taming Sari by tricking Hang Jebat. Although stabbed by Tuah, Hang Jebat bandaged his wounds and ran amok in the city square for three days, killing thousands of people before retreating to Tuah’s house and dying in his friend’s arms.
Hang Jebat’s famous quote was “Raja adil raja disembah, raja zalim raja disanggah” which literally means “A fair king is a king to obey, a cruel king is a king to fight against”.
After the fight, The Sultan ordered his men to tear down, burn and throw the ashes of the house into the sea. Two months later, when a lady of the Bendahara’s retinue gave birth to Jebat’s son, the sultan ordered Hang Tuah to throw the baby into the sea as well. Instead, the laksamana entrusted the child, Hang Kadim, to the Bendahara.
A Royal Malaysian Navy Lekiu class frigate is named after him: F29 KD Jebat. The recently decommissioned frigate F24 KD Rahmat was to be called KD Hang Jebat, but engine problems during builders trails caused the Royal Malaysian Navy to change her name to F24 KD Rahmat. One of the oldest engines that pulls the trains along the Singapore-Malaysia rail route is also named after him.
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