The Genealogy of Kings (Sulalatus Salatin) - Softcover
Author: Tun Sri Lanang
Translation: Muhammad Haji Salleh
Publisher: Penguin Random House SEA
Year: November 2020
Weight: 460 gram
The Malay Annals (Malay: Sejarah Melayu), originally titled Sulalatus Salatin (Genealogy of Kings), is a literary work that gives a romanticised history of the origin, evolution and demise of the great Malay maritime empire, the Malacca Sultanate. The work which was composed sometime between 15th and 16th centuries, is considered one of the finest literary and historical works in the Malay language.
The original text has undergone numerous changes, with the oldest known version dated May 1612, through the rewriting effort commissioned by the then regent of Johor, Yang di-Pertuan Di Hilir Raja Abdullah. It was originally written in the Classical Malay on traditional paper in old Jawi script, but today exists in 32
different manuscripts, including those in Rumi script. Notwithstanding some of its mystical contents, historians have looked at the text as a primary source of information on past events verifiable by other historical sources, in the Malay world. In 2001, the Malay Annals was listed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme International Register.
The Malay Annals is a historical literature written in the form of narrative-prose with its main theme was to laud the greatness and superiority of Melaka. The narration, while seemingly relating the story of the reign of the sultans of Melaka until the demise of the sultanate to the Portuguese in 1511 and beyond, deals with a core issue of Malay statehood and historiography, the relationship between rulers and ruled. The Annals are prefaced by a celebration of the greatness of God, the Prophet and his companions. They begin with a genealogical account of the first sultan of Melaka who is said to be descended from Raja Iskandar Zulkarnain. The Annals cover the founding of Melaka and its rise to power; its relationship with neighbouring kingdoms and distant countries; the advent of Islam and its spread in Melaka and the region as a whole; the history of the royalty in the region including battles won or lost, marriage ties and diplomatic relationships; the administrative hierarchy that ruled Melaka; the greatness of its rulers and administrators, including the Bendahara Tun Perak and Laksamana, Hang Tuah.The Annals conclude with the account of Melaka's defeat by the Portuguese forces in 1511, resulting not only in the downfall of Melaka, but also in the eventual reemergence of the Melakan-modeled sultanates in other parts of the region, including Johor, Perak and Pahang.
Prof. Muhammad Haji Salleh is one of the Malaysian writers who was awarded the National Literary Award in 1991. He also won the SEA Writers Award in 1997. In 2008, he was named National Academic Leader. He was the President of the Malaysian Translators Association (1978-1982) and many Malay-language poetry translated into English. He also serves on the editorial board of the Southeast Journal, a member of the Board of Directors of the Language and Library Council, and a member of the National Literary Awards Panel.
His career began as a teacher at the Butterworth Trade School in 1960 and then continued his teaching career in several schools as a tutor , lecturer , senior lecturer and subsequently held several academic positions at local and international universities. He also made history as the youngest professor who was appointed to the post in 1979 at the age of 37. Upon returning to Malaysia, he served at the National University of Malaysia and the University of Science Malaysia. For 42 years, he has worked at USM , UKM and UM . He has been invited to teach in the United States , Brunei , Germany and the Netherlands as a visiting professor and has received fellowships from several universities in the United States , Japan and the Netherlands.
He was previously a Guest Professor under the Fulbright-Hays program (1977) and taught at North Carolina State University, Raleigh , USA (1977 - 1978); lecturer in the Department of Malay Literature; Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, UKM ; Director of the Institute of Language, Culture Malay Literature. Then became Professor of Literature at the age of 36 (1978). Muhammad is an “Asian Scholar in Residence” at the University of Michigan. In 1992-1993, he was elected Fullbright Visiting Reseacher, at the University of California, Berkeley; bears the Chair of Malay Studies at the University of Leiden, Netherlands (1993-1994).
In June 1996, he participated in the National Association (Moscow) seminar on "National Construction and the Literature / Cultural Development in Southeast Asia", in which he presented the paper "Audience on the Staircase"  . The effects of a visit to Moscow, including the performance of "The Queen of Spades" directed by Peter Fomenko, in the theater of E. Vakhtangov, are reflected in some of his poems.