Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Second Ruler of Melaka : Sultan Megat Iskandar Syah (1414 ? 1424)

When Parameswara died in 1414, he was succeeded by his son Raja Ahmad who was also known as Raja Besar Muda who became the second ruler of Melaka. He was called Sultan Megat Iskandar Syah. He made two visits to China during his reign to gain recognition from the Chinese Emperor and to further strengthened his position as the ruler of Melaka.

Melaka continued to prosper under Sultan Megat Iskandar Syah. Two tin mining areas were found in the northern part of Melaka and were guarded by royal officials. Tin was used as money in the state. Most of the Chinese junks, which stopped at Melaka, had to pay duty. Charcoal and resin were produced from the forests of Melaka. Sago palms could be found in the orchards of Melaka and the estuaries and beaches in Melaka were lined with palm trees known as nipah palm. Various kinds of plants such as banana, sugarcane, sweet potatoes, yam, pineapple, potatoes were grown and other varieties of vegetables such as onions, ginger, mustard, gourds and watermelons were also grown. Domestic animals such as ducks, chicken, buffaloes and goats were reared. However, buffaloes and goats were not common because of the high price then.

Melaka was surrounded by a wall built along the shore. There were four entrances to the wall with guards placed at each entrance. The fenced fortress was built in the town of Melaka in which were several stores were used as the state?s treasury and state?s supply.

Sultan Megat Iskandar Syah with his wife, son and senior officials paid a second visit to China. During this visit, the Sultan of Melaka appealed for help from the Chinese Emperor against Siamese aggression. Therefore in October 1419, the Emperor of China sent his envoy to warn the Siamese ruler not to harass Melaka. Relationship between the Emperor of China and the Sultan of Melaka were further strengthened by sending envoys to China, which were led by the Melaka princes in the years 1420, 1421 and 1423. In 1424, Sultan Megat Iskandar Shah passed away.

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