UPM Prof Called Out Again For “Rewriting History” With False Claims About Melaka Maritime History

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Universiti Putra Malaysia’s (UPM) “non-historian” academician Prof Datuk Dr Hashim Musa is being called out by French historian Serge Jardin for allegedly spreading lies and “rewriting history,” again.

Dr Hashim’s presentation entitled “Warisan Tradisi Maritim Melayu dan Teknologi Pembuatan Kapal Besar” (Heritage of Malay Maritime Traditions and Large Ship Building Technology) was part of the Seminar Kapal Mendam Berahi: Realiti Atau Mitos which took place in Melaka from 19 to 20 June 2023.

During the seminar, Dr Hashim allegedly showed an old picture and claimed “Melaka welcomes 2,000 ships a day” to describe the greatness of the Melaka Sultanate.

He also allegedly claimed that the Portuguese destroyed a mosque and spoke about the “Mendam Berahi Boat.”

You can view a YouTube video of the presentation here.

Jardin explained that the image Dr Hashim showed the audience was a picture showing the Dutch fleet, not the Portuguese, and the “mosque” was the St Paul Church.

Will someone stand and be counted to stop the rot before (it’s) too late in Malaysian universities?

French historian Serge Jardin

Dr Hashim is currently an adjunct professor at UPM’s Institute for Mathematical Research.

Jardin has published several books including “Rêver Malacca”, an invitation to discover Melaka through the eyes of tourists, and “Malaise, uncertain regard,’ a collaboration with Sylvie Gradeler about Malaysia as seen through art, crafts, and literature.

Peers voice disappointment

Distinguished historian Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Ahmat Adam shared that the Mendam Berahi boat never existed and said Hashim was not a historian but a “Malay chauvinist.”

Meanwhile, Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Indonesian International Islamic University (UIII) Sharifah Munirah Alatas lamented the continuous rot in Malaysia’s higher education system.

She believes a change can only happen when there’s political will and if more academics and scholars get over their apathy to be outraged.

In response, Jardin said he’ll continue publicly highlighting each mistake or nonsense as he believes awareness is a first step. He’s currently working on an academic paper on the failure of some local scholars.

upm prof called out again for “rewriting history” with false claims about melaka maritime history
upm prof called out again for “rewriting history” with false claims about melaka maritime history

Dr Hashim’s previous claims in a published paper

Previously, Dr Hashim and UPM senior lecturer at the Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication Dr Rozita Che Rodi published a paper entitled “The Jongs and The Galleys: Traditional Ships of The Past Malay Maritime Civilization” showing an image of a Malay jong.

The paper was published in the International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Vol 13, No. 11, 2023.

Jardin called them out and said it was an image of a Chinese Foochow Pole, a type of cargo ship, from China.

A Malay jong is a sailboat with origins from Java, Indonesia that was widely used by sailors from Javanese, Sundanese and later by Pegu and Malay sailors.

Unfortunately, UPM did not conduct a thorough investigation and defended both authors. UPM stated that the study had been “reviewed by experts” and that social science publications were “open to interpretation.”

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