Muhammad Haji Salleh and the Malay Annals

Harry Aveling

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The Malay Annals (Sejarah Melayu or Sulalatus Sulatin) is the most respected of Malay classical literary texts. In 1981, Muhammad Haji Salleh published a volume of poems based on the chapters of the Sejarah Melayu, called Sajak-Sajak Sejarah Melayu. He has translated twelve of these poems into English and they appear regularly in English language collections of his poetry. This article analyses the major themes underlying Muhammad’s whole text: the role of the poet as a moral and philosophical guide; the principles of characterisation employed; and the moralprinciples that sustain personal virtue and the state
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-258
Number of pages22
JournalAsiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Malay Literature
  • Malay Annals
  • Malay ethnicity
  • Muhammad Haji Salleh
  • personal and civic morality
  • pujangga (poet)

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