22 October 2010

From Majapahit to PWTC

KUALA LUMPUR: An avid collector of antique keris for 17 years, S. Amin Shahab had never given any thought of parting with any of his prized possessions.

However, his dream of owning the Sundang keris, the biggest in the keris family, which can fetch up to RM20,000, has forced the award-winning movie director and music composer to let go some of his cherished items with a heavy heart.

“This is the best way for me to raise funds to buy the Sundang,” Amin told The Malay Mail when met at his stall at the Umno General Assembly in Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday.

He has about 120 blades in his collection. He began collecting them in 1993 after making friends with some Silat masters during one of his film shoots.

None of the keris are factory-made, they are genuine Malay weapons. The oldest in his collection is 700 years old and Amin claims it is dated to the days of the ancient Majapahit kingdom.

“It takes a lot of sacrifice and dedication to collect these keris,” said Amin, who had penned evergreen Malay hits like Jamal Abdillah’s Kekasih Awal dan Akhir and Iklim’s Suci dan Dalam Debu.

“I buy these from other collectors and I sometimes have to go to Indonesia to trace them. These are rare and unique items.

“To me, every keris is a masterpiece. There are so many things you can learn from the shape of the keris blade and the carvings on its hilt and crossguard.”

Amin’s keris are sold at various prices, with the most expensive costing a whopping RM15,000.

He was pleased to see many visitors paying lots of attention to his collection, but noted most of them were from the older generation.

“Youngsters don’t appreciate the art of the keris. I think schools and universities are partly to be blamed for not highlighting much about the keris heritage, which to me is unique.”

Puteri Umno member Nurul Iza Adnan, 25, agreed the legendary keris should be preserved and protected so future generations would still be able to appreciate the heritage.

“Youngsters should try to appreciate the Malay heritage more,” said the Greenwood Bandar division member.

Written by JOSEPH KAOS JR.
Sourced from 

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