Malaysian history and legend tell the story of the beautiful, but tragic heroine, Puteri Saadong.
Her aunt, Cik Siti Wan Kembang, was ruler at that time. She had no heir, so she chose Puteri Saadong to become future queen. The northern part of the Malaysian peninsular was under the control of Thailand. The Malaysians were required to send tribute or ufti: golden flowers as a present to the King of Thailand each year.
Stories of the beautiful Puteri Saadong spread far and wide, even to the king of Thailand. The king demanded that she be sent to Bangkok, in addition to the annual tribute of golden flowers. Thailand threatened to attack and wage war against the Malaysian state, if the king’s demand was not fulfilled.
Together with a royal adviser, Puteri Saadong agreed to go to Thailand. She was already betrothed (or may have been actually married) to her cousin, Raja Abdullah. She promised to come back to him in virgin purity. The story tells that she stayed in the king’s palace for quite some time. Every time the lecherous king approached her, wanting her to spend the night with him, she would use her feminine charms: the most beautiful music, dances and songs - to distract him.
Later the king was afflicted with the most dreadful skin disease. The court physicians were summoned, but they could not find a cure. One of them had a dream in which the king’s disease was cured in the bath water of Puteri Saadong. The king asked the princess to help him. She agreed to help cure the king’s disease, but first he had to promise that, once cured, he would send her safely home - in virgin purity. The king was cured. He kept his promise and the princess was sent back home with many gifts and full honours.
When she arrived home, she went straight to her fiancé’s palace. There she discovered that he had been unfaithful to her. During a fierce argument, she “accidentally” stabbed him with her golden hair pin! Legend tells how, before she left for the mountain palace of Gunong Ayam, she made a curse by throwing a stone into the River of Kelantan: there would be no beautiful princesses among her descendents for seven generations. She became queen and ruled the north part of the Malay peninsular, Kelantan, from her highland palace.