The Laksamana is a position within the armed forces, similar to the position of admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 in Malay people
Malay people
Malays are an ethnic group of Austronesian people predominantly inhabiting the Malay Peninsula, including the southernmost parts of Thailand, the east coast of Sumatra, the coast of Borneo, and the smaller islands which lie between these locations...

 sultanates and in present-day countries like Malaysia and Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. The word Laksamana originated from Lakshmana
Lakshmana was the brother and close companion of Rama, and himself a hero in the famous epic Ramayana...

, a figure in the Hindu epic of Ramayana
The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...


Malacca Sultanate

The Laksamana in the Malacca Sultanate
Malacca Sultanate
Established by the Malay ruler Parameswara, the Sultanate of Malacca was first a Hindu kingdom in 1402 and later became Muslim following the marriage of the princess of Pasai in 1409. Centered in the modern town of Malacca, the sultanate bordered the Ayutthaya Kingdom of Siam in the north to...

 was in charge for the sea security of the Sultanate, and most importantly, the China-India trade route within the Straits of Malacca. That trade route was the lifeline of the Empire. He was in full command of the Malaccan fleet, outranked only by the Bendahara
Bendahara is an administrative position within classical Malay kingdoms before the intervention of European powers during the 19th century. A bendahara was appointed by a sultan and was a hereditary post. It was the office that is held by bendahara family...

 and the Sultan.

Malacca's most famous Laksamana is Hang Tuah
Hang Tuah
Hang Tuah is a legendary warrior/hero who lived during the reign of Sultan Mansur Shah of the Sultanate of Malacca in the 15th century. He was the greatest of all the laksamana, or sultan's admirals, and was known to be a ferocious fighter...


Modern day usage

The term has changed its meaning nowadays. In modern times, the word has been used as rank in the Indonesian Navy
Indonesian Navy
The role of the Indonesian Navy is to patrol of Indonesia's immense coastline, to ensure safeguard the territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone , to protect Indonesia's maritime strategic interests, to protect the islands surrounded Indonesia and to defend against seaborne threats. The TNI...

, Royal Malaysian Navy
Royal Malaysian Navy
The Royal Malaysian Navy is the naval arm of Malaysian Armed Forces. All commissioned ships of the RMN have the prefix KD , which means Royal Ship.-Straits Settlement Naval Volunteer Reserve:...

 and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency , the Malaysian Coast Guard version, is the principal government agency tasked with maintaining law and order and coordinating search and rescue operations in the Malaysian Maritime Zone and on the high seas. It is in effect the Coast Guard of Malaysia...

 or also known as the Malaysian Coast Guards. The term has also be used by normal civilians to mark a person commanding a number of ship.

Lacsamana or other variants such as Laksamana and Laxamana, the term is used as a surname
A surname is a name added to a given name and is part of a personal name. In many cases, a surname is a family name. Many dictionaries define "surname" as a synonym of "family name"...

 in the Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

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