Once upon a time, a poor woman and his son lived on the north coast of Sumatra. Malin Kundang was the name of the boy. As they lived in the coastal area, fishing was their primary income. Malin Kundang grew up as a skillful young boy. He always helped his mother to make money. However, as they were only fisherman’s helpers, they still lived in poverty.
One day, Malin Kundang shared his thought with his mother. He wanted to sail overseas so that he could be a successful man. Hearing this, his mother disagreed.
“But mother, if I stay here, I’ll always be a poor man. I want to be a successful person.” he said.
Seeing his persistence, his mother couldn’t stop Malin Kundang. She asked Malin Kundang to promise her to go home after gaining success.
The following day, Malin Kundang was ready. He joined a successful ship crew who offered him to join the crew. Malin Kundang’s mother bid him adieu, and asked her son to take care of himself. Malin Kundang asked the same from his mother. They parted, with Malin Kundang pursuing his dream and his mother waiting for him at home.
It had been three months since Malin Kundang’s departure. Not once did he take his time to contact his mother. The mother, who waited patiently, always stood up on the dock every morning. She wished for a ship to bring her son home. She prayed day and night, endlessly, for Malin Kundang’s safety.
One day, after several years of not hearing from her son, the fated day came. A large ship docked at the point where Malin Kundang’s mother used to wait. A wealthy-looking man stepped down from the ship, accompanied by a beautiful woman next to him. Realizing he was her son, Malin Kundang’s mother ran toward the man. She hugged her son dearly while crying out how much she missed him.
Malin Kundang froze and gave no response. He was ashamed that the woman wearing old and shabby clothes was his mother. He replied coldly, “You’re not my mother. My mother would never such a shabby clothes.”
The mother released her hug and asked unbelievably, “Malin, you don’t recognize your mother? I am your mother!”
Malin Kundang then ordered his guards to take his mother out of there. Her mother cried as the bodyguards dragged her. She was very sad, knowing that his awaited son treated her badly like this.
Malin Kundang ignored her mother’s cry and ordered his crew to set sail. Malin Kundang’s mother stared at him blankly. She prayed to God, “Oh God, if he is not my son, please let him have a safe journey. But if he is indeed my son Malin Kundang, I curse him into a stone.”
Right after she prayed, the calm sea turned into a thunderstorm. Malin Kundang’s ship was wrecked. The wave threw him out of his ship, and he was stranded on an island. Suddenly, his whole body turned into stone. He was punished for not admitting his mother.