Malin Kundang is a folklore story about the ungrateful and unfilial son. He live with his mother named Mande Rubayah at Pantai Air Manis, Padang. He is actually an obedient and hardworking son. They live in poverty and his mother work hard as a kuih seller to make ends meet.
One day, there is a big ship that stops at Pantai Air Manis and Malin Kundang tell his mother that he wants to join the crew of the ship to sail around in order to change their life and to get out of poverty. His mother is reluctant to give permission as she is really fond with her only son. Nevertheless, Malin Kundang keeps asking her mother’s consent as this is might be a lifetime opportunity as not many big ships stops at Pantai Air Manis and give assurance that he will come back once he has succeeded.
With a heavy heart, she finally gives consent to her son. She prepares 7 packs of rice for her son to eat during the journey and Malin Kundang finally sneaks onto a trading ship and join the crew to work and travel around.
From that day Mande Rubayah keeps waiting for her son at the beach and always talk to herself on the whereabouts of his son. She will ask the crew of every ship that stops at the beach about her son but sadly, nobody know about her son.
Year after year, Mande Rubayah getting old and frail and she still waiting for her son. One day, she accidentally bumps with the crew of the ship that was joined by her son and the crew tell Mande Rubayah that his son has married a beautiful princess and he has become rich.
One day, there is a big ship that stops at Pantai Air Manis and everyone is delighted to welcome the ship. It is so luxury and massive and many people assume that it belongs to a sultan or king. Mande Rubayah is also excited with the arrival of the ship and happily go to the seashore with a high hope that her son is coming back to her.
Then, there are two people that descend from the ship wearing beautiful and expensive clothes. Mande Rubayah is very happy to see the young man descend from the ship together with his wife is actually her son Malin Kundang. She straightly goes to Malin Kundang and hug him and tell him that she is so fond of him after separated for many years.
Then, his wife asks him with disbelief whether that old and poor lady is his mother. The princess despises Mande Rubayah as she is poor and old. Without hesitation, Malin Kundang straightly pushes his mother away and tell his wife that the old lady is not his mother and he also despises Mande Rubayah in front of his wife. Mande Rubayah is fainted after being push aggressively by his son.
Then after she gains conscious, she notice that the ship is sailing away and with a broken heart, she curses Malin Kundang and his wife. Then, Malin becomes a rock that stranded at the beach.
This old folklore is closely associated with Pantai Air Manis at Padang as there is rock formation of a person in a prostrate position that is believed to be Malin Kundang.
The storyline is very strong as it has many version in different countries. In Malaysia, this version of the story is called Si Tanggang and in Brunei, the version is called Nakhoda Manis. The storyline for three versions is almost the same.