Tuesday, November 24, 2009


25th. November 2009
It was recently reported that a Roll-on roll off terminal for the Melaka-Dumai Ferry Service will be built in Tanjung Bruas in Melaka. When it is ready by the end of next year, we can drive our cars over to Sumatra.

If we can have an additional deep water pier for cruise ships to embark and disembark at the same place, it will boost our tourists arrivals by cruise ships. As Tanjung Bruas is situated near to Klebang, it will be easy for tour buses to on stand-by to send the cruise passengers into Melaka Historical area.

Recently, Georgetown opened their cruise terminal near to the city. By doing so, Georgetown will reap the benefits of cruise passengers. A cruise ship can carry more than 2000 passengers, so it will be a great boost to tourism if 2 to 3 ships come into port.

The Melaka State Government should seriously consider building a deep water pier at Tanjung Bruas to compliment the RORO Terminal.

November 22, 2009 20:02 PM
Roro Ferry Terminal To Be Built In Tanjung Bruas
MELAKA, Nov 22 (Bernama) -- A "roll-on roll-off" (RoRo) terminal for the Melaka-Dumai ferry service will be built in Tanjung Bruas near here early next year, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said.

He said that the state government had previously planned the facility in Kuala Linggi, Alor Gajah but found the area to be unsuitable as the water was not deep enough for ferries to operate.

"I expect the construction of the RoRo terminal in Tanjung Bruas to be completed by the end of next year," he told reporters after attending an investiture ceremony in conjunction with the Yang Dipertua Negeri of Melaka Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob's 71st birthday at the Dewan Seri Negeri, Ayer Keroh here Sunday.

Among those who received awards today was Riau Governor Datuk Rosli Zainal, who was conferred the Darjah Mulia Seri Melaka which carries the title Datuk.

Mohd Ali said the terminal was a joint venture project between the state and federal governments under the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle and that the tender would close this month.

"Upon completion, tourists from Sumatra can take their vehicles onboard RoRo ferries when travelling to Malaysia and vice-versa," said Mohd Ali.

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters, Rosli said the Riau provincial government had prepared all the facilities for the service including three RoRo ferries, each capable of loading 40 to 60 vehicles.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Do you know that Melaka was already practising medical tourism since 19th. Century?

Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore in 1819, had to seek refuge in Melaka to recuperate in early 1800s. He and his wife stayed in a big house located somewhere at Banda Hilir.

Compared to the malarial backwater of Tumasek then, Malacca, which has already been occupied since 14th. Century, must certainly be "developed" to a certain extent.

Old records showed us that the weather in Malacca was mild and less humid, thus conducive for people who want to stay here to recuperate from their illnesses. It was during his stay in Malacca while recovering from his illness that Sir Stamford Raffles witnessed the blatant destruction of Malacca by the British. Munshi Abdullah also recorded this eventful event as well in his "Hikayat Abdullah".

So, medical tourism for Melaka is not new to us Malaccans.

Melaka has been a destination of choice for seeking medical assistance and we should capitalise on it. More and more Indonesians are coming over to Melaka for their medical care. Compared to the more expensive medical care in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang, the proximity of Melaka to Sumatra and the Riau archipelago, Melaka is the best choice.

The recent completed airport terminal and extended runway of our Melaka International Airport at Batu Berendam will certainly help to bring over more medical tourists and their family members.

Ferry services from Dumai can do their part in this matter.

We believe a number of companies have also seen the benefit of Melaka being a destination for medical tourism. To date, some companies will be building medical facilities and condominiums for those seeking medical help in Malacca.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


15th. July 2009

It will be very beneficial to Malacca if the secret tunnels linking St.Paul's Hill to St.John's Hill or from St.Paul's Hill to Stadthuys are found. During my school days in Melaka, we were often told that these tunnels exist. Even some stories that a dog on a long leash was sent down into a tunnel. After awhile, the leash was retrieved but the dog was not tied to the leash. Fact or fiction?

Moreover, if one goes to the top of St.Paul's hill, you can see a large arch on the floor of a room. This shows that the arch must be the top of a large room. Unfortunately, no excavation has been done to discover the existence of such tunnels.

If you have watched Discovery Channel - Cities Underground, we are quite sure when the Portuguese and Dutch ruled Malacca in the 15th.until 20th. Centuries, tunnel construction was an art form. Their cities are littered with underground tunnels and we are not surprised that they have the expertise in constructing such tunnels within the A Famosa.

The tunnels are invaluable in sending supplies and troops to engage the enemies. During any sieges of the fortification, they can still get supplies and men through. Logically, it make sense that these tunnels exist.

It will a great archeological find for Malacca if such tunnels are discovered. Wasn't it great to find the foundations of Middlesburg when it was accidentally found by piling works done for the Melaka Taming Sari Tower two years' ago?

If we start a systematic approach in digging for the tunnels or the foundations of Melaka Fort, it is a matter of time that they will be found.

14th. July 2009

Author Dennis De Witt: The Secret Tunnels Of Malacca – Fact or Fiction?

St Paul’s Hill in Malacca is a mountain of mysteries. Whether it is an unexplained little indented circular ground at the entrance of a fort, an unusual arch supporting the base of a pillar or a recycled tombstone bearing names of Portuguese as well as the Dutch, they hold secrets more intriguing than the Da Vinci Code. The story that there are secret tunnels below the streets of Malacca is fact and not myth.

The three beliefs that have been circulating in Malacca since the old days are that of a big hole at a certain gate (and that there was a large snake that ate people who entered the hole), a tunnel running from the Stadthuys to Malacca River and a tunnel running from St Paul’s Hill to St John’s Hill.

The tunnels are most probably catacombs used first by the Portuguese and then the Dutch. The fact that so many historians, including Munshi Abdullah, wrote about tunnels at St Paul’s Hill showed that there must be a grain of truth in the story.

Munshi Abdullah wrote in Hikayat Abdullah (1849) that one had to walk through a tunnel built into a hill to reach the elaborate residence of the Governor on St Paul’s Hill.

Four other historians — Gasper Correa, Reverend Father Georg Schurhammer, John Cameron and Reverend Father Rene Cardon — also wrote concretely of tunnels of sorts below St Paul’s Hill.

To really carry out proper studies into the tunnels, one must be able to read the old writings and records of Portuguese and Dutch now mainly in Europe.

I hope I can get the backing from bodies such as the Malacca Museum Corporation as well as Badan Warisan Malaysia to carry out more research on these tunnels.

Tour guides in Malacca can also fire up the imagination of tourists about these tunnels. The next time we visit Malacca, perhaps we should all carry a cangkul and start digging!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


3rd. May 2009

Tender Notice was recently published in local newspapers to invite interested companies to invest or build the Proposed Cable Car project in Melaka. This is another project being done in Melaka to enhance the attractiveness of Melaka to visitors as a prime place to visit.

Kumpulan Melaka Berhad has published an invitation to tender for interested parties to invest or build the proposed cable car project to connect Pulau Melaka with the Eye of Malaysia site at the mouth of Melaka River.

The route will link Pulau Melaka to the place near to Mahkota Parade/Newton Food court and to the Eye of Malaysia.

Interested parties can collect the Tender documents for a fee of RM 50.00 from the Office of Kumpulan Melaka Berhad at No. 24-5 and 26-5, 5th. Floor, Bangunan Kota Cermelang, Hang Tuah Jaya, 75450 Libuh Ayer Keroh, Melaka from 11th. May 2009 until 11th June 2009 during office hours.

Their telephone number is 06-2327880 or fax : 06-2328980

Monday, April 27, 2009


28th. April 2009

The first phase of Melaka Arab City has begun at Pulau Melaka. It will cost more than RM 400 million. The project at Pulau Melaka will consist of a shopping mall and shops which offer Middle-eastern products and services.

Besides the Pulau Melaka project, the investors will turn Kampung Jawa into an Arabic Bazaar. Currently, Kampung Jawa has a bazaar which dates back to 1960's. Hopefully, in the future, the whole area will be rejunevated to an exciting and vibrant bazaar with unique shops and specialist stores.

It is a pity that the Old Malacca Central Market was demolished in late 1980's. It the whole structure has been retained, it can be converted into a vibrant tourist market like the market in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam or closer home, the Central Market of Kuala Lumpur.

Time will tell if this project will benefit the people of Melaka.


Arab City Melaka to cost more than RM1 billion


Arab City Melaka, the integrated commercial project in the state, will cost more than RM1 billion with construction expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year, its developer announced today.

Hesham Fathi Mohamed, Managing Director of Golden Corporate Heritage Sdn Bhd (GCH), the developer, said the project covering 46.9 acres, is located in three areas -- Pulau Melaka, Klebang and Kampung Jawa.

He was speaking to reporters after the ground breaking of Arab City Melaka, a joint venture between the Melaka state government and GCH, at the site in Pulau Melaka here.

Also present were Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and GCH chairman, Sheikh Saleh Mansor.

Hesham said the project which initially cost RM400 million, would be developed into an integrated and comprehensive development, which included shoppping bazaars, Arabic themed restaurants and cafes, Arabic health and beauty spas and an Arab village. -- BERNAMA

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


th.April 2009

While I was back in Malacca for my annual Ching Ming (All Souls Day) at Jelutong, I had the opportunity to go to Majestic Malacca for a meeting.

Since I arrive early for the meeting, I took an evening walk along Melaka River opposite Kampung Morten.

What was noticeable were concrete piles being piled into one side of the Melaka River.If I am not mistaken, these piles are for the construction of a monorail along the Melaka River from Spice Garden to the front of Majestic Malacca. A monorail station is to be constructed here.

Located near here is the heritage site of "Church of Rozary" where you can still see the pillars of the old church.

However, to my horror on that night, a 4 meters piling machine was parked INSIDE the heritage site. One pillar of the old church was pushed down.

Piling machine parked inside Church of Rosary heritage site

As Melaka is now a World Heritage City - Unesco from July 2008,this act of parking a piling machine inside a heritage site is a blatant act of deviance of our Heritage.

The contractor must be penalised and fined for being disrespectful and ignorant. They should be sensitive to our heritage sites rather than treating the area as a construction site.

If we cannot even maintain and prevent unauthorised violation of our heritage sites, how can we invite world visitors to come and visit our heritage sites? As Malaccans in particular and Malaysians in general, we must protect and preserve what we have in hand and not destroy them.

Let us do more in protecting our heritage for generations to enjoy and reflect.


Tuesday April 7, 2009
Official: Protect Malacca ruins

MALACCA: Heritage conservationists are upset over the lack of protection of the 17th Century Portuguese church ruins in Jalan Bunga Raya next to the Malacca River.

Although gazetted as a historical monument under the Antiquities Act 1976, the ruins have been left neglected with a piling machine used for the Malacca River beautification project parked in the compound.

The Ermida do Rosario or The Church of Rosary was a Portuguese chapel built on the site of the Church of St Lawrence.

It was either destroyed or allowed to fall into ruins during the first decade of the Dutch occupation in 1641 and was subsequently taken over by St Peter’s Church which was erected nearby in 1710.

Malacca Heritage Trust vice-president Michael Benerji described the situation as a lack of sensitivity and respect towards the protection of a historical monument.

Parking a crane in the compound of a state heritage site showed total disregard and disrespect, he said, hoping that the relevant authorities would order the contractors off the site and fence up the area to better protect the site.

State Tourism, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Datuk Seet Har Cheow said he would alert the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry and request that it fence up the site to prevent unauthorised intrusions.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


15th. February 2009

Yes, we managed to beat the 6.8 million visitors target for 2008.7.2 million visitors visited Melaka.

All Malaccans should be proud of this achievements BUT we must not rest our laurels. All of us did our small part. The Melaka Government, NGOs, web site promoters, hoteliers, tour operators, retailers and even Malaccans who show our kindness and hospitality to our visitors. For years ahead, we should continue and strive to reach 10 million visitors in the future.

On the ground, some hitches need to be rectified. My wife and I tried to take the Melaka River night cruise during the CNY recently. Lots of local tourists were also queuing up to buy tickets but the ticket sellers were not too helpful. Due to miscommunication, we were not able to buy our tickets for our boat ride. Besides, the ticket counter, it will be better for the boats to alight passengers on one pier and then go to the next pier to pick up the awaiting passengers. That night, only one pier is used where passengers need to climb one to two boats to get onto the third boat for their tour.

For the Eye of Malaysia, the surroundings need to be spruce up with more trees. Now, the area looks like a construction site which is dusty and not conducive to walking visitors. We want more visitors to Melaka to enjoy themselves during their stay but it is important that we constantly review and improve any shortcomings.

Traffic jams from Ayer Keroh to city centre can take 1 to 1.5 hours and authorities must take pro-active action.

Also, we can build a proper pier for cruise ships to embark and disembark. Due to lack of facilities, cruise ships are now by-passing Melaka from Singapore to Phuket or Penang. This is another loss of high worth visitors. A cruise ship can bring in 1000 to 2000 passengers at one time. A food for thought.

Also, do not encourage tourists to visit Banda Hilir area only. Other areas such as Melaka New Chinatown in Jalan Bunga Raya, Jalan Kee Ann, Jalan Jawa just outside the heritage zone have plentiful of sites and eating stalls.

We need to disperse and develop other tourist attractions outside the heritage zone. If not, traffic jams will continue and we will suffer from our own success in attracting more and more visitors to historic Melaka - World Heritage City.

TW Kang

Thursday February 12, 2009 Malacca tourism beats target


MALACCA: It appears that the global economic slowdown has not affected the state’s tourism numbers as arrivals have surpassed the 6.8 million target set for last year. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the state drew in 7.2 million tourists to the historic city in 2008.

“Domestic tourists made up 84% of the total, or six million visitors, with the remaining 1.2 million or 14% being foreign tourists,” he said here recently. He added that Singaporeans made up 19.3% of the foreign tourists followed by those from China (17%), Indonesia (9.4%) , Hong Kong (4.4%) and Saudi Arabia (4.3%).

He said that new attractions such as the Malacca River boat cruise, Menara Taming Sari and Eye On Malaysia were among the factors that helped the state maintain its high number of tourists. “We hope to attract more visitors this year with the addition of several new attractions,” he said, adding that the state aimed to attract eight million visitors by 2010.

Among the attractions were a water screen and aerospace dome next to the Eye On Malaysia to be ready by April and a monorail and roller coaster in Taman Rempah set for completion in September, he said.

He added that Mydin Hypermarket and Jusco Shopping Mall, scheduled for completion in April and December respectively, would also help lure visitors.