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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

PROPOSED MALACCA STRAITS BRIDGE IN THE NEWS AGAIN

Malaysia Ready to Build Bridge in Malaka Strait
Tuesday, 21 December, 2010 | 17:33 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Malaysia:The Malaysian government is ready to build the Malaka Strait Bridge connecting Dumai in Riau and Malaka in Malaysia, the managing director of Malacca Partners, Sdn Bhd Lim Sue Beng said in Malaysia last Sunday.


“Once is it approved by the Indonesian government the construction can begin,” said Lim.


The new bridge will be completed within the next 10 years, four of which will be dedicated to planning and design, with the remaining six for construction, said Lim. The project is expected to cost US$12.75 billion and the Chinese government has already expressed interest in investing in the project.


Lim, who is also the investor for the roll-on roll-off port construction project in Dumai and Malaka, will offer 80 years of concession time as he says the project will only break even after 40 years of operation.


However Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa was cautious about the plan, saying the national economic corridor was more of a priority. “We don’t want the bridge if the corridor is not yet formed as commodities will have to move through Malaka and that will upset our ports,” he said during his visit to Dumai.


If it goes ahead, the Malaka Strait Bridge will be be 4.63 kilometers long and connect Dumai city with Payung and Rupat Islands and the Gong Strait in Malaysia. The Malaysian government first proposed the bridge in 2007.
The Riau government is enthusiastic about the project saying it will encourage regional economic growth and has met with the Malaka government several times to discuss the plans.


However, Riau Governor Rusli Zainal admitted the Malaysian governor was more proactive. Malaysia has created a special company, Strait Malacca, to conduct studies and find investors for the huge construction project.


KARTIKA CANDRA

FLOR DE LA MAR YET TO BE DISCOVERED - TREASURES LYING IN SEABED SOMEWHERE

22nd. December 2010

Treasures are abound within the Straits of Melaka and one particular ship wreck related to the history of Melaka is the Flor de la Mar. Seems it sunk during a storm off the coast of Northern Sumatra in Indonesia.

Among the richest shipwrecks never recovered, the 16th Century Portuguese vessel, Flor De La Mar was lost around 1511 in a storm off the northern coast of Sumatra.

Containing the stolen treasures of the Melaka kingdom in modern day Malaysia, the Flor de la Mar’s cargo, including 60 tons of gold remains undiscovered despite lying in some of the best diving waters of the world.

Certainly, if it can be found, it will give a window to the richness of the Melaka Sultanate in terms of artifacts and put Melaka into the limelight again.

Time will tell if this important wreck can be re-discovered.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A MUST VISIT FOR CHRISTMAS IN MELAKA

Friday December 17, 2010

A special Xmas for de Mellos

By ALLISON LAI and CINDY TAN
malacca@thestar.com.my


MALACCA: Having spent the last few Christmases by their daughter’s bedside in hospital, the De Mello family is looking forward to celebrating it at home this year.

They have also decided to add to the festive cheer by having a 1Malaysia theme.

Augustine De Mello, 39, and his wife Lisa Carmel De Costa, 29, have been looking after their nine-year-old daughter, Luisa Doreen, who was then battling cancer.

Christmas sparkle: The Mello’s home gleaming with festive lights and decorations at dusk in Malacca.

“This year’s celebration is very special for us. We have never had the chance of celebrating Christmas properly as a family at home but instead did it by my daughter’s side in the hospital.

“We are thankful to God that she has recovered and can now enjoy Christmas with the family,” he said when met at the Portuguese Settlement here yesterday.

De Mello, a fishermen, said the family spent five months sourcing for Christmas decorations and lights and decided to go with the 1Malaysia theme.

“We may be from a humble background and money may be tight but Christmas must be celebrated joyously. It is a time for family bonding,” he added.

He said he chose the 1Malaysia theme for the decorations as it captured the festive spirit that Malaysians share and enjoy together irrespective of racial backgrounds.

“Besides the usual Christmas decorations, I used the traditional Chinese lanterns, peacocks and ketupat motifs as part of the trimmings,” he said, adding his wife even made a large 1Malaysia decorative sign.

The 1.5m-tall sign complete with festive greetings of the various communities in Malaysia were strung up in front of his house at Daranjo Street here.

Meanwhile, Deputy Information, Communication and Culture Minis­ter Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum said that this year’s national-level Christmas celebrations would be held here on the night of Dec 26.

He said that Malacca Governor Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob would attend as guest-of-honour with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and Information, Commu­nications, Culture and Arts Ministry Datuk Seri Rais Yatim in attendance.

Some 10,000 visitors are expected to turn up during the celebration with many local artistes performing, he told reporters after chairing a meeting on the finalisation of the national-level Christmas celebration here yesterday.

One of the highlights of the night, he added, would be a 1Malaysia Joget with more than 2,000 participants that would be listed in the Malaysia Book of Records.

Regedor (village headman) Peter Thomas Gomes said some 1,500 car parks would be provided at two vacant compounds near Taman Kampung Atap from early evening.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

CHARTERED FLIGHTS FROM MACAU/CHINA INTO MELAKA PLANNED

Monday December 6, 2010

State to get more flights from Macau and China


MALACCA: The Malacca International Airport in Batu Berendam is greeting its maiden arrival of a Boeing 737-500 flight carrying 120 passengers recently.

It is the first Riau Air flight of this capacity. The airline has been been operating daily flights between Pekan Baru in Indonesia and Malacca using the Fokker 50, carrying 50 passengers, since early this year.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the state government would work at getting more special flights from Macau and China to Malacca.

Busier times ahead: Filepic is showing a small passenger aircraft arriving from Indonesia at the Malacca International Airport.

He said the state was expected to receive as many as 10 million tourists compared with 8.9 million last year.

Up to October this year, he said Malacca had seen 7.8 million tourist arrivals and another 2.2 million were expected in the final two months of 2010.

“The number of tourists has risen considerably since Malacca was declared a World Heritage Site in July 2008,” he said in his speech at the ‘Session with Eminent Personalities’ organised by the Institute of Management and Integrity (Inspim) Malacca recently. Also present was guest-of-honour Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

The international airport was opened by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in February following upgrading works involving its terminal facilities and runway. Covering 7,000sqm, the airport’s new terminal has facilities to handle domestic and international flights and can handle 1.5 million passengers annually.

Dr Ng told a news conference later that Malacca received an allocation of RM157.2mil for a two-year period under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP), which was 46% of the total allocation of RM340mil under the tourism implementation programme.

“This allocation is in recognition of Malacca’s importance as a prime tourist destination,” she said.

At the same function, Dr Ng also announced five main projects under 10MP, which included upgrading of facilities at the Ayer Keroh Botanical Park costing RM30mil, developing the Tasik Chin Chin area in Jasin (RM25mil) and building infrastructure for the cable car in Bandar Hilir (RM49mil).

The two others are the monorail phase two project along Sungai Malacca (RM13.2mil) and the development of the Hang Tuah village along the Duyung River (RM40mil).

Meanwhile, Mohd Ali said Malacca planned to hold a Baba-Nyonya International Festival for the first time next year to attract more tourists to the state.

He said the Casa del Rio boutique hotel in Bandar Hilir, expected to be ready by April 2011, would be the main venue for the festival showcasing the culture, traditions, fashion and food of the Baba-Nyonya community.

Organised with the cooperation of the Tourism Ministry, the festival will also invite the participation of Penang, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand which also have such a community. — Bernama

Webmaster: Macau & China are important markets for Melaka. Macau received about 20 million visitors and Melaka & Macau have strong links with Portugal. It will be beneficial to Melaka if more chartered flights from Macau can fly direct into Melaka International Airport.

PORTUGUESE SETTLEMENT TO LIGHT UP AGAIN FOR CHRISTMAS - A MUST VISIT DURING THIS PERIOD

Monday December 6, 2010

Portuguese Settlement starts decking up for the Yuletide season

MALACCA: Residents of the Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir have begun their annual tradition – decking their homes with elaborate Christmas decorations to welcome the Yuletide season.

Residents of the country’s only Portuguese village are sprucing up their homes with decorations that will transform the entire area into a sea of colours and flickering lights by mid-December.

Regedor (village headman) Peter Thomas Gomes said more than 100,000 visitors were expected to flock to the village between the middle of the month till New Year’s Eve to get into the Christmas spirit and marvel at the unique decorations.

“Some of the decorations and lighting are sponsored by local companies but many families spend hundreds of ringgit from their own pockets on decorations and electricity bills,” he said when met at the village here yesterday.

Gomes confirmed that this year’s national-level Christmas celebrations would be held here on the night of Dec 27.

He confirmed that Malacca Governor Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob would attend as guest of honour with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and Information, Communications, Culture and Arts Ministry Datuk Seri Rais Yatim in attendance.

Gomes said the community was looking forward to hosting the celebrations here as it would be a good way of showcasing the centuries-old Portuguese culture and how the entire community took part in the festivity.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

MELAKA EXPECTED TO RECEIVE 10 MILLION VISITORS IN 2010

November 25, 2010 15:44 PM

Melaka Expected To Receive 10 Million Tourists In 2010

MELAKA, Nov 25 (Bernama) -- For the first time, Melaka is expected to receive as many as 10 million tourists compared with 8.9 million last year.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said up to October this year, the historical state had received 7.8 million tourist arrivals and another 2.2 million were expected in November and December.

"The number of tourists has risen considerably since Melaka was declared a World Heritage Site in July 2008," he said in his speech at the 'Session with Eminent Personalities' organised by the Institute of Management and Integrity, Melaka (Inspim) at a hotel, here, Wednesday night.

Also present was Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, as the guest-of-honour.

Mohd Ali also said that the Melaka International Airport (MIA) in Batu Berendam would see the arrival of Riau Air's Boeing 737-500 flight carrying 120 passengers on Dec 6.

He said Riau Air had been operating daily flights between Pekan Baru in Indonesia and Melaka using the Fokker 50, carrying 50 passengers.

"We will also work at having more special flights from Macau and China to Melaka as the MIA had been upgraded," he added.

Dr Ng told a news conference later that Melaka received an allocation of RM157.2 million for a two-year period under the Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP), which was 46 per cent of the total allocation of RM340 million under the tourism implementation programme.

"This allocation is in recognition of Melaka's role as a prime tourist destination," she said.

At the same function, Dr Ng also announced five main projects under the two-year period of the 10MP, which include upgrading of facilities at the Ayer Keroh Botanical Park costing RM30 million, developing the Tasik Chin Chin area in Jasin (RM25 million) and infrastructure for the cable car in Bandar Hilir (RM49 million).

The two others are the monorail phase two project along the Melaka River (RM13.2 million) and the development project at the Hang Tuah village along the Duyung River (RM40 million).

Meanwhile, Mohd Ali said Melaka planned to hold a Baba-Nyonya International Festival for the first time next year to attract more tourists to the state.

He said the Casa del Rio boutique hotel in Bandar Hilir, expected to be ready by April next year, would be the main venue for the festival showcasing the culture, traditions, fashion and food of the Baba-Nyonya community.

Organised with the cooperation of the Tourism Ministry, the festival will also invite the participation of Penang, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand which also have such a community.

-- BERNAMA

MELAKA INTERNATIONAL TOURISM SHOW 2010 FROM 3RD. TO 5TH. DECEMBER 2010

Melaka International Tourism Show (MITS) 2010 will be coming soon!


From 3rd – 5th December 2010 at the Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC), Ayer Keroh, Melaka, MITS 2010 will feature highlights such as exhibitions, seminar on green technology and green tourism, holiday bargains, cultural performances, local handicraft demonstrations as well as fun-filled events and activities including games and prizes to give away.

The issue of global warming caused by a severe degradation of the environment is certainly taking a heavy toll on our planet these days resulting in rising temperature, heat waves and wild peat fires in various parts of the world today,

it is time for MITS 2010 to educate the tourism players as well as the public to do their part.

‘MITS 2010: Think Green’ campaign is to promote environmentally sustainable development in the hospitality and tourism industry and is a must for everybody towards promoting green practices in the country.

Learn, discover and experience more about tourism and green only at MITS 2010. Please write in your calendar and don’t miss out to visit MITS 2010.

Friday, October 22, 2010

MELAKA BUILDS TALLEST HOTEL

Malacca builds its tallest hotel

2010/10/22
By Noor Hazwan Hariz Mohd
streets@nstp.com.my






Ali (left) and Hotel Kerjaya Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Tee Eng Ho at the ground-breaking ceremony. — Picture by Mohd Jamah Nasri

Ali (left) and Hotel Kerjaya Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Tee Eng Ho at the ground-breaking ceremony. — Picture by Mohd Jamah Nasri

MALACCA: In line with its developed status, Malacca is accelerating its physical development.

The historical city was declared as developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the plan was mooted a decade ago and aimed at developing the state's infrastructure, administration, environment and social structure.


"We had targeted Malacca to be at par with other developed countries in 10 years according to OECD's 32 indicators.

"Now Malacca is an example to other states in this country.

"One of the most important sectors that made Malacca successful is our development of infrastructure.


"Today, we are going to build the tallest building in this state on a 3.64ha plot of land, said Ali at the groung-breaking ceremony for the Kerjaya Hotel development initiated as part of the state's tourism drive.

The 42-storey hotel at Jalan Bunga Raya Pantai will be the tallest one in the state.

"The project consists of four blocks, which includes the four-star hotel and three service apartments. Two of the service apartments are 27-storey high while the other is 32 storeys.


"The hotel will have 306 rooms while the apartment blocks will have 700 units.

"Hopefully, the project, which is scheduled to be completed by 2014, will be able to accommodate the increasing number of tourists visiting Malacca in future.

"The state's tourism industry has been developing rapidly since 1999.

As of last year, we attracted 8.9 million tourists to Malacca, compared with 7.84 million tourists in 2008," he said.

Ali said the project will increase the state's existing accommodation facilities to 11,402 rooms.

MELAKA ALIVE

Malacca to be given a facelift via 'Melaka Alive'

riday, October 22nd, 2010 13:07:00

Melaka Alive, History In a New Way project

HERITAGE PRESERVERS: Petersham Group Ltd operation and development director Keith Thomas; Sarner IXL Sdn Bhd senior vice president Saifful Azhar Sabarudin, CEO Suffian Afendi Ahmad Apandi and president Mohd Nizar Mohd Najib; Sarner UK executive director and managing director Ross Magri, and Petersham park planning and management CEO Jonathan Rounce

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians should brace themselves to see history in a whole different light because by next year, Malacca, known for its historical value, will be given a facelift in a project called 'Melaka Alive, History In a New Way'.

With this project, visitors to the historical state will be able to personally experience the renowned tales of adventure, romance, drama and mystery, set to be brought to life through seamless interactivity and state-of-the-art technology, drawing in viewers to experience history firsthand, from the early days of Malacca to the birth of Malaysia as a nation.

The project, which will be realised in Bandar Hilir, Malacca, will be developed by Sarner IXL Sdn Bhd, a company with 30-years of experience in the delivery of visitor attractions and leisure entertainment centres including the International Astronomy and Space Centre in Liverpool and the Darwin Centre for the Natural History Museum in London.

In his speech at the media briefing held today at the Le Meridian hotel here, President of Sarner IXL Sdn Bhd, Mohd Nizar Mohd Najib, said the idea of 'Melaka Alive' was conceived primarily out of a desire to contribute to the local tourism industry.

"In the recently concluded World Tourism Conference 2010 in Sabah, experts said tourists are no longer content with passive watching. People today are looking for new, unforgettable experiences that cannot be taken away from them," he said.

Malacca, he said, is rich with heritage and historical sites but could do with more innovative products to tell its stories as well as its glorious past.

"Melaka Alive primarily involves upgrading of display mechanisms and a general facelift of the existing heritage sites and assets, following Unesco guidelines," he said.

The project has two phases. The first, involving the revival of the old light and sound show estimated to cost RM21.185 million is expected to be completed by April 2011.

Phase Two will focus on the upgrading of the site and assets of existing museums to make it more compelling and enriching visitor experience through the use of modern technology.

In Phase One, the story of Malacca will be told in an immersive light and sound presentation through projected water screen on board a traditional Malay ship, called 'Bahtera Merdeka', which will be the first of its kind here. It will feature the biggest automated water screen in the region.

Other key features include high resolution specialist projection on water curtain with spectacular world heritage site in the background complete with hologram FX, fire and explosion accompanied by live Surround soundtrack.

Attractions from Phase Two include a maritime museum, a history museum, and the fort walls which is a scenic wall that will surround the attraction sites.

Phase Two has an estimated cost of RM41.4 million and is expected to be completed by October 2011.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

MELAKA OFFICIALLY DECLARED "DEVELOPED STATE" AT 20.10HRS ON 20TH. OCTOBER 2010

Thursday October 21, 2010

Proud day for Malacca

By MARTIN CARVALHO and ALLISON LAI
malacca@thestar.com.my


MALACCA: Ten years of hard work paid off when this historical state was officially declared a “developed state” yesterday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak made the declaration via tele-conferencing from Kuala Lumpur to thousands of Malac cans gathered at a grand ceremony in Stadium Hang Jebat in Krubong last night.

The crowd cheered and clapped when Najib made the declaration at the auspicious time and date of 2010 hours on 20.10.2010.

Exciting display: Fireworks being set off during the “Developed Malacca 2010: Green Technology State City” declaration ceremony at Stadium Hang Jebat in Krubong Wednesday night.

The event was themed “Develop ed Malacca 2010: Green Techno logy State City.”

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said it was a truly proud day for Malaccans as the state was finally recognised as a developed state by the Organisa tion for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

He added that the state would have a special one-off holiday today. Jon Hall, who has been leading the OECD’s Global Project on Measuring the Progress of Socie ties, said Malaccans had higher than the OECD’s minimum levels in virtually all indicators.

In Kuala Lumpur, Najib who made the announcement from the Putra World Trade Centre where the Umno general assembly is being held – said the Federal Government would give full support to Malacca.

“The people of Malacca should be proud that they have a hard-working and visionary leader,” he added.

Najib then made the official declaration and signed an electronic plaque declaring Malacca a developed state. This was sent to Mohd Ali via an electronic capsule.

Rail progress: A monorail travelling along the Malacca River during its inaugural trip after the launching by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam Wednesday. Mohd Ali said the monorail would start operations after obtaining approval from the relevant authorities. The 24-passenger monorail runs from Taman Rempah in Pengkalan Rama to Kampung Bunga Raya Pantai in the heart of the historic city. The RM15.9mil project is part of the state’s aim to further tap the potential of the Malacca River as a tourist attraction. — A. MALEX YAHAYA / The Star

Separately, Mohd Ali also launched the RM15.9mil monorail with an inaugural ride at Spice Garden yesterday afternoon.

The monorail service starts operations today.

Monday, October 18, 2010

MELAKA BUSINESS ENGLISH MAGAZINE LAUNCHED

Magazine to give Malacca big business buzz

2010/10/16




Malacca has a new English-language monthly business magazine to promote the investment climate in the state.
Malacca has a new English-language monthly business magazine to promote the investment climate in the state.
MALACCA: The state government hopes that investors and the business community will take advantage of the Melaka Business magazine to identify new ventures and opportunities in the state.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the monthly magazine, which would be published in English, could be used as a reference by investors, businessmen, corporate leaders, hoteliers and tour agency operators both local and abroad.

"I note that the magazine is very useful as it promotes the investment climate in Malacca besides introducing us to its readers, the unity among us, our culture, food, tourism products and heritage," he said when launching the magazine at a hotel here yesterday.


Also present were Melaka Business adviser Datuk Jamelah A. Bakar, state officials and corporate leaders.

Ali also launched the website of the state's Tourism Promotion Division, www.melakatourism.gov.my, which is expected to boost its tourism sector.

Tourism contributes to 70 per cent of Malacca's gross income, so its industry is a vital contributor to the state economy. By year's end, the state is targeting to chalk up 8.2 million tourists who have stayed for three nights, at least.


Ali said he was confident the target could be achieved once Malacca was declared a developed state on Wednesday.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

2 NEW HOTELS FOR MELAKA

2 new hotels to boost Malacca tourism

2010/10/10
By Jason Gerald John
streets@nst.com.my



Ali showing the artist’s impressions of the  Hilton Hotel and  All Seasons Hotel. — Picture by Mohd Jamah Nasri
Ali showing the artist’s impressions of the Hilton Hotel and All Seasons Hotel. — Picture by Mohd Jamah Nasri
MALACCA: The state's tourism sector will receive a shot in the arm with the construction of two new hotels -- Hilton Hotel and All Seasons Hotel.

The developer of both the hotels, Hatten Group CEO Datuk Eric Tan, said a 1,100-unit apartment block and a commercial centre would also be built.

"The tallest building in Malacca will be built under this project.


"With 43 storeys, the building will change the landscape of Melaka Raya and the Malacca coastline.

"The project will be developed next to the Harbour Club in Melaka Raya and will involve an investment of RM300 million," he said.

Tan said the Hilton Hotel, a five-star establishment, would have 250 rooms while the All Seasons Hotel, a two-star hotel, would have 350 rooms.


"The two hotels and the service apartments will provide Malacca with an additional 1,700 rooms," Tan said, in a briefing session with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam at the Hatten Square.

Tan said the groundbreaking ceremony for the hotels would be performed in December.

He said the project would be completed in five years and would provide job opportunities to about 3,000 people.


Meanwhile, Tan also announced that the 700-room Hatten Hotel would open its doors in September next year.

The chief minister said the state's tourism sector was picking up.

Ali said some eight million tourists were expected to visit the historical city this year, up from 7.5 million last year.

"We need more hotel rooms in the state. With the opening of Hilton and All Seasons we will be able to ensure that visitors have a better choice of accommodation," he said.

Ali said work to widen Jalan Merdeka, opposite Dataran Pahlawan, from the two lanes to five lanes, would be complete in two months.

"Once completed, the 2km stretch from Menara Taming Sari up to Hatten Square would be known as Pahlawan City," he said.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

CHIEF MINISTER TO DECLARE MELAKA DEVELOPED STATUS ON 20TH. OCTOBER 2010


3rd. October 2010


Melaka is preparing to announce her reaching of developed state status at 20.10 hours on 20th. October 2010 or 20.10. 20.10.2010.

Banners have been hung throughout Melaka Historic City for all to attend this important hallmark of State of Melaka.

By doing so, Melaka hopes to raise her status comparable to other developed states of Selangor and Penang.

Hopefully, all Malaccans can be proud of achieving this status on 20th. October 2010.

Tourism Melaka congratulates Melaka and Malaccans for achieving this historic milestone.

PART OF HANG TUAH BRIDGE COMPLETED


3rd. October 2010


Part of the new Hang Tuah bridge has been opened to traffic. Only one lane has been tarred while the 2nd. lane is being completed.

The new bridge has no columns piled into the Melaka River thus allowing smooth flow of water underneath the river.

This also allows water cruises and water taxis to pass by without having to wait. Previously, the columns piled into the river causes obstruction and rubbish are often trapped by the columns.

Workers are rushing to complete the bridge before the announcement of the Melaka Maju 2010 i.e. Melaka state achieving developed status on 20th. October 2010 at 20.10 hours.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

MELAKA RIVER - MONEY SPINNER FOR HERITAGE CITY

Sg Melaka — money spinner for heritage city
Posted on October 2, 2010, Saturday

MELAKA: A holiday in Melaka is considered as ‘incomplete’ without getting on a cruise along Sungai Melaka that snakes through this historical city.


AMAZING TRANSFORMATION: Tourists can now hop on any of the 40 boats provided by Melaka River Cruise to go sight-seeing. — Bernama photo
The beauty of this river, enhanced via efforts of the state authorities, exudes more brilliance at night due to the thousands of lighted bulbs strung on new and heritage buildings as well as on trees that lined the 4.5km stretch of the river right from the ‘spice park’ to the estuary.

Tourists can hop on 40 boats provided by Melaka River Cruise, a company owned by the Melaka River and Coast Development Corporation (PPSPM).

The cruise is on from 9.30am until midnight daily.

“More than 40,000 tourists visited the river each month and they enjoy taking the river cruise”, PPSPM chief executive officer Baharom Majid told Bernama here.

Baharom said the Melaka River Cruise began as a commercial venture in 2006 with two boats which saw the service attracting 3,290 passengers that year.

The figure shot to 51,100 visitors in 2007 with 12 boats in service, followed by 350,000 people in 2008 with 20 boats available.

The figure for 2009 was 591,000 people with 30 boats in use.

He said the PPSPM targets 600,000 visitors (with 40 boats in service) this year.

Baharom said the number of visitors is expected to increase due to the intensive roadshows staged by the PPSPM locally and abroad with collaboration of the state and tourism authorities including Tourism Malaysia.

Various packages are on offer for tourists like that for holding dinners and wedding functions on the boats. Tourist guides well-versed in the history of Melaka and also on facts of the river are also provided.

The Melaka River Carnival held annually has also attracted both the domestic and foreign tourists, he added.

Among the objects that lined the riverbanks which captured the tourists’ attention and their cameras are the mural paintings on walls of buildings as well as the Melaka tree, from where the state got its name.

Soon, the visitors would be able to enjoy the river’s beauty on rides in the monorail coaches over a stretch of 1.6km from the Jebat Station in Taman Rempah until Tuah Station near the Eye On Melaka, another tourist attraction.

The transformation of Sungai Melaka can be tagged as ‘out of the ordinary’.

From a river which was once muddy and choked with floating garbage, Sungai Melaka has been transformed into a clean and beautiful river.

No more of the dirty backyards of shops and houses.

No more of the rather repulsing or revolting scenarios where rubbish was seen dumped into the river.

Instead, there are stunning landscapes that attract the attention of the camera-happy tourists on the rivercruise boats.

Now Sungai Melaka is a major tourist attraction for this world heritage city and also part of Melaka’s economic cake.

The Melaka River Beautification Programme was inspired by a similar effort done on San Antonio river in Texas, United States which is famous for its beauty and able to draw some 13 million tourists a year.

The programme to enhance the beauty of Melaka river was implemented under four phases at the cost of RM30 million that began in 2002.

PPSPM was given the task of regaining the glory of Melaka river, once known as the ‘Venice of the East’ when it became the trading point for merchants from the East and West.

Sungai Melaka’s estuary is at Bandar Hilir here and the river flows into the Melaka Straits.

The river, which was at the peak of its glory during the Melaka Malay Sultanate, gradually lost its lustre under the rule of the colonialists — Portuguese, Dutch, British and Japanese.

The pro-active measures implemented by the Melaka government.

Spearheaded by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, in the development of Sungai Melaka over the past decade had ignited and catalysed new economic activities along the river stretch.

Mohd Ali who expressed confidence in the river’s potential has invited entrepreneurs to establish, among others, hotels, restaurants and gift shops along the river, at the cost expected to reach more than RM1.0 billion.

“Apart from the existing ones, more hotels will be built along Sungai Melaka including that by Uda Holdings Berhad,” he said.

He also said the residents of Kampung Morten, the old Malay settlement in the heart of this world heritage city, would soon be selling souvenirs to tourists.

Kampung Morten is among the popular stops by visitors to Sungai Melaka as this settlement showcases the Malay traditional houses in their originality.

It is like a package for these visitors who can also make stopovers at Jonker Walk, Taming Sari Tower, Merdeka Memorial, A Famosa fortress, Stadthuys, Padang Nyiru, Taman Rempah and the theme park during their visits to the river.

Tourists can also shop at the commercial zone nearby like the Dataran Pahlawan Mega Mall.

The river had also created a mark in Malaysia’s modern history when in 2005, during the Rulers Conference on Nov 21-24, the Malay rulers accompanied by dignitaries took a recreational cruise along the stretch of Sungai Melaka. — Bernama

Saturday, September 18, 2010

TOURISM MELAKA SENDS 26 PERSONS TO MELAKA


18th. September 2010


Tourism Melaka was contracted to send 26 persons for a family outing by a private company based in Kuala Lumpur to Melaka for a day.

The company found out about this day tour service offered by Tourism Melaka on-line and we organised the day trip for their personnel.

The group of 26 gathered in front of the Malaysian Tourism Center at Jalan Ampang to board the double decker airconditioned bus to Melaka. They left at about 9.30 am to Melaka.

Besides organising day tours to Melaka for groups, we also cater for individuals who sign up for this unique Day tour to Melaka from Kuala Lumpur. Interested parties can log onto our website at www.tourism-melaka.com and sign into the day tour form on-line. Once down, we will do the booking and once confirmed, we will inform you via email.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED TO SPRUCE UP MELAKA ESPLANADE



Notice the different levels of the walkway and the drain?

Some months back, Malaccans finally had their esplanade back after a decade or so. Malaccans and visitors can now enjoy the evening breeze along the Melaka Straits and see the sun set.

However, some improvements must be made to make the place more palatable to visitors. The walkway is covered with tar and narrow. The space near the sea is not well done and there is a drain separating the walkway and the sandy space.

Is it possible to have some concrete benches along the esplanade for elderly to sit and enjoy the sea breeze and sun set? Some companies will gladly donate these concrete benches. Also, more sand must be placed onto the space so that it is more even.

At the same time, the space behind the esplanade should be converted into a padang where soccer, rugby, hockey and cricket can be played.

The Melaka Historical City Council should initiate these worthwhile developments for Melaka citizens and visitors alike.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

LCCT TERMINAL TO BE READY BY APRIL 2010

Tuesday August 31, 2010

PM launches mega low-cost terminal project

By MAZWIN NIK ANIS
mazwin@thestar.com.my


SEPANG: The opening of the world’s first mega terminal for low-cost carriers – to be known as KLIA2 – will mark the nation’s growth and leadership in aviation not only in this region but also the world, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

He said considering the exponential traffic growth in the low-cost sector, the Government had prioritised the immediate development of a terminal that would meet low-cost travel needs for the next 10 to 15 years.

The plan was a variation of the original KLIA Master Plan as low-cost travel and its extraordinary boom was not previously envisioned or anticipated.

were able to accommodate the low-cost carriers’ needs for the past few years at the current Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT),” Najib said at the project’s ground-breaking ceremony here yesterday.

“However, the time has come to revolutionise the airport terminal design for low-cost carriers and passengers in order to stay ahead of competition.”

The new low-cost carrier terminal is being built to handle 30 million passengers per year initially and has the flexibility to allow for expansion to cater for future growth and changes to the operational models of aircraft.

Landmark project: Najib signing a plaque at the ceremony in Sepang yesterday. With him are (from right) Kong, Malaysia Airports Berhad managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad and chairman Tan Sri Datuk Dr Aris Othman.

Located 2km from the current Main Terminal building, KLIA2 will allow for easy inter-terminal transfer and better connectivity between the two.

The Prime Minister said KLIA2, targeted to be completed in April 2012, was expected to boost the nation’s tourism industry by attracting more airlines and visitors.

He added that the facility would increase tourism revenue from RM53bil last year to RM168bil in 2020.

In his opening speech, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said the new LCCT would meet passengers’ expectations with built-in walkways, bigger space per passenger and total separation between arrival and departing passengers for improved security.

He added that the new terminal would have an integrated transport hub, connecting various modes of transportation such as taxis, buses and the Express Rail Link (ERL) service.

Kong said the aviation industry was undergoing a paradigm shift with the accelerating growth of low-cost carriers defining the future of air travel, especially in Asia.

Webmaster : We look forward to the completion of the new LCCT Terminal at KLIA. When completed, we expect more tourists to visit Malaysia in general and Melaka - World Heritage City - UNESCO in particular. KLIA 2 is just about 1 and a half hours from Melaka.

Monday, August 30, 2010

WAH AIK OF MELAKA

Tiny shoes for lotus feet

Raymond and Tony Yeo, the only Chinese bound foot shoemakers, give TANYA ABRAHAM an insight into the ancient custom of binding of women's feet and their business.


“Asking a woman about her bound feeT is akin to prying into her most intimate and private moments”



Now a souvenir: Raymond Yeo shows his wares.

Raymond and his brother Tony Yeo are surprised that I am an Indian. They have many questions about India and her strange customs. Like sati; it baffles them that a woman should give up her life for her husband. I, in turn, find it strange that the two men are Chinese bound-foot shoemakers. They laugh!

I am seated inside ‘Wah Aik Shoemaker', their tiny shop in Malacca amid a display of tiny shoes and newspaper cuttings on the walls. Both Raymond and Tony promise to educate me about their business and the custom of foot binding, in exchange for answers to their questions. I promptly agree; they, after all, are the only bound feet shoemakers left in the world today.

Status symbol?

It seems almost impossible that the Chinese woman of yesteryear could be without bound feet. It is like expecting to see an English woman without her corset in the 18th century. It was a sign of femininity; and a sensuous one too. “The smaller the feet, the more attractive it was for the man, thus getting her a wealthy and eligible groom,” explains Raymond between sips of Chinese tea. If on her wedding day the woman did not display the prized ‘Lotus feet', it was a sign of extreme disgrace and a poor show of her family's status.

Much of a Chinese woman's future depended on her marriage and, in turn, her feet. During the Sung Dynasty, (960-976 BC), dancers' desire for feet the size of a lotus flower was promptly copied by courtesans and upper class women: it became a symbol of social standing and the luxury of having not to work. Eventually the lower classes began imitating them, so much so that the bound feet became a status symbol.

Raymond reveals some details that intrigue me. He blows at the golden liquid in the cup clasped in his palms, his eyes fixed on the tea: “Asking a woman about her bound feet is akin to prying into her most intimate and private moments”. Chinese men attached a certain erotic value to the feet. If a man was allowed to touch a woman's lotus feet, it was a sign of approval, indicating that a relationship could be started between them.

I ask him about the women in his family: “Once the Chinese came to Malay, the tradition died a quick death. But there, of course, remained women who had bound feet, and others in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore as well. When my grandfather came to Malaca (from Hainin province in China) in the early 20 {+t} {+h} century, he found this shop was more lucrative than the coffee shop he initially started.”

Only producers

Women flocked from the most interior regions of Malaysia to pretty their small feet (it was only natural that the most beautiful shoes be chosen to adorn the most treasured part of their bodies), and once the last bound feet factory in China was shut down in 1998 (the custom was banned in 1912), Wah Aik Shoemaker became the only producers of the lotus feet or golden lily shoes.

The suffering and the pain were sometimes so intense that some could barely touch the ground for months on end. One woman, Raymond recalls, told of endless days of extreme agony, when she would cry to sleep every night. “She had her feet bound when she was four years old. Her mother used silk wrappings almost 20 yards long. This forced all her toes except the big one to go under the soles of her feet, upon which a heavy stone was placed. It eventually crushed the arch of her feet and broke the toes, pulling them towards the heel.” Raymond added the elderly woman, then 80 years old, visited his shop in a fancy car accompanied by an army of servants to choose the colours of silk for her shoes. “She was proud of what her suffering had gained her.”

That was more than a decade ago. And the only woman Raymond and Tony now know with lotus feet lives in Kuala Lumpur. Still the delicate shoes they make with extreme precision continue to have a market, “mostly with tourists, who buy them as souvenirs.” That is then carried away to lands afar, to keep alive stories of a 1000-year-old custom.

MELAKA HOSTS 4.89 MILLION VISITORS BY JUNE 2010

elaka gets 4.89 mil tourists as of June
Sunday, August 29th, 2010 12:36:00
MELAKA: A total of 4.89 million tourists, 21 per cent of them from abroad, visited Melaka as of June this year, said state Tourism, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Datuk Seet Har Cheow.
He said the figure was encouraging in the state's endeavour to achieve its target of getting 8.2 tourists by the end of this year compared to 8.9 million last year, of which 18 per cent from abroad.
He said most of foreign tourists, who visited Melaka, were from Singapore, China, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Tourist arrivals in Melaka will increase dramatically if there are more direct flights between Melaka and other countries, he said, adding that the state government was holding discussions with Chinese and Thai authorities on the proposed direct flights between Melaka and Nanjing and Melaka and Hadyai.
He said the upgrading work of refuelling facilities at the Melaka International Airport would be completed in December to enable it to accommodate wide-bodied aircraft such as Boeing 737.
The upgraded airport will be a catalyst to the Melaka tourism industry, he told reporters after delivering a speech before the breaking of fast with the media and orphanages organised the Melaka chapter of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents in Ayer Keroh here last night.
On anti-Malaysia protests in Jakarta, he said it had not affected tourist arrivals from Indonesia and Malaysians visiting the republic from the state.

Friday, August 13, 2010

EX-SAILOR LOVES FOR MALAYSIA

Friday August 13, 2010

Ex-sailor exhibits his life-long love for Jalur Gemilang

By MARTIN CARVALHO
malacca@thestar.com.my


MALACCA: His life-long love for the Jalur Gemilang started when he sailed around the world in ships bearing the Malaysian flag.

Now 51-year-old Mohd Aboo Baker Yaakob has turned his family home into an expression of his patriotism.

Mohd Aboo, a former sailor with MISC Bhd, has diligently braved the elements every August since 2006 to decorate his family home in Kampung Morten with the Jalur Gemilang, including painting the entire roof with patriotic motifs.

“I love my country and was proud to sail around the world for 12 years in ships carrying the Malay-sian flag.

“Because of this I started a yearly family tradition of decorating and painting my entire home with the Jalur Gemilang and representations of Merdeka,” he said.

The only one: Mohd Aboo (left) and his son Zaeed putting the final touches to the roof decorations.

Mohd Aboo said it was a challenge to get the work completed with the fasting month falling in August.

“I started decorating and painting about a week ago and managed to complete it just in time for the first day of fasting,” he said, adding that he spends an average of RM1,000 on paint and other paraphernalia.

This year, however, he spent more than RM2,000 as he used better quality paint.

“It is not only 1Malaysia but the only one in Malaysia,” Mohd Aboo said proudly while putting the finishing touches to his roof.

Mohd Aboo, whose family home is located in the historic city’s only protected heritage Malay village along the banks of the Malacca River, said he hopes his 19-year-old son Zaeed Mohd will continue the tradition.

“It is hard to find others willing to help as they have to spend hours up on the roof under the sun.

“Luckily, my son seems interested,” he added.

One of his proudest moments was when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak stopped to take photographs of his home during a walkabout at his village in February.

Friday, July 23, 2010

OLD IS GOLD FOR MELAKA AND PENANG

Saturday July 24, 2010

Malacca and Penang: History in abundance

THE REAL ESTATE WITH ANGIE NG
angie@thestar.com.my


THE saying ‘Old is Gold’ certainly holds true for many things.

Among the things that appreciate over time are family relationships, friendships and the value of some tangible things like real estate.

Many so-called “city folks” in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya actually do not hail from the city; their hometowns are in other parts of the country.

Home is where the heart is and many of us have set up homes in places where we work, after settling down with our own family, and have children attending schools or colleges in the city.

The Malacca government has turned the once old and quiet Jonker Street into the now vibrant and ‘happening’ Jonker Walk.

With passing time and wisdom, we learn to appreciate our loved ones better.

And despite the “rat race” of city life, it is important to stay connected with our loved ones and old friends back in the kampung or in other places.

Likewise in the built environment, we can find many undiscovered gems around, which, in spite of their old physical exterior, are actually hidden treasures with strong history and many untold stories within their walls.

The first thing that comes to mind is the many pre-war houses and buildings that can be found in large numbers in the inner cities of Penang and Malacca.

Despite being old and dilapidated, many have the potential to be restored and given a new lease of life.

Some of the ways to reuse these buildings and “monetise” them include turning them into museums, heritage hotels, alfresco dining and restaurants specialising in local fares.

It is interesting to compare Penang and Malacca as they share many similar traits and history.

Both will benefit by learning from each other new ways to improve and manage their built and unbuilt environment.

Since my other half is a Malaccan, I must admit that I tend to compare my hometown, Penang’s George Town, with Malacca whenever I’m back for holidays or family events.

After all, both have been declared Unesco World Heritage Sites and have many interesting buildings and structures that are reminiscent of their rich history and heritage.

Penang and Malacca are both former Straits Settlement states with a long history of early settlers from various parts of the world converging there for trade.

And both are renowned for their Baba/Nyonya culture and heritage.

Being port states, both also have strong foreign connection and influence.

Penang was a bastion of trade for the English and the East India Company after it was founded by Captain Francis Light in 1786, while Malacca was a confluence of Portuguese, Dutch and English influence.

Those influences can still be clearly seen in the architecture of the buildings today.

It is evident that both Penang and Malacca have their own distinctive assets and attractions that have endeared them to many loyal visitors who throng the cities in droves whenever there is a long stretch of holidays.

This could be one of the reasons for the traffic-choked roads during the holiday season and major festivities.

It is common to find many outstation cars among the long lines of cars on the roads during such times.

To give a boost to their intrinsic value as natural tourist attractions, there is a need to improve the public transport system in the two heritage cities to ensure that the different modes of transport are well integrated and connected to each other.

Being on the radar screen of tourists is one thing, but it is equally important to ensure that visitors have convenient access to a good public transport network.

More should also be done to further boost the alluring old world charms of these cities while at the same time, revitalise the inner cities and keep them alive as living heritage.

To achieve this, the old and new attractions and facilities should co-exist and blend seamlessly with one another to make them relevant and refreshing to the people.

Malacca has made some interesting headway in this regard with many old buildings and “once quiet” historical enclaves being given a new lease of life.

One just needs to hop over to the happening and vibrant Jonker Walk, which comes alive every evening, teeming with traders and visitors.

Penangites can certainly take a leaf from their Malaccan counterparts to liven up George Town’s dilapidated inner city.

Deputy news editor Angie Ng is keeping her fingers crossed that the old and new charms of our cities will be the pride of our present and future generations