Tuesday, December 21, 2010


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.



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


Friday December 17, 2010

A special Xmas for de Mellos


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


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.


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.