Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Wednesday September 21, 2011

Ancient treasure found – and sold

MALACCA: Agents of scrap metal dealers have been selling old Portuguese coins, bullets and religious amulets that were unearthed during a recent landslip along the banks of the Malacca River to antique brokers from Singapore.

The artefacts, the most valuable of which found so far was a cannon ball that fetched RM500, were discovered after an ancient jetty at Stadhuys collapsed in May.

The artefacts are believed to be about 500 years old.

A scrap metal agent, Rafi, 38, said the find also comprised Chinese porcelain pieces and religious paraphernalia from the Malacca Sultanate as well as those from the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial periods.

National heritage: These priceless coins have been unearthed by agents of scrap metal dealers from the Malacca River and sold to brokers from Singapore.
“Also unearthed were bullets and cannons. For the past few days, I have joined six others in combing the river sediment for treasure.

“We have hit the jackpot! There are piles of these artefacts for our picking,” he said, adding that he made about RM1,000 a day by selling the items. Apparently, the brokers are from Singapore.

At the peak of the Malacca Sultanate and when the port was colonised by the Portuguese and Dutch, the river would have seen trading vessels from various countries, some of which could have capsized with their treasures.

Rafi said he was only armed with a ladle and hoe for his search, adding that although the relevant authorities “were aware of the find, nobody had stopped them from digging”.

“I know we should not sell these items but the offer is too tempting,” he said.

“We found mostly items from the Portuguese era. Despite being 500 years old, the coins are well-preserved with their carvings still visible. We have also discovered coins used by the Dutch East India Company.”

Expressing his regret that no effort was made to preserve these historical items, Portuguese-Eurasian Association president Michael Singho said it was ready to buy the artefacts and conserve them at their settlement in Ujong Pasir here.

“I will embark on a fund-raising drive to obtain the items back,” he said.

State Tourism, Culture and Heritage Committee deputy chairman Chua Kheng Hwa said he would bring up the discovery to Chief Minister Datuk Mohd Ali Rustam.

“The items are supposed to be handed over to the museum authority but these people are only interested in making a fast buck.”


Tuesday September 27, 2011

Rare crab re-appears in Malacca

MALACCA: The re-appearance of a rare species of crab along the shores here has caused a stir among the people, especially Christians, due to a cross-like mark on its shell.

The crustacean, with the scientific name Charybdisferiatus, is a species of Malacostraca and is mainly found in Malaysian and Indonesian waters.

It was reportedly last seen in the Straits of Malacca in the 1960s.

Sparking frenzy: A fisherman holding the rare crab (left) next to a normal crab. The rare crab was reportedly last seen in the Straits of Malacca in the 1960s.
The species is different from another commonly found species in the state and which also has a cross on its shell.

A fisherman from Tengkera here hauled a dozen of these crabs on Sunday, sparking a frenzy among locals who rushed to buy the crabs.

The fisherman, who only wanted to be known as Man, 65, said the crabs were considered scarce.

He claimed that the crab was last caught in small numbers in the late 1960s.

“Only minimal quantities of the crabs were caught. Many locals don't buy them to eat, but to preserve the shell as it's considered sacred,” Man said.

State Rural Development and Agriculture Committee chairman Datuk R. Perumal said the state would ask the Fisheries Department to record and monitor the landings of the rare crab.

“We may conserve the crab by breeding it,” he added.

A marine biologist, who declined to be named, said the crabs became rare after rapid development along the state coastline led to the deterioration of the mangrove swamps where the crabs thrived.

Legend has it that Saint Francis Xavier was sailing to Malacca from an Indonesian island sometime in the 16th Century when he was caught in a storm in the Straits of Malacca.

He then dipped his crucifix into the sea and prayed to God to calm the raging storm.

However, the crucifix slipped from his grip and fell into the sea. He prayed that he could get it back.

When he reached the shores of Malacca safely, St Francis saw a crab crawling on the beach and clutching the same crucifix between its claws.

Surprised, St Francis knelt down and recovered his crucifix.

He blessed the crab and the sign of a cross then appeared on its back.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Saturday September 24, 2011

Centuries of Portuguese heritage has impacted state greatly, says Mohd Ali

MALACCA: Five centuries of Portuguese heritage in Malacca has turned the state into a “melting pot of the world,” according to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam.

He said the legacy left by the Portuguese had greatly impacted Malacca in terms of cultural diversity and also provided an impetus for the local tourism industry.

“I would like to compliment the Portuguese community for their relentless commitment to place Malacca in the world map as a unique state with cultural extravaganza.

“Malacca is the birthplace of a community with mixed European and Asian parentage, commonly known as Eurasian,” he said in an interview ahead of a four-day celebration to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Portuguese conquest of Malacca.

Celebrating 500 years: The Portuguese community celebrating the Feast of St Peter on a gaily decorated boat at the Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir, Malacca. It has been 500 years since Alfonso d’ Albuquerque arrived here from Goa.
The event, themed “Our Roots, Our Heritage, Our Home”, will be organised by the Malacca Portuguese-Eurasian Associa-tion (MPEA) from Oct 26 to Oct 29 at the Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir.

There will be traditional food fairs, live music and band performances, cultural and performing arts presentations, traditional games, beauty contest, a football tournament, cottage industries promotion and a handicraft exhibition.

Mohd Ali said the existence of the Portuguese community here was significant as it brought about a new kaleidoscope, turning Malaysia into a colourful multi-cultural paradise.

He said the state would continue to safeguard the community's status as a minority group.

He added that the state would also protect their welfare besides conserving the rich heritage and customs inherited from their ancestors.

Mohd Ali said Malacca had prospered as a nautical haven since Alfonso d' Albuquerque arrived from Goa with an entourage of 18 ships on Aug 24, 1511.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


New township plan for Malacca

By Jason Gerald John
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MALACCA: Plans are under way for an integrated township development to turn Malacca into a major destination for the Malaysia My Second Home programme.
The project, combining heritage, culture and nature, will be undertaken by Malaysia Land Properties Sdn Bhd (Mayland) and is expected to be carried out in either Ayer Keroh or the Bemban area.

Mayland founder Tan Sri David Chiu, a Hong Kong-based hotelier and property developer, said the project would kick off once the land was identified and approvals obtained from the authorities.

"We are looking at an investment of between RM500 million to RM1 billion for the new township development project which would be implemented in stages over a period of seven years.

"The integrated township will create its own environment and with Malacca's greenery, hills and coastline, the investment will be worth every single sen.

"Malacca has an exciting and vibrant environment and I feel the state will attract foreigners to make it their second home under the Malaysia My Second Home initiative.

"I was in Malacca about 10 years ago and I returned three months ago, only to be mesmerised with the soothing environment and its excellent lifestyle," said Chiu after having lunch with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam in Seri Bendahara here yesterday.

Also present was Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

Chiu said the new township would be a hit among the rich in China, Singapore and Australia.

Dr Ng said 12,000 people had participated in the Malaysia My Second Home programme.

"There is a huge potential for Malacca which is rich in culture, heritage and also its greenery. I feel that this development plan would be a hit among Europeans, especially those in Russia and countries such as Finland where the winter is quite long. Another reason for Malacca to be a preferred choice for those seeking to make Malaysia my second home is the healthcare facilities.

"Malacca currently has three medical specialist centres and with the new resort-like specialist centre, the Hang Tuah Jaya Resort Hospital, scheduled to be opened in 2013, foreigners will prefer to come to a state with a first class medical facility."

Ali said the investment would not only boost the state's economy, but also provide the people of Malacca with an opportunity to generate more income.

"I also proposed to Chiu the possibility of investing in an underwater world or aquarium in the state, especially in the reclaimed area in Klebang."

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Getting London bus back on the road

By Kelly Koh Ling Min
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One of the two London buses that used to take tourists on a tour of Malacca city that is being repaired at a cost of RM100,000. — Picture by Rasul Azli Samad
MALACCA: One of the two double-decker red tour buses which were brought here from London three years ago and temporarily placed in the State Transportation Museum would cost RM100,000 to be repaired.
However, it would not cost its owners, the Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council, a single sen as Mamee Double Decker (M) Bhd has come to the rescue.

The Malacca-based snacks maker is forking out the money needed to get the bus plying the roads of the historical city again as it takes tourists on tour.

Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council president Sapiah Haron said the repairs would take a month or two, depending on how soon the spare parts from London can be obtained.

The bus had been out of service and made a museum exhibit since last September.

The other bus, which is undergoing repairs at a workshop in Sungai Udang, is owned by the Malacca Historical City Council.

It is expected to resume operations soon.

The buses, which are also known as the Panorama Bus, were brought to Malacca from London in 2007 at a cost of RM200,000 each.

The London Bus, as they are known by locals here, started its services on Aug 14, 2007.

It makes 13 stops, including shopping and leisure areas. The buses are operated by Panorama Malacca Cultural & Tourism Sdn Bhd.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


September 13, 2011 22:32 PM
Proclamation Of Independence Memorial A Big Draw Among Visitors

MELAKA, Sept 13 (Bernama) -- A total of 633,608 people visited the Proclamation Of Independence Memorial at Bandar Hilir last year to get a clearer picture of the country's struggle for independence.

The memorial's manager Datu Royniehashim Datu Pindatun said 550,204 of them were domestic visitors, 70,621 foreigners, 12,542 students and 241 researchers.

"Meanwhile between January and August this year, domestic visitors numbered 204,375, foreigners 36,608, students 5,422 and 117 researchers," he told Bernama here.

Datu Royniehashim said the foreign visitors were from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Britain, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, Switzerland, Portugal, Japan, Netherlands, Africa and the Middle East.

The memorial placed in a building built in 1911 was officialy opened in 1985 to commemorate Malaysia's struggle to achieve independence from British colonial rule.


Monday, September 12, 2011


Portuguese to put on show
By Adrian David

Malaca will commemorate the arrival of the Portuguese here in 1511 where they built the Fort A’Famosa (above).

Malacca Portuguese-Eurasian Association president Michael Singho says the event is expected to attract thousands of tourists

KUALA LUMPUR: Historical city Malacca will hold a cultural extravaganza next month as it relives the arrival of the Portuguese here in 1511.

The 500th anniversary of Portuguese history and heritage celebrations will be held at the Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir from Oct 26.

Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Ali Rustam has been invited to launch the four-day event.

Malacca Portuguese-Eurasian Association president Michael Singho said the fiesta, themed "Our roots.. Our Heritage.. Our Home", would culminate in a commemorative dinner and awards night on Oct 29.

"There will be a fair, exhibitions, demonstrations, traditional events, sale of souvenirs, costumes and handicrafts from cottage industries here, culinary delights, a branyo demonstration, soccer matches involving the Eurasian community, indoor games including darts, chess and carroms, cultural dances and music.

"Day One will open with a mass in church in the evening.
On Day Two, there will be a heritage run, a beauty contest and a cristang song competition. The official opening ceremony by the chief minister will be on Day Three," said Singho.

The fiesta will recapture the moment Afonso d'Albuquerque arrived from Goa, India, with 18 ships and 1,200 men and set foot on Malacca shores on Aug 24, 1511.

The Fort A'Fomosa was built to defend Malacca as a strategic base for Portuguese expansion in the East Indies until 1641 when the Dutch took control.

Singho added that the fiesta was expected to attract hundreds of thousands of tourists, including Eurasians from the Asean region, Australia and Portugal.

"The pulsating beat will complement the ambience of the Portuguese Settlement to provide the ideal atmosphere for a grand get- together," said Singho, whose family of musicians included the famed Os Pombos.

Tourism Malaysia, the Malacca state government and the Portuguese embassy based in Bangkok, Thailand, are offering their support.

For enquiries, call the association's secretariat at 016-2505309; Singho at 017-2244653; association secretary Philomena Singho at 016-2505309; vice-presidents Regina Sta Maria at 012-3657263 and Lawrence Stephen at 016-3356617.

Read more: Portuguese to put on show

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


MALACCA: The two double-decker red tour buses which were brought here from London slightly more than three years ago are no longer plying the tourist belt in the historical city.

Both the buses are out of service for now and Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam had announced recently that one of them would be made a temporary exhibit at the Malacca Transportation Museum in Ayer Keroh while awaiting repairs.

The bus which would be placed temporarily at the museum belongs to the Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council (MPHTJ).

The other bus, which is undergoing repairs at a workshop in Sungai Udang, is owned by the Malacca Historical City Council (MBMB). It is expected to resume operations soon.

MPHTJ's bus had been out of service and left idle at the MBMB compound since last September as the replacement parts were costly and difficult to get as they had to be imported from England.

Ali said it was better to make the bus part of the museum's exhibits than to leave it idle while waiting for the spare parts to arrive.

"We have to think carefully about what to do with the bus due to the costs incurred and we have to ensure that we make a pragmatic decision when ordering the replacement parts," Ali said.

The buses, which are also known as the Panorama Bus, were brought to Malacca from London in 2007 at a cost of RM200,000 each to take tourists around historical sites in the city.

The London Bus, as they are known by the locals here, started its services on Aug 14, 2007.

It made 13 stops, including shopping and leisure areas.

The buses are operated by Panorama Malacca Cultural & Tourism Sdn Bhd (PMCT).

The bus owned by MBMB is undergoing repairs at a cost of RM140,000 while the other, owned by MPHTJ, is scheduled to be sent to the workshop soon.

MPHTJ is expected to cough up RM40,000 for the repair of its double-decker bus.

Mayor Zainal Abu confirmed the cost incurred to repair MBMB's bus was RM140,000 as the replacement parts had to be imported.

Meanwhile, MPHTJ president Sapiah Haron confirmed that RM40,000 would be allocated for the repairs on its bus.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


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