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Thursday, June 30, 2011

MELAKA NEW CUSTOMS, IMMIGRATION AND QUARANTINE COMPLEX AT MELAKA RIVER MOUTH




Mohd Ali showing the construction of the complex in Malacca during a visit recently.

CIQ Complex to be completed in 2012

MALACCA: Construction of the state’s recently revived Customs Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex is expected to be fully completed by March next year.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the government had strived hard to ensure the project was restored after the initial construction hit a snag due to technical hitches on the part of its previous contractor.

“We have commissioned a second contractor and up to now 38% of the project is completed and if all goes well, we could anticipate the RM73mil complex to be operational by mid-2012,” he said at a site tour recently.

Once completed, Mohd Ali added the complex could accommodate 15,000 visitors arriving from neighbouring countries on a monthly basis.

“This will certainly be a boost for Malacca in terms of the tourists arrivals,” he said.

The CIQ will complement the Batu Berendam International airport as a major gateway to the state and also to expedite the entry process for foreign tourists.

Mohd Ali said once the CIQ was completed, the state could also attract tourist boats from Singapore and Batam to enter the local waterway.

He added that frequency of the current ferry services from Bengkalis and Dumai in Indonesia could also be doubled with the new facility.

The increase, could turn the Malacca port as an optional hub for ferry services from neighbouring countries.

On another matter, Mohd Ali said the government hoped to introduce a tram car to ferry city folks to several selected destinations.

He said the tram service would help alleviate traffic congestions at the city-center while the monorail service was also expected to resume soon and would serve several populated areas here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BEST WESTERN RIVERSIDE, MALACCA IN 2012

The former Plaza Inn located at end of Jalan Pasar Baru, Melaka will open in 2012 under the world renown brand of Best Western.
Best Western International operates and owns thousands of hotels around the world.

This is good for Melaka in general and Melaka Newchinatown in particular as the hotel is located near the core Melaka Heritage area. BWI sees the potential of Melaka as a heritage city. With the hotel located besides the Melaka River, visitors can enjoy the clean up Melaka River and take romantic walks along the river at night.

Details of the Best Western Riverside, Malacca as follows:
No. 2, Jalan Munshi Abdullah, 73420 Malacca.
Toll free number: 1 800 88 1838 | Pre-opening office number: +603 2166 1336
Email: enquiry@bestwestern.com.my
Star rating: 3 Star
Opening 2012

Best Western Riverside, Malacca

Monday, June 27, 2011

MELAKA SUNKEN TREASURE THEFTS

Sunday June 26, 2011

Malacca probes sunken treasure thefts
By R.S.N. MURALI
murali@thestar.com.my


MALACCA: The state Museum Authority has been ordered to get more evidence on reports that hundreds of underwater artefacts from dozens of shipwrecks off the Tanjung Tuan coast here have been stolen by relic hunters.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the evidence was crucial for the state government to file a police report on the alleged theft of these submerged treasures.

“I will ask the relevant authorities to conduct a probe in a bid to get more proof for the police and also to execute legal action against the culprits.

“There were reports that irresponsible individuals had gone underwater to take away the national treasures that are worth billions.

“But information on such thefts remains vague due to lack of eye-witnesses,” he said after flagging off participants of the Perodua Eco-Challenge 2011 at the Melaka International Motorsport Circuit in Ayer Keroh here yesterday.

A special night vision camera will be mounted at the top of the lighthouse in Tanjung Tuan to prevent more of these relics from being stolen, said Mohd Ali.

There were claims by maritime industry players that hundreds of these undersea artefacts had been looted since the late 1990s.

One mariner, who only wanted to be identified as Toh, said treasures such as Chinese blue and white porcelain, brassware and coins were stolen from the shipwrecks.

Last month, the state government announced a billion-ringgit offer to salvage companies to retrieve treasures from sunken ships along the Malacca coastline.

There were no takers and Toh believed the lukewarm response was due to the fact that not many priceless artefacts were left.

At least 13 merchant and war vessels are known to have sunk in the Malacca sea on the Spice Route more than 500 years ago.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

MAHKOTA MEDICAL CENTRE IN MELAKA TO EXPAND

Mahkota Medical Centre to expand

KUALA LUMPUR: Mahkota Medical Group, a unit of Singapore-listed Health Management International Ltd (HMI), will spend between RM250 million and RM300 million to expand the Mahkota Medical Centre in Malacca.

The medical centre, which is now a 280-bed facility, wants to add another 220 beds. The expansion is expected to be ready by end-2014.

"We are in midst of planning and should start development in mid-2012," chief executive officer Timothy Chang said, adding that it has 1.22ha of undeveloped land located next to the hospital and across the road from the hospital.

"We are targeting to have a total of 500 beds," Chang told Business Times in a phone interview.

Chang said the 500-bed capacity will be able to cater for the needs of the hospital for between 10 and 15 years.

The investment will include equipment.

Currently, the average occupancy at the hospital is around 65 per cent. It is fully occupied during the peak months of medical tourism.

Mahkota Medical is centrally located within the Malacca city and now has some 40 clinics. As it expands, it hopes to have 100 clinics and to handle more complex cases.

The hospital aims to establish itself as a one-stop medical centre with centres on sub-specialties. The population in Malacca alone will not be able to support the hospital.

Accordingly, it is eyeing patients from Negri Sembilan and the northern part of Johor.

Chang, meanwhile, expects the return on investment (ROI) on the new wing to take half the time that a new hospital will normally take. New hospitals, generally, take eight to 10 years to recover their ROI.

However, the Mahkota Medical Centre expects to see ROI within five years as it is already an established hospital.

Moreover, since the opening up of its beds will be done in stages, some of the space may be temporarily used as lodging for relatives accompanying the foreign patients.

Mahkota Medical Centre started operations in 1994 under the Lion Group.

Lion, which restructured and sold its non-core businesses during the 1997/98 financial crisis, sold the hospital in September 2001.

Mahkota Medical Group is 48.95 per cent owned by HMI, while Bumiputera group Maju Medik Sdn Bhd holds 38.42 per cent and 12.36 per cent is held by doctors located all over Malaysia.

MAHKOTA MEDICAL CENTRE IN MELAKA TO EXPAND

Mahkota Medical Centre to expand

KUALA LUMPUR: Mahkota Medical Group, a unit of Singapore-listed Health Management International Ltd (HMI), will spend between RM250 million and RM300 million to expand the Mahkota Medical Centre in Malacca.

The medical centre, which is now a 280-bed facility, wants to add another 220 beds. The expansion is expected to be ready by end-2014.

"We are in midst of planning and should start development in mid-2012," chief executive officer Timothy Chang said, adding that it has 1.22ha of undeveloped land located next to the hospital and across the road from the hospital.

"We are targeting to have a total of 500 beds," Chang told Business Times in a phone interview.

Chang said the 500-bed capacity will be able to cater for the needs of the hospital for between 10 and 15 years.

The investment will include equipment.

Currently, the average occupancy at the hospital is around 65 per cent. It is fully occupied during the peak months of medical tourism.

Mahkota Medical is centrally located within the Malacca city and now has some 40 clinics. As it expands, it hopes to have 100 clinics and to handle more complex cases.

The hospital aims to establish itself as a one-stop medical centre with centres on sub-specialties. The population in Malacca alone will not be able to support the hospital.

Accordingly, it is eyeing patients from Negri Sembilan and the northern part of Johor.

Chang, meanwhile, expects the return on investment (ROI) on the new wing to take half the time that a new hospital will normally take. New hospitals, generally, take eight to 10 years to recover their ROI.

However, the Mahkota Medical Centre expects to see ROI within five years as it is already an established hospital.

Moreover, since the opening up of its beds will be done in stages, some of the space may be temporarily used as lodging for relatives accompanying the foreign patients.

Mahkota Medical Centre started operations in 1994 under the Lion Group.

Lion, which restructured and sold its non-core businesses during the 1997/98 financial crisis, sold the hospital in September 2001.

Mahkota Medical Group is 48.95 per cent owned by HMI, while Bumiputera group Maju Medik Sdn Bhd holds 38.42 per cent and 12.36 per cent is held by doctors located all over Malaysia.

Friday, June 10, 2011

HARD ROCK CAFE IN MELAKA

June 10, 2011 12:59 PM
Hard Rock Cafe Melaka Eyes Sales Of RM1 Million A Month
MELAKA, June 10 (Bernama) -- Melaka's new tourism product, Hard Rock Cafe, which will be built on the World Heritage Site in Jonker Walk, is expected to generate sales of RM1 million a month.

Chairman of Hard Rock Cafe Enterprise (M) Sdn Bhd, Tan Sri Syed Yusoff Syed Nassir, said the cafe was expected to attract between 360,000 and 480,000 patrons a year.

"The cafe's profit is expected to amount to 60 per cent of what the Hard Rock Cafe Kuala Lumpur generated," he said, declining to reveal the figure.

Syed Yusoff said this at a media briefing after the groundbreaking ceremony officiated by Melaka Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, here Thursday.

He said the cafe, which would cost RM17 million to build, would be able to accommodate 180 patrons.

The cafe would be operational by year-end 2012, he said.

Syed Yusoff said prior to the launch of the cafe, a souvenir shop, named 'Rock Shop' would be opened to sell exclusive Hard Rock Cafe products.

He said the company picked Melaka for its third Hard Rock Cafe because of its strategic location in Jonker Walk.

"Another factor is that number of tourists visiting the state has reached 10 million a year," he said.

Syed Yusoff said the cafe would offer various local and Western food, entertainment, and sales of exclusive Hard Rock products.

"The big guitar, an icon of Hard Rock Cafe worldwide, would also be a big attraction for the local and foreign tourists," he said.

Earlier, Mohd Ali said the Melaka government planned to instal closed-circuit television cameras at all historical sites in the state to prevent thieves carting away valuable artefacts.

He was commenting on reports of the theft of wheels from ancient Portuguese cannons on top of St John's Hill at Bandar Hilir on Wednesday.

-- BERNAMA

Thursday, June 9, 2011

HISTORICAL SITES SECURITY TO BE ENHANCED

Friday June 10, 2011

Malacca to boost security at historical sites, says CM
By R.S.N. MURALI
murali@thestar.com.my


MALACCA: The state government has initiated measures to protect its historical sites following the theft of wheels from ancient Portuguese cannons on top of St John's Hill at Bandar Hilir on Wednesday.

Describing the theft as a threat to the state's artefacts, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said he would immediately see to it that all historical sites in the state have CCTV facilities.

“We have to seriously consider beefing up security at these sites after the recent theft including placing guards, especially at sites in the World Heritage Zone,” he told reporters after the groundbreaking ceremony for Malacca's Hard Rock Cafe yesterday.

Mohd Ali said he would direct the relevant authorities to secure outdoor artefacts with locks and chains to prevent thieves from carting away items like cannons.


Lighting up: Workers conducting immediate remedial work to light up St John’s Hill after Wednesday’s theft.
He said CCTVs should be installed inside museums and other enclosed historical sites to prevent such occurrence in the future.

“This (thefts) should not have happened in the first place but I believe it's the work of drug addicts,” he said.

He said the state would work with the police to nab those responsible for the theft.

“I hope scrap metal dealers will inform us or the police if they come across anyone attempting to dispose of these wheels,” he said.

Twenty solid cast iron wheels that supported five ancient Portuguese cannons on top of the hill went missing on Wednesday each cannon with four wheels weighs between 500kg and 600kg.

Malacca has several historical sites, including the A Famosa, Stadhuys, St Paul's Church, Bukit Cina, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Dol Said's Grave, Hang Li Poh and Hang Tuah wells.

This is the second theft involving state artefacts.

In March 2008, eight Malay keris and three Dutch-era pistols were stolen from the Malacca Ethnography Museum.

HISTORIC CANNON WHEELS STOLEN AT ST. JOHN'S HILL, MELAKA

hursday June 9, 2011

Cannon wheels stolen
By R.S.N. MURALI
murali@thestar.com.my


MALACCA: Several thieves have made off with the 20 solid cast iron wheels that supported five ancient Portuguese cannons on top of St John's Hills in Bandar Hilir here.

State Housing, Local Govern-ment and Environment committee chairman Datuk Md Yunus Rahmat rushed to the historical site where maintenance works have been going on after being told of the theft.

Each cannon, with its four wheels, weighs between 500kg and 600kg.

“This is a great loss. The perpetrators must be nabbed.


State Local Housing, Local Government and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Yunus Rahmat inspecting a cannon with missing wheels (shown inset) on top of St John’s Hill in Bandar Hilir in Malacca. Twenty solid cast iron wheels of five ancient Portuguese cannons were discovered missing yesterday
“This is the first time such heavy artefacts have been stolen,” he said after visiting the site yesterday.

He said the wheels were solid cast iron and some had been reproduced in the 1980s to replicate the originals that had been damaged over the years.

The five cannons were originally used by the Portuguese to repel attacks from the sea and land in the 1500s.

Md Yunus said contract workers carrying out the maintenance works at the hilltop discovered the theft at about 8am.

He said the contractor informed Malacca Historical City Council officials who referred the matter to the Chief Minister's office.

Md Yunus said the wheels could have been stolen on Tuesday night as council workers had seen them that morning.

“This could be the work of the scrap metal thieves but it is premature to comment on this. We will leave it to the police to investigate,” he added.

He said the National Heritage Department would lodge a police report today.

He added the state government would also lobby the department to station security guards at St John's Hill.

Md Yunus said security measures at St Paul's Hill should be given priority.

Police officers have been combing St John's Hill and are expected to haul up several workers involved in the maintenance works to facilitate investigations.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

MELAKA RIVER MONTH LONG CARNIVAL TILL 30.6.2011

MALACCA RIVER FIESTA (until June 30) Malacca City.

The month-long event is packed with activities like kebaya nyonya beauty contests, river games and other competitions — all organised beside the scenic Malacca River.

Call 06-281 4322.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

SMOKEFREE ZONES IN MELAKA FROM 15th. JUNE 2011

June 05, 2011 16:56 PM
Five Zones Declared Smoke-Free Areas In Melaka
MELAKA, June 5 (Bernama) -- Five areas measuring a total of 338 hectares in Melaka were declared as smoke-free zones beginning June 15, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.

He said the areas are the Melaka world heritage city, Melaka Raya, Melaka International Trade Centre and the Alor Gajah and Jasin town centres.

Anyone caught smoking in any of the zones could be fined the usual RM300 although the maximum compound was RM5,000, he told reporters after opening the World Without Tobacco Day in Bandar Hilir, here on Sunday.

However, Liow said, any premises or areas in the five zones that were owned by individuals would be exempted from the ban.

He said Melaka, being the first state to gazette a large smoke-free area, showed that the state government and the ministry were serious to protect the public from the dangers of cigarette smoke especially women and children.

Liow said the ministry had gazetted 21 non-smoking areas such as in hospitals, in public transportations, educational institutions, shopping malls and stadiums.

He added that the ministry was also embarking on a campaign against non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart attack and various types of cancer that were caused by smoking.

Liow hoped that the implementation of the smoke-free zone could attract more tourists to Melaka.

He also said that almost RM1 million in compounds were issued from January to April this year for various offences under the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004, where RM756,988 had been paid by the offenders.

-- BERNAMA