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Friday, July 29, 2011

FIREFLY-MELAKA AIR TO TAKE OFF ON 11.11.11

07/28/2011 | 10:21 pm

FIREFLY TO START NEW SERVICES FROM MELAKA

Firefly entered a collaboration with Melaka Air today to provide air services out of Melaka International Airport from November 11, 2011.

The agreement was signed on behalf of Firefly by its Managing Director, Dato’ Eddy Leong and Melaka Air CEO, Sharabudin Kudus, witnessed by Melaka Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Haji Mohd Ali bin Mohd Rustam.

The agreement paves the way for Firefly to station an ATR72-500 aircraft in Melaka and mount new flights out of the historical city of Melaka to Batam, Pekanbaru and Medan in Indonesia and from Melaka to Penang and Kota Bahru in Malaysia.

Leong said: “We had intended to start our operations in Melaka earlier but we had to wait for the expansion of our aircraft fleet. Now we are in a position to support the Melaka Chief Minister’s vision of expanding tourism accessibility into the state.

“In November, we will take delivery of our 11th and 12th ATR aircraft, of which one aircraft has been specifically designated to be stationed in Melaka. We will also set up a full operation support services in Melaka which will include aircraft maintenance, ground-handling and fuel services. Soon, there will also be an airport ticketing office in Melaka.

“If this collaboration with Melaka Air proves to be successful, we have the capability to also offer in the future our Boeing jet aircraft which has a larger seat capacity of 189.”

The ATR 72-500 aircraft to be stationed in Melaka is a brand new carrier. Currently, Firefly has 10 ATRs servicing domestic routes and neighbouring countries out of Firefly’s hubs in Subang and Penang. Firefly’s ATR services offers an average of 92 flights a day and it has been in operation since late 2008. The aircraft is a 72-seater, single class configuration. It offers incredible value with low fares. This includes 20kg check-in baggage allowance, assigned seating, complimentary in-flight refreshments and city airports as hubs.

Leong added that Firefly was targeting different market segments on different routes. He elaborated: “We are targeting the Health Tourism and Business Events segments especially from Pekanbaru, Medan and Batam in Indonesia to visit Melaka.

“Our thrice weekly flights from Melaka to Penang will connect two UNESCO World Heritage Cities. The convenience of affordable air travel is certain to attract more domestic and foreign tourists to visit both destinations. Melaka and Penang share more than just a rich, colonial historical past, but also diverse cultures and good food. It is also a good combination for leisure tourists who are keen on combining a historical city with a beach holiday. With the Melaka – Kota Bharu route, we hope to attract traffic from the business, leisure and visit friends and relatives segment.”

Leong said the airline would also work closely with Melaka Tourism and its tourism players to promote all the new destinations originating from Melaka.

Earlier this afternoon, Firefly’s special chartered flight flew in a full load of 72 people, comprising travel agents and media from Medan and Malaysia, Yayasan Melaka delegates and Firefly staff to witness the collaboration between Firefly and Melaka Air.

The chartered service, utilizing the ATR72-500 aircraft, left Subang Skypark Terminal at 3.15pm and arrived at Melaka International Airport an hour later. Upon arrival, passengers were warmly greeted by the Malacca Chief Minister himself, Datuk Seri Hj Mohd Ali bin Mohd Rustam, State EXCO members and Firefly’s managing director, Dato’ Eddy Leong.

Also at the airport this afternoon eagerly waiting to get onboard the return flight to Subang Skypark, departing 5.15pm were 40 orphans from Rumah Yatim Al-Zaharah Melaka and four accompanying adults. Their trip to Kuala Lumpur was a treat organised by Yayasan Melaka.

Ticket sales from Melaka to Kota Bahru and Penang will be available from tomorrow. Online purchases can be made from Firefly’s website (www.fireflyz.com.my), from travel agents and from Firefly’s booth at MATTA Fair Melaka, from July 29 to 31.

Monday, July 25, 2011

RM300 MILLION INVESTMENT IN MELAKA

July 25, 2011 19:07 PM

Plentifield Invests RM300 Million In 'Best Western Premier Melaka'

MELAKA, July 25 (Bernama) -- Property firm Plentifield Marketing Sdn Bhd is building a five-star hotel and commercial centre called "Best Western Premier Melaka" involving RM300 million investment in the Ayer Keroh Botanical Park here.

Its managing director, Dr Teoh Lian Hong, said the nine-storey hotel and five commercial blocks were expected to complete by end of 2013.

"The project is being developed on a 2.8ha site with modern and green technology features.

"It will house, among others, entertainment centres, shoplots, halls, corporate offices and meeting venues on par with those in luxury hotels overseas," he told reporters after the project's groundbreaking ceremony today.

Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam officiated the ceremony. Present was Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council President Sapiah Harun.

Teoh said the hotel, near the Melaka International Trade Centre, Melaka Zoo and Melaka Wonderland Theme Park, would have 301 rooms.

"This project is Plentifield's first in Melaka and we see it has a big potential in view of its location within a tourist area," he said.

The five commercial blocks will also have 506 business suites and 166 retail lots.

Plentifield's previous development include a RM220 million project comprising a three-star hotel and commercial lots in Sandakan and RM300 million commercial lots in Shah Alam.

Meanwhile, Mohd Ali said he welcomed Plentifield's investment because the state had a shortage of five-star hotels.

Plentifield had also agreed to build another five-star hotel on a 4ha site near Kolej Yayasan Saad in Ayer Keroh, he added.

-- BERNAMA


Sunday, July 24, 2011

TOP CREATIONS BUYS LAND IN MELAKA FOR PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT

TIDMTOPC

RNS Number : 8805K

Top Creation Investments Limited

22 July 2011

Top Creation Investments Limited

("TCIL" or the "Company")

Acquisition of Malaysian property

Issue of equity

The Company is pleased to announce that it has agreed to invest RM14m (approximately GBP2.8m), in the purchase of a 2.1429 acre site in Negeri Melaka, Malaysia (the "Land") for a mixed use development which will comprise a shopping mall, car parking, facilities centre and home office service suite (the "Project").

The Company has agreed to acquire the Land from Empire Property Sdn. Bhd. ("EPSB"), a company in relation to which TCIL's investment manager is a director and in which he has a significant shareholding. The consideration for the acquisition is RM5.0m (approximately GBP1.0m) for the Land, and a further RM9m in respect of development work undertaken to date (approximately GBP1.8m). Of this total, a deposit of RM1.4m, comprising a deposit of RM0.5m and 10% of the RM9m development costs, is payable immediately, with the balance being paid on completion, which is expected to be in September 2011.

In addition, the Company has raised GBP1,033,500 through subscriptions of 49,214,286 new ordinary shares at 2.1p per share (the "Subscription").

Overview of the Property and Project

The Land is located within the Melaka Tourism Development Belt ("MTDB") stretching from Dataran Phalawan to Melaka Esplanade and to Klebang where the Malacca Gold Coast is located. This location is part of the growth area for tourism activities for which the Melaka state is focusing its attention. The MTDB already contains a couple of existing tourist related facilities, however it is very much in its infancy and there is still a lot of growth potential. The success of the MTDB is expected to derive from the unique proposition of Melaka as a renowned tourist attraction, which helps attract constant flows of consumers for its shopping, medical tourism and tourism-related facilities, which elevates its residential and commercial potential.

Sub-structure works were completed by EPSB on the Land in 2008, and the Company proposes to continue with EPSB's Project, which will comprise:

(i) 3 floors of shopping mall;

(ii) 3 [1/2] floors of parking lots (with 613 parking bays);

(iii) 1 floor of facilities centre; and

(iv) 510 home office serviced suites, spread over 17 floors.

The Director's believe that the Project's concept is new to the area. Currently, along the Klebang coastal area, there are no such developments where service suites come with other facilities, e.g. retail/shopping malls and food and beverage outlets, therefore the Company's directors believe that there is a need for this type of development as local residents and tourists currently have to travel down town for shopping and other needs.

The Company expects that:

(i) the professional team will be engaged by the end of July 2011;

(ii) the acquisition of the Land is expected to be completed by the end of September 2011;

(iii) such building/planning approvals as are necessary to commence construction will be obtained by November 2011;

(iv) construction of the buildings will commence in November 2011 at the latest; and

(v) practical completion of the Project will be achieved by November 2013.

The total project costs are expected to be approximately RM185m, including the RM14m investment by the Company being announced today. The Company expects to fund the additional costs through advanced sales of units, which are anticipated to commence during Q3 2011. Marketing of the units will mainly focus on China, as the Chinese represent the largest group of investors looking for investment opportunities in Melaka.

Issue of Equity

Although the Company does not anticipate the Project requiring debt financing, the Company needs to raise funds for working capital to pay for consultancy fees, local authority fees and contributions to various local authorities for utilities, totalling GBP1,033,500. To that end, the Company has received subscriptions for 49,214,286 ordinary shares of GBP0.001 each in the Company at a price of GBP0.021 per share (the "Subscription Shares").

Application will be made to the London Stock Exchange for the Subscription Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that admission will occur on 28 July 2011.

Following admission of the Subscription Shares ("Admission"), the Company's issued share capital will comprise 549,964,286 ordinary shares of GBP0.001 each. This figure may be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, Top Creation Investments Limited, under the FSA's Disclosure Rules and Transparency Rules.

Furthermore, immediately following Admission, Jade Global Investments Limited, a shareholder of the Company, will hold 95,637,500 ordinary shares of GBP0.001 each, representing 17.39% of the Company's issued share capital.

Ends

Enquiries:

  Top Creation Investments Limited  Wong Yu Sun, Finance Director     Tel: 006012 2778972    Daniel Stewart & Company plc  Antony Legge/James Felix          Tel: 020 7776 6550    Threadneedle Communications  Graham Herring/Robyn McConnachie  Tel: 020 7653 9850   

This information is provided by RNS

The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

END

MSCRTMRTMBTTMJB

Thursday, July 21, 2011

MELAKA MUSIC FESTIVAL IN FUTURE?

Thursday July 21, 2011

Promoting Malacca through music festival


TOURISM Minister Dr Ng Yen Yen was recently quoted as saying that her Ministry would assist Malacca to organise an international music festival with heritage as its inspiration.

Taking the cue from the runaway success of Sarawak’s World Rainforest Music Carnival (WRMC), I wish to applaud the move simply as a way to promote the tiny state’s Unesco World Heritage status.

However, the organiser must be cautioned that the intended music festival should be clearly defined and creatively expedited so as not to run off-track, as what the WRMC is facing now after many years of staging.

It recently concluded its 14th edition, bringing fame and tourism revenue to Sarawak and the country.

Sadly, the WRMC which was initially proposed to be an ethnic music gathering, using ethnic instruments, has slowly become like a rock concert spiced with folk songs.

Malacca should learn from the experience of Sarawak in defining its true objectives.

WRMC’s popularity as a world-class music carnival is mainly due to its aim of staging under one roof, a congregation of world ethnic music.

It is a perfect vehicle to position Sarawak and the rest of Borneo at large because of the strong ethnic presence against the backdrop of the world’s oldest rainforest.

Malacca, needs a booster to make known its Unesco World Heritage status, now entering its third year.

Malacca may be more famous than many of the states in terms of tourism but it still needs that wow factor.

So how can Malacca stage an international music festival that can stand on its originality and yet be successful in luring the tourists by the numbers?

Malacca’s cultural potpourri comprising various races and minority etnicities, provide the perfect setting for a music festival which can garner an international standing.

Already the three major races, comprising the Malays, Chinese and Indians are a sight to behold, what more with their sounds of music.

To top it up, the Kadazans, the Ibans, the orang asli, the Javanese and Arabs, the Babas and Nyonyas, not forgetting the Portuguese and the Dutch, the Punjabis as well with their own brand of ethnic music.

Together with some international guests, the stage is set for an event listing on the country’s tourism calendar.

We are certainly not short of tourism products that can woo visitors to our shores.

However, let’s make sure that every state has its own unique product to show its true colours to the world.

ZARI MALAYSIANA,
Petaling Jaya.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

HIGH SPEED TRAIN BENEFITS

Monday July 18, 2011

High speed train will move economy


IT is time that the Government revived the High Speed Rail (HSR) service proposal to connect Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. In fact an HSR service should link Singapore and Butterworth in Penang.

All over the world countries see HSR services as the best mass transportation option between cities. China and South Korea are the leaders in the construction of HSR service networks for their people. China holds the record for the longest HSR network in the world.

On July 1, China launched an HSR service between Beijing and Shanghai. The train can reach a maximum speed of 300 km/hr, and travelling time between the two big cities – 1,318km apart – is less than five hours.

However, in Malaysia we are still debating whether or not to carry out such a project. Many views were put forward by the critics of this project, who see it as wasteful, and by transportation players, who look at it from their business point of view.

In time, the highways will not be able to cope with the number of vehicles on the road. More highways will need to be built. But this is not the best solution.

I think an HSR project will benefit Malaysia more than Singapore if we can align the route to take in the denser populated towns in Malacca and Johor.

The route from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore should pass through Seremban, Simpang Empat, Air Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat, and Iskandar.

This will not affect the KTMB double tracking project as people in Seremban, Tampin, Segamat, Gemas, Yong Peng, Kluang and Kulai will still need reliable and safe inter city transportation.

By passing through Air Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar these towns will benefit in terms of tourism and property values. Singaporeans will start to buy landed properties in these towns for investment or as their second home.

The northern towns stretching from Air Keroh to Penang will benefit from tourism, as travelling by HSR is more reliable and safer. There are many places in Johor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Selangor, Perak and Penang that can be promoted for tourism.

Also, there will be no need for Singaporeans to then drive into Malaysia.

In the next five to ten years, the Government will see a significant increase in GNI (Gross National Income), and the construction activities will add to Gross Domestic Product initially, as well as GNI in the latter years, from tourism and property transactions.

Coastal towns in Johor and Malacca will reap the benefits as weekend tourists spur business activities there. In this way, the Government will spread the economic cake to many parts of the country and achieve the high income target for many homes by 2020.

Therefore, the Government should re-look the proposal on this project and take in KTMB as a partner.

A decision has to be made quickly for the benefit of all Malaysians.

ESA ADAM,
Subang Jaya.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

TRAM SYSTEM FOR MELAKA

Rail transport system to help tackle congestion in Melaka

ALOR GAJAH, July 18 (Bernama) -- The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) plans to overcome Melaka city's worsening traffic congestion by setting up a rail transport system.

SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said they found that the high volume of private vehicles entering the city contributed to the problem.

"We will look at whether the state government is interested in implementing a tram system to be developed through a privatised project," he told reporters after launching Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Hang Kasturi's Patriotism Month celebrations in Masjid Tanah, near here today.

Syed Hamid, who is also Kota Tinggi Member of Parliament, said bus and taxi services also need to be improved to encourage locals and tourists to take advantage of public transport to get to the city.

"I see that congestion in Melaka in bad, and it takes time to reach tourist spots because of the traffic volume," he added.

Over 10 million tourists flocked Melaka last year and this year an estimated 11 million are expected to visit the state.


MELAKA MATTA FAIR ON 29TH JULY 2011

July 18, 2011 17:53 PM

Melaka Mits Matta Fair Targeting For 40,000 Visitors

MELAKA, July 18 (Bernama) -- Melaka Mits Matta Fair 2011 will be held for three days at the Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC) here, beginning July 29 with a target of attracting between 35,000 and 40,000 visitors.

State Executive Councillor for Tourism, Culture and Heritage Datuk Latiff Tamby Chik said the fair, organised jointly by the Melaka International Tourism Show (MITS) and the Malaysian Association of Travel and Tour Agencies (Matta), offered considerable discounts for various tourism-related products.

"A total of 120 operators are expected to take part in the fair," he told reporters, here today.

Latiff said among the overseas organisations taking part would be the Macau Tourism Office, Korea National Tourism Office, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Taiwan Visitors Association and VIG Group and People Committee of Khanh Hoa, Vietnam.

He said visitors would also have the opportunity of participating in various activities such as lucky draws, tourism quiz, and enjoying various cultural performances and tourism exhibition.

-- BERNAMA

Friday, July 15, 2011

TOURISM MELAKA WEB PORTAL TO REACH 1 MILLION VISITORS

Our Tourism Melaka web portal is surging ahead to reach another milestone i.e. breaching 1 Million visitors.

Our website attracted about 250,000 visitors from 2001 to 2006 but it increased to 730,000 visitors from 2007 to date. Now, we are just another 20,000 visitors away before we hit 1 Million visitors. Certainly, this figure was not imaginable when we first started our web portal in 2001. Now, this figure is just a whisker away.

Since Melaka was announced World Heritage City with Georgetown, Penang on 7th. July 2008, visitors have increased.

We want to thank all visitors to our web site for making this possible. Without your support, new and repeat visitors, we will not be able to do so. We hope you have enjoyed the contents in our website so that you can be updated constantly on the development of Melaka over the years.

Our website has news, current and archived, so that you can read during your visits. Some articles remain unchanged or undeleted as they are there to record Melaka's development.

As we reach our magical level of 1 million visitors, we also want feedback from our visitors be it good or bad. Without your constructive comments, Melaka cannot develop into a vibrant yet historical city for generations to come.

Thank you for your support.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

MELAKA CELEBRATED 3rd ANNIVERSARY AS WORLD HERITAGE SITE

Malacca celebrates 3rd anniversary as World Heritage Site

Saturday, July 9th, 2011 16:08:00

MALACCA: Malacca Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob, several other state dignitaries and some 3,000 people attended the third anniversary celebration of the declaration of Melaka City as World Heritage Site, held at the Independence Memorial in Bandar Hilir, here, last night.

The celebration this time took them back to the historic pre-independence days where in Febuary 1956, the people welcomed back the Malayan delegation seeking independence for the country led by the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj.

"The situation then and now, and the harmony and cooperation among the people of various races is a fine example in creating universal peace," said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam in his speech at the event.

He said multiracial unity, peace, cooperation and tolerance had brought prosperity to Malaysia compared to the turbulent situation in some countries due to ethnic strife or sectarian violence.

"By preserving peace, prosperity and harmonious living will prevail which will help us create a stronger nation," he added.

Malacca and George Town, Penang were declared World Heritage Sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) on July 7, 2008.

In conjunction with this year's celebration, 42 events have been lined up for the whole month of July covering culture, arts and heritage.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

MELAKA RIVER BEAUTIFICATION WORKS EXTEND TO MELAKA SENTRAL

July 07, 2011 20:54 PM

RM135 Million Sungai Melaka Tourism Project Extended To Melaka Sentral

MELAKA, July 7 (Bernama) -- The second parcel of the Sungai Melaka Beautification Project will be extended up to Melaka Sentral including the popular shopping complexes at Aeon Bandaraya and Tesco, here.

The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas said the project stretching about four kilometres would start at the end of the year and expected to be completed in mid-2013.

He said that overall, five zones would be developed under the project which would have a footpath, bicycle lanes, observation tower and main passenger terminal at the Melaka Sentral and the two shopping complexes.

"This is my ministry's commitment to improve the Sungai Melaka which has a good potential as a tourist attraction," he told reporters after listening to a briefing on the project at Seri Negeri, Ayer Keroh, here Thursday.

Earlier, Uggah, who is on a day's visit to Melaka, went on a river cruise with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam from Taman Rempah up to Melaka Sentral.

Sungai Melaka now offers a river cruise service either on a boat that can accommodate between 20 and 30 passengers or a water taxi that can take 16 passengers for a distance of four kilometres from Taman Rempah up to the Quayside at the historic river mouth.

Meanwhile, Mohd Ali said the state government planned to build a floating market in the river after Hang Jebat Bridge as a new tourist attraction.

In another development, Uggah said he would study the request by Mohd Ali to construct a water breaker to prevent coastal erosion at Pantai Kundur, Pantai Puteri, Pantai Tanjung Bidara and Pantai Kemuning.

-- BERNAMA

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

GRAND 500 YEARS CELEBRATION AT PORTUGUESE SETTLEMENT

Michael Mikey Teo Just as a matter of interest, thought that you lot might like to know that there is a Grand 500 Year Anniversary Celebration at Mcca Portuguese Settlement from Oct 26th to 29th, 2011. Cheers.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

ARAB CITY MELAKA READY BY END 2011


July 05, 2011 16:00 PM

Developer Expects Arab City Melaka To Be Ready By Year-end

KUALA LUMPUR, July 5 (Bernama) -- Golden Corporate Heritage Sdn Bhd, the developer of Arab City Melaka, expects the project with a gross development value of RM75 million to be completed by year-end.

Its director, Dr Salim N. Al Gudhea, said the project, located at Pulau Melaka, Melaka, started in January this year and is currently 68 per cent complete.

"Arab City is an opportunity for business growth and retail positioning. With over 123 retail spaces for lease, the project will certainly provide good business prospect for us," he told reporters after signing an agreement with Benalec Sdn Bhd here, Tuesday.

He added that the soft launch of Arab City would be around January next year while its targeted opening for the public will be in March.

Meanwhile, under the agreement today, Benalec, an integrated marine construction solution provider, will develop the Arabian Oasis, a recreation centre, on a 1.62 hectares reclaimed land at the sea front of Arab City.

The "oasis" is expected to be completed in 16 weeks.

-- BERNAMA

Website of Arab Melaka City

YOUNG BREED OF TRISHAW OPERATORS IN MELAKA

MELAKA, July 5 (Bernama) -- Weekend nights at Bandar Hilir Melaka exude an atmosphere of merriment, thanks to the hundreds of visitors from outside Melaka who congregate there.

The cacophony from the activities and traffic is drowned out, sometimes, by blaring music in numerous languages and genres from passing rickshaws.

The rickshaws, embellished with various motifs, and lit up grandly, are a statement of their owner's creativity.

These rickshaws or trishaws, without the decorations seen on them today, were a ubiquitous mode of transport in towns in the 1960s and 1970s, and evoke nostalgic memories of a bygone era.

People recall the sight of rickshaw men on streets, using all their energy to pedal the three wheelers for a token sum. The impoverished rickshaw man was immortalised in the film 'Penarik Beca', with silver-screen legend, late Tan Sri P Ramlee, playing the role of a poor rickshaw man, Amran.

Nowadays, however, rickshaws only serve visitors who wish to experience the unique ride. The rickshaw owners of Bandar Hilir Melaka are eager to provide their passengers with the excitement of a ride.

WOMEN IN THE TRADE

Outside the Menara Taming Sari ground, a number of lit-up rickshaws wait in a line for passengers. One three wheeler stood out because of its rider.

Meet Nor Hasliza Hanafi, 20, one of the few women in the rickshaw trade, and among the increasing number of young people who are adopting a trade that is slowly disappearing.

What convinced Nor Hazliza, a former employee of Giat Mara, to adopt a trade most would shy away from?

"It is not because I had no other choice, but because I wanted it. As a rickshaw rider, I have the opportunity to met lots of people, including dignitaries like Melaka's Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam.

"Here, I serve as a little ambassador, narrating the history of Melaka and the places I bring them to. Previously, I did not know much history, but after taking up this trade, I now have the history at my fingertips.

"I have met all sorts of people, and took the opportunity to promote Melaka to tourists. This is an honourable undertaking," she told Bernama, recently.

NOTHING TO BE SHY ABOUT

The trade is not new to Nor Hazliza. Her father, too, was a rickshaw rider.

She recalled that, during her school days, her school-mates would to make fun of her father's occupation, as it was associated with uneducated and marginalised people.

Nor Hazliza, however, finds the life of a rickshaw rider to be far better than people's conceptions of it. Today, many graduates have adopted what was previously considered an unenviable vocation.

Most of these graduates, who have taken up the trade on a full-time or part-time basis, have at least one family member in the trade, already.

"Even I was embarrassed with my father's occupation during my younger days. But after a meeting with the rickshaw riders, it dawned upon me that one can earn a living through this vocation as long as they are ready to work hard.

"That is when I made up my mind to stop work and take up the rickshaw trade. I have to admit that I was initially shy. But I overcame the apprehension over time.

"What's more, there was a time when I earned up to RM1,000 a day due to my hard work," she said proudly.

A one-hour ride from Taming Sari to Pokok Melaka, A Farmosa and Jonker Walk on the rickshaw costs RM40.

HURDLES FOR A WOMAN RIDER

However, a woman rickshaw-rider faces several challenges.

There is a general perception that it is unsafe for women to ride at night, and that they might not possess the physical strength to pedal a rickshaw.

Nor Hazliza, the second of four siblings, brushes aside these beliefs, saying her male counterparts never underestimated her ability, and even extended their cooperation.

In fact, rickshaw riders work together in a group to promote Melaka.

"Even passengers ask me whether I can endure (the effort) or not, but after seeing how far I could go, they don't ask anymore questions.

"On the dangers, this work goes on till late hours, and I once stayed up until 1.30 am. So far, nothing bad had happened, except I was once shortchanged by a customer.

"I'm proud of what I'm doing. A living proof that women too can take up the rickshaw trade," she said.

RICKSHAW RIDERS OF THE YOUNGER GENERATION

The growing number of young rickshaw riders today augurs well for this trade. Rickshaw riding was previously considered a vocation for the older generation, and it was feared that the trade would go extinct.

When questioned about young rickshaw riders, Nor Hasliza responded with a grin, "Yes, many youngsters are taking up the rickshaw trade, part-time of full-time, like me".

"Now it is a trend. The youngest, 14 years old, maybe wants to help his father supplement the family income, after school.

"The way I see it, it is better for them to work as rickshaw riders, rather than loiter around. At least they can earn an income. I once advised a friend to stop loitering and work temporarily as a rickshaw rider before landing another job.

"In the end, he too ended up as a rickshaw man," she said.

Another young rickshaw rider is Mohamad Hidier Abd Muttalib, 24, who has been in the trade for the last five years. He rides the rickshaw at night to supplement his income.

"During the day I work as a mechanic; at night I take up the rickshaw trade."

RICKSHAWS TO STAY FOR GOOD

The president of the Kota Melaka Rickshaw Rider's Association, Arman Saleh, said the participation of the younger generation bode well for this trade, and would keep it alive.

Welcoming this development, Arman said he hoped this vocation would keep young people away from social ills.

"Since the last three or four years, the younger generation has shown an interest in this trade. "At present, there are about 194 rickshaw riders in Melaka, with 80 to 90 of them being young men," he said.

-- BERNAMA

Monday, July 4, 2011

MELAKA CASA DEL RIO HOTEL AT MELAKA RIVER MOUTH

Since early 2011, Melaka newest luxurious hotel, Casa del Rio, opened for business. Located just opposite the Melaka River Cruise terminal and at the Melaka River mouth, it has rooms facing the historic Melaka river.
The low rise hotel certainly blends into the landscape and does not intrude the skyline of Melaka.

PROPOSED JALAN KILANG PROJECT IN MELAKA

Some architect firm has proposed a concept development of the land at Jalan Kilang, Melaka.

Jalan Kilang used to be a place where small and medium scale industries had their factories. However, in late 1980s, they were asked to re-locate to Malim Jaya by the Melaka Council.

Some were compensated while others had to resort to class action for compensation.

Now, after more than 10 years, the area is ready to be developed. Whether anything concrete will take place in the future, remains to be seen. A park within any new development will be good for Malaccans as there are too much development without taking into consideration of open spaces.

Friday, July 1, 2011

6 MONTHS TO REMOVE RAIL TRACKS IN SINGAPORE

6 months to remove rail tracks
New Straits Times
Sat, Jul 02, 2011








SINGAPORE - Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad will strip the entire stretch of its railway track between Tanjong Pagar and Woodlands in Singapore and bring them home within the next six months.

That is the time frame KTMB has been given by the Singapore authorities to undertake the mammoth job of removing the tracks.

The track removal will pave the way for the republic's authorities to commence with either development projects that have been intended along the stretch, or maintain it as a heritage site or green corridor as suggested by environmentalists.

KTMB will release a tender notice soon to get a contractor to handle the job. The track spans over 23km from Tanjong Pagar in southern Singapore to Woodlands in the north.

KTMB president Dr Aminuddin Adnan told the New Straits Times that the job to remove the tracks was expected to be completed in several months, adding that the contractor could either be from Singapore or Malaysia, depending on who submitted the best bid.

He said part of the track would be showcased in KTMB museums as a historical exhibit while others would be kept for future use on KTMB tracks throughout the country.

"The first museum to display part of the track is the former Johor Baru railway station, which will be transformed into a museum soon.

"Other stations with plans to set up a museum will also be given part of the track as exhibits."

The Tanjong Pagar station became part of KTMB's history following the departure of the last train piloted by the Sultan of Johor at 11.03pm on Thursday.

As the bells sounded, followed by the heavy sound of the locomotive, the train slowly left Platform 1 of the station, with the sight and sound of well-wishers at the platform slowly fading away as the train disappeared into the dark.

The KL-bound train ride was by invitation only, and passengers comprised of KTMB staff and their family members, and newsmen from both sides of the Johor Straits.

As the train snaked its way towards the Woodlands checkpoint just before the Causeway, well-wishers lined up at both sides of the track at Bukit Timah and Bukit Panjang, among other locations, waved, and shouted "bye-bye".

Onboard the train, a host of activities was held, such as the singing of Auld Lang Syne, photo-shoots and press interviews.

The train transported home 16 carriages of passengers, who arrived in Johor Baru at 12.15am with sweet memories.

While the neo-classical style Tanjong Pagar railway station had been gazetted by Singapore as a heritage building, it remains unclear about the fate of the rail land stretching from the station to Woodlands, although environmentalists had called the republic's government to turn it into a green corridor.

Checks yesterday showed that the compound of the station including the parking area had been fenced off yesterday, and security guards were manning the building.