Sunday, December 16, 2012


Sunday December 16, 2012

Portuguese Settlement folk finally get a chapel By ALLISON LAI

Christmas cheer: Residents of the Portuguese Settlement can finally hold their Christmas Eve mass in their very own chapel at the village in Ujong Pasir, Malacca.

MALACCA: After five years of waiting, about 1,400 residents of the Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir here can finally look forward to holding their Christmas Eve mass in their very own chapel at the village.

Village Regedor (headman) Peter Thomas Gomes was thankful that the chapel was finally ready for use by the community members here.

“The construction work was completed late last year and the priest spent some time designing the altar while we were busy furnishing the chapel.

“All work was done by February and we have been holding weekly mass services there since,” he said after attending the Wanita Barisan Nasional Christmas celebration at the village yesterday.

Also present were Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Wanita MCA chief Datuk Yu Chok Tow, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and several other state women leaders.

The community had previously sought funds to build a church at the village.

The chapel has a seating capacity of 450. The request was approved by the Government and included in the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

During the national-level Christmas celebrations at the village two years ago, Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim personally delivered a RM480,000 cheque to the village to convert a hall into a chapel.

The chapel which has a seating capacity of 450 is named Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception.

“The chapel project was completed with prudent spending monitored by the village committee,” said Gomes.

He said more than 1,000 villagers and their families were expected to gather at and around the chapel on Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, Mohd Ali said the completion of the chapel marked a significant achievement for the village which was set up some 80 years ago.

¥ “This is another good example of the Government giving priority to what the people need,” he said.


If you intend to visit Melaka, you can now check live traffic situation in Melaka by logging into Google Map.

The Google Map wilk show you the different road situation - Red tells you the road is jam, Yellow is congested and Green is free flowing. So, with your smartphones, you can check the roads for congestion and take corrective action.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Today, we added Google Translator on our main content page at www.tourism-melaka.con/review. Google Translator can translate the main page into 64 languages at the click of the button.

Our main page used to be in English and getting this page translated will take hours of hard work until now. It may not be perfect but the gist of the contents will be there. Just select the language you want the page to be translated and click on it. We want to target the Chinese audience and now they can do so.

Hope you will use this added value service by Google.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


14 December 2012 | last updated at 08:07AM Malacca traffic jam soon to be history

By Jason Gerald |

TRAM OPERATING ON NGV: RM272 million project will begin in February next year WITH the sounds of Christmas Jingles echoing in malls and popular tourist destinations, such as the Jonker Walk, and the curtains closing slowly but definitely for this year, the traffic in the city is starting to become a nightmare.

Unlike the previous months where traffic and people only flock the Historical City over the weekends, the current school holidays and the rush by almost everyone to strike out their remaining annual leave, the number of people and vehicles coming into Malacca and leaving has almost doubled in December.

Not only are the exits to Malacca via the Simpang Ampat, Ayer Keroh and Jasin exits along the North-South Expressway experiencing a crawl but almost all roads leading to the city centre is seeing a bumper to bumper traffic.

However, this is the small sacrifice that people in Malacca have to pay to ensure the Historical City remains a vibrant tourist destination, as tourism is one of the main income generators for the state coffers and many businesses involved in the hospitality industry.

And the traffic congestion would become part of history when the much awaited Malacca Tram, a RM272 million project undertaken by Mrails International Sdn Bhd in collaboration with Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI), begins in February next year. The tram, operating on liquefied natural gas (NGV), would be capable of ferrying 120 passengers at any one time at a speed of 40kph and would begin from its depot next to the Ayer Keroh toll plaza and head to the heritage zone of Malacca -- covering a distance of 40km and serving 11 of 14 major tourist spots.

Among the popular spots the tram will pass on its route are Hotel Seri Malaysia, Botanical Gardens, Melaka Zoo, Melaka International Trade Centre, Taman Muzaffar Shah, Pantai Hospital, Masjid Al-Azim, Hospital Melaka, Renaissance Hotel, Dataran Pahlawan, Hotel Mahkota, Harbour Club, Equatorial Hotel and Bukit Baru.

With the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) giving the "green light" for implementation of the tram project, although the law on the transport system is yet to be completed, the tram could very soon be seen plying the "tourism" routes in the state.

SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said technical work such as the building of tracks and depots could still proceed and "there is still time to formulate the law" for the tram.

Syed Hamid also recently said SPAD had held discussions with the Attorney-General's Chambers in drafting the law for tabling in Parliament before gazetting. SPAD would ask for a detailed report on security and maintenance aspects of the tram system from the project developer to ensure its smooth operation.

When the Malacca Tram starts its operations, in about a year after the project starts in February, it is expected that some 110,000 passengers will use the service on weekdays and 210,000 on weekends.

Mrails is working with CNR Tangshan Railway Vehicles Co Ltd, a Chinese-based locomotive manufacturer, for the building of the coaches.

The tram is a rail borne vehicle, lighter than a train and differs from other forms of locomotion, as the tracks are embedded in the street.

It is able to accommodate 120 passengers at one time, caters to the disabled because of its ground-level design and will operate at speeds of 40kph.

Ticket for the tram ride is priced at RM2 for a single journey but students and senior citizens ride for free. A day pass, priced at RM5 is also available.

When launching the Tram project in February, last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak stressed that despite the nation's quest for greater modernisation, emphasis must be placed on environmentally-friendly technology to ensure sustainability and low carbon emissions.

He said long-term environmental conservation efforts were important and should not be compromised at the cost of development and that the Malacca Tram project was iconic, not only for the state, but for the nation as well.

This "next generation tram" is the world's first environmentally-friendly tram that runs on NGV engine. Najib said the project was suitable to be introduced here as it was in line with the state's slogan "Where It All Began".

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Wednesday December 12, 2012 MYT 7:39:00 PM

SPAD okays implementation of Malacca's tram project

MALACCA: The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has given the green light for implementation of the tram project in Malacca, although laws governing the system are not ready yet.

SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said technical work such as the building of tracks and depots could still proceed.

"Since the existing traffic laws do not cover trams, there is no regulation governing it. However, we have allowed the project to start because there is still time to formulate the law," he told reporters after meeting Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam on the tram project here Wednesday.

He said SPAD had held discussions with the Attorney-General's Chamber to draft the law for tabling in Parliament before gazetting.

SPAD would ask for a detailed report on the security and maintenance aspects of the tram system from the project developer to ensure its smooth operation, he added.

The RM272mil project undertaken by Mrails International Sdn Bhd in collaboration with Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI) will cover 11 of 14 tourist areas in Malacca.

The tram, operating on liquefied natural gas (NGV), is capable of ferrying 120 passengers at any one time at a speed of 40kmph.

Mohd Ali said preliminary work on the tram project was expected to start in February next year. - Bernama More News Go

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Friday December 7, 2012

Jonker Street needs a canopy

I RECENTLY visited the famous Jonker Street in historical Malacca. Situated near the mouth of the Malacca river, the street and its surrounding historical sites were filled with tourists.

One could not miss seeing pleasure boats cruising up and down the river or people queuing up for hours under the blazing sun just to savour the famous chicken rice balls, a sight not seen just a few years ago.

The state government has done a fantastic job and ought to be congratulated for transforming the area into a major tourist attraction.

However, one could also notice the effects of the blazing sun on the tourists walking along the narrow street or queuing up for food.

Using umbrellas to keep away the heat (or rain) on a crowded narrow street and walkway can be quite a challenge.

Would’nt it be nice and “cool” to have a canopy all along the Jonker Street?

It will keep the heat and rain away, thus encouraging more tourists to visit this unique historical site.

This will be good for the state and the business people.

The state government should consider the feasibility of a canopy.


Alor Gajah, Malacca

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


As 2012 draws to a close in 3 weeks' time, we want to wish everyone of Christian faith "A Very Merry Christmas" and to everyone " A Very Happy New Year 2013 ". Hopefully, 2013 will be a good year in our undertakings, health and happiness.

Enjoy your year end holidays and festivities. Do not drive if you drink and drive carefully.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012


November 26, 2012 18:36 PM

'Eye On Malaysia' Wheel In Pulau Melaka To Operate In April

MELAKA, Nov 26 (Bernama) -- The 101-metre high "Eye on Malaysia" Ferris wheel under construction in Pulau Melaka is expected to start operating in April next year, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said today.

Construction of the 13th highest Ferris wheel in the world, being built at a cost of RM40 million, had progressed to 15 per cent, involving installation of piles, he said.

"The installation of the wheel structure will begin in February," he said during a visit to the project s Site.

Mohd Ali said the made-in-China Ferris wheel, with 54 gondolas, could assist in the development of Pulau Melaka, which also has a wildlife theatre, as a major tourist attraction of the world.

Besides the Ferris wheel, local company The Eye Sdn Bhd was also developing a water and light theme park as well as a 28-storey hotel, he said. ≤P> Mohd Ali invited more tourism industry players to invest in the state, particularly in the development of large-scale theme parks.


Friday, November 23, 2012


Thursday November 22, 2012

Have mausoleum for Parameswara

DURING the recent Deepavali holidays, my family and I went to Malacca.

While driving around Malacca town, I noticed Parameswara, the founder of Malacca, had a very short road named after him.

Tun Razak, our “ Bapa Pembangunan” has the longest road in Malacca named after him.

I am not saying, naming the longest road in Malacca after our beloved late Prime Minister is wrong, but why not credit the founder of Malacca with a road which is more prominent and deserving.

We all have learnt since Form 1 that Parameswara was the founder of Malacca.

It’s sad to see that while most of the warriors of Malacca have mausoleums, the main man, who named and brought such progress to the state doesn’t have one.

I’ve read a few articles that the mausoleumof Parameswara is under the lighthouse built by the Portuguese in 1528 or 1529.

Why does the archaeology department not take proactive measures and redesign a mausoleum for the founder of Malacca?

Parameswara was not a myth. Let’s ensure he gets a proper mausoleum for his contributions.

Since the Government is making history a compulsory subject, why not start with what we have.

If Hang Jebat and his friends can have a mausoleum, it’s a shame we don’t have one for Parameswara.

If the A Famosa was patched and rebuilt a few times, what does it take to build a mausoleum for Parameswara?


Kuala Lumpur


23rd. November 2012

Due to the discovery of the old Melaka forteress wall besides the Melaka River carpark, excavation works are currently being done. Red laterite blocks that form her foundations can be seen. This find is very encouraging to the historical past of Melaka where there was a wall surrounding the administrative centre of Malacca.

The British demolished the surrounding walls of Malacca by explosive gunpowder under Farquhar so as to destroy the defensive fortified walls forever. When Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, was recuperating in Malacca from the swampy conditions in Singapore then, he strongly objected to this demolition. He wrote a formal letter of protest against this to Lord Minto, Viceroy at British India in 1800s.

Due to Raffles intervention, the total demolition of Malacca fort was stopped. Unfortunately, only A Famosa was saved which we can see today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


21 November 2012 | last updated at 09:50PM

State govt to take over Zoo Melaka by year's end

By Hanis Maketab

MALACCA: The State zoological park or Zoo Melaka would be taken over by the State Government from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks of Malaysia, which is under the Federal Government, by the year’s end.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the management of the zoo would be primarily taken over by a consortium which would be headed by the Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council.

The consortium would be made up of Koperasi Hang Tuah Jaya, Koperasi Bela Masyarakat (Kobemas) and WildlifeTheatre Melaka.

The consortium hopes to adopt the management style of the Singapore Zoo to steer Zoo Melaka to greater heights. Mohd Ali said that while the state government was awaiting an official letter from the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, preparations were currently under-way for the take over.

“Th privatisation will include an upgrade of its facilities and infrastructure, which is expected to cost up to RM6 million.

“We would also be changing the name of the zoo to 'Melaka Zoo and Night Safari'. Once everything is finalised, the zoo would be a private entity, it will no longer receive the RM4 million yearly grant from the Federal Government, and therefore, the new management must work towards ensuring the zoo's continued success,” he said. Mohd Ali said he hoped the zoo's privatisation would be the first step in improving it as a major tourist attraction not only for the state, but for Malaysia as well. "Malacca Zoo is currently one of the best zoos in the country, and I believe it can one day become a world-renowned zoo," he said.

When asked on the fate of the contract employees of the Zoo Melaka, Mohd Ali said that they would be absorbed by the Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council. Zoo Melaka is a 54-acre (approximately 21.22 ha) zoological park located beside Lebuh Ayer Keroh in Malacca.

The zoo has progressed rapidly since 1979 to become the second biggest zoo in the country, behind the National Zoo of Malaysia (Zoo Negara). Zoo Melaka annually records than 400,000 visitors and more than half of the visitors are from Melaka and the neighbouring states. Its annual ticket collection exceeds RM3 million. The number of exhibits has also increased significantly since it opened and as of today there are a total of over 1,200 specimen made up of 215 different species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians in the zoo.

The major attractions in Zoo Melaka are the highly endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros, Malayan Sun Bear, Malayan Gaur, Serow and the Malayan Tiger. The zoo is also renowned world over as a a centre for wildlife research, conservation and breeding, especially for the Malayan Tiger, Wild Dogs (Dhole), panther, tapir, serow, barking deer, sambar deer and many others. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Malacca to build Porto Historia commercial complex costing RM92mil

MALACCA: The state government will build a heritage city commercial complex called Porto Historia at a cost of RM92mil in Kota Laksamana, here, to further spur economic growth, especially in Central Malacca.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the real estate development project on a 1.9ha site facing Malacca River, would comprise a three-storey commercial building with 55 shoplots.

He said the building of Porto Historia was the result of a smart partnership between the state government's subsidiary company, Dunia Melayu Dunia Islam Finance House Berhad, and First Avenue Partners (Asia) Sdn Bhd. It is expected to be completed by November 2013.

"All the shoplots to be built are sold out, showing high demand for real estate ownership in this state, which will further improve the economy," he said after the ground-breaking ceremony for the project, Tuesday.

He said the commercial complex to be built based on Malacca's architectural heritage would also be a tourist spot, besides creating more than 200 job opportunities, especially for members of Koperasi Bela Masyarakat Melaka Berhad (Kobemas).

Mohd Ali said any developer that wished to put up a building or develop a real estate project must preserve Malacca's architectural heritage in line with Malacca as a Unesco-recognised world heritage city.

He said the state government would assist in preparing the drawing plans in meeting the design requirement based on Malacca's architectural heritage. - Bernama

Friday, November 9, 2012


Gallery opens to promote Macau’s culture


MALACCA: Malaccans could now cherish Macau’s unique culture and art that is largely made up of a combination of Chinese and Portuguese, with the launch of the Macau gallery here.

The gallery that was opened recently is located in Bukit Peringgit, about ten minutes away from the historic city centre.

The gallery occupies a heritage building that was originally a colonial bungalow and was later used as a state government department office.

Promoting Macau: The Macau gallery at Bukit Peringgit Malacca. Macau’s secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Cheong U, and Macau Government Tourist Offices (MGTO) Director Joao Manuel Costa Antunes together with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and Mayor Zainal Abu jointly cut the ribbons and performed an eye-dotting on a lionhead used by lion dance troupe to mark the opening of the Macau Gallery.

Other delegates from Macau who attended the opening ceremony were MGTO Destination Promotion Head, Betty Fok, Macau Museum Director Chan Leng Hin, Macau’s Maritime Museum Director, Wu Chu Peng and representatives from University of Macau.

Also present at the opening ceremony were state Education,Youth & Sports committee chairman Datuk Gan Tian Loo and State Secretary Datuk Wira Omar Kaseh.

Designed and managed by MGTO, the gallery is divided into zones with different themes to promote Macau’s history, culture and economy.

A total of 12 art pieces by Macau painters will be displayed at the gallery till the end of September to depict some of Macaus world heritage sites.

During the gala dinner held at a popular hotel in Malacca, Antunes said that both Macau and Malacca had a historical link peppered with rich Portuguese past and being recognised by the UNESCO as world heritage sites.

“The gallery will be a catalyst for mutual exchange for both Macau and Malacca to enhance understanding, strengthen friendship and consolidate cooperation,” he said.

Mohd Ali in his speech said the Macau gallery would also boost the effort placed by the state government to turn Bukit Peringgit as a tourist destination.

In 2009, the Macau Special Administrative Region Government and the Authorities of Malacca agreed on a MoU for the management of the heritage building with the purpose of transforming the property into a centre for promotion and exhibition of Macau’s culture and arts.


View wildlife up close and personal


MALACCA: DO you know that a baby sea lion can recognise its mother's distinctive calls amid a multitude of other sea lions? Or that the boa actually gives birth instead of laying eggs?

Rio performing for the audience at a bird show

These facts might not be known to many but, at the Kinderzoo programme, children and adults alike have the opportunity to be enlightened on the rare and unique world of sea lions, reptiles and birds at Wildlife Theatre Melaka.

Kinderzoo, which caters to children from as young as preschool age up to secondary level, is aimed at creating an educational wildlife programme outside the classroom, to impart knowledge and to encourage interaction with the animals as environmental and wildlife conservation takes on a more important role in our modern world. Its manager and curator Azman Ghazali has 17 years' experience of working with animals. He said the Kinderzoo provides a unique curriculum pertaining to the conservation of the environment and wildlife.

"We are not running a zoo. Our focus is on small groups of people because we want to give the real learning process like what the children have in their school. We believe that by dividing the children into several groups, they can absorb the knowledge more easily," he said.

The children will usually be divided into three groups, as there are three dedicated classes on birds, sea lions and reptiles.

"The trainers would also teach the children on how to treat animals well. We want to educate these young people to be more responsible for the fauna as we are concerned about the animals' extinction," he said.

Located at the manmade island of Pulau Melaka, the Wildlife Theatre Melaka is home to three lovable sea lions, colourful birds, captivating reptiles and a mysterious tribe from the tropical rainforest of Borneo.

Wildlife Theatre Melaka corporate communications executive Katherine Fam said besides the Kinderzoo, visitors would also be entertained in a show by the trio of sea lions -- John, Mary and Ann -- as well as the band of slithery reptiles and colourful exotic birds from all over the world.

During the 90-minute show, held at an amphitheatre that could accommodate up to 800 people, animal acts and antics would be showcased.

Guests would also be entertained by a native Borneo tribe with their exciting jungle rhythms while being taken on a cultural journey.

The Wildlife Theatre Melaka will be celebrating its first anniversary with a carnival on Nov 17, from 10.30am to 9pm.

"To mark our inaugural anniversary this year, we will be hosting a full-day carnival with exciting activities and spectacular performances. It will be packed with fun, educational activities and nutritious food for the whole family," said Fam.

Among the activities lined up from morning to night are snake guessing game, traditional congkak game, naming the baby raccoons game and Borneo cultural dance. The programme will climax with a grand finale featuring fire-eating performances. "We will be running four shows, at 10.30am, 3pm, 5pm and 7.30pm. And as a show of appreciation, our tickets will be sold on a Buy 1, Free 1 basis," said Fam.

"Except for the 5pm performance, the tickets for the shows will be priced at RM20 for adults and RM15 for children and senior citizens. The tickets for the 5pm show will be RM25 for adults and RM20 for children and senior citizens, as there will also be a magic show.

"On the day of the carnival, visitors can also be part of our history by participating in the naming of baby raccoons. We currently have a pair of two-month-old raccoons from Procyon Lotor species originating from North America, and they do not have a name yet, so there will be a contest to select the most suitable name for the babies."

Pulau Melaka is about half a kilometre off the coast of Taman Melaka Raya, and merely five minutes' drive from A'Famosa and Jonker Walk.

For details, visit or Wildlife Theatre Melaka's Facebook page.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


National Archives to recover country’s pre-1800 historical records

Posted on October 31, 2012, Wednesday

MELAKA: The National Archives is on a mission to recover records on the country’s history dating back before the year 1800, of which many are currently kept in foreign countries, especially in India.

Its director-general Daresah Ismail said this effort could help to enlighten the people on the history during that era, as the historical records kept by the Naational Archives at the moment were mostly after the year 1800.

“We lack of historical records during the British, Dutch and Portugese colonial eras before 1800 because those records had been brought back by them.

“So the National Archives is now attempting to bring back copies of the records especially from India as it was a former administrative centre for the British,” she told reporters after attending an outreach programme at Saad Foundation College here, yesterday.

Daresah added that the oldest collection at the National Archives was on churches in Melaka during the Dutch colonial era in the 16th century as well as the birth and death registry of that time.

“We also have copies of documents from Japan which contained stories on Admiral Hang Tuah and the Melaka Malay Sultanate in the 1500s,” she said. — Bernama



Chinese archives hold key to Malacca’s founding

October 11, 2012

FMT LETTER: From NK Khoo, via e-mail

The Malacca sultanate’s existence is proven only through cross reference with other historical archives from China, Siam, Portuguese, etc. because all archives from the Malacca palace were believed to have been destroyed during the wartime.

Historians are fully aware that China’s Ming dynasty history is the most well documented archives in the world, unlike Malacca’s history which was written a hundred years later.

Ming palace records are still existence and can be accessed by researchers to verify when Parameswara visited Nanjing.

Parameswara’s visit to China in 1405 was well documented in the Ming palace official journals with the details such as of what food served to him and his delegation on a particular day.

If the founding date for Malacca is 1262, then the history of the Ming Dynasty and Siam are all proven wrong or at least the Ming Dynasty history has to be brought forward 150 years to synchronise with the new Malacca history as claimed by Malacca government. This is a very unlikely event!

Most world renowned historians will not accept a history announced by local government without proper research works done on the subject. History still has to substantiated with evidences like palace official documents, artifacts, cross reference archives, etc.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


02 November 2012 | last updated at 01:20PM

Melaka to draw more Singaporean tourists

SINGAPORE: The Melaka government is set to attract more tourists from Singapore to the Unesco World Heritage City of Melaka through collaboration with the main industry players in the city state, said Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam.

"We are really looking forward to establishing networking and cooperation with the main industry players here in order to attract more tourists from Singapore," he said at a Melaka tourism product update event here on Thursday.

Mohd Ali said that to sustain Melaka City's position as a must-visit destination, the state government was promoting it based on 12 sub-sector tourism products, namely history, culture, recreation, sports, shopping,convention, health, education, agro-tourism, food, Melaka My 2nd Home and youth tourism.

Also present at the event were Tourism Malaysia Director for Singapore Zalizam Zakaria; Melaka State Secretary Datuk Wira Omar Kaseh; Melaka Tourism, Culture and Heritage Committee Chairman Datuk Wira Latiff Tamby Chik; General Manager of the Tourism Promotion Division in the Melaka Chief Minister's Department, Abd Kadir Md Idris, and local tourism industry players.

Mohd Ali said: "Last year, we received a total of 12.2 million tourist arrivals compared to 10.3 million in 2010, an increase of 17.5 per cent, with the length of stay at 2.15 nights. Tourist expenditure increased to about RM7.5 billion compared to RM5 billion previously."

In terms of foreign markets, he said, China continued to be the market leader, with a share of 21 per cent, followed by Singapore (18.9 per cent),Indonesia (11.3 per cent), Taiwan (six per cent) and Myanmar (5.5 per cent). "Singapore continues to be the second major market for foreign touristarrivals in Melaka," he said.

The chief minister said various efforts and strategies had been developed toattract 12.5 million tourist arrivals to Melaka this year, and added that this mission was supported by the theme of "Visit Historic Melaka Means Visit Malaysia".

He also said that Melaka was being introduced to tourists as a state that was clean, beautiful, colourful and bright, as well as a shopping paradise which also had delicious and tasty food.

"I hope this visit will mark the beginning of a steady flow of tourists from Singapore to Melaka. In conjunction with the 'Melaka 750 Years' celebration,should you visit Malaysia, and specially Melaka, this year, you would be able to experience more than 120 events, including 20 mega events and festivities, that have been planned throughout the year," he said.


Thursday, November 1, 2012


To all Hindus around the world, we wish to extend our "Happy Deepavali" greetings.

May the festival of lights help us in overcoming our shortcomings. Let us celebrate and bathe in the Lights of Deepavali.


Monday, October 22, 2012


22nd.October 2012

In a few days time, all Muslims around the world will celebrate the auspicious day of Eid or Hari Raya Haji. Millions will commemorate this day with sacrifices and prayers in mosques around the world.

May we take this opportunity to wish all Muslims "Selamat Hari Raya Haji" on this auspicious day.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


MELAKA- In 2008, UNESCO chose to register both cities of Melaka and Georgetown (State of Penang) into the World Heritage List. Both cities were seen as lively historical testimonies of 500 years of trading and cultural exchanges between East and West in the Straits of Malacca.

The UN agency for culture then acknowledged that few urban centres in Southeast Asia blended to intimately influences of Asia and Europe providing both towns with a specific multicultural heritage, both tangible and intangible. With its government buildings, churches, squares and fortifications, Melaka is a remarkable example of colonial architecture, which stretches back to the 15th-century Malay sultanate, continued with the Portuguese and Dutch presence from the early 16th century to finally become part of British Malaya before being part of the new independent Malaysia.

UNESCO then helped Melaka to preserve and renovate its blend of Chinese, European and Malay architectures as well as preserving its peculiar way of life. Over the last five years, old houses along the River have been renovated, some transformed into trendy cafes, eateries and hotels. In the evening special lighting effects turn also the city into an attractive night destination. 

Long considered as a sleepy outpost on the way from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, Melaka is now reviving as tourists and domestic visitors rediscover the city since its UNESCO inception.

In 2011, Melaka recorded its highest number of visitors ever at 12.165 million. They generated tourism revenues of RM 7.06 billion (US$ 2.2 billion).

According to State Tourism, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Datuk Wira Latiff Tamby Chik, growth in tourist arrivals was 17.5 per cent higher than in 2010.

During the first four months of 2012, growth continued unabated. Melaka welcomed during that period 4.11 million, a further rise of 13.3 % over the same months of 2011. From this number, 2.92 million were domestic tourists while the rest were foreigners.

Foreign arrivals grow faster than the domestic ones (37.3% versus 5.8%). The State government now believes that Melaka will welcome over 12.5 million visitors by year end. 

According to report by the State Tourism Department, Melaka top five foreign country tourist arrivals were China with 222,999 tourists followed by Singapore (185,277), Indonesia (16890), Taiwan (108,128) and Hong Kong (57,241).

Most popular attractions to the area are museums (312,058 visitors) followed by the Malacca River Cruise (279,338 visitors), Malacca Zoo (176,943) and Menara Taming Sari (169,340). 

A popular program in Melaka for foreign travellers is homestays with local people. Melaka offers 7 homestay programs officially registered with the Tourism Ministry. They welcomed last year 25,109 visitors, of which 8,883 were foreign guests. 

Among the new initiatives launched towards for travellers is a new website called ‘Welcome to Melaka’. The site provides travellers with everything about Malaysia’s capital city of culture by sharing some of Melaka’s best addresses, providing also web-surfers with articles and even discounts to selected shops. 


20 October 2012 | last updated at 12:14AM

Old Malacca on St Paul's Hill

By PHILIP LIM | 0 comments

MALACCA: THERE'S an old scent of history on St Paul's Hill in Malacca that draws tens of thousands of visitors there every month.

There are about 10 old Portuguese tombstones inside the church. 1 / 7

Even though the roof is missing, with only the walls left standing, visitors who walk on its grounds can't help but feel that history has left a long trail of invisible footprints left behind by forgotten Christian missionaries.

The original building on the hill was built in 1521 as a chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The chapel was named Nossa Senhora da Annunciada or Our Lady of the Hill. In 1548, the Bishop of Goa handed over control of the chapel to the Jesuits and a missionary named Francis Xavier took over the deed.

Renovations to the chapel took place in 1556, 1590 and 1592. In due course, the chapel was renamed Igreja de Madre de Deus or Church of the Mother of God. When the Dutch took over Malacca in 1641, the church was renamed St Paul's Church. One hundred eighty-three years later in 1824, the British gained control of Malacca but the name of the hill remained.

On any given day, one will find on St Paul's Hill souvenir pedlars and artists who seem to be drawn there more by the place's serenity than by anything else. Foo is one of them. He is on the lighter side of his 50s, but looks like someone who has emerged unscathed by the Flower Power of the 1960s.

His greying moustache and his lean frame give the impression that he is a bohemian seeking his fortunes amid 400-year-old ancient ruins. Sporting shoulder-length hair, a red jockey cap and cropped pyjama-style pants, Foo has that enigmatic smile that reveals he has seen far more of life than he is willing to share with strangers.

But once he warms up to you, Foo, who is sometimes called Patrick, is quick to recount tales of those early years when he was a fisherman. He weathered the storms on the high seas for two or three years before he realised that it was not his true path in life.

"During those fishing years, I was out at sea for two or three days at a time. Occasionally, it was about one to two weeks," said Foo. The weather was unforgiving and life sometimes seemed to hang in the balance, added Foo with a whimsical smile.

About 10 years ago, Foo decided he had had enough of the rough seas, scorching sun and vacillating fortunes. He returned to being a landlubber on terra firma where his feet did not have to sway.

With the help of some business friends, he obtained an ample supply of prints of old Malacca. The prints, popular among tourists, are given sepia tones to lend an old charm to the historical city.

Among the 20-odd pictures of old Malacca are scenes of Jonker Street in 1890, Heeren Street in 1910, Malacca River in 1880 and Kwee Meng Kuang footbridge in 1890. A batch of five prints is sold at RM20. For a KL resident, the price seemed immensely reasonable. In Jonker Street, where some photo shops are located, a similar old print which is framed is priced at RM45 each.

Foo readily admits that he is not an artist and that the items spread on the floor are not his work. Sitting on a stool in the corner of the interior of the church, the congenial individual seems to like life as it is right now.

His "work station" is in the rear of roofless church, which houses an old burial vault and Portuguese tombstones removed from the grounds in the 1930s. The Portuguese tombstones, which number about 10, form a boundary of sorts around Foo's "exhibition area".

A few feet from Foo is a sign in three languages (Bahasa Malaysia, English and Dutch) that says "laid to rest here is Ioanna six who was born in Tayoan, wife of Jacobus Pedel, a merchant and harbour master for Malacca town. Departed this life on 1 January 1696 at the age of 40 years, 9 months, 15 days also, before her on 21 May, 1695, their son Jacobus Pedel Junior passed away at age less 2 days to 7 months". With these centuries-old tombstones and relics on St Paul's Hill, the old Malacca that Foo somehow seems to personify, has come alive with its ancient walls and tombstones speaking in whispered tones about lives come and gone.

This former holy ground, like many others, is not without its own tale and mystery. The story lies in a statue of St Francis Xavier, erected in 1952, that has a broken right arm, at the front of the church.

The statue was to mark the 400th anniversary of the saint's stay in Malacca. One day after the statue was put up, a large tree fell and broke the arm.

It would not have been an unusual occurrence if not for the fact that in 1614, the right forearm of St Francis Xavier was removed from his body as a relic.

Today on St Paul's Hill, if you care to listen in silence to the whispers of the slow, incoming sea breeze, you, too, may hear something.

Read more: Old Malacca on St Paul's Hill - Central - New Straits Times

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 invited by TYT Gabvenor of Melaka

We have been invited to attend an official dinner to be hosted by the Governor of Melaka on this Friday night.

On Saturday morning, we will be visiting some new tourist products for Melaka viz.Taman Seribu Bunga, Macau Gallery, the Jonker Bird house, Coral Wonderland etc. which should be interesting for visitors to Melaka.

Certainly Tourism Melaka is looking forward to this dinner and exciting new tourism products for Melaka. We will feature them after our visit.

Webmaster : It was with great disappointment that we had to cancel and turn down the above invitation due to unforseen circumstances. Some family matter cropped out so we had to cancel this trip. Our apologies to the organisers.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


A photo of Pulau Melaka in the future if all the proposed development are carried out there. There is the proposed cable car, Eye of Malacca, hotel, bungalows, Arab City Mall(under construction phase). Currently, there is the mosque on the Straits of Malacca which is very popular with tourists and sea lion show. Hope more visitors will come and the shophouses can be tenanted.

Something to look forward to at Pulau Melaka.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


The Hainanese Village of Melaka

MyKampung 2012-10-09 16:53

The Hainanese people started to emigrate to Melaka about a century ago. Photo courtesy: Guang Ming Daily 1 of 8 Translated by WINNIE CHOOI Guang Ming Daily

MELAKA -- A translucent sunlight makes a perfect timing to explore Hang Tuah's tomb with a wonderful setting of azure sea and blue sky. A complete journey should be accompanied with a search of the Qiongzhou accent omnipresent in the Hainanese Village as well as the unmistakable Hakka Dongjiang cuisine.

Tanjung Kling

Melaka is such a casual and romantic place where the beach could be reached within 30 minutes. One of the popular beaches in Melaka, Tanjung Kling is also the final resting place of national hero Hang Tuah.

Tanjung Kling is located about 10km northwest of the historic city. Along the road are rows of shophouses erected on reclaimed land with the coastline beyond. The beach is easily accessible with a short 10-minute drive from town. Its serene ambience makes it a perfect venue for leisure and recreational activities.

Kampung Hailam

Half way towards Tanjung Kling from the city centre, along the small road leading to Pantai Kundor is a milestone standing next to a shabby Malay shop house marking the entrance to "Hainanese Village, where environment is our common responsibility."

Walking into the alley and not far away lies the sea followed by a few houses at one corner. Some 95% of residents living in the 9-acre Kampung Hailam are Hainanese, with only three Hokkien households.

During the West Han dynasty of China, the Hainanese people began emigrating to Southeast Asia. The Hainanese people started to come to Melaka about a hundred years ago. They came together to form a tiny fishing village rich in the Hainanese culture.

Fishing and cooking

There are about 50 households in the Hainanese Village leading a typically laid-back lifestyle in a strongly bonded society. However, due to the lack of development, most young villagers have moved to the city to make a living.

According to older villagers, their livelihood was mostly dependent on fishing during the colonial days. Many families here boil and dry the salt in their own compounds and almost every vacant plot of land in the village has been turned into salt fields. As fishing is the most primitive skills of the Hainanese people, many villagers have started to make fishing their main source of livelihood.

Records show that during the colonial days back in the 1950s, villagers quit fishing because of inconsistent income and became domestic helps for senior British officers in order to earn more lucrative incomes. In addition, the Hainanese were also known for their cooking skills and almost every Hainanese family has produced at least a chef serving at major restaurants worldwide.

Cherishing freedom

83-year-old villager Lin Jin Luan told Guang Ming Daily she had been living in the Hainanese Village for more than six decades ever since she was married to her husband and relocated here. She said majority of the fishermen in the village used to be Chinese but now there are more and more fishermen from other races.

Having grown accustomed to life by the sea, Lin said she would have problem adapting to the new life if she were to move away from the beach.

"How would you like to live in the city?" When confronted by the question from the Guang Ming Daily reporter, Lin replied, "Urban people lock themselves in the concrete cages; city living is not my cup of tea.

"I would never want to move into a bungalow even if I become rich one day. I would prefer to live by the beach and stare at the open sea."

Lin's daughter Yan Yu Zhuan, a maths teacher in the nearby SMK Bukit Rambai, chooses to remain in the tiny fishing village, unlike her contemporaries.

"If possible, I would like to continue living in the village."

He Ping Hakka Restaurant

Hakka dishes are also known as Dongjiang dishes. Traditional Hakka food is characterised by its heavy taste and is somewhat salty, spiced and fatty. The saltiness is to prolong the preservation period of the food while fat provides the energy for Hakka people who used to be engaged in manual works, while spicy food stimulates the taste buds.

Located at Pantai Kundor about 10 minutes from Tanjung Kling and the Hainanese Village, the restaurant has been in operation for 15 years now. Among the Hakka specialties served are the abacus yam balls, pork with preserved vegetables, steamed duck and stewed bean curd.


Kampung Hailam is also near to the Malacca Club Rotunda which is Malacca's oldest club which was founded in 1890. Melaka Sailing Club used to be located near Kampung Hailam during the 1970s. Unfortunately, the sailing club is non-existent now.

Monday, October 8, 2012


9th. October 2012

Since the announcement of Malacca and Georgetown as World Heritage Cities in 2008, both cities have seen a rise of local and foreign tourists arrivals. Melaka has seen tourists arrival increase from 8 million in 2008 to about an estimate of 13 million visitors in 2012 or about 15% increase year on year basis. These arrivals have helped Melaka and Malaccans economically and tourism is regarded as one of major source of income despite her small population. Malaccans cannot deny that fact tourism has benefitted them.

With Melaka being world recognised as a heritage city, property prices and rentals within the Heritage city areas have jumped by 30%. Within the Jonker street and Heeren street, heritage freehold shophouses prices are now being offered between 3 to 5 Million Ringgit which are unheard of previously.

Foreigners especially Singaporeans and Australians consider these prices as cheap in relative terms to the exchange rates. Singaporeans in particular are buying up these properties as investments since Melaka is just 3.5 hours drive away from Singapore.

At the same time, property owners within Melaka are also asking for higher rentals for businesses. Some businessmen from KL are also coming in to invest in properties and businesses as they see the potential of Melaka as a popular tourist destination. Similar trends are also seen in Georgetown, Penang.

New developments in international brands and boutique hotels are being constructed in Melaka and shopping malls are being built on reclaimed land around Bandar Hilir and Klebang. Hopefully, with the construction of new roads such as the coastal road at Klebang and expansion of the Ayer Keroh highway (construction of flyovers at strategic interchanges) will end weekend traffic jams.

Melaka Historical City council should undertake and develop a masterplan so that Melaka can benefit from this in years ahead.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Melaka Art and Performance Festival 2012 a resounding success

Appiah Annan from Ghana performing Sankofa / Photo from

Sep 28, 2012

MELAKA, Malaysia – The largest and only site specific art and performance festival on a UNESCO World Heritage site ended on a high note today as artists and performers celebrated a successful three-day festival. From September 21-23, Melaka was filled with art installations and performances by more than 50 renowned local and international artists.

Artists from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, France, Ghana, South Korea, Ireland, Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands, Morocco, Canada, Poland, and the USA performed in the streets along St. Paul’s Hill where the asphalt became their canvas.

Running for the fourth year, the Melaka Arts and Performance Festival (MAPFest) is an innovative contemporary festival featuring dance, performance art, visual art, film, and music. The closing of the festival culminated in the gathering of all MAPFest artists and performers as they performed “Eulogy for The Living,” a large-scale performance, which provided a spectacular and soulful finale to the festival. The play was directed by the Founding Creative Director, Tony Yap, accompanied by live music and projections by Khaled Sabsabi.

“We were overwhelmed by the response throughout the festival. These three days has truly shown that Melaka has the potential to be an international hub for arts and performances. We are definitely looking forward for a bigger and better festival next year,” said Andrew Ching, Founder and Producer of the Festival.

As a supporter of the festival, the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) shares the same vision. Zulkefli Sharif, Chief Executive Officer of MyCEB, said, “Our collaboration with MAPFest this year is a successful one as it proves that Malaysia can be a center stage for global events. Melaka, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, was the ideal venue to host such an inspiring showcase of the arts.”

The event attracted over 20,000 attendees, including an estimated 4,000 overseas visitors. Festival goers participated in a dance workshop by Australia's leading Afrocontemporary dance practitioner, Appiah Annan of Asanti Dance Theatre, as he introduced traditional and contemporary approaches to dance from his motherland, Ghana.

Many people also took part in a forum discussion themed, “Melaka intersections: Living space/museum town” by Associate Professor Cheryl Stock, Director of Postgraduate Studies Creative Industries Faculty of the Queensland University of Technology.

MAPFest 2012 was directed by Tony Yap, in his capacity as the Founding Creative Director. He was one of the principle performers with IRAA Theatre (1989-1996) and has worked extensively in Australia and overseas including the Agamemnon Festival Colline Torinese, Italy, and The Trojan Woman, Vienna International Art Festival. As the founding Artistic Director of Mixed Company (now The Tony Yap Company) in 1993, he has made a commitment to the exploration and creation of an individual dance theatre language that is informed by psycho-physical research, Asian shamanistic trance dance, butoh, voice, and visual design.

MAPFest 2012 is produced by Arts & Performance Festival Melaka Sdn Bhd and is supported by Tourism Malaysia, the Melaka State government, together with the efforts of E-Plus Entertainment, Mercatus Plus Malaysia, Badan Warisan Malaysia, Kingdom of the Netherlands, the French and The Netherlands Embassies, the Australian government, the Australian High Commission, Australia Malaysia Institute, Multicultural Arts Victoria, the Embassy of France, The Tony Yap Company, Nyoba Kan, Simone Lourey, and William Randall.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012


All Chinese around the world will celebrate the mid Autumn Festival on this coming Sunday. This festival is held on the 15th. Day of the eight month of the Chinese calendar where lanterns will be lit and mooncakes will be eaten.

In the old days, people will eat the mooncakes at night and drink tea under the moonlit night and admire the fullmoon. This tradition is still being carried out in some countries. A good excuse to enjoy the different varieties of mooncakes and the peanuts.

Children enjoy walking around their neighbourhood with their lanterns brightly lit by candles or by modern LED lights which are safer. All good fun for the kids and their parents.

In multicultural Malaysia, this festival is being celebrated by all races especially in the lantern festival or commonly called the Tung Lung festival. Good fun as the children mingle among each other for a night of fun and celebration. Hopefully, this unique Malaysian celebration will continue in years to come.


Thursday, September 20, 2012


Email    Print 20 September 2012 | last updated at 10:34PM

Taking arts to Malacca streets

THE largest and only site specific art and performance festival on a Unesco heritage site returns to Malacca for the fourth time from tomorrow to Sunday.

The Mapfest 2012 team

The Melaka Art And Performance Festival or Mapfest 2012, held daily at 10am, has performances by more than 50 local and international artistes from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, France, Ghana, South Korea, Ireland, Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands, Morocco, Canada, Poland and the United States. They will perform on the streets along St Paul’s Hill and the asphalt will become their canvas.

Mapfest 2012 draws from Malacca’s famous heritage sites to create a space for contemporary culture and artistic practice. It will have components such as Cerita Pendek (Short Stories) 1 and 2, visual arts, discussions and workshops. Cerita Pendek brings together dance, music and performances from all participating artistes in short works over two nights at St Paul’s Church.

On Sunday night, they will all perform Eulogy For The Living, a spectacular finale directed by Tony Yap and accompanied by live music, and projections by Khaled Sabsabi. Producer Andrew Ching says: “The festival provides an avenue for up-coming performers to showcase their talents and collaborate with international artistes.”

Festival supporter the Malaysia Convention And Exhibition Bureau chief executive officer Zulkefli Sharif says that as a heritage site, Malacca has always been a popular tourist attraction and the festival enhances its offerings.

  The event is set to attract more than 4,000 international attendees who can join a dance workshop by Australia’s leading dancer Appiah Annan of Asanti Dance Theatre who will introduce traditional and contemporary approaches to dance from his motherland, Ghana.

Mapfest 2012 is produced by Arts And Performance Festival Melaka and is supported by the Tourism Ministry, E-Plus Entertainment, Mercatus Plus, Badan Warisan Malaysia and the governments of the Netherlands, Australia and France among others.

Admission is free.

Details at   Leave Your Comment

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Kancil, the mascot of Tourism Melaka, visited the heritage sites of Siem Reap recently.

The world heritage sites of Angkor Wat, Wat Bayon and other sites of the Angkor Heritage Complex were indeed impressive, peaceful, educational and majestic to say the least.

Bayon Heritage site of Siem Reap

Kancil also visited the heritage site made famous by Angelina Joley in her movie as Lara Croft in "Tomb Raiders". The giant trees growing on the heritage site are impressive but at the same time destructive. Restoration works are continuously being carried out world restoration experts to preserve the sites for future generations to come.

If you can, all must visit the Heritage Sites of Angkor in Cambodia. Not to be missed in your lifetime.

The other wonderful and natural wonder is the boat cruise along Tonle Sap, the largest fresh water lake nearby. During the dry season, Tonle Sap lake is only about 2,700km square in area BUT during the rainy seasons from April to end September, the area increases to more than 10,000 in size!!!.

Boat people stays on floating houses around the lake and moves according to the water levels. Also, another beautiful and breezy view of this enormous fresh water lake not to be missed.


12 September 2012 | last updated at 08:46AM Malacca to set up archaeology institute


Heritage-rich Malacca plans to set up an institute of archaeology, with the help of the Institute for Conservation and Restoration (ICR) of Rome, in an effort to produce skilled manpower in the restoration of museum artefact.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the institute would be allocated an initial grant of RM2 million from the Heritage Fund to carry out its operations. "In Malaysia, we have yet to have such an institute to train skilled workers in repair work and restoration of museum artefact. It is time that Malacca set up this institute with the help of the ICR.

"For a start, the institute will operate as an academy before being upgraded to a skills institute in repair work and restoration of artefact, painting and pottery for public display," he said after visiting the ICR in Rome on Friday.

ICR director Giseela Capponi was on hand to brief the Malaysian entourage, led by Malacca Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob.

Other members of the entourage included Malacca Tourism, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Datuk Wira Latiff Tamby Chik and Malacca Museum Corporation general manager Datuk Khamis Abas.

After visiting the Vatican City, Khalil and Ali had a discussion with Professor Leigh Robinson of Scotland's Stirling University on sports development.

Ali also attended a product update event organised by Tourism Melaka. Bernama

Monday, August 27, 2012


In 3 days time, Malaysians from all walks of life, creed, religion and races will celebrate our 55th. Anniversary of Independence Day or Merdeka Day. We achieved our Independence from Britain through negotiation and compromise from all Malaysian under the leadership of Tunku Abdul Rahman.

At the same time, we celebrate our Malaysia Day on 16th. September 2012.

Over these 55 years, Malaya then and Malaysia now has gone through many challenges. However, with the co-operation of the three main groups within Malaysia, we have managed to overcome these challenges. We prospered, work, play and live in harmony over these years and built Malaysia into what is today.

Many challenges lie ahead. Europe is in a state of uncertainty due to the Eurozone problems. USA's economy is still not robust enough while in Asia, China's growth is slowing.

Malaysians must unite together and face these challenges head-on. With all Malaysians working together in unison, we can overcome these external threats. Besides that, we need to overcome internal conflicts within Malaysia herself.

Peace and Harmony within Malaysia is important. We must maintain and improve our economic, social and financial goals so that Malaysians of future generations can enjoy the peace and prosperity built by our ancestors in our years ahead.


Thursday, August 23, 2012


23 August 2012 | last updated at 12:36AM Open house can be huge tourist draw


ENJOYABLE EXPERIENCE: Country can use this uniquely Malaysian practice to attract foreigners Locals and foreigners at an open house in Kota Kinabalu early this week. This open house tradition will boost unity and tourism. Pic by Edmund Samunting 1 / 1 KUALA LUMPUR:

HOLDING open house is a unique Malaysian trait. It not only promotes unity among the races but can also be put on the tourism calendar.

The various key players and stakeholders in the tourismindustry said the country could use the open house concept to promote itself to the world.

“This is the beauty of our country. People open up their homes to those from different walks of life, and this strengthens unity and harmony,” said Tourism Malaysia chairman Datuk Dr Victor Wee.

He said tourism industry players could combine their open house functions with other programmes to allow tourists to experience Malaysian culture.

“Many tourists participate in homestay programmes to experience village life. It will be great if we can organise Hari Raya celebrations in homestays.

At the same time, every state has its own way of celebrating Hari Raya. “Tourists will find this a fulfilling vacation as they get to learn about different traditions.”

Echoing Wee’s concerns, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents president Datuk Mohd Khalid Harun said despite open house being a distinct Malaysian feature, not many tour operators promoted it to foreign tourists.

“Tour operators should encourage foreigners to visit Malaysia during festive seasons. It is a unique concept that isn’t seen in other parts of the world,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.

Khalid said promoting the open house could also boost the aviation industry, as more tourists would fly to the country.

In supporting the idea, Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab Beg urged government agencies to inform the department of the dates and venues of their open house functions so that tour operators could include them in their itineraries. “The open house can draw a lot of tourists. We will be happy to promote it.”

Even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, during his Hari Raya open house on Sunday, expressed happiness that Malaysians held this practice abroad, including serving lemang, ketupat and rendang to guests.

He described the open house tradition as a unique practice adopted by Malaysians to mark festivities.

Tour operator Datin Baizura Abu Bakar said the open house showed the true spirit of unity. “The spirit of 1Malaysia is seen in the Hari Raya open house. “People from all walks of life mix with one another.” Baizura said tourists who attended the open house would enjoy the experience. "They will feel that Malaysia is their second home."

   Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk S.K. Devamany said the open house concept promoted unity among the races.

  "This tradition, which dates back to 1960s, is entrenched in our culture. People understand each other's way of life this way.

  "There is no better way to bring together so many races under one roof. Therefore, Malaysians should be encouraged to have open house  to  boost unity.

  "People all over the world crave for this sort of togetherness. This tradition of ours is a highly bankable one for the  tourism sector." Additional reporting by Nuradilla Noorazam and Hashini Kannan

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Malaysia’s Melaka readies for 13 million tourists Bikya Masr Staff | 19 August 2012 | 0 Comments

Melaka waterfront to see millions of tourists, says government. KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s southern tourist spot Melaka has seen some 6.8 million tourist arrivals in the first 6 months of this year, up 21.1 percent over the corresponding period last year, and is on track to achieve 12.5 million arrivals for the whole year, the government said.

The state recorded 5.6 million tourist arrivals between January and June last year, said Abd Kadir Idris, general manager of the Tourism Promotion Division in the Melaka Chief Minister’s Department.

“Melaka is on the right track to achieving 12.5 million tourist arrivals this year in conjunction with the 750th anniversary of Melaka,” he told Bernama news agency.

Abd Kadir said domestic tourists continued to be the highest, registering five million or 74.63 percent of the total arrivals, compared to 1.8 million foreign arrivals or 25.37 percent.

A majority of the foreign tourists are from China, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan and Hong Kong, contributing to 1.1 million tourist arrivals in all.

Abd Kadir said the rise in the number of tourists was the result of close cooperation between the Melaka state government and the various players in the tourism industry, ranging from hotel operators to trishaw riders.

He also said that the opening of the RM73 million Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex at the mouth of the Melaka River on August 1, would provide a major boost to drawing more tourists to Melaka.

The CIQ, which would be a major gateway to Dumai and Bengkalis in Indonesia, would further facilitate tourist travel, besides the Melaka international airport in Batu Berendam, he said.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012


Monday August 13, 2012 Bring back the good old memories

THOSE born in the 50s, 60s and 70s will surely remember Capitol Theatre (pic) and Lido cinema situated smack in the middle of (old) Malacca town.

At that time Wolfersten Road (where Capitol Theatre was located) and Bunga Raya Road (where the recently-burnt Lido cinema was sited) were “the” places to be.

It was the shopping centre/haven for Malaccans as the central bus station and wet market were located nearby.

Malaccans will remember that both these cinemas, among a few entertainment outlets in town which showed Indian, Malay, Chinese and Hindi movies. Those working in estates would throng the cinema on the 7th and 21st of each month to watch the latest Indian movie when they received their fortnightly pay. There was this famous ice kacang stall along Jalan Bunga Raya that all of us used to frequent and remember fondly because of its affordable prices. Imagine paying 15sen for ice kacang without milk and 20 sen with milk! On a recent trip to this historical city and incidentally my hometown, I was taken aback to see the appalling condition of the abandoned Capitol theatre. It appears to have been abandoned and is an eyesore to former Malaccans and tourists. I strongly feel that this former icon should be restored as a heritage building and restored to its former glory. Hopefully, it will not suffer the fate of its counterpart, the former Lido cinema which was burnt down recently. For instance, Malacca’s “Little India” is located at one end of Wolfersten Road but at the other end where Capitol Theatre is located, the area has been totally neglected, except for one shop selling souvenirs and Malacca goodies. I suggest that the Malacca state government consider a comprehensive plan to redevelop the old Malacca town as a tourist attraction. I’m sure Malacca-born diehards will also visit this “restored town” to share with their families and friends the “good old days”. Please bring back the good memories of good old Malacca. DR POLA SINGH Kuala Lumpur

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


MCA veteran from Malacca dies at 91

MALACCA: MCA stalwart Tan Sri Tan Cheng Swee (pic) died at Hospital Pantai Ayer Keroh on Sunday night. He was 91.

Tan, who was Malacca MCA adviser, was admitted to the hospital in early July for treatment due to failing health and died at about 11pm.

He leaves behind wives, Puan Sri Tay Siew Phung and Nelly Ng, two daughters, two sons and several grandchildren.

Tan was one of the founding members of MCA and was former MCA vice-president, Deputy Chief Minister of Malacca (1970-1976) and Malacca MCA state liaison committee chairman (1963-1976).

The wake will be held today, tomorrow and Thursday at 8pm at 16, Jalan Bukti China here. The funeral service will be held on Friday at 11am followed by the cremation at Melaka Memorial Park.

State MCA chief Datuk Gan Tian Loo said Tan's death was a great loss to the state and party.

He said Tan had contributed greatly to the state government during the post-Merdeka period and brought MCA to greater heights during his tenure.

“Tan Sri had once led the state as Deputy Chief Minister and was also a father figure to younger MCA leaders,” he said.

Gan said as a mark of respect, MCA would cancel all events scheduled for today.


7th.August 2012

PASARAYA KHELASS located at the junction of Jalan Kee Ann and Jalan Pasar Baru was destroyed in a fire last night.

The local fire services receive a distress call at 11.50pm last night and rushed to the scene only to find the former Lido cinema (was originaly the El Dorado Cinema) converted to a emporium for the past 10 years was burning to the ground. With the textile, supermarket articles, clothing etc. the fire was intense until once of the walls of the old building collapsed.

Also destroyed were the 10 fruit stalls in front of Khelass and 2 food stalls. It took 47 fire personnel and 8 fire engines from 3 fire stations around Melaka to control the blaze which was put out at about 1.26am.

It was a pity that Khelass was burnt down early this morning. The owners of Khelass only changed the roof of the emporium about 6 months ago before this fire occurred.

Hopefully, the store is covered under fire insurance and we look forward to some positive development in this site.

Pity that the years old structure of the former Lido Cinema was destroyed. Lido Cinema served the Malaccan public with Shaw Production movies from the late 1960's until 1980's. Personnally, I lived a stone's throw from the former Lido Cinema in my teen years and saw numerous Shaw movies in Lido before it was converted to this current emporium in late 1980's. I feel sad that this had happened.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Tourism Melaka has signed an agreement with, a company incorporated in Singapore, to provide the purchase of bus tickets on-line via our website.

By doing so, visitors from Singapore can buy tickets to travel to Malaysia and even Thailand just by clicking on the logo. Payment can be made via credit cards. It is easy and convenient that you can buy your bus tickets from the comfort of your home via the Internet.

Let's come to visit Melaka - World Heritage City, UNESCO by making your own way here via


Saturday, July 21, 2012


Malaysia now has four world heritage sites Posted on 2 July 2012 - 07:47pm Last updated on 2 July 2012 - 10:22pm

Commissioner of Heritage Malaysia Datuk Siti Zuraina Majid, (third from left), leading the Malaysian delegation to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting in St Petersburg, Russia. BERNAMA KUALA LUMPUR (July 2, 2012): Malaysia now has four World Heritage Sites recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's (Unesco) World Heritage List, the latest being the Archaelogical Heritage of the Lenggong Valley (AHLV) in Perak.

The others are the historic cities of Melaka and George Town along the Straits of Melaka, Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak and Kinabalu Park in Sabah.

The listing of AHLV by Unesco is also 953rd on the World Heritage List in the current session of the World Heritage Committee here, and it also "testifies another dimension of the global recognition of Malaysia as a nation endowed with and committed to the conservation and protection of its world renowned heritage", the National Heritage Department said in a statement from St Petersburg, Russia today.

Malaysia is a member of the 21-nation World Heritage Committee that decides on the inscription, referral or deferral of properties proposed for nomination, a position it was elected to, for a four-year term (2011-2015).

The department said the lush Lenggong Valley contained artefactual evidence in the open air and cave sites spanning all the periods of hominid history outside Africa.

It said the series of caves and open air sites along the Perak River in the Lenggong Valley were an exceptional testimony to occupation of the area, particularly during the Palaeolithic era, but during the Neolithic and Bronze age periods from 1.83 million years ago to 1,700 years ago.

These sites represent one of the longest records of early man in a single locality in the world.

The department said Malaysians should be proud that this inscription by Unesco meant that the Lenggong Valley was an important site for humankind to be shared by all in the world.

With this comes a serious responsibility to protect and preserve its outstanding universal value for future generations, it added.

Datuk Zuraina Majid, the Commissioner of Heritage Malaysia, led the Malaysian delegation to the meeting here.

Others in the team include Professor Dr A. Ghafar Ahmad, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Wilfred Landong and Syahrin Abdullah.

Malaysia's Permanent Delegate to Unesco, Mohd Zulkifli Mohammed, also attended the meeting. – Bernama

Friday, July 20, 2012


Honda Motor to build hybrid cars at Malacca plant in Malaysia Reuters Jul 19, 2012, 12.25PM IST

TOKYO: Honda Motor Corp started building a second production line at its Malacca plant in Malaysia on Thursday where it will build hybrid and small-sized vehicles as local demand grows for green cars, the Japanese automaker said.

The new line, which will start operating by end of 2013, will produce small cars such as the Jazz, known as the Fit in Japan, as well as hybrid vehicles, Honda said.

The capacity at the plant will be doubled to 100,000 vehicles. Honda, which will invest a total of about $110 million for the line, said it plans to hire about 700 people once it is running.

Last year, Honda sold 4,600 hybrid vehicles in Malaysia, its largest market for hybrid cars in Southeast Asia. The automaker plans to more than double sales to about 10,000 vehicles this year.

To meet growing demand, it will start producing the Jazz hybrid locally at the end of this year using the Malacca plant's existing line until the new line is set up.

Honda currently manufactures vehicles including the Civic compact cars and flagship Accord at the Malacca plant.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Today is an auspicious day for Melaka and Georgetown in Penang. Both our cities were conferred with UNESCO World Heritage cities on 8th July 2008.

Four years have gone by and have there been any benefits for both cities? On the positive side, both cities have seen a marked increase of tourists both within and outside the countries. Our cities are now world recognised. With more visitors, there has been an increase in economic activities. More hotels have been built or are going to be built to cater for visitors.

More visitors have caused traffic jams especially during weekends and long public holidays. Existing roads cannot handle the increased traffic loads into the heritage areas. Some mode of transport must be implemented to prevent traffic from happening without damaging our heritage. We want to retain the charm that these cities for generations to come. Extra development should be done outside the heritage areas.

Monday, July 2, 2012


Monday July 2, 2012

Malacca bans smoking in Jonker Walk and Jalan Kota By ALLISON LAI

MALACCA: Jonker Walk and Jalan Kota, which are major tourist attractions here, are now smoke-free zones.

Smokers risk being fined RM5,000 if caught puffing along the streets in the historic city.

State Health director Datuk Dr Dul Hadi Md Junid said smoking indoors or outdoors including entertainment outlets at the two locations were strictly prohibited.

“A signboard has been put up next to the Tan Kim Seng bridge near the entrance of Jonker Walk to remind smokers.

“There is a special spot below the signboard for smokers to put out their cigarettes and a bin for them to dispose it,'' he said at the World Tobacco-Free Day celebration in Banda Hilir here on Saturday.

He said the department planned to install eight more similar signboards along Jonker Walk.

They are in the process of getting permission from the Heritage Department for Jalan Kota as the street is located in the heritage core zone.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Melaka new Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Centre located at the Melaka River mouth is completed recently. It should be operational soon.

Looks modern and the new CIQ will be able to cater to tourists from cruise ships, Dumai ferries from Indonesia and visiting yatches from overseas.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Malacca sees 13.3pc rise in tourist arrivals

By Syawal Syahrin | 0 comments

4 MILLION IN FOUR MONTHS: Chinese, Singaporeans and Indonesians among top arrivals

MALACCA: More than four million tourists visited the state in the first four months of this year, an increase of 13.3 per cent compared with the same period in 2011. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said of the 4.11 million tourists, 2.92 million were domestic tourists while the rest were foreigners.

“From January to April last year, Malacca saw some 3.62 million tourists visiting the state.

“But this year, for the same corresponding period, we saw an increase of 481,217 visitors.

“Foreign tourists saw a sharp increase of 37.3 per cent or 321,441, while domestic visitors grew by 5.8 per cent or 159,776 people,” he said.

Based on a report by the State Tourism Department, Ali said the top five foreign country tourist arrivals were China with 222,999 tourists, Singapore (185,277), Indonesia (168,190), Taiwan (108,128) and Hong Kong (57,241).

“As for the domestic tourists, the bulk of them were from Selangor, which recorded 773,271 tourists, followed by Kuala Lumpur with 666,520 tourists and Johor stands at the third place with 484,748 tourists.”

In the area of health tourism, Ali said some 141,602 people had sought treatment from three major private hospitals in the state — Mahkota Medical Centre, Putra Specialist Hospital and the Pantai Hospital Ayer Keroh.

“This figures comprises 81.6 per cent of the total number of tourists who came to Malacca to seek medical attention, with a majority of them coming from Indonesia with 29,789 people.

“Other foreigners who come here for medical tourism are from Singapore, China, Middle East and also Bangladesh.”

Ali also said museums in the state were the most popular attraction among tourists as they attracted 312,058 people, followed by the Malacca River Cruise (279,338 visitors), Malacca Zoo (176,943) and Menara Taming Sari (169,340).

Ali said the state government’s initiative in developing a variety of attractions had resulted in the drastic rise of tourists in this state, thus making Malacca a must-visit state in Malaysia.

“Besides this, several tourism aspects such as hygiene, tourists’ safety and communication facilities were crucial factors in attracting tourists to the state.

“Our ‘Think Tourism and Act Tourism’ initiative also managed to get the people to realise the importance of tourism to the state’s economy and this, too, is vital in ensuring we remain on top in the country’s tourism scene.”

This year, he said the state aims to attract 12.5 million tourists.

Monday, June 11, 2012


The annual Melaka River Dragon Boat Race will be held at the Melaka River mouth. The event will be held on Sunday, 17th. June 2012.

Visitors to Melaka are invited to witness this annual event where different teams from overseas and locally will take part.

Since 3rd. June 2012, Melaka is holding the Annual Melaka River Festival. Different activities will be held during this time including this Dragon Boat Race.

As the annual Dumpling Festival is held on 23rd. June, this Dragon Boat Race is significant to all.

Come and join in the fun at the Melaka River Festival. Enjoy.


Saturday June 9, 2012

Cabbie returns woman’s purse By R.S.N. MURALI

MALACCA: When Camela Tan left her purse containing about RM2,500 and valuables in a taxi after being dropped off at St Francis Church here, the Singaporean thought she would never see them again.

But thanks to the honest driver, she was reunited with her belongings.

K. Nathan, 35, found the purse while he was cleaning his taxi before ferrying his next passenger.

Model citizens : Nathan (left) and Roslan congratulating each other after receiving their certificates at the hotel Friday. Nathan went to Equatorial Melaka Hotel which was his pick-up point and handed over the purse to tour desk assistant Roslan Abdul Ghani.

Nathan said it was wrong to keep someone else's property.

“It doesn't belong to me and should be returned to its rightful owner,” he said.

The father of three, who lives in Taman Desa Duyung here, said it was against his Hindu faith to keep the purse.

“I believe taking someone else's property is like eating someone else's flesh. I can't do it,” he said.

Roslan, 48, then contacted Tan who was a hotel guest and returned her belongings on May 27, the day of the incident.

Nathan and Roslan were awarded by the hotel with a certificate for their honesty on Wednesday.

Roslan said he appreciated his employer's gesture.

“I never expected to be rewarded by my bosses. I was just doing my duty to take care of the hotel guests.

“When the purse was handed to me, I promptly contacted Tan to relay the good news as I knew she must be anxious,” he said, adding that he would frame the certificate and hang it in his home.

“The award would inspire me to serve the hotel guests with full integrity,” he said.

Tan, 60, made a special trip back to Malacca to be present at the ceremony.

“It was indeed a memorable holiday in Malacca. I was touched by the courtesy and honesty of the taxi driver and the hotel staff.

“I will return to Malacca soon to meet Nathan and Roslan as an encouragement for others to emulate their honesty,” she wrote in her e-mail upon returning to Singapore after the incident.

She said having her purse returned was like a “mystical” experience.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Monday May 21, 2012

Jonker Walk and Singapore’s Chinatown to pair up as twin streets By ALLISON LAI

MALACCA: The city’s famous tourist attraction Jonker Walk is likely to pair up with Chinatown in Singapore as “twin streets” to promote them as tourism destination.

Jonker Walk committee deputy chairman Datuk Gan Tian Loo said the initiative was mooted after it realised that Jonker Walk and Chinatown shared many historical and cultural similarities.

“Both places were one of the earliest Chinese settlements of our forefathers who arrived at then Malaya during the 18th century.

“They feature distinctly Chinese cultural elements and played important roles in the economic development of Chinese settlers at that period,” he said yesterday.

Although the two streets have evolved, he said, their historic elements were preserved and were now popular tourist attractions.

The pair-up as twin streets would help strengthen friendship between Malacca and Singapore apart from benefiting both cities’ tourism industries with millions of tourists arrival recorded every year, he added.

Gan, who is also Duyong assemblyman, said the committee had forwarded the plan to an MP in Singapore.

“A working trip to the republic with visit to Chinatown is also expected soon,’’ he said

He also said the committee was planning to turn Jonker Walk and 20 other streets nearby into a Cultural Town.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

May 17, 2012 16:06 PM 800,000 Tourists Targetted For Melaka River Carnival

JOHOR BAHARU, May 17 (Bernama) -- The Melaka state government hopes to attract 800,000 tourists during the Melaka River Carnival 2012 to be held for a month starting June 8.

State Transportation, Information, Unity and Consumerism Committee chairman Datuk Ghazale Mohamad said the sixth edition of the carnival would feature 53 attractive activities from government agencies and the private sector.

"The carnival had attracted 500,000 visitors last year and we are confident the figure will increase this year," he told reporters when promoting the event at the Sultan Iskandar Information and Broadcast Centre here Thursday.

Ghazale said the international level carnival would also include competitions in kayak and parade of boats that would be open to foreign participants as well.

He said participants from Portugal, Holland, United Kingdom and a number of Asian countries had already confirmed their entry.


Saturday, May 12, 2012


Best Western makes Malacca debut

Bangkok, May 9, 2012

BEST Western International (BWI) has opened Best Western Wana Riverside Hotel in Malacca, as part of ongoing expansion efforts in Malaysia (TTG Asia e-Daily, February 23, 2012).

“We hope to be able to help cater for a new wave of business and leisure tourists attracted to this historical city,” said Glenn de Souza, BWI vice president International Operations – Asia & the Middle East.

Located on the banks of the Melaka River, the 170-key Best Western Wana Riverside offers a mix of superior, deluxe, grand deluxe, studio and executive rooms, ranging in size from 29 – 40m². The hotel also features meeting facilities for up to 400 persons, a sports bar, and a riverside cafĂ©.

BWI is scheduled to operate 15 properties in Malaysia by 1Q2015, offering more than 1,700 rooms across nine cities.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Ancient Malacca temple hopes to be marked on tourist map

Huge incense burner (left), placed at the spot since 1892, at the 200-year-old ancient San Duo Temple in Malacca. (Right) Stela to record every rebuild period of the temple.

Sin Chew Daily/Asia News Network
Friday, Mar 30, 2012
MALACCA - The Jalan Tokong Besi in Chinatown of Malacca is also known as Harmony Street, as worship places of three religions are located peacefully along the same street. Among them is 200-year-old ancient San Duo Temple.

The street also symbolises the harmonious coexistence of Buddhism, Taoism, Islamism and Hinduism in Malaysia.

The San Duo Temple is seldom mentioned due to the lack of propaganda. However, visitors always being impressed by the temple's rich historical heritage. Therefore, the Malacca Kwang Tung Huay Kuan entrusted to manage the temple hopes that the temple can be included in the Malacca tourist map.

The San Duo Temple has 217 years of history and was formally called the Qing Long Hui when it was built in 1795. It was later renamed as the San Duo Temple after the expansion was completed in 1857.

Many utensils in the temple, including incense burners and plaques, are originated from the Chinese Manchu Dynasty and being placed at the temple in 1891. The entrusted body also spent thousands of ringgit last year to repair relics in the temple.

(Left) "The 18th years of the Guangxu Empire" is clearly engraved on the beam. (Right) Ancient plaques hung on a wall of the temple's main hall shine after being repaired in recent years.
Malacca Kwang Tung Huay Kuan director Huang Da Wen said that the association hopes that the temple can be officially recognised as a tourist attraction to further promote the temple's characteristics and historical values.

He said that many tourists who passed by the Jalan Tokong Besi had been impressed by the ancient temple.

He also said that many century-old historical relics in the temple are priceless tourist attractions and if the government attaches importance to the temple and help to promote, it can help the association to strengthen maintenance and improve management of the temple's affairs.

He added that the maintenance of the temple relies on donations from worshipers and the association's assistence. Under a great financial pressure, the temple hold a chingay every two years.

(From left) The ancient bell originated from the 17th year of the Guangxu Empire is a precious historical treasure; historical utensils and a 155-year-old stele in the temple.
San Duo temple executive secretary Li Jin Long said that as the Jalan Tukang Besi has become more and more popular, the number of the temple's visitors have also increased. Therefore, if the government puts the temple on the tourist map, it is believed to attract more tourists.

He said that visitors are always surprised and impressed by the Chinese Manchu Dynasty utensils in the temple.

"No matter how expensive the cost is, we will still try to protect these historical items, including repairing plaques, columns and beams damaged by termites," he added.


Tuesday April 3, 2012

Big plans for Batu Berendam Airport

MALACCA: The Malacca Government wants to transform the Batu Berendam Airport into a regional hub for the Asia-Pacific airlines.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the plan to integrate international, domestic and regional services under one roof would attract more airlines.

“This vision has the potential to improve traffic flow with the upgrading of the airport into a regional hub with more aircraft gates,” he said here yesterday.

He said the plan is expected to gain momentum following the maiden flight of Sky Aviation for the Malacca-Tanjung Pinang-Malacca sector last Friday.

Mohd Ali said the Tanjung Pinang-Malacca-Tanjung Pinang sector is poised to attract an estimated 30,000 passengers annually.

The Star on March 24 reported that an airlines, a fusion between budget and high-end carrier, is eyeing Batu Berendam airport as their international hub.

Monday, April 2, 2012


In 1824, during the Napoleanic Wars in Europe, the Dutch reached a treaty with Great Britain under the "Treaty of London 1824"

The Dutch transferred to Great Britain the 'Town and Fort of Malacca and its Dependencies' in which Britain and the Netherlands in return took over Bencoolen in Sumatra which was controlled by Britain.

This move was done to prevent the French from getting Malacca should they defeat Holland in the then Napoleanic Wars.

It should be interesting to get a copy of this Treaty of London 1824 as a record of this important document.


Sky Aviation flies T. Pinang-Melaka route

The Jakarta Post | Mon, 04/02/2012 10:41 AM |
JAKARTA: Sky Aviation, a private Indonesian airline, has opened a new route connecting Tanjung Pinang in Riau Islands and Melaka in Malaysia, to meet the surge in passenger traffic between the two towns.

 The first Sky Aviation’s international route is equipped with turboprop-powered airliners, Fokker F-50.

 “With the new route opening, we hope the economic relations between the two regions can be improved,” said Sky Aviation senior safety advisory officer Chappy Hakim before the first flight in Raja Haji Fisabilillah airport, Tanjung Pinang, on Thursday.

Sky Aviation, one of Indonesia’s new private airlines, will operate a turboprop Fokker F-50 airplane to serve its first international route. At present, the airline serves 21 destinations in Indonesia, including Jakarta, Surabaya and Batam.

In the future, as Chappy stated, Sky Aviation will fly the route twice a week, every Wednesday and Sunday.

“Historically, Riau Islands and Melaka have a close relationship, and we are committed to maintaining it and taking it to the next level,” said the former Air Force chief Air Marshal, as quoted by Antara news agency.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


The National Heritage Department of Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture has published a public notice that Bandar Hilir Primary School, Jalan Parameswara, Melaka has been designated to be a heritage site on 29th March 2012.

Besides Bandar Hilir Primary School Building, the Meng Seng Charitable Hall at Jalan Taming Sari, was also to be gazetted. Meng Seng Charitable Hall was the place where Tunku Abdul Rahman raised impromptu funds for the delegation to travel to Great Britain to negotiate for Malayan Independence.

Any objections can be submitted to the ministry at

There are a few buildings in Melaka which can also be gazetted for our future generations eg the Malacca High School Heritage Building.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Originally published Monday, March 26, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Malaysia's Malacca thrives with history
The hub of Malacca's civic colonial sites is Dutch Square — also called Red Square because of the color of its buildings.

By NAOMI LINDT The New York Times

On the tranquil grounds of the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Malaysia's oldest Taoist house of worship, late afternoon visitors bowed and offered burning wands of incense to a gilded statue of the Goddess of Mercy, the deity for whom the temple was founded in the 1600s. Tourists quietly watched or focused cameras on the structure's ornate, figurine-covered roof.

The placidity was interrupted by the muezzin's call from the nearby Kampung Kling Mosque, an amalgam of Corinthian columns, Portuguese tiles and Hindu carvings, built by Indian Muslims in 1748. And down the street at the 230-year-old Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple, the country's oldest Hindu temple, bare-chested and barefoot men in pastel-hued sarongs and garlands made of yellow blooms gathered to pray.

It was another seemingly sleepy afternoon in Malacca, Malaysia's oldest city, just two hours south of Kuala Lumpur and about four hours northwest of Singapore. But underneath that sleepiness, its foundation of vibrant multiculturalism, which dates back centuries, is very much alive and increasingly accessible, as it welcomes a handful of hotels and millions of international visitors a year.

"I just love Malacca — its laid-back, slow pace of life and the history in the buildings, the people, the culture," said a local resident, Colin Goh, 66, at Cheng Hoon, surrounded by a pair of red-and-gold sedan chairs and black-and-white photos that chronicled decades of the temple's religious festivals. "Everything you touch that is not new is old."

With his mix of Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese and "God only knows what else" heritage, Goh, a retired civil servant who now manages 8 Heeren Street, a restored 18th-century Dutch shophouse, embodies the city's colonial past. Founded around 1400 by a Malay-Hindu prince, Malacca, within a century, became Southeast Asia's most important trading port, luring an international cast of colonialists and merchants seeking a piece of the region's lucrative spice trade.

The hub of Malacca's civic colonial sites is Dutch Square — also called Red Square because of the color of its buildings — where tourists pose in front of the century-old Queen Victoria Fountain and trishaws festooned with plastic flowers gather. Nearby are the ruins of the A'Famosa fort, one of Asia's oldest European-built structures, erected by the Portuguese 500 years ago, and the imposing Stadthuys, or town hall, built by the Dutch in 1650 and later painted salmon red by the British, Malacca's last foreign rulers, whose reign lasted until 1957.

On the west side of the Malacca River, which flanks the square, along the old center's narrow, atmospheric streets, are hundreds of lantern-hung shophouses, some distinctly Chinese in style, others bearing geometric Art Deco trademarks, and grand residences with ornately tiled stoops built by wealthy families of the past. For centuries, these streets served as the town's commercial and residential center.

Malacca's eclectic charm, with some help from a UNESCO World Heritage designation in 2008 and its reputation as one of Malaysia's most exciting culinary destinations, has resulted in a steady growth in tourism. Last year 12 million visitors came, an increase of over 17 percent from 2010, according to a state tourism committee.

While some heritage buildings are still occupied by generations-old family businesses — silversmiths, watchmakers, dim sum purveyors — others have newer identities. At Temple Street, a shop run by a local artist, watercolors and hand-painted tiles depict idyllic street scenes. In another building, Nancy's Kitchen, a no-frills restaurant known for its local Nyonya cuisine, sells addictive delicacies like buttery pineapple tarts and onde-onde, glutinous rice balls filled with Malacca's famous palm sugar, known as gula Melaka, and covered in fresh coconut.


The Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, in a grand, preserved residence on Heeren Street (officially known as Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock), pays tribute to Peranakans, a group of wealthy, sophisticated families that arose from the intermarrying of Babas, or Chinese traders, and Nyonyas, or local residents.

The Peranakans forged a distinct East-meets-West culture that represents much of what makes Malacca so fascinating: A racial and religious multiculturalism that's been cultivated and honored for centuries.This rich cultural heritage is also being celebrated in new lodging options. In 2009, a 100-year-old residential property down the street was converted into the 14-room Courtyard (AT) Heeren hotel, which blends era-appropriate furnishings with modern amenities. At the Snail House nearby, a charming French-Malaccan couple, Serge and K.C. Jardin, rent rooms in their carefully restored century-old home, with an open courtyard, a grand spiral staircase and high ceilings, offering travelers the chance to appreciate the nuances of Peranakan architecture.

"When you're inside, you feel as if you're in the presence of a wealthy Baba," Jardin said. "And though you're in the city center, it's so quiet you forget where you are."

Josephine Chua, a self-described "busybody housewife," history buff and proponent of Malacca's historic preservation, agreed.

"This place has been built on harmony since the 15th century," she said.

Chua, 55, traces her local roots back nine generations, to 1765, when one of her paternal ancestors migrated from Fujian, China.

"The religions have coexisted side by side for centuries — that's what makes us so unique and the town so great to live in," she said. This is a particularly telling statement in modern-day Malaysia, whose Muslim, Malay-majority government has been criticized for exploiting ethnic divisions for the sake of political gain. "We don't ask each other about one's race and religion, but what we do always ask each other is,'Have you eaten?"'

Where one has dined is not a question to be taken lightly in a city of restaurants serving home-cooked dishes, many of which have been passed down through generations. At Aunty Lee, a grandmotherly spot with lace curtains and pastel walls just a short drive from the historic center, septuagenarian chefs cook mouthwatering renditions of classic Nyonya dishes — chicken stewed with earthy, smoky keluak nuts; a fluffy omelet flavored with dried shrimp and chili; and cendol, a shaved ice dessert topped with coconut milk and gula Melaka.

Though authentic culture is easy to find in the city, residents like Chua and Goh worry about its future. The old center is now home to a recently opened Hard Rock Cafe, and many historic buildings have fallen into disrepair or been transformed into conventional souvenir shops and hostels, with no government financing to protect them.

Perhaps the most glaring example is Jonker Street, officially called Jalan Hang Jebat. Once known for its antiques shops, the strip now draws tour groups trawling stores stocked with Birkenstock knockoffs, batik linens and cheeky T-shirts with sayings like, "If YouTube MySpace, I'll Google Your Yahoo." It's particularly raucous on weekends, when a food and retail night market takes over.

Still, what captivated explorers and entrepreneurs centuries ago never seems far away, whether it's during a contemplative moment in a crumbling church or a stroll along the old town's back streets and its fragrant Chinese medicine shops. Or while you are sipping a steaming cup of tea during a downpour at Zheng He Tea House, a hidden spot two blocks from Jonker Street. "Once you step into Malacca, you can feel the positive energy," said Pak Siew Yong, the teahouse's friendly owner. "Foreigners, once they come here, they don't want to go home."