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Friday, January 27, 2012

2 NEW HOTELS FOR MELAKA CHINATOWN

Two new hotels have opened at the Melaka Newchinatown area of Jalan Kee Ann and Jalan Pasar Baru.

Best Western Wana Riverside Hotel has their soft opening in end December 2011. Located just besides the romantic Melaka River, they have deluxe and standard rooms with rates around RM 140.00 and RM 160.00 only.

Best Western is part of the Best Western Group of Hotels around the world which manages 3 Star, 4 Star and 5 Star Chains of hotels.

The other hotel is Prima Hotel Melaka which has 88 rooms. Had their soft launch on 22nd. January 2012 just before the Chinese New Year of the Dragon. Located in front of Kheless Supermarket in Jalan Kee Ann, the building used to be a Malay Bazaar.

The hotel developer has turned the premises in to a 3 star hotel. Room rates is around RM 120.00 per night only.

Very suitable for visitors who want a decent and clean hotel room for their stay in Melaka.

Both hotels are well located as they are within walking distance to Jonker's Walk and the core Heritage area.

Currently, we have Mimosa Hotel, Goldleaf Hotel and Hallmark Inn around the area.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

HANG TUAH EXISTENCE DEBATE IS IRRELEVANT

27 January 2012 | last updated at 02:48am

'Existence debate is irrelevant, focus should be on values'

MALACCA: Malacca Museums Department director Datuk Khamis Abas said the world can debate whether or not Hang Tuah existed "until the cows come home", but it would not benefit anyone even if the contention was proven either way.

Datuk Khamis Abas says whether Hang Tuah is fictitious or not is irrelevant. Pic by Mohd Jamah Nasri
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"I believe that Hang Tuah exists, and my beliefs are based on historical facts. This is true for Hang Jebat, Hang Kasturi, Hang Lekir and Hang Lekiu; but it really does not matter," he said when contacted by the New Straits Times yesterday.
Khamis said what the people know of Hang Tuah today was that he was a great commander, warrior and friend who stood for loyalty to duty above all else.

"Hikayat Hang Tuah (metaphorically or historically) spelled an archaic Malaccan landscape, which was prosperous but also under threat from rival nation states at the same time.

"The values held by Hang Tuah illustrate how having certain values could ensure order and peace, and how after his departure Malacca's condition worsened."

Khamis said it was irrelevant whether Hang Tuah was fictitious or not.

"We can juxtapose the highly regarded values held by Hang Tuah then, with the challenges faced by modern Malaysians today.

"If we look into what Hang Tuah can teach us, we can find valuable guidance which can improve us as individuals and then collectively as a nation."

Khamis said the public should adopt a more "progressive" approach in thinking, and should not limit their scope of study.

"We should explore the various qualities Hang Tuah is said to possess, for example understanding Hang Tuah not only as a warrior, but as a manager, politician or strategist.

"Debating on whether Hang Tuah was real or fictitious, handsome or ugly, or whether he preferred one colour over another, will not benefit Malaysians much."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

WANGKANG FESTIVAL FROM 1.2.2012 TO 6.2.2012

If you to witness a unique festival, come and visit Melaka from 1st. to 6th. February 2012.

A Wangkang Festival is to be held during this period. This festival was last held in 2001 and 1933. A procession will be held around the streets of Melaka on the last day i.e. on 6th. February 2012.

The Wangkang will be paraded around the streets before it is burnt in the Melaka Straits at Pulau Melaka.

Come and join in the festivities in Melaka.

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR IN THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON

Monday, January 16, 2012

LONG AWAITED MELAKA TRAM TO BEGIN OPERATIONS IN APRIL 2013

Meanwhile, the much-awaited Melaka Tram, the world's first environmentally friendly tram that runs on a Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) engine, is expected to begin operations in April next year.

The RM272 million project linking Ayer Keroh and Banda Hilir, described as the most effective mode of transport to overcome the traffic woes in the Historical City, would take one year to complete once construction starts in April.

Ali said that details of the project were being displayed at three locations in the state and also at the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) office in Menara Dayabumi, Kuala Lumpur.

"The public can give their feedback after studying the project details at the Melaka Mall and at Wisma Negeri, both in Ayer Keroh, and also at the Tourist Information Centre in Jalan Kota.

The Melaka Tram, a joint venture between Mrails International Sdn Bhd and Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI), would have 23 stops along a 40km-route from Ayer Keroh to Banda Hilir, the heart of the historical city.

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

It would be able to accommodate 120 passengers at any one time, cater to the disabled because of its ground-level design and would operate at a speed of 40kmh.

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

HERITAGE TAX AT RM 2.00 PER ROOM PER NIGHT FROM 1.4.2012

RM2 Heritage Tax from April 1

By JASON GERALD JOHN AND HANIS MEKETAB
news@nst.com.my | 0 comments


Malacca hopes to collect RM7m a year from tourists staying at lodging facilities
MALACCA: Come April 1, all guests at hotels, resorts, chalets, apartments and lodging facilities in Malacca would have to pay a Heritage Tax, which would be used to help preserve heritage sites in the city centre.
However, instead of the five per cent surcharge on the published room rate as announced last year, it has been fixed at a flat rate of RM2.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the state hoped to collect about RM7 million annually once the tax comes into force.

"The RM2 Heritage Tax would be collected from 241 premises such as hotels, resorts, chalets, apartments and lodging facilities which currently provide some 12,857 rooms for both locals and foreigners.

"The five per cent surcharge on the published room rate referred to as Heritage Tax was supposed to come into force last September but hoteliers did not agree to it.

"But this time around, the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), Malaysian Budget Hotels Association (MBHA) and the Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners (MAHO) proposed to us to set the Heritage Tax at RM2 and we agreed.

"The Heritage Tax is solely for the preservation and conservation of the heritage sites in the city centre which were recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco)," he said after meeting hoteliers at the Seri Negeri Auditorium, here, yesterday.

Ali said that the state was planning to introduce the tax on Feb 1 but had to postpone it to April 1, as local and foreign tour agents have contracts signed with them till March 31.

Ali said visitors staying in the Historical City should consider the surcharge as their contribution towards the conservation of the local heritage sites.

HERITAGE TAX FOR ROOMS FIXED AT RM 2.00 PER ROOM ONLY

January 16, 2012 17:53 PM
Melaka Abolishes 5 Percent Heritage Charge, Replaces It With RM2 Charge
MELAKA, Jan 16 (Bernama) -- The state government has abolished the five percent heritage charge imposed on hotels, lodging houses and homestays and replaced it with a RM2 charge.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the charge was abolished because of objections by hotel, lodging house and homestay operators who felt it had a negative impact on their businesses.

"Discussions were held today with their representatives whereby they have agreed to the new charge," he told reporters after a dialogue on the heritage charge, here today.

Mohd Ali said based on the RM2 charge, guests would only have to add RM2 to their room rates.

He said the RM2 charge which would involve 12,000 hotel rooms, lodging houses and homestays throughout Melaka was expected to be enforced in April.

"The state expects to collect at least RM4 million each year from the charge, which would be utilised for developing the tourism sector.

"Operators must duly settle the charge monthly with the local authorities such as the Melaka Historical City Council, Hang Tuah Jaya municipal council, Alor Gajah municipal council and Jasin municipal council," he said.

He added that a heritage charge implementing committee would be formed to facilitate the process.

-- BERNAMA

Sunday, January 15, 2012

NO PROPER JETTY FOR CRUISE PASSENGERS

Monday January 16, 2012

No proper jetty for cruise passengers

I REFER to K.T. Teh’s “Let’s make Malaysia ‘Best in Asia’ tour destination” (The Star, Jan 11).

I visit the Malacca jetty area almost every week as an agent for the cruise ship calling on Malacca.

Our efforts to get some improvements to the jetty from the state government to attract more tourists have not been fruitful.

The state government has arranged to dredge the river mouth towards the CIQ building that is under construction but the dredging will not in anyway assist in promoting tourism via sea.

There is no proper jetty for these passengers to disembark. The vessels drop anchor near the river mouth and tourists are transferred to the jetty which is congested with fishing/cargo boats and is an eyesore.

The state government has done nothing to improve this.

Though the jetty may be privately owned, the state government’s participation to transform the area is inevitable.

There is a lot of red tape over the dredging, and when we requested for assistance from the government for the jetty they are not able to assist due to the cost factor.

While the Tourism Ministry is doing the promotion on one side, the bureaucracy at the state level is pulling in the opposite direction.

How can tourism be expected to grow?

One officer even had the cheek to say: “We are not interested in your tourists”.

This kind of attitude will kill not boost the tourism industry.

It is high time the ministry steps in to check what is happening in Malacca and come up with a real action plan to boost the industry.

DRAGON MAN,

Port Klang.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

CAN MELAKA SUSTAIN 20 MILLION VISITORS?

A thought just occurred to me recently.

In 2008, just before Melaka was declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO, Melaka received 7.2 Million visitors to our City. In 2009, it jumped to 8.9 Million while 2010 we registered 10 Million. In 2011, the figures showed that Melaka received 11 Million visitors.

Though local Malaysians visited Melaka over the years, foreign visitors have also come to visit us in rising numbers. Most visits are over the weekend where Singaporeans make up the most visitors. Other visitors include Chinese, Indonesians, Thais, Indians, Australians and others.

There is a drop in visitors from Sundays to Thursdays and also hotel rooms are plentiful available during this period except over the weekends.

This means we should have activities to entice visitors to come to Melaka during normal days eg. for conventions, business courses, meetings and other artistic and cultural activities. We cannot just rely on weekend visitors.

In 2011, we received 11 million visitors. If we target 1 million extra visitors for each year from 2012 onwards, we can receive 20 million visitors by 2020!!!

A lot of marketing and concerted effort by all must be done if we were to reach this magical figure.

We need to look into the congestion problems eg. car parking within the historical zones, tram system to allow car parks in zones outside the historical city, hotel rooms for our guests ( both luxurious and budget ), cleanliness, entertainment, services and many other aspects to make our guests fill comfortable during their stay here.

New modes to entice visitors to Melaka must also be done eg. cruise liners, chartered flights to our new Melaka International airport, High Speed train system from Singapore or Bangkok, chartered buses, taxis, private cars etc. Getting into and out of Melaka must be done seamlessly and with ease.

We have to make our expansion sustainable and as green as possible so that more and more visitors will enjoy their stay in Melaka.

Monday, January 9, 2012

NEW YORK TIMES RECOMMENDS MELAKA AS ONE OF 45 CITIES TO VISIT

Monday January 9, 2012

Malacca among 45 ‘must-visit’ places

KUALA LUMPUR: Malacca has been listed by influential The New York Times as one of the 45 places to visit this year. “With its lantern-lighted canals and silent, narrow streets lined with decades-old ornate temples and shophouses, few places in South-East Asia conjure romantic images of the past as effectively as Malacca,” it said in a write-up which became its second most-read story of the day. Under the heading “

The 45 Places to Go in 2012”, it said that Malacca, as a Unesco World Heritage site, had been captivating “record numbers of tourists lured by its unusual architecture and cuisine, which reflect centuries of foreign influences”. “When you’re not exploring places like the 17th-century former Dutch town hall or Jonker Street’s antique shops, gorge on

Malacca’s outstanding local specialties, like creamy, piquant nyonya laksa at the family-run Donald & Lily’s.”World heritage: According to ‘The New York Times’, Malacca offers tourists unusual architecture and cuisine which reflect centuries of foreign influences.

Other Asian places which it recommended were Myanmar, Tokyo, Lhasa (Tibet), Halong Bay (Vietnam), Moganshan (China), Kerala (India), Koh Rong (Cambodia) and South Korea. Besides recommending the always popular cities such as London (The Olympics! The Queen! Charles Dickens turns 200!), Vienna and Florence, it also recommended a number of places less travelled such as Antarctica. It described Antarctica as “still remote and exotic. Now, luxurious too”.

But the clincher was its suggestion for a trip to space. “It’s not just the imaginings of science fiction geeks. Pretty soon anyone with US$200,000 (RM620,000) will be able to travel to the last frontier.” It noted that Richard Branson founded Virgin Galactic in 2004 with the goal of pioneering commercial flights to space.

“Last year, the company began test-flying SpaceShipTwo, an aircraft that will enable two pilots and six passengers to travel to suborbital space. “Although no launch date has been confirmed (a 2012 date was pushed to 2013), about 450 people from around the globe have already purchased tickets – the first passengers will be (surprise!) Richard Branson and his two children, Sam and Holly.” E-mail this story Print this story  

Sunday, January 1, 2012

MELAKA RIVER CRUISE

A cruise worth taking in Malacca I WOULD like to congratulate the Malacca River Cruise for being awarded the Malaysia Tourism Awards 2010/2011 under the Man-Made Attraction category. I have taken the cruise a few times and each time I have come away with great satisfaction.

The cruise itself is a success story which can be used as a point of reference for other tourist sites. I remember years back when Malacca River was nothing more than a dirty river. Visitors to the historical city would never want to look at the dirty, smelly river. Kampung Morten was dimly lit. Mangrove and lalang grew on both sides of the river. Clothes hung everywhere as the river served as a backyard to houses.

Today, throughout the cruise, the river is beautifully and colourfully lit. The stench is no longer there. Kampung Morten is a great example of Malay traditional houses and it glows majestically at night. A jogging track has replaced the mangrove swamp and lalang and pedestrians can now walk along the river that has many benches for visitors to rest.

Many bridges were renovated and upgraded with beautiful sculptures. The laundry has been replaced by creative wall murals painted by art students depicting historical events of Malacca. Wow! What a transformation!

The Malacca River today was rejuvenated through collaborative efforts and hardwork by many departments and also the people of Malacca. Congratulations again to all who were and are involved in this project.

Please continue to further improve this river cruise. I hope to see new things added the next time I take the cruise. Do continue to make Malaysia and Malacca proud! Tahniah.

T.K. TEH, Kuala Lumpur.