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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

ZHENG HE RETURNS TO MELAKA

Wednesday January 30, 2013

Zheng He ‘returns’ to Malacca By R.S.N.MURALI murali@thestar.com.my

Epic voyage: A replica of the vessel helmed by Zheng He in Jonker Walk, Malacca. MALACCA: Legend has it that Admiral Zheng He and his armada left his home port of Nanjing in China for their epic voyage to India in the Year of the Snake in the 1400s. Along the way they stopped at Malacca.

To mark the auspicious year of his voyage, the Chinese community will display a huge replica of the ship used by the admiral in the city's world-famous Jonker Street, touted as the pulse of the community here.

Measuring 30m in length and 23m-high, it weighs close to two tonnes and resembles the original Chinese junk used by Zheng He in his sea travels.

Two cranes hoisted the replica to its above-ground berth on Friday night.

State MCA chief Datuk Gan Tian Loo said the replica, assembled by local craftsmen, would be displayed on two pillars that support the artificial junk, the names of the countries the admiral had sailed to.

Zheng He had reputedly sailed to 30 nations across Asia and Africa.

Gan said the craftsmen had incorporated intricate designs from the original vessel into the replica.

“It will be the icon of this historic city during the celebrations,” he said, adding thousands of visitors are expected to view the boat during the festive season.

“The city is ready to welcome the Year of the Snake in style, with carnivals and shows to mark the auspicious event,” he said, adding that Zheng He's boat will complement the 1Malaysia dragons that adorn Jonker Street to mark the outgoing Year of the Dragon.

One of the dragons, dubbed the Prosperity Dragon, measures 121m-long, and is the longest outdoor dragon effigy in Malaysia.

The Harmony Dragon comes a close second at 91m.

Meanwhile, Temple Street , also known as Harmony Street in the old section of Malacca city, was lit with hundreds of red lanterns and coloured lights on Saturday.

Several arches and billboards with festive greetings and messages already festoon Jonker Street.

Hundreds jammed the streets in the historical hub as Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam led a team of community leaders that included MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Jonker Walk committee adviser Datuk Wira Gan Boon Leong to light the lanterns to usher in the new year.

Earlier, several lion dance troupes, musicians, dancers, performers and entertainers, showcased their talents in various performances to entertain the public and foreign tourists.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

SAFARI STYLE FOR 2ND. PHASE MELAKA RIVER BEAUTIFICATION PROJECT

Second Phase Of Melaka River Beautification Project To Be Safari-style

MELAKA, Jan 17 (Bernama) -- The second phase of the Melaka Beautification and Cleanliness Project will be developed according to the safari concept to attract tourists, Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said.

He said the RM285 million project, a continuity to the first phase, famous for its river cruise, would incorporate elements of fauna and flora in the area covering six kilometres.

"The first phase of the Melaka River beautification project has been drawing more than one million visitors yearly, which has also generated up to RM9 million in revenue. In the second phase, improvements are made by applying the safari concept, similar to that found along the Singapore River," he said.

Speaking to reporters after the closing of the Water Treating Technology Workshop at Casa Del Rio, here today, Mohd Ali said several species of animals would be propagated along the route and colourful trees planted on the river banks and along the waterways.

The second phase project launched on May 21, last year, which stretches from Taman Rempah and the Hang Jebat bridge to Melaka Sentral, would have river banks protective features, walkways and water taxis, other than landscape beautification.

On the workshop, Mohd Ali said it was suggested that the state government use the oil and gas cleaning technology to improve the cleanliness of Melaka River.

"The cleanliness of the river is now at level three and through this technology, we hope it can be improved to level two, that will enable the river to breed certain type of fish and be safe for recreational activities," he said.

Mohd Ali said he would apply to the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water to fund a pilot project using the technology, which was estimated to cost RM800,000 to RM1 million.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

MELAKA GOVERNMENT TO COPY TRANSCRIPTS IN EUROPE

Melaka govt to copy thousands of BM transcripts in Europe

Posted on 3 January 2013 - 08:57pm

Last updated on 3 January 2013 - 09:56pm

MELAKA (Jan 3, 2013): The Melaka Government wants to collect tens of thousands of Bahasa Melayu manuscripts in Europe as sources of reference for research and development of the language through the International Malay Letters Centre of Excellence which was set up, here, today.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said, a visit would be made to the Leiden University, the premier Bahasa Melayu centre in the world and the oldest university in Holland, to seek its cooperation, on the matter.

"The maiden effort to gather copies of the manuscripts and other collections is to boost Bahasa Melayu to an era of excellence as found during the Melaka Sultanate," he said after the launching of the centre in Air Keroh, here, today.

Also present were Melaka State Secretary Datuk Wira Omar Kaseh, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) Board of Governor chairman Prof Datuk Dr Md Salleh Yaapar and DBP director-general DBP Dr Awang Sariyan.

According to Mohd Ali, the centre which was operating on the 10th floor of the Melaka Foundation Building, and headed by a director, was also proposed as the organiser of seminars and workshops for Bahasa Melayu.

Other than Leiden, Mohd Ali said, the Melaka Government would also work with other European nations such as England and Portugal to copy the Bahasa Melayu transcripts and documents in their collections.

Meanwhile, Md Salleh, who was visiting professor at Leiden University from 2003 to 2006, said the university had almost 100,000 Bahasa Melayu manuscripts since the Dutch invaded the Malay Archipelago in the 17th century.

He said, the effort of the state government in setting up the centre of excellence, would give a positive impact in the expansion of Bahasa Melayu, and economic returns in the long run. – Bernama