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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

TOURISTS TO ENJOY FREE GUIDED TOURS IN MELAKA

18 June 2013| last updated at 11:55PM

Tourists to enjoy free guided tours in Malacca

By HANIS MAKETAB | news@nst.com.my

BOOSTING TOURISM: Money from Heritage Tax Fund will finance programme

MALACCA: THANKS to the state's Heritage Tax Fund, which now has RM2.9 million since it was introduced in April last year, tourists will enjoy free guided tours of Malacca's heritage trail.

Malacca Museum Corporation general manager Datuk Khamis Abas said the corporation would be organising the tours, which would be funded by the money collected from the heritage tax.

"The tours will take place every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

"Forty thousand ringgit has been allocated for them, which is for a one-year period from this month. "It pays the allowances of our tour guides."

The tours would cover the state's famous and popular attractions within the World Heritage site, such as the Malacca River, Stadhuys, Porta de Santiago, the Malacca Sultanate Palace and the Proclamation of Independence Memorial.

He said the heritage tax was collected by local city and municipal councils, and went towards initiatives related to tourism and heritage, such as publishing a directory of places to stay in Malacca, organising courses under the Malacca Tourism Academy and contributing to the state's hotel and homestay operators associations.

"Last year, RM2.3 million was collected, while this year about RM657,000 has been collected up to May 15," Khamis said after giving state Heritage and Youth Committee deputy chairman Datuk Norpipah Abdol a tour of the Malacca Conservation Centre in Jalan Bunga Raya yesterday.

He said the centre, which began operating last Monday, was open to the public. It focused on the conservation of historical buildings and artefact.

Khamis also said the centre would be used as a venue for lectures, talks and workshops.

The centre is managed by the corporation with the cooperation of the state World Heritage Office, Malacca Historical City Council, Merlimau Polytechnic and Malacca Islamic University College.

- See more at: http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/tourists-to-enjoy-free-guided-tours-in-malacca-1.302305?cache=%253Fpage%253D0%252F7.197525%3Fkey%3DKuala+Lumpur%3Fkey%3DKuala+Lumpur%3Fpage%3D0#sthash.KFq9q6DZ.dpuf

MELAKA TAMING SARI TOWER LURES 3.3 MILLION VISITORS WITHIN 5 YEARS

Melaka Taming Sari Tower Lures 3.3 Million Visitors Within Five Years

MELAKA, June 15 (Bernama) -- The Melaka Taming Sari Tower here has managed to lure 3.3 million visitors with ticket collection totalling RM29.9 million over the first five years of its operation.

Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron said it was an increase of 0.8 million visitors from the original target set when it was first opened in April 2008.

Over the first five months this year alone, a total of 227,107 visitors with ticket collection of RM2.4 million were recorded, he said.

He said it was an overwhelming achievement, and hence proved the determination of the management of Melaka Taming Sari Berhad (MTSB) in turning the 110m tall tower worth RM24 million into Melaka's popular tourism product.

"We believe that this tourist product can contribute to the more developed and competitive eco-tourism industry," he said after opening the 5th anniversary celebration of the tower here today.

Also present were MTSB chairman Datuk Mat Sirat Abu and chief executive officer Mazary Ahmad.

Idris said MTSB would also introduce a new tourism product soon, that is a 'reverse bungee', in a bid to diversify the tourism products at the tower.

However, he said the reverse bungee facility, which is expected to be built at the end of this year, must get prior approval from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) as it would be built on one of the world's heritage site.

"It is still at the discussion stage and we will seek advice and consultancy from the supplier and Unesco about the suitability of the location and height," he said.

At the event, Idris also launched the book published by MTSB titled 'Heritage Trail Melaka Mosques', which showcases the beauty of mosque architecture in Melaka, including at the Selat Mosque, Tengkera Mosque and Al-Azim Mosque.

-- BERNAMA

Thursday, June 13, 2013

MELAKA RIVER PROJECT NOW A MODEL FOR OTHERS

14 June 2013| last updated at 11:38PM

Sungai Melaka project a model for others

By Jason Gerald | nstjason@gmail.com

REHABILITATION: The once lifeless waterway has been turned into Malacca’s most lucrative tourism product

THE phrase "Everything began in Malacca" is not something which was just coined to attract tourism, but is in actual fact what this state has to offer to other states in Malaysia.

The birth of the nation is attributed to the glory of the Malacca sultanate in the 15th century, and Malacca is where the independence of Malaysia was first announced by the country's founding father, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj at the Dataran Pahlawan in Banda Hilir.

Malacca has been a benchmark for many developments in the country after the state was steered into becoming a developed state -- recognised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) -- and is now spearheading the nation's green technology initiatives.

And now, what was once famed as one of the busiest ports in the world, the Melaka River, is becoming a benchmark for the rehabilitation and beautification of rivers throughout the country.

Known as the Venice of the East in the 15th century, the waterway had slowly deteriorated and became one of the dirtiest rivers in the country till some 12 years ago.

In 2001, the state government, with assistance from the Federal Government, had embarked on the first phase of the Melaka River beautification project costing some RM200 million.

The first phase of the Melaka River rehabilitation project started at the tip of the river mouth to the Hang Tuah bridge which included the construction of two new jetties and an archway across the river.

The restoration and beautification project paid off handsomely, as now the once lifeless river has not only been revived but it has been turned into the most lucrative tourism product that Malacca has to offer.

The recent Sungai Melaka International River Festival created history when the Drainage and Irrigation Department director-general, Datuk Ahmad Husaini Sulaiman, said the State administration's success in turning the river into one of the finest in the country, region and also the world would be the main point of reference for the revival and beautification of all rivers in the country.

The effort taken by the Malacca government in beautifying the Melaka River has not only managed to turn the river into a commodity for tourism but also helped in mitigating floods.

Under the 10th Malaysia Plan all rivers in the country were allocated RM3.47 billion for flood mitigation works, rehabilitation and beautification exercise. Melaka alone was allocated RM285 million.

In Malacca's case, this money was not only used for flood mitigation works but also for the cleaning, beautification, and upgrading of the river system from the Sungai Melaka estuary right up to Malim.

This success of making Sungai Melaka into a living river is proposed to be replicated across the country.

Sungai Melaka is flanked by several delightful structures such as the Dutch or Red Square, traditional villages and other tourist attractions. In the second phase of its rehabilitation would start at the Hang Jebat bridge up to Batu Hampar, covering 5.2km.

The second phase would be divided into three main work packages; first would cover a 2.4km waterway from the Hang Jebat bridge to the Tun Razak bridge, followed by 1.2km from the Tun Razak bridge to the Melaka Sentral bridge, and the final package from the Melaka Sentral bridge to the Tidal Control Gate that stretches for 1.6km.

This would also include deepening the depth of the river, constructing walls and walkways along the river, landscapes, three water taxi stations at Taman Rempah and Jusco AEON, building unique bridges and beautifying the banks of the river.

Once the project is completed, the water quality of Sungai Melaka is expected to improve from class 111 barometer to class 11B by the year 2015.

The current success of the Melaka River rehabilitation and beautification project could also be seen through the Melaka River Cruise.

When the cruise started in 2006 there were only 56 visitors, but last year alone it attracted some 1.1 million passengers, and this year it is targeted that the Melaka River Cruise would attract some 1.4 million visitors.

Besides being a benchmark for rivers in Malaysia, the Malacca government is also aiming to work towards getting this event listed on the World Tourism Calendar of Events, similar to the San Antonio River festival in Texas, United States.

Read more: Sungai Melaka project a model for others - Columnist - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnist/sungai-melaka-project-a-model-for-others-1.299900#ixzz2WE8IVouO

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

PATENTS FOR MALACCA'S UNIQUE TRISHAWS

Patents for Malacca's unique trishaws

By Jason Gerald John New Straits Times Monday, Jun 10, 2013

MALACCA - THE famed Beca Melaka (trishaw) which have been plying the Historical City since the 1920s will soon be patented by the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO).

The move to patent the Beca Melaka is aimed at preventing the unique designs and decorations, which differ from one trishaw to another, from being reproduced.

State Agriculture and Entrepreneur Development chairman Datuk Hasan Abdul Rahman said each trishaw was unique in its own way as the decorations and lights on the pedal-powered three-wheelers spoke for the innovation and creativity of the owner.

"A patent gives the owner an exclusive right to stop others from manufacturing, using or selling the owner's invention in Malaysia without the owner's consent or permission.

"There are some 250 beca under the Persatuan Beca Pelancongan Negeri Melaka (PBPNM) in the state, which are used mainly for tourism purposes. We want each and every one of them to be patented to protect this unique heritage.

"PBPNM mooted this idea to protect their innovative creation through MyIPO and the state government fully supported this move," he said after launching the Beca Melaka Parade, held in conjunction with National Intellectual Property Day 2013 and the International Melaka River Festival at the Melaka River Square in Jalan Merdeka here yesterday.

Present were MyIPO chairman, Datuk Abdul Manan Ismail, MyIPO director-general, Datuk Azizan Mohamad Sidin, and PBPNM chairman, Capt (Rtd) Khalid Ahmad.

Hasan said that with the patent, each trishaw rider could also reap numerous benefits including monetary gains through the right marketing strategy, sales of patent, licensing and franchising, not only locally but in other parts of the world as well.

On a related matter, Hasan called on trishaw riders to continue preserving the tradition of providing trishaw services to tourists as well as help promote the state's tourism industry.

MELAKA PLANS YACHTING HUB

YACHTING HUB: State plans to build marinas to attract 20pc of seafarers who pass by straits every year

MALACCA: THE Malacca government is hoping to attract 20 per cent of more than 3,000 yachts passing through the Straits of Malacca each year with the construction of marinas along the coasts of Klebang and Tanjung Kling.

The building of the marinas would be a private sector initiative with the support of the state government in terms of land, basic infrastructure and policies.

Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron said the state, once a famed port of call for sailors from all corners of the world, had the potential to see its glorious past resurrected.

"I was told that at least 3,000 yachts pass through the Straits of Malacca annually and if we can get 500 of them to stop here, it would not only boost tourism but also create an economic spin off for the local economy.

"The sailors travelling in their own yachts are in a league of their own and they will definitely contribute to our economy.

"With the marinas, we would also provide services such as maintenance for their vessels, medical attention, food and beverages and also other facilities to attract them," he said after launching two new Catamarans, a 50-footer and a 33-footer, built by local boat manufacturer, Boat Explorer Sdn Bhd, at the Seafarer Restaurant in Klebang here yesterday.

Idris said Klebang and Tanjung Kling could be the next "Gold Coast" in southeast Asia.

"In Malacca, there are many areas which could be turned into marinas but we have to be selective and make it happen. Just look at Sungai Melaka, once an eyesore, it is now the most visited tourist attraction in the state.

"However, before implementing the marina projects, we have to conduct a proper study."

Asked if the new state administration had any plans to salvage sunken treasures believed to lie off the coast of Malacca, Idris said no proper and credible research had been done on the possible locations.

"If there are pictures of these treasures and proper research done on the vessels, then we do not mind embarking on an exploration to look for them."

Idris also thanked Boat Explorer, a branded recreational boat builder, for helping to promote the state among its customers.

Read more: CM: Malacca can be the next Gold Coast - General - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/cm-malacca-can-be-the-next-gold-coast-1.298497#ixzz2W1RBkIvC