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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

HAPPY MERDEKA

On Saturday, 31st. August 2013, Malaysia will celebrate her 56th. Anniversary of Merdeka. We got our Independence from Britain on 31st. August 1957 through negotiation and not by the barrel of the gun. No blood was shed and we were grateful for that.

Let us celebrate our Independence together and have a give and take attitude for all races. No single race must dominate another but we must work, play and cry together so that our nation can reach greater heights in race relation, economic growth, prosperity and harmony.

MERDEKA, MERDEKA, MERDEKA.

MELAKA NEW FERRIS WHEEL AT PULAU MELAKA

RM20 million Ferris wheel for Pulau Melaka

Eddie Beck | August 26, 2013

Touted as the 13th tallest in the world, the Malaysian Eye is set to be the main attraction in a new RM50 million tourist complex shaping up on the once abandoned man-made island.

MALACCA: The Malaysian Eye, a 103-metre Ferris wheel touted as the 13th tallest in the world, is to be the centrepiece attraction in a new tourist complex shaping up in Pulau Melaka.

The state government has invested about RM1 billion to redevelop the once abandoned man-made island and is hoping the RM40-RM50 million tourist complex will help boost the property market.

Costing RM20 million, the Malaysian Eye is expected to be operational in the first quarter of next year. It will have 48 capsules taking 288 passengers on a 20-minute round trip.

Each passenger is expected to pay RM20 per round trip and in the first year of operation, the company expects to ferry approximately 1.2 million passengers.

Sited on a five-acre prime site in Pulau Melaka, the entire complex which will house retail and entertainment complex, food outlets and a 28-storey hotel with 300 rooms.

“A definite tourist attraction will be a chocolate factory,” said Bernard Siow, the CEO of The Eye Sdn Bhd. “Piling work is now completed. The company will be calling for tenders to build other areas of the complex. The components of the ferris wheel have arrived and they will be assembled in stages.”

Sunday, August 25, 2013

MELAKA CONSERVATION CENTRE AT JALAN BUNGA RAYA

A new Melaka Conservation Centre has been opened by the Melaka State government at No 45, Jalan Bunga Raya, 75000 Melaka. Hopefully, owners of heritage buildings who want to renovate their premises according to heritage standards can visit this centre for information.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

MELAKA MILLIONAIRES' ROW

Malacca’s Millionaires’ Row Posted on June 7, 2013 - Featured, Property News. OUR STREET HERITAGE By M. Veera Pandiyan veera@thestar.com.my

Looking around: Tourists soaking in the sights in Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock.

JONKER Street, or Jalan Hang Jebat, is possibly the most famous road in Malacca, thanks to Jonker Walk which attracts hordes of tourists from all over the world.

But the road running parallel to it – Heeren Street – has a more interesting history and richer architectural charms.

Heeren Street, or Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, was once the place to live for those who made it to the top.

Originally called “Kampung Belanda” (Dutch Village), it ended up with the nickname of “Millionaires’ Row” because of its well-heeled residents.

The narrow street with houses adorned with ornately decorated fa├žades was the choice neighbourhood for the prosperous Straits-born Chinese (Peranakan or Babas and Nyonyas) in the mid-19th and early 20th century.

These affluent folks competed with each other to build the most flamboyant of houses, many of which stand to this day.

Quite a number have been fully restored to their former glory and turned into highly popular boutique hotels, museums, galleries, restaurants and cafes.

Walking into these places is like going back in time to the era of Malacca’s occupation by the Dutch.

A classic example to visit is Number 8, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, a shophouse built in the 1700s.

It has been painstakingly renovated by Badan Warisan (Malaysia’s National Trust) with a grant from the US Embassy.

Entry is free but donations are welcome.

The grandest of them all: The Chee Mansion was built by the first chairman of the OCBC.

While Jonker Street (from the Dutch Jonghheer) was named after a place for “young noblemen” who had not quite made it to the upper level of nobility.

Heeren Street (originally Heeren straat), was for the “gentlemen” or “masters” in the upper crust of society.

The characteristic features of most buildings are high roofs, floors and corridors lined with intricate tiles, teak front doors carved with family names or mottos in gold calligraphy.

Most windows are also beautifully decorated with motifs while some homes even have decorated roofs with image of dragons, birds and flowers.

The houses on the street are rather narrow and small when viewed from the outside but are long and spacious inside.

This is because the houseowners then were taxed on the width of the buildings instead of the total area.

Most of them have open courtyards to provide ventilation and light. Some even have small wells to draw water or ponds to collect rainwater from the roof.

The street was home to famous Malacca Babas, including Tan Kim Seng, one of the pioneers in the development of Singapore, and Tan Chay Yan, who was Malaya’s first rubber planter in 1896.

Tan Kim Seng or Baba Kim Seng, who amassed a great fortune in Singapore, built a bridge across the Singapore River which is now named after him.

He also donated money for a bridge, named after him in Malacca, and for the famous Clocktower in front of Christ Church in the Dutch Square.

Tan Kim Seng’s stately ancestral home, built in 1822, is the present Hotel Puri.

When it was the home of Kim Seng, there was a menagerie behind with many animals, including a tiger.

The grandest house in “Millionaires’ Row” is the Chee Mansion, which stands majestically directly opposite Hotel Puri.

The breathtaking building is a Dutch era architectural gem, complete with a fairy-tale inspired watchtower.

It was built by tycoon and philanthropist Chee Swee Cheng, the first chairman of the Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC).

As it was run almost entirely by the Baba’s in the old days, OCBC was jokingly referred to as Orang China Bukan China.

Chee Swee Cheng built the mansion at 117 Heeren Street as a dedication to his father, Chee Yam Chuan.

The Chee Mansion, also known as the Chee Yam Chuan Temple, is used as the family’s ancestral home.

But “Millionaires’ Row” bears the name of an outstanding fifth-generation Baba and one of the country’s illustrious early leaders.

Tun Tan Cheng Lock, who co-founded the MCA in 1949, was born at house number 111.

The dignified family home was where the country’s first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tan held many discussions before Merdeka.

His son, Tun Tan Siew Sin, was Malaya’s first Commerce and Indus try Minister before being the longest serving Finance Minister for 15 years.

He was also the third president of the MCA after his father and Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu.

It may not be as hectic as Jonker Street where the tourists to Malacca throng but Heeren Street oozes more history, old-world charm and provides amazing sights and stories.

MELAKA 2 MEGA PROJECTS IN THE WORKS

MELAKA (Aug 21, 2013): Two mega projects, The Melaka Gateway and Dinosaurs and Underwater World, to be built in Melaka, are expected to boost the state's gross domestic product (GDP) to more than RM6 billion.

Chairman of the State Economic Consultative Council (MPEN) Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said The Melaka Gateway, to be constructed on a 209.6-hectare site at a cost of RM30 billion at Bandar Hilir, is expected to contribute RM6 billion to the GDP.

"This project is projected to generate about 15,000 job opportunities for locals, apart from increasing the tourist arrivals to 2.5 million annually," he told reporters here.

He said the project comprised a number of key components, including the construction of three man-made islands near Pulau Melaka, a shopping complex, hotel, condominium, Cultural Performance Complex (Melaka Impression), as well as a housing estate based on the concept of a cultural village.

He said the RM240 million Dinosaurs and Underwater World project will be realised on a 14.1-hectare site in Klebang and contribute RM48 million to Melaka's GDP.

Mohd Ali said this project comes complete with various public facilities such as food and beverage shops as well as souvenirs, while attracting 600,000 tourists annually.

He said the recreational park is also seen as capable of creating 1,000 job opportunities for the people of Melaka. In another development, Mohd Ali said the MPEN has proposed three steps to consolidate Melaka's economy in future.

He said it involved strengthening Melaka's Bumiputera-based companies, enhancing key infrastructure through the Straits of Melaka coastal highway and creating the 'Museum Tour' in the state.

"MPEN committee members have suggested that the state government study, identify and implement development, as well as assist selected Bumiputera-based companies to be mentored to become those with potential and competitiveness," he added.

He said the state government should also lobby the Federal government to continue the coastal highway as the project can provide an impact to the state's economic development, and the effort to make it a city-state.

Mohd Ali said the Museum Tour is aimed at enabling tourists to be offered attractive tourism packages to destinations throughout the state through the use of buses on a systematic basis as well as guides. – Bernama

Monday, August 19, 2013

CHANCE TO WIN DREAM HOLIDAY TO BALI FOR FOUR

19th. August 2013

Photographers are invited to unleash their creativity in a photographic contest for the chance to win a dream holiday to Bali, Indonesia.

Participants are require to capture the rich and unique heritage of Malacca.

The contest on August 24th. 2013 wich carries the theme Local Flavours is organised by the Avillion Hotel Group.

Contestants stand to win holidays at various destinations, spa package and a Canon camera.

The grand prize consists of a four-day, three night stay worth RM 7,050 at Villa Cinta, Sanur Beach in Bali for four people and a Canon EOS110D DSLR camera worth RM 1,699 to capture their gateway.

The other prize include free stays at the group's hotels in Idaman@Janda Baik in Pahang, Avillion Port Dickson water chalet in Negeri Sembilan, Avillion Admiral Cove executive studio in Negeri Sembilan and Avillion Legacy, Melaka.

To register, log on to www.facebook.com/avillionhotelgroup. Registration ends tomorrow.

Partipants have to pay a fee of RM 98 to enter the contest.

They will receive goodies such as a Canon Legria luggage strap, a photography talk by a Canon specialist worth RM 1,500 and lunch. By Kelly Koh, NST

ELECTRIC BUSES FOR MELAKA BEFORE CHINESE NEW YEAR 2014

Electric buses for Malacca

Posted on 18 August 2013 - 08:51pm Last updated on 18 August 2013 - 09:26pm Vathani Panirchellvum newsdesk@thesundaily.com

AYER KEROH (Aug 18, 2013): Malacca's plans of becoming a green technology city state steps closer with the advent of electric buses, scheduled to be launched before Chinese New Year next year.

Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron said that for starters 10 buses will ply the World Heritage City of Bandar Hilir, giving a positive impact on the environment, according to a report in Melaka Hari Ini, a community newspaper.

"If this project is successful, Malacca will be the first state that uses electric buses as an initiative to improve the public transportation system in the state, making it comparable to other countries like the US and Japan. The use of the environmental-friendly electric buses will reduce the use of petrol and diesel, thus lowering the carbon footprint," he said.

Idris added that the project will give positive returns in the long run as the buses can fit up to 40 passengers and will reduce the usage of fuel as much as RM0.20 per km, bringing in a profit of RM0.49 per passenger to the government.

The buses can move up to 40km per hour, he said, adding that it is based on the town bus concept, with standing room for most, and seats prioritised for the elderly and people with disabilities.

Friday, August 16, 2013

BUKIT CHINA : A HILL STEEPED IN LEGEND AND HISTORY

Published: Friday August 16, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM Updated: Friday August 16, 2013 MYT 11:00:18 AM

Bukit China: A hill steeped in legend and history

BY M. VEERA PANDIYAN

VEERA@THESTAR.COM.MY

The Bukit China Chinese cemetery in Malacca is the oldest in the country.

Its name can be traced to a legendary Ming Dynasty princess who supposedly arrived from China to marry Mansur Shah, the sixth Sultan of Malacca who ruled Malacca from 1459 to 1477.

Bukit China (Chinese Hill) was originally an undulating jungle of three mounds — Bukit Tinggi, Bukit Gedong and Bukit Tempurong.

It apparently took on the name after the Sultan allowed the entourage of princess Hang Li Poh to settle around the foot of the main hill.

These days, there are doubts over the purported royal lineage of Hang Li Po, as there is no written evidence to show that she was indeed a princess.

The guesswork is that she might have been a daughter of one of the emperor’s concubines or even a royal handmaiden.

But there are no doubts about the special relationship between Malacca and China then.

According to the Ming Shi-lu (Veritable Records Of The Ming Dynasty), an envoy of Balimisura (Parameswara) went to China in 1405 to offer tribute and another arrived two years later, complaining about Siam’s aggression and seizure of his kingdom’s royal seal.

An example of past architecture at Bukit China. The following year, Ming’s renowned admiral Zheng He (Cheng Ho) was sent to Malacca.

Parameswara gave another tribute to the emperor the following year after Siam stopped intimidating his kingdom.

The records also note that Parameswara arrived at the emperor’s court on Aug 4, 1411 with his family of 540 followers and that he was treated with respect and showered with banquets and impressive presents during his stay.

As for Sultan Mansur Shah, the palace where he supposedly lived with all his wives, including Hang Li Po, was said to be at the foot of Bukit Melaka (today’s St Paul’s Hill).

There is now a replica of the palace, which houses the Malacca Cultural Museum. It was built using three types of hardwood — cengal, rasak and belian (for the roof) — based on what was written in Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals).

It was written that the sultan ordered a well to be dug at Bukit China for the new immigrants. The well, Perigi Raja remains to this day and never dries up even during droughts.

Bukit China remained largely forested until the Portuguese built a chapel called Madre De Deus (Mother of God) and monastery at the top of the hill in 1581.

It was destroyed in an Achehnese attack in 1629. The Achehnese actually held Malacca for about eight months before the Portuguese won it back.

The monastery was rebuilt when the Achehnese were finally defeated with the deaths of prominent warriors, including Panglima Pidi whose grave, known as keramat panjang (long sacred grave) remains on Bukit China.

There are about 20 other Muslim graves nearby and the area used to be a favourite haunt of those seeking “spiritual help” for four-digit numbers during the 60s and early 70s.

In addition to the beach at Tanjung Kling, it was also an alternative site for the then popular Mandi Safar festival which was banned as “unIslamic” activities during the 80’s.

Bukit China became a Chinese cemetery in 1685 when Lee Wei King, the then “Kapitan China” of Malacca, bought the three hills from the Dutch and renamed them as “San Pao Shan” (Three Gems Hill or Three Protections Hill). He placed it under the trust of the Cheng Hoon Teng temple.

Reputedly the oldest remaining traditional Chinese burial ground in the world with 12,500 graves, Bukit China remained largely unknown and mostly overgrown until about this time of the year, 29 years ago.

All hell literally broke loose during the Hungry Ghosts Festival in 1984, when the Malacca Government announced its plans to develop the 42ha hill into a housing and commercial centre in July 1984.

The then Chief Minister, (now Tan Sri) Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik, gave three options — development of the hill solely by the Chinese community, joint development by the state and community or development by the state.

The plan sparked anger and outrage throughout the country, moving the diverse community to come together to preserve a heritage symbolising their earliest ancestors links to the country.

When the trustees of the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple conducted a survey to gauge public response on the development proposal, 553 associations and close to 300,000 people replied with a resounding no, against a mere 73 who agreed.

The country’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, was among those against the plan, lending more weight to calls for its preservation.

Representatives of political parties urged the then PM (now Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad to intervene and resolve the politically explosive and racially divisive issue.

As Carolyn Cartier, professor of geography and urban studies at the University of Technology, Sydney noted in her book, Globalising South China, the Save Bukit China campaign achieved ethnic and class representation and became a national movement, the first to grow to such proportions in the history of the country.

The State government eventually relented and has since been promoting Bukit China as part of its rich cultural heritage.

Today, the hill has become a recreational ground where joggers have carved out a track between graves. It has also become a valuable green lung for the city, offering great views from the peak.

The Chinese living around the area, covering Jalan Bukit China, Lorong Bukit China, Jalan Temenggong, Kampung Bukit China and nearby Banda Kaba, are referred to as the “San Pao Ching” community, in reference to several old wells in the area, seven of which were said to be dug during the time of Zheng He.

In addition to a hike up the hill, among the must-see sights for tourists are the Poh San Teng temple, built in 1795 by another Kapitan China, Chua Su Cheong and the Chinese War Memorial, located next to it.

The cenotaph to remember those who were brutally killed during the Japanese Occupation consists of an obelisk inscribed with Chinese calligraphy mounted on a raised platform with a Kuomintang flag at the top.

Thousands were killed after Malacca fell to the Japanese on Jan 15, 1942. The horror stories include burying victims alive and the killing of babies by throwing them up into the air and stabbing them with bayonets as they fell.