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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

HAPPY 50TH. BIRTHDAY, MALAYSIA

HAPPY 50TH. BIRTHDAY MALAYSIA!!!

On 16th. September 2013, Malaysia will celebrate her Golden Anniversary.

Yes, Malaysia is going to be 50 years old. Let all Malaysians celebrate this important milestone in our journey of being an independent nation. Let us stay united, work hand in hand and play together to achieve our goals for the next 50 years ahead.

SELAMAT HARI MALAYSIA.

IMPRESSION MELAKA

Impression Melaka' Launched Next Year As Iconic Tourism Product

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 (Bernama) -- The 'Impression Melaka' project, to be launched in October next year, is set to become one of the iconic tourist attractions for Visit Malaysia 2014.

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said 'Impression Melaka' was the latest entry point project within the Tourism National Key Economic Area (NKEA).

"In line with NKEA, this RM213.2 million project is estimated to attract 1.2 million tourists per annum, generating RM179 million GNI (Gross National Income) into the economy," he told a press conference here Tuesday.

Mohamed Nazri said the project would also create approximately 500 direct, and thousands of indirect job opportunities to locals, apart from attracting foreign investments, and boost local livelihood.

He noted that the project was the first and only Mega Outdoor 'Impression' Series outside China, and exclusive in Malaysia, as the first location in the Southeast Asia region.

"This project will add a key highlight to Malaysia and contribute to making Malaysia a preferred destination," said the minister.

'Impression Melaka', he said, would showcase a perfect combination of natural environment as the background, whilst utilising the latest light and sound technology, modern art concepts and huge number of cultural performers.

He said 'Impression Melaka' would host two or three shows every night, with each show lasting between 70 and 90 minutes, with rotating audience seating which could accommodate up to 2,000 visitors per performance.

"This unique tourism product will feature a mega outdoor performance directed by world-acclaimed Zhang Yimou, Wang Chaoge and Fanyue, the directors of the 2008 Beijing Olympic opening and closing ceremony," said Mohamed Nazri.

-- BERNAMA

Monday, September 2, 2013

THE KAHAANI MALACCA

Stately charm of The Kahaani Malacca

By ROBIN AUGUSTIN | streets@nst.com.my

MAGICAL: A stay at The Kahaani is an experience to treasure

MALACCA: THE Kahaani Malacca gets its name from the Hindi word which means story, but spending a night in the lavish mansion is nothing short of a fairytale.

Formerly an official residence of the Malacca state governor, The Kahaani sits on a 0.6ha of land in Taman Tasik Utama, a mere five minutes from the Ayer Keroh Tol Plaza.

The mansion exudes prestige and class with its massive gates, driveway and lawn. The state's emblem at the entrance serves as a reminder of the mansion's past status.

Residence Hotels & Resorts took over the reins of management last year and spent three months restoring the mansion to its former glory.

The interior decor of the The Kahaani is a tasteful blend of colonial and Peranakan furnishings, antiques, lighting as well as a red-carpet lined spiral staircase. The management has also brought in new furniture and bathroom fixtures that compliment the mansion's character.

The Kahaani has six suites under three categories. Each suite is named after a traditional musical instrument. There is Rebana, Angklung, Serunai and Kenong suites. The creme de la creme is the Nafiri and the Japanese styled Tsuzumi, which have their own living rooms.

The largest of the suites is the Nafiri, in which Bollywood superstar, Datuk Shah Rukh Khan has stayed in.

Aside from the Rebana, the other suites each come with an extra king-sized bed and a hot tub. All rooms are large enough to accommodate up to four persons, with extra beds available upon request. Inside, the rooms are the epitome of luxury. The sheer size and furnishings of the rooms are astounding and are equipped with high speed wireless Internet, an LED television, Astro and a DVD player.

The hallmark of the Kahaani is its personalised butler service, which explains the omission of a mini-bar, coffee making facilities and ironing board from the rooms.

Like the magical cartoon servants that look after the castle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, operations manager Kamal Mohd Zani and his staff of nine, work around the clock, happily serving guests and ensuring the mansion remains spotless.

"Here, guests get to enjoy a first-class colonial experience. Our butlers pamper guests, doing everything for them," said Kamal, adding that The Kahaani is the only place in Malacca with a personal butler service.

Dining at the mansion is a privilege exclusive to guests staying at The Kahaani. From breakfast to dinner, all meals are served in sets. There are also colonial styled and Nyonya tea sets featuring cakes, scones, authentic Nyonya kuih and, of course, a selection of fine tea.

The quality of food served is immaculate and the portions are generous. For breakfast, which is complimentary, guests have a choice of either continental or American breakfast sets, complete with a selection of eggs, juice, breads, cereals, sausages and more.

Lunch and dinner is a Western affair complete with an appetiser, soup, main course and dessert. Local delicacies are also available upon request.

Aside from lunch and dinner, light snacks can also be prepared to satisfy those late-night cravings. The delectable meals can be enjoyed in the cosy setting of the Nyonya Room, outside by the pool, or common balcony. Guests can even have their meals served to them in the comfort of their suites.

If you manage to resist the urge to stay in bed, then head to the mansion's stunning pool which is surrounded by a wading area with hydro massage jets, a mini-island and water features.

A popular feature of a colonial mansion is a library. The Kahaani has a spacious library and games room with a selection of books, traditional games like congkak and popular board games for adults and children alike.

There are two function rooms in the mansion. The Batik is a board room styled meeting room, equipped with a projector, laptop and audio-visual facilities.

The Batik can accommodate 10 people and also function as a dining avenue. The Sutera function room is suitable for small dinners or events to the tune of a 100 guests. It is encased by glass walls, giving guests a great view of the pool.

Naturally, the uniqueness and charm of The Kahaani makes it a popular venue for weddings and private functions, which can be organised on the mansion's vast lawn.

Guests who wish to enjoy Malacca's many tourist spots can do so as a limousine service can be arranged. Airport transfers to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Low Cost Carrier Terminal are also available.

Rates at The Kahaani start from RM1,500+ per night, but promotional rates are available. For reservations, call 06-231 3712 or email reservation@thekahaani.com.

For more details, visit www.thekahaani.com/ Read more: Stately charm of The Kahaani Malacca - Central - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/streets/central/stately-charm-of-the-kahaani-malacca-1.333796#ixzz2dnhUhfGI

MALACCA SET TO MAKE AN IMPRESSION

Published: Tuesday September 3, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM

Updated: Tuesday September 3, 2013 MYT 11:53:03 AM

Malacca set to make an Impression

BY JUNE H.L. WONG

A scene from the Impression Liu Sanjie outdoor musical in Guilin, which features dazzling light effects and an awesome setting of mountains and a river.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malacca will become the first city outside China to stage the 10th production under acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou’s “Impression” series of outdoor musical shows.

Impression Melaka, is a project between PTS Impression Sdn Bhd and China Impression Wonders Art Development Co Ltd, which will be endorsed by Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz today as a National Key Economic Area project under Pemandu.

This follows a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by PTS Impression CEO Boo Kuan Loon and China Impression Wonders Art Development Co’s co-founder and CEO Wang Chaoge in February in Malacca, witnessed by then Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, and the project’s official launch in Beijing in May.

The immensely successful Impression musicals were founded by Zhang and his creative partners Wang Chaoge and Fan Yue who were also directors of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The stage for Impression Melaka will be built to look like a Chinese junk in Admiral Zheng He's fleet with the audience seated in the middle.

All the Impression shows are live outdoor performances involving huge casts, humongous stages and amazing special effects.

The first was launched in 1998 in Guilin called Impression Lui Sanjie on a 2km-long setting along the Li River. Since then, there are Impressions in nine locations all over China, including Lijiang and West Lake, using spectacular natural backdrops.

Impression Melaka, however, will be performed on a gigantic stage built to look like Admiral Zheng He’s junk with a revolving seating area for 2,014 in the middle.

It was Wang who decided on Malacca as her company’s first foreign foray after being pursued by a persistent Boo who brought she and her team to visit his hometown.

Boo, 42, who describes himself as a true-blue anak Melaka, is a property developer who wants to create a destination theatre experience to benefit locals and give tourists a reason to stay overnight in Malacca.

Mr. Boo Kuan Loon, CEO of PTS Impressions Sdn Bhd Boo wants to create a destination theatre experience to benefit locals and give tourists a reason to stay overnight in Malacca.

“Most tourists come to Malacca for day tours but don’t stay overnight because there isn’t much to see or do at night. Impression Melaka can change that as there will two performances every night,” he said.

Boo added that it was a feather in Malacca’s cap that Wang’s company chose the city for its first foreign production out of 150 proposals from cities around the world, thanks in part to its Unesco world heritage status.

Although Impression Melaka’s storyline and music are being written and the stage designed by China Impression Wonders Art Development Co, Boo stressed it would not be a Chinese story but one that reflected Malacca’s vibrant cosmopolitan history and heritage.

As Wang said in an interview with Lifestyle Magazine, “When we go outside the country, we’re not taking Chinese culture and exporting it to them, but rather we export our art and performance – Impression Melaka is about Malaysian culture.”

She was also quoted as saying at the Beijing launch that Impression Melaka would “showcase the city’s glorious past and modern day life.”

Nevertheless, the junk-shaped stage recalls Zheng He’s five visits to the port in seven voyages between 1405 and 1433 which led to a longstanding relationship between the Malacca sultanate and China.

The directors: (from left) Zhang, Wang and Fan who will create Impression Melaka. Impression Melaka, a RM300mil project, is funded by local and foreign investors and will be the only one in the region for the next three years, said Boo.

He said the 75-minute long show, with a cast of 200, is projected to sell 1.3 million tickets a year, at about RM130 a seat.

Like other Impression shows, most of the performers will be ordinary folk living in the vicinity who will be trained by Zhang, Wang, Fan and their team.

While its location is still under wraps, Boo said the theatre will require 8.1ha, while another 32.4ha will be developed for other related developments, such as restaurants and a tourism village.

Impression Melaka is scheduled to open in October 2014, in conjunction with Malaysia-China Friendship Year to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations and in time for Visit Malaysia Year.