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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

GOODBYE 2014, WELCOME 2015

In a few hours, we will say goodbye to 2014 and welcome in the New Year 2015.

It has been a bad year for MALAYSIA as many unpredicted events occurred that affected MALAYSIA and Malaysians in general. 3 air disasters within one year are very bad. Started with the disappearance of MH 370, the shooting down of MH 17 and days before the end of 2014, we got the bad news of AirAsia plane going down in the Java sea due to a severe storm.

We were struck by landslides in Cameron highlands and before we know it, floods submerged Kelantan, Trengganu, Pahang, Perak and Johor. More than 250,000 people had to be evacuated from rising flood waters. Emergency supplies failed to reach the flood victims on time due to flooded roads, damaged roads, lack of power supply and clean water.

We hope 2015 will bring good news to MALAYSIA and Malaysians. Let the rain wash away our bad luck of 2014 so that we can start the New Year clean in our thoughts and action. Bless us in prosperity, harmony, and live together with tolerance and forgiveness.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

MELAKA ART AND PERFORMANCE FESTIVAL 2014 STARTS ON 21.11.2014

Updated: Monday November 17, 2014 MYT 12:51:56 PM Melaka Art And Performance Festival returns with a broader dance-centred programme

This historical Portuguese-era fort, A'Famosa in Malacca, is just one of the heritage sites co-opted by the Melaka Art And Performance Festival 2014 for its performances. This historical Portuguese-era fort, A'Famosa in Malacca, is just one of the heritage sites co-opted by the Melaka Art And Performance Festival 2014 for its performances.

The three-day Melaka Art And Performance Festival 2014 (MAPFest), which starts Nov 21, is back with a bumper schedule that includes contemporary dance, performance art, puppet theatre, storytelling and spoken word sessions, short films, music and workshops.

The free admission festival takes place in many of Malacca's heritage sites and historical streets including the church ruins on St Paul's Hill, A'Famosa, the Proclaimation of Independence Memorial and the Stadthuys.

This historical Portuguese-era fort, A'Famosa in Malacca, is just one of the heritage sites co-opted by the Melaka Art And Performance Festival 2014 for its performances. This historical Portuguese-era fort, A'Famosa in Malacca, is just one of the heritage sites co-opted by the Melaka Art And Performance Festival 2014 for its performances.

The three-day Melaka Art And Performance Festival 2014 (MAPFest), which starts Nov 21, is back with a bumper schedule that includes contemporary dance, performance art, puppet theatre, storytelling and spoken word sessions, short films, music and workshops.

The free admission festival takes place in many of Malacca's heritage sites and historical streets including the church ruins on St Paul's Hill, A'Famosa, the Proclaimation of Independence Memorial and the Stadthuys.

Thailand-born Nakarin Jaikla has kept true to his traditional Thai Lanna background despite actively exploring Western dance styles. The Thai dancer is part of the Melaka Art And Performance Festival 2014. More than 65 homegrown and international artists (Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, France, Ghana, South Korea, Ireland, Brazil, The Netherlands, Morrocco, Canada, Poland and the United States) will take part in this sixth edition of MAPFest which has brought Malacca's heritage areas to life with its day-long arts programmes.

Among the highlights this year are Australian-based writer/puppeteer Elnaz Sheshgelani's works that blend shadow puppetry, Persian-influenced music, documentary and theatre, Thailand's Nakarin Jaikla, who is a Lanna (northern Thai tradition) contemporary artist, and Indonesian performance artist Rudi Abdallah who critically analyses social issues and inequality in his homeland.

Australia-based writer/puppeteer Elnaz Sheshgelani's works are set to give the festival a blend of shadow puppetry, Persian-influenced music, documentary and theatre. Elsewhere, Australia folk singer Kavisha Mazzella, with her socially conscious songs ringing with echoes of Celtic, Fado and Gypsy influences, is bound to delight music fans. Veteran homegrown folk roots singer-songwriter Antares is also a festival highlight as he takes to the stage with his signature socio-political and spiritual stirrings. The return of festival favourites like Agung Gunawan (from Indonesia) and Chong Keat Aun (Malaysia), both cross cultural performers, will only add to the festival's illuminating live performances.

More info on MAPFest and festival schedules at www.melakafestival.com

Thailand-born Nakarin Jaikla has kept true to his traditional Thai Lanna background despite actively exploring Western dance styles. The Thai dancer is part of the Melaka Art And Performance Festival 2014. More than 65 homegrown and international artists (Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, France, Ghana, South Korea, Ireland, Brazil, The Netherlands, Morrocco, Canada, Poland and the United States) will take part in this sixth edition of MAPFest which has brought Malacca's heritage areas to life with its day-long arts programmes.

Among the highlights this year are Australian-based writer/puppeteer Elnaz Sheshgelani's works that blend shadow puppetry, Persian-influenced music, documentary and theatre, Thailand's Nakarin Jaikla, who is a Lanna (northern Thai tradition) contemporary artist, and Indonesian performance artist Rudi Abdallah who critically analyses social issues and inequality in his homeland.

Australia-based writer/puppeteer Elnaz Sheshgelani's works are set to give the festival a blend of shadow puppetry, Persian-influenced music, documentary and theatre. Elsewhere, Australia folk singer Kavisha Mazzella, with her socially conscious songs ringing with echoes of Celtic, Fado and Gypsy influences, is bound to delight music fans. Veteran homegrown folk roots singer-songwriter Antares is also a festival highlight as he takes to the stage with his signature socio-political and spiritual stirrings. The return of festival favourites like Agung Gunawan (from Indonesia) and Chong Keat Aun (Malaysia), both cross cultural performers, will only add to the festival's illuminating live performances.

More info on MAPFest and festival schedules at www.melakafestival.com

Friday, November 7, 2014

MALINDO FLIES FROM MELAKA TO PENANG AND PEKANBARU

Malindo Air launches weekly Penang-Melaka, Pekanbaru flights NOVEMBER 5, 2014

MELAKA, Nov 5 — Malaysia's hybrid airline, Malindo Air, has launched its five-weekly flights from the Melaka International Airport, Batu Berendam here to Penang and Pekanbaru, Indonesia.

Chief Executive Officer Chandran Rama Muthy said the flights, using the 72- ATR-72-600 aircraft, were on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursday, Friday and Sundays.

The Penang-Melaka flight, which takes one hour and 20 minutes, leaves at 10.10am and returns at 3.15pm while the Melaka-Pekanbaru flight, which takes one hour and five minutes, leaves at 11.50am and returns at 12.50pm.

Speaking to reporters after receiving passengers on the inaugural Penang-Melaka light here today, Chandran said the initial flights were over 90 per cent full.

Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron was on hand to greet the 70 passengers upon arrival at 11.30am.

Chandran said the Penang-Melaka air fare was RM79 one way while the Melaka-Pekanbaru flight cost RM70 one way.

He said Malindo Air planned to increase the frequency of both flights to six times weekly within the first six months due to growing interest in Melaka as a health tourism destination and a world heritage site among Indonesians, particularly those from Pekanbaru.

Malindo Air also plans to introduce the Melaka-Kota Baharu on Nov 21, he added. Malindo Air has 18 planes, comprising 11 ATR-72-600 and seven Boeing 737s. — Bernama - See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/travel/article/malindo-air-launches-weekly-penang-melaka-pekanbaru-flights#sthash.xkm3F5EH.dpuf

Sunday, November 2, 2014

GRAND DAME OF MELAKA TURNS 44

Malacca's oldest departmental store is currently celebrating her 44th. Anniversary. Founded in 1970, she was the grand old dame in providing Malaccans and visitors value for money merchandize.

We want to congratulate the management of Madam King for celebrating her 44th. Birthday.

VEDROMALL@JALANKEEANN GETS MOVING

The Vedromall@theMelaka River has started work.

Heavy machinery for doing soil stabilisation has moved in. Estimated to be around RM 200 million, this Vedromall is a 5 storey fashion mall with 2 underground car park. Slated to be completed in 2017, hopefully the project will add some active night life around Jalan Kee Ann.

FORMER CATHAY CINEMA AND THE SHORE

Former Cathay cinema being renovated to Panggung Bangsawan.

The massive "The Shore" at Jalan Bunga Raya Pantai. The new Swiss Hotel will be opening there with Tang as well.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

HONEST HOTEL STAFF RETURNS RM 100,000.00

Published: Friday August 8, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM Updated: Friday August 8, 2014 MYT 7:07:40 AM Honest hotel staff returns RM100,000 to owner

Honesty rewarded: Norashimah receiving the plaque from Chung during the award ceremony.

MALACCA: Brought up by a military-trained father who values integrity over self-interest, hotel staff Norashimah Abdul Razak did not hesitate to return a bag full of money – with Australian currency worth close to RM100,000 – back to its owner.

The 72-year-old hotel guest had left the bag in the safe in his room and checked out without realising he had left the bag behind.

The Australian was on his way to Kuala Lumpur yesterday when the hotel management contacted him. Only then did he realise he had left his bag behind at Hotel Equatorial here.

The hotel management then arranged an appreciation event for Norashimah and awarded her an exclusive plaque for her honesty.

Norashimah, 30, an assistant front office manager, said her soldier father had taught her that taking things that belonged to someone else was a sin.

Relating the events before the bag was returned to its owner, she said after the guest left in the morning, she entered his room to make a check and saw the bag in the safe.

She immediately sensed it contained a lot of money and quickly informed her superiors about the find. She later found out that the bag contained notes amounting to A$30,000 (RM89,510).

“My dad’s rule of thumb is to never take anyone’s belongings and respect those who are elder, regardless of their race.

“My father’s advice crossed my mind and I told myself to refrain from any temptation to take the money,” she said when interviewed.

Norashimah, the eldest of six siblings, said her retired military father had planted the right attributes in his children.

“Dad imparted all the right values in us and we were always reminded to respect everyone,” she said.

The guest, who returned to the hotel to get his bag, said he was in Malaysia for a holiday.

“I am extremely thankful. God bless honest Malaysians,” he said.

Hotel general manager Adrian Chung said he was proud that his staff had manifested such high integrity,

Friday, August 1, 2014

MALACCA HIGH SCHOOL TO STAY PUT IN HERITAGE BUFFER ZONE - CM

Malacca High School to stay put

1 AUGUST 2014 @ 8:08 AM
JASON GERALD JOHN AND KELLY KOHnews@nstp.com.my
ALOR GAJAH: THE oldest school in the state, Malacca High School, will not be relocated as it is part of Malacca’s heritage, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron. He said the school would be given a facelift.
When Malacca was listed as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008, the school was included as part of the state’s heritage.
“As the school is located in the buffer zone of the Unesco World Heritage Site, there are no plans to develop the area, but only to upgrade and maintain it.”
Idris said the proposed relocation was made a long time ago, prior to it being recognised as a World Heritage Site.
“Under my administration, we have no plans to develop the area, other than to upgrade all buildings in the heritage zone.”
He said this at the Hari Raya open house of Umno executive secretary, Datuk Ab Rauf Yusoh, in Kampung Pulau in Alor Gajah here yesterday.
Yesterday, the New Straits Times reported that state Education, Higher Education, Science, Technology, Green Technology and Innovations Committee chairman Datuk Md Yunos Husin had said there was a need to relocate Malacca High School to ease traffic congestion in the state. He said the state government was identifying alternative sites.
Various parties, especially students and teachers, had objected to the proposal, based on a letter dated June 30 from the Education Ministry’s Planning and Policy Research Division.
This is the second time in 20 years that the state government had proposed the relocation of the country’s second oldest school.
The school, established in 1826, was known as Malacca Free School and changed to its present name in 1878.
The first attempt, in 1993, to move the school out of Bandar Hilir, together with two schools — St Francis Institution and the Sacred Heart Convent — failed after meeting strong opposition from students and the schools’ alumni.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

UPDATE ON KL-SINGAPORE HIGH SPEED TRAIN

KL-Singapore high-speed train travel time shorter than taking flight


The Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail (HSR) is expected to cut travelling time by half, even if one were to take a flight, according to details published by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).
Singapore's The Straits Times (ST), quoting SPAD, said travel time from Singapore to

Kuala Lumpur would only take 2.5 hours, including transfers and

immigration clearance.

It currently takes 4 hours by flight, including time spent in waiting and immigration clearance.
The paper reported that both Singaporean and Malaysian authorities have been

meeting once every month on the HSR proj.
“On our part, we have to choose the most beneficial way for Malaysia to take on this

project as one of the main catalysts for it to become a developed and high-income

nation,” Nur told The Star last month.
SPAD's Singapore counterpart, the Land Transport Authority, has also embarked on a

study to find the location of the HSR's final stop in the republic, which could right now

be either Tuas West, Jurong East or the city centre.
The construction of the HSR, which could reportedly cost more than RM40 billion, is

due to begin late next year.
ST also reported that a Singapore firm has welcomed Nusajaya as one of the proposed

Malaysian stops along the HSR.
The western Johor township is, after all, where Singapore's FASTrack Autosports, the

company owned by tycoon Peter Lim, is building a motorsports hub which includes a

racing circuit.
"We heard there will be a station near our circuit, but there's been no official confirmation.
"If there is one, it will be more convenient for Singaporeans for sure. But even if there

wasn't a station, I think enthusiasts will still come to the track," said FASTrack chief

executive Barry Kan.
Other stations being proposed include Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar and Batu Pahat.
Singaporeans have traditionally visited Malaysia during holidays, using popular means

including the current overnight train service provided by Keretapi Tanah Melayu

Berhad.
"The prospect of dinner in Kuala Lumpur's Jalan Alor, supper in Malacca's Jonker

Street and a return to Singapore before clubbing hours is looking more likely, going by

published details of the planned high-speed rail (HSR) link between KL and Singapore,"

said ST. – July 3, 2014
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/singapore-kl-high-speed-train-travel-time-shorter-than-taking-flight#sthash.uJkJzDfQ.eESvLcQ9.dpuf

Monday, July 14, 2014

ENJOY A SPLASHING TIME IN MELAKA

Published: Monday July 14, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM 
Updated: Monday July 14, 2014 MYT 11:43:50 AM

Have a splash in Malacca

Bayou Lagoon in Bukit Katil Melaka is the state’s newest water park.
Bayou Lagoon in Bukit Katil Melaka is the state’s newest water park.
   

THE hot weather is driving more tourists to seek respite in Malacca’s water theme parks.
Strategically situated midway between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore along the North-South Expressway, the state government is eager to promote its three theme parks to those looking for an aquatic holiday.
All three theme parks have come up with ideas in keeping guests comfortable beyond the water rides.
Newer attractions are being planned with more thrilling rides and shaded places to please the thrill-seekers and their families.
Nusantara tourist magazine editor Vincent Low said water parks was a big business in Malacca with some two million holidaymakers registered visiting these parks, annually.
“A good water park will have thrilling rides and slides and side attractions.
“Water theme parks are another reason why tourists flock to the historic Malacca,” he said.
Malacca’s water theme parks are trying their best to keep their customers’ interested in what they have to offer as new innovations and design are being put in place to offer the ultimate water park experience.
A’Famosa and Melaka Wonderland Theme Park & Resort are expected to unveil new attractions at the end of this month while the new kid on the block, Bayou Lagoon Resort is stepping up marketing and branding efforts to lead theme park visitors to the latest attraction by promoting its proximity to Ayer Keroh Toll Plaza.

A’ Famosa Water World
A’Famosa Water World is the oldest water theme park in Malacca and is part of a 520ha ‘integrated resort’ where its Water World attracts the bulk of visitors.

A'Famosa Water World provides 20 acres of adrenaline-pumping slides, rides and much more.Visitors at A'Famosa Water World enjoying a lazy ride on the tube.Fun is taken to dizzying heights with seven-storey high-speed slides at A'Famosa Water World.A ride at Melaka Wonderland where visitors lie down on a mat before sliding down the colourful water slides.The adventure island and children's playground at Melaka Wonderland.Bayou Lagoon in Bukit Katil Melaka is the state's newest water park.A spiral water slide at Bayou Lagoon.The children's water park at Bayou Lagoon.
Fun is taken to dizzying heights with seven-storey high-speed slides at A'Famosa Water World.
 

The park, dubbed the ‘Largest Water Theme Park in Malaysia’, is surrounded by vast tropical gardens.
There are 12 types of slides and water-based recreational activities, namely — Lazy River, Wave Pool, Body Slide, High Speed Slide, Inner Tube Slide, Family Raft Slide, Kids Adventure Pool, Arabian Village and Sand Beach.
The latest attractions, Big Ice Cream and Aqua Extreme, will debut on July 25.
The main highlight at the park is the Family Raft Slide, which is a giant inflatable ring capable of holding three adults and two children.

Melaka Wonderland Theme Park & Resort
Melaka Wonderland opened its doors in 2010 and is an attraction for families wanting to experience a wholesome water park experience and high-speed water slides.
The park consists of several slides catering for both children and adults with added features for those keen indulging in adrenaline-rush activities.

The adventure island and children's playground at Melaka Wonderland Water Theme Park and Resort.
The adventure island and children's playground at Melaka Wonderland.
 

The park features 16 attractions, among others Tornado Chaser, Lazy cum Crazy River, Big Wave Pool, Adventure Island while surrounded by 360ha of natural recreational forest.
The park’s management is expected to unveil more attractions when the facelift is completed by end of this month.

Bayou Lagoon Resort
Located a mere 15 minutes away from the historic city and a stone’s throw away from the Ayer Keroh Toll Plaza, Bayou Lagoon Park Resort is an award-winning development, comprising an exclusive water theme park hotel.
Less than a year since making its debut, the water-theme park is poised to be the top holiday destination in the state once the total development at the site is completed.
The park’s management is going all out to design a water theme park resort that will appeal to children.
Currently, the park in Bukit Katil consists of waterslides, children’s pool, shooting water cannons, spiral slides and an adult pool.



Saturday, June 28, 2014

MALACCA FIRST CHINATOWN

Published: Friday June 27, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM 
Updated: Friday June 27, 2014 MYT 10:34:03 AM

Malacca's first Chinatown

The back of most shophouses in Kampung Pantai are painted with colourful murals depicting scenes of Malacca.
The back of most shophouses in Kampung Pantai are painted with colourful murals depicting scenes of Malacca.
   
THIS is one place where business has gone on as usual, from as early as the 17th Century.
Kampung Pantai, located along the west bank of the Malacca River has never ceased being a hectic trading hub.
It was Malacca’s original Chinatown during Dutch rule between 1641 and 1845 before the shophouses spread east across the river.
The choice was not by coincidence.
The river bank (pantai in Malay, or pantei as the Peranakan folk pronounce it), provided easy access for goods to be loaded into the godowns at the back of the shophouses.
The word, godown, by the way, can be traced to the Malay word gudang and earlier to the Tamil kitangu or gadangu in Kannada, both of which mean store or warehouse.
Most of the early merchants, from the provinces of Fujian and Guangdong, and the island of Hainan imported rice, flour, salt, preserved vegetables, textiles, traditional medicines and Chinese wine.

The back of the street facing the river offers breathtaking views.
A view of the Malacca River and pedestrian walkway behind the street.
 

Kampung Pantai’s business ties to mainland China is arguably the oldest in the country.
Even during the Communist insurgency and after independence when restrictions were placed on business links with China, traders here continued to import goods from the country as usual, thanks to the roles played by local Chinese associations and guilds.
By the early 1920s, Kampung Pantai was so chock-a-block with shophouses, and hawker stalls that the then Crown Colony’s resident councillor closed it to motorised traffic.
Not that there were that many cars then, save for the occasional Wolseley, Humber, Maxwell or Nash.
Most people moved about on horse carts called gharries, bullock carts or rode on rickshaws.

Koh Hwee Hean, whose grandfather started the Koh Beng Huat teashop, packing tea into smaller packs.
Hwee Hean, whose grandfather started the Koh Beng Huat teashop, packing tea into smaller packs.
 

But the early types of buses, called charabanc — featuring seven rows of seats, canopy tops, luggage rails and roll-up side curtains — were already in service in Malacca.
By 1912, there were seven such vehicles — three Dennis, two Belhaven and a Daimler and an Albion.
Motor traffic was allowed to re-enter the street in 1925, after more than 70 Chinese shopkeepers sent an appeal to the councillors, stating that their businesses had been badly affected by the barring.
But the street remained the most congested and also most densely populated up to the late 1930’s, so much so that it was described as a “town planner’s nightmare”.
Not much has changed since then.
It is still crammed, no thanks to the continuous number of trucks loading and unloading goods along the street.
It is also one of the few places left where the tricycle cart is still used to move goods for short distances.

A worker of a wholesale shop sorting out freshly arrived boxes of dates.
A wholesale shop worker sorting freshly arrived dates.
 

Many of the old shophouses, built in the 1920s and 1930s, still stand today with businesses that can be traced to between three or four generations.
This is where you can buy a mind boggling array of things — from rattan and bamboo goods, lion dance paraphernalia, traditional Chinese gift baskets, second-hand books, lanterns in all shapes and sizes, fruits — fresh, dried or pickled, Chinese wine and tea.
The most famous tea shop on the road is Koh Beng Huat, which offers a wide variety of teas from China and from elsewhere in Asia.
The third generation descendants of founder Koh Beng Jin, runs the business today.
Visitors are likely to see Beng Jin’s friendly granddaughter Koh Hwee Hean, keeping herself busy by packing tea into smaller packets in the middle of the narrow shop lined with teaboxes.
Like in most nearby streets, many of the pre-war shophouses have now been converted into budget hotels and backpacker lodges but Kampung Pantai is also famous for its old coffeeshops and food stalls.
Among the popular eateries include Long Fatt which serves traditional Teochew porridge accompanied by scrumptious side dishes.
The assam fish is the favourite of friends who frequent the place.
Among the things that make Kampung Pantai a fascinating place is the two contrasting views it offers to visitors.
While the front is a bustling business hub, the riverside of the street provides beautiful sights and serenity.
The back walls of the former godowns are now painted with colourful and dramatic murals, making this the loveliest stretch for those taking a boat ride on the river.
This is the place where tourists taking the 5km-long Malacca river cruise, take most of their pictures during the 45-minute ride.
The cruise has become a popular tourist attraction.
Last year, it recorded 1.2 million passengers, generating revenue of RM8.1mil for the state.