Tuesday, March 11, 2014


A new premier outlet in Malacca to make its debut this year

An artist impression of Freeport A'Famosa Outlet Village, which would offer a variety of designer brands and fashion items.
An artist impression of Freeport A'Famosa Outlet Village, which would offer a variety of designer brands and fashion items.
MALACCA will be adding another feather in its tourism cap when a premier outlet, Freeport A’Famosa Outlet Village, starts offering a variety of designer brands and fashion items next year.
The Freeport A’Famosa Outlet Village will open its first phase, comprising some 120 retail shops, in April 2015. Its second and third phase will follow later.
Costing some RM190mil, the project sits on an 8ha site adjacent to the A’Famosa Resort in Alor Gajah and will have 1,700 parking bays.
Freeport Retail Commercial director Chris Milliken said the first phase the Freeport A’Famosa Outlet Village would also feature a good number of food and beverage outlets, some 1,200 free parking bays and an exhibition hall.
“With the annual and still increasing 14.5 million tourist arrivals, and some two million who visit the famous resort for holidays, Malacca offers a good captive market and has the perfect characteristics for Freeport Retail.
“We will have the best outlet centre offering a variety of top designer fashion brands, casual wear, accessories and sports brands at low prices,” he said during the ground breaking for the development recently.
The event was also witnessed by Malacca Governor Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob, State Higher Education, Science and Technology, Green Technology and Innovationchairman Datuk Mohd Yunos Husin, A’Famosa Group managing director Datuk Alex Lau and Freeport Retail Asia Markets senior vice-president Richard Broadhead.
Freeport Retail Asia Markets senior vice president Richard Broadhead said the outlet would make a début next year.
Freeport Retail Asia Markets senior vice president Richard Broadhead said the outlet would make a début next year.
Milliken revealed that the Freeport A’Famosa Outlet Village will provide opportunities to buy from more than 70 international fashion brands at 30% to 70%, below market prices.
“The project will be developed in three phases and will generate approximately more than 800 employment opportunities for locals,” he said.
The first phase of Freeport A’Famosa Outlet Village will open in April 2015 and further phases will gradually be unveiled.
Milliken said the initial phase will feature more than 80 retail units, including food and beverage units, 1,200 free car parking bays as well as an exhibition and event halls.
The development is a strategic alliance between international outlet operator Freeport and Langkah Realiti, a wholly owned subsidiary of A’Famosa Group, and operators of A’Famosa Resort.
Milliken said prudent shoppers would be able to buy quality merchandise from an impressive collection of international brands without having to visit fashion cities such as Milan or Paris.
“We will be bringing haute couture to Malacca by offering an assortment of world-renowned consumer products.
“We always aim to provide our customers with a fun and rewarding visit, and in this location, we have the added benefit and synergy of two highly successful leisure and tourist destinations at our doorstep,” he said.
The village-style development, Milliken noted, creates an interesting and sophisticated design for an upscale shopping atmosphere that makes bargain hunting a real pleasure.
“The centre’s geometrical design is surrounded by a Dutch colonial theme that reflects Malacca’s historical identity,” he said.
In addition to leisure attractions the outlet will also introduce value-added services such as a VIP lounge, valet car parking, gift-wrapping and personal shopping services.
Langkah Realiti director Julian Lau Joo Liang expressed delight with his company’s move to seal a partnership with Freeport Retail of Europe, thus bringing such an exclusive outlet centre to Malaysia.
“The ground breaking reflects a major step forward for the retail landscape in the region that I believe will result in far-reaching and long-term positive effects to our state and local economy,” he added.
Freeport A’Famosa Outlet Village will be marketed as a shopping destination for residents locally and nationwide, and as a year-round attraction for tourists.
Located along the North-South Expressway between Kuala Lumpur and Malacca, the development is well located to serve the heart of Malaysia and its booming tourist market.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Jalan Bendahara or Wolferstan Road, is a bustling area for locals and has become a must-visit destination for tourists.
Jalan Bendahara or Wolferstan Road, is a bustling area for locals and has become a must-visit destination for tourists.
JALAN Bendahara in Malacca, one of the historical city’s main roads was obviously named after Tun Perak, the most eminent of the ancient Sultanate’s courtiers who held the rank.
Historians have traced the word bendahara to the Sanskrit bhandarin or the keeper of the store.
As trade played a vital role in the sultanate with the rulers, the Bendahara was effectively the royal treasurer, besides being the head of the court officials, the leader of the soldiers and the peasantry.
The position of Bendahara was second only to the Sultan in status, power, and authority.
Tun Perak, served under four rulers — Sultan Muzzafar Shah, Sultan Mansur Shah, Sultan Alauddin Ri’ayat Shah and Sultan Mahmud Shah.
But then again, there is also another key road named Jalan Tun Perak that stretches from the Jalan Malim junction to Jalan Gajah Berang/ Jalan Hang Tuah.
So, in addition to the illustrious Tun Perak, one can suppose that Jalan Bendahara could also have been named for these other not-so-famous holders of the post — Tun Perpatih Tulus, Raden Bagus, Raden Anum, Tun Perpatih Besar, Tun Perpatih Sedang and Tun Perpatih Putih.
The older residents of Malacca recognise it by its former name of Wolferstan Road. Not many, though, are familiar with whom it was named after.
Littleton Pipe Wolferstan arrived in Malaya as a cadet of the British colonial office on Dec 3, 1889 and served in various posts in Penang, Singapore and Kedah before being appointed to four terms as Resident of Malacca between 1910 and 1920.
The St Peter's Church, the oldest functioning Catholic Church in Malaysia, is among the rich landmarks of Jalan Bendahara.
The St Peter's Church, the oldest functioning Catholic Church in Malaysia, is among the rich landmarks of Jalan Bendahara. 
His last job in the colonial service was Resident Councillor in Malacca, where he was much respected.
On March 9, 1922, a week before Wolferstan left for retirement, a grand dinner was hosted by the Malacca Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Straits Chinese British Association (SCBA) in his honour.
In paying tribute, SCBA leader Tan Cheng Lock, (later the founder of MCA) said:
“Malacca has today, better medical services, electric lighting, a splendid site on which is being erected a badly needed municipal market, two new roads added to that part of town and what more, a good and handsome revenue.”
Besides being rich in culture and cuisine, Jalan Bendahara is also steeped in history, involving both the hallowed and the profane and linked to kindness as well as cruelty.
One of the country’s hallowed Christian places of worship is located on it and down the road there used to be the town’s party spots and a hidden hub of sin.
At the start of the road, at the junction of Bunga Raya Pantai, stands the St Peter’s Church, the oldest functioning Catholic church in Malaysia, built in 1710.
The church, which has a life-size alabaster statue of Jesus before the Resurrection, is most crowded during the Holy Week celebrations for local Catholics and members of the Malacca Portuguese community.
Since the mid-1800s, many non-Christian locals have also been taking part in the observations, especially Palm Sunday, the Stations of the Cross (Datuk Pikul Balak) and The Lord is Dead (Datuk Mati).
Further down the road, at the junction of Jalan Munshi Abdullah, is the rather unremarkable grey-painted Meng Seng Charitable Association Hall.
Not many people know its historical contributions to the local community and to the birth of the nation.
The association, set up in June, 1923, was at first located in a shoplot in Lorong Bukit China before moving to Kee Ann Road, and then to Bunga Raya.
The Meng Seng Charitable Association Hall has played a significant role in the local community as well as the fight for Independence.
The Meng Seng Charitable Association Hall has played a significant role in the local community as well as the fight for Independence. 
Locals went to the association for medical aid, cultural performances and to read books provided by its free library. There was also a night school for adults.
The present building was completed in 1941 but soon after the opening ceremony, the Japanese Occupation turned it from a hall of mercy into a chamber of horrors.
It was the base of the dreaded Japanese Kempeitai and among the local Chinese leaders massacred were the association’s committee members Ong Teck Ghee, Lim Tai Tian and 50 ordinary members.
The hall also played a significant role in the quest for Merdeka. In early 1954, Tunku Abdul Rahman returned home from London sad and disappointed after his first failed mission to gain independence.
Tunku called for an emergency meeting in Malacca for the struggle to go on and the only place big enough to accommodate the large number of people who turned up was the hall.
The response was overwhelming. When sheets of cloth were stretched out to collect donations, people threw in their jewellery — gold chains, rings, brooches and such — along with watches and cash.
The amount of money raised spurred similar appeals throughout the country, enabling the Tunku to make another, more successful trip, in April 1954.
At the start of the stretch of Jalan Bendahara across the road, there used to be two grand landmarks on either side.
One end of Jalan Bendahara  is most famous for being Malacca's 'Little India'.
One end of Jalan Bendahara  is most famous for being Malacca's 'Little India'.
On the right was the majestic Capitol Theatre and the right, the splendid mansion of Chan Koon Cheng, a prominent merchant of Malacca who built a fortune as a rubber planter.
The Chan Koon Cheng mansion stands to this day, complete with its lion-guarded gateway, exquisite architecture and features, despite being turned into a CIMB Bank branch.
Alas for the Capitol, it’s all in ruins. The most impressive movie theatre of my childhood days is now derelict and roofless.
But before it was a cinema, the building had a colourful history as the Capitol Dance Hall. Opened in 1936, it was touted as “Malacca’s one and only most up-to-date palais de danse”.
There were nightly dances and the waltz, quick step, foxtrot, tango and cha cha were the craze then.
Tea dances were held on Thursday and Saturday.
The floor was lit up by orange and green lights concealed in the ceiling — surely a technological feat then, while the sound system was said to be among the best in the country.
English writer and poet Hugo Williams immortalised the hall in his book All the Time in the World.
He wrote that the Capitol might as well have been the Commonwealth Relations Office in the late 1950s when troops from New Zealand, Australia and Britain were still in the barracks of the Terendak Camp.
“In the hall, whites aided natives with vouchers called dance coupons. But natives were only obliged to stay faithful to whites while the music lasted. Then they would declare their independence, or rather break off diplomatic relations again”.
During the 60's this block of nine-storey municipal flats was the tallest building in town.
During the 60's this block of nine-storey municipal flats was the tallest building in town. 
Thanks to the Commonwealth soldiers, Jalan Bendahara was also dotted with bars and hotels and midway on the left side of it was what the locals used to call “Coconut Island”, a seedy squatter village where vice was the prime business.
During the mid-60s, Jalan Bendahara also gained fame for having the old city’s tallest building — the nine-storey municipal flats.
It later gained notoriety for its growing number of suicides but has since ended up as just another crammed housing area in town.
Today Jalan Bendahara, or its junction with Jalan Temenggong, is most famous for being Malacca’s “Little India”.
Most of the traditional Indian businesses — shops selling jewellery, sarees and other clothing, sundry goods, prayer items and flowers, among others — are located on both sides of the street.
The city’s most popular banana leaf eateries can also be found in the area.
The oldest is Sri Lakshmi Villas, set up in 1962, which serves vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, in addition to thosai, idli and other traditional foods. It still has the same proprietor — K. Periakaruppan aka PK, 79.
Over five decades, the restaurateur has seen Wolferstan Road transform from what it was before to what it is today — a bustling area for locals and a must-visit place for tourists.
PK owns Sri Lakshmi Villas, the oldest South Indian restaurant in Malacca’s “Little India”.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Philanthropist to launch Baba Nyonya centre in Malacca

Posted on March 3, 2014, Monday

Yii shows a promotional booklet of the Baba Nyonya Culture and Arts Centre that is set to open in Malacca.
KOTA KINABALU: Prominent entrepreneur and philanthropist, Dato’ Yii Ching Siew, has established a Baba Nyonya Culture and Arts Centre in Malacca city centre, with the aim of preserving the essence of the Baba Nyonya culture.
The centre will be open to visitors in mid-April this year.

Yii said the setting up of the Baba Nyonya Culture and Arts Centre was timely, as it would promote our country’s unique Baba 

Nyonya culture to foreign tourists, particularly in the Visit Malaysia Year 2014.

The centre delves into the history, culture and developments of the Baba Nyonya, which is presented in a modern way, he said.

“The centre will ensure better preservation and development of Baba Nyonya food, decorative items and arts,” Yii explained.

Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy Baba Nyonya delicacies at the centre, which Yii described as a fusion between 

Chinese and Malay cooking style and flavours.

Yii said the centre also had Baba Nyonya performances, such as a documentary on the history of the Baba Nyonya and a 20-

minute Baba Nyonya wedding ceremony.

Visitors can also don Baba Nyonya costumes, including Mandarin, wedding and elegantly embroidered costumes
Baba Nyonya refers to the descendants of the early Chinese immigrants who inter-married with local folks some 600 years


“The Baba Nyonya Culture and Arts Centre will repackage the Baba Nyonya culture in order to disseminate and develop this 

unique culture of Malaysia to the whole world.”

Read more: