Tuesday, January 30, 2018


MELAKA – A total of 16.79 million tourists visited Melaka last year, the highest ever recorded by the state, says Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.
He said this was proof that Melaka had become one of the main tourist destinations in the country, with the majority of foreign tourists from China, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
“Melaka may be small in size but immense in stature, where centuries of civilisation and cultures have met here, shaping the foundation of a thriving and progressive nation that we have today.
“We can see the growth of the tourism sector which attracted 16.28 million tourists in 2016, and we are targeting 17 million for this year,” he said in his speech at a dinner in conjunction with the 9th Joint Seminar and 40th Public Services Games For Public Sector Leaders of Malaysia and Singapore 2018 here tonight.
Also present were Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, Head of Civil Service of Singapore Leo Yip and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun.
The three-day event which began yesterday is attended by 41 public officials from Malaysia and 33 from Singapore.
Idris said among recognition which Melaka received last year were ‘The World’s Trendiest Holiday Destination by The British Post’; ‘The Most Visited City In Malaysia After Kuala Lumpur (Recognition by Motac)’; and ‘Top 10 Best Destination Must Visit in Asia By Lonely’.
Four more ‘Top 25 Destinations By Trip’; ‘Top Five Shopping Heaven In Malaysia’, ‘Top 50 World Street Food Awards’ and ‘The Prime Minister’s Tourism Award For 2017’.
 Idris said apart from distinction in tourism industry, the state government also worked hard to promote Melaka as a centre for investment, and for the past four and a half years, top companies worldwide had come to the state.
 “We managed to receive more than RM22 billion in investments in the manufacturing sector, the highest in the investment history of Melaka.”

Friday, January 26, 2018


A village largely left untouched since the ‘20s, Kampung Morten still retains its identity, writes Loong Wai Ting
IT IS raining heavily when the Uber driver, a chatty fellow, drops us off at the fountain outside of Kampung Morten in the heart of the historic city of Melaka. It takes a while for us to find the famous fountain, the meeting point of the Kampung Morten Cultural and Heritage Guided Walk, as it is located on the far side of the village.
My guide Shaukani Abbas is already waiting for us at a food stall near the fountain. Our tour is supposed to start at 5pm but due to the relentless rain, we decide to sit it out. But half an hour later, we’re still stuck at the stall, where Shaukani offers plan B.
If it continues to rainfor another 10 minutes, we’ll have to come back the next day. As if Mother Nature hears our silent plea for the rain to stop, it finally does 10 minutes later.
As we prepare for the tour, a jovial Canadian couple and two locals from Penang ask if they can join us on our walk. Of course, they can! After all, the more the merrier, no?
The sun is out, there is a rainbow and water puddles on the street reflect the beautiful wooden and brick houses in Kampung Morten. The Melaka River across the street flows steadily, carrying with it fallen branches and dead leaves. Passengers on the river cruise wave as they move past us.
Enclosed by tall buildings and luxury hotels, Kampung Morten is a tiny Malay village, an anachronism that has survived the passing years.
Ironically, with the rapid urbanisation project in Melaka, the village is largely left untouched since the ‘20s. But instead of old village houses connected with stilts, there are now tarred roads.
Like Kampung Baru in Kuala Lumpur, Kampung Morten still preserves its rustic charm and identity.

Back in the day, when the nearby market in Kampung Jawa was forced to make way for a development, its residents soughta place to call home. It was by chance that they came across a swampy plot filled with nipah and mangrove forest and decided to make it their home. But there was a problem: The Hindu Mohammad Endowment Board wanted 10,000 Straits Dollar for the land.
So, the village head Othman and his brother-in-law Demang Abdul Ghani approached the British Land Commissioner Frederick Joseph Morten to secure a loan and subdivided the land into 100 plots.
To thank Morten for his assistance, the villagers named the village after him. As nearby villages changed their names to Malay, Kampung Morten retains its name to pay tribute to the man who helped established their village.
But Othman’s role and contribution to the village have not gone unrecognised. The Melaka State Government honoured him by naming the main street surrounding the village as Persiaran Datuk Othman.
Today, a walk in Kampung Morten is similar to what you would expect in the past, except for better roads and more modern-looking houses.
The population of the village is 900, with 96 houseson the 96-hectare land. In July 2002, the village was gazetted as a Residential Area under the Preservation and Conservation of Cultural Heritage Enactment 1988.

Much of the tradition and custom are still retained till today. It’s a delight to watch children playing on the once-narrow streets, cycling past neighbours’ houses, calling out to their friends. Older children who have just got back from religious school join their friends.
Hands on each other’s shoulders, they are not shy to say hello to strangers. A boy comes up to us and shouts “selamat datang” (welcome).
Our first stop is the Herbs Garden Md Jas Jalani. Local herbs and fruit trees grow in abundance around the house. Shaukani introduces to us the various herbs used in curries andsavoury dishes.
I bite into the tart green fruit of the belimbing buluh (similar to star fruit) tree. Next, we marvel at the fresh Vietnamese mint that grows beautifully beside the belimbing buluh tree. As my hand brushes among the plant, I can’t help but salivate at the thought of the piping hot assam laksaand assam pedas.
Continuing the 90-minute tour, we stop at Rumah Merdeka, a house decked in the Jalur Gemilang that flutters in the wind. The Melaka flag is also on each side of the roof of the house.
Before entering the house or the living museum as our guide puts it, we are briefed on the custom before entering a Malay house. It is an eye-opener for the international tourists and a good reminder for locals on the do’s and don’ts of Malay customs.
Upon entering the house, we are greeted by a chatty woman named Aminah Abu Bakar, who was born and raised in the house.
According to Mak Cik Aminah, as she is fondly called, her mother always reminded her children to be thankful for a peaceful country. In fact, she would get angry if her children were late in decorating their house with Malaysia flags.
Every year on the night of independence, she prepared a special menu of boiled tapioca with spicy anchovies, a staple during the war. Shespent RM100 every August to buy and decorate her house with the Jalur Gemilang.
Antique radio and cutlery from yesteryears line glass shelves in the house. Aminah then shows me a glass feeding bottle belonging to her. “I used to drink milk from this bottle when I was small,” she says as she carefully takes it out of the glass cabinet and places it in front of us.
Except for the yellowing pacifier, the bottle looks pristine, as if just bought from a store.
Next, Aminah shows us the correct way to wear the sarung typically worn by men and women in Southeast Asia.
In Malaysia, the sarung is worn during prayers, leisure or simply to enjoy the comfort of the wear.
We are invited to explore Aminah’s home, which has two entrances. The main entrance is for visitors and its male residents, while the back entrance is used by women and children. The house is divided into three areas: serambi (verandah), rumah ibu (main area) and dapur (kitchen).
Some houses have anjung and passageways. Anjung is a covered porch used as a relaxation area for the family and to receive guests. The passageway known as selang links the main house to the kitchen, and in case of fire, it provides an effective escape route. The house is usually built on wooden posts to protect against wild animals, floods as well to provide ventilation.
No tour in Kampung Morten is complete without visiting Villa Sentosa, dubbed The Living Museum by many tourists.
It was built in 1920 by the late Othman, the same man who contributed to the founding of the village but it wasn’t until Hashim Abdul Ghani, who took over the house, that extensive renovation was done to the house. It was officially turned into a museum on Dec 11, 1991.
Since then, nine generations of Othman’s descendents have stayed in this house. Villa Sentosa has a unique interior apart from a collection of Malay traditional wear, musical instruments and antique furniture. Entrance to Villa Sentosa is by donation.
All the 96 houses in Kampung Morten offer homestays. Thirteen offer kampung-style accommodation.

Before leaving Kampung Morten, I recommend eat your fill of nasi lemak at the famous Nasi Lemak Haji Deraman stall, manned by the man himself, and who has been selling the rice dish for the past 33 years.
The dish comprises rice cooked in coconut milk and screw pine leaves, and served with sambal (chilli paste), fried anchovies, boiled eggs and sliced cucumbers. Side dishes include fried chicken and beef rendang. Commonly wrapped in banana leaves, it is one of the popular items for breakfast. But of course, any true blue Malaysian will tell you that nasi lemak can be eaten any time throughout the day and night.
TIMES Magazine recently listed nasi lemak as one of the top 10 healthiest international breakfast. More reason to tuck in?

ONCE a filthy river filled with trash, the Melaka river has gone through a clean-up, thanks to a project by the Danish Cooperation for Environment and Development, a non-profit organisation.
The clean-up, which began in January 1996 with a grant of RM12 million, was divided into two phases: The first lasted for six months to identify the nature of the problem,followed by a two-year phase to collect data to formulate action plans.
The local government, inspired by the river concept in St Antonio River Walk in Texas, US spent RM300 million to beautify the river.

TEL: 06-282 6526/06-281 2886
HOURS Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5pm. Be there by 4.45pm for registration.
PAY It’s free!
It is easier to grab a ride-sharing services or taxi. Just tell your driver where to drop you off as there are a few entry and exit points in the village. The meeting point of the guided walk is at the fountain near a banana fritters stall

Thursday, January 18, 2018


RM46mil project in Melaka includes 2.5km cable car line and theme park

MELAKA: The state will get its
first cable car as well as a
theme park by the end of this
year, said its Chief Minister
Datuk Seri Idris Haron.

He said the project called
“Seven Mini Wonders” cost
RM46mil and the cable car
would run across the Marina
in Pulau Melaka to Klebang

He said the 2.5km cable car
line was proposed to run
overhead at certain busy
locations overlooking the
Straits of Malacca.

“The project will complement
other new tourism products
that have also been planned
for this year,” he said after
chairing the weekly exco
meeting at Seri Negeri here.

“The theme park will be
strategically located and the
whole project aims to attract
even more tourists to the state,”
he said, adding that it would
help boost the state’s image as 
a family-oriented holiday

Idris said the state’s objective
was to draw more tourists and
record higher arrivals in 2018
than last year.

“The state is looking at the
cable car and theme park
project as an economic driver
to lure more tourists.

“This will lead to economic
spillover in the state’s tourism
related industries such as
malls, hotels and resorts,”
he said.


Monday, January 15, 2018


Bank of China opens branch in Malaysia's historic city of Malacca

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-12 18:31:04|Editor: Yurou
Idris Haron (2nd L), Chief Minister of Malacca, Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian (2nd R), and Wang Hongwei (1st L), CEO of Bank of China Malaysia, cut the ribbon at the official opening ceremony of Bank of China Malacca branch in Malacca, Malaysia, Jan. 12, 2018. Bank of China held an official opening ceremony for its branch in Malaysia's historic city of Malacca on Friday, which is expected to further boost economic and financial ties between Malaysia and China. (Xinhua/Zhu Wei)
MALACCA, Malaysia, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Bank of China held an official opening ceremony for its branch in Malaysia's historic city of Malacca on Friday, which is expected to further boost economic and financial ties between Malaysia and China.
In his speech, Idris Haron, Chief Minister of Malacca, welcomed the opening-up of the branch by the Bank of China.
He praised the Bank of China's role in fostering growth of economy and investment in Malaysia, as well as the implementation of projects under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
With Bank of China's excellent record, Idirs believes its Malacca branch will serve as "catalyst for bilateral economic development and growth."
Proposed in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Malaysia is one of the first countries that has supported the initiative.
Wang Hongwei, Chief Executive Officer of Bank of China Malaysia, said a branch by Bank of China has been long anticipated by many in Malacca. The historic ties exist since the great Chinese navigator Zheng He visited Malacca five times in his seven voyages more than 600 years ago.
For his part, Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian said financial integration is one of the important topic in the Belt and Road Initiative, and it will serve as the "lubricant" and "accelerator" for cross-border collaboration.
The opening of the Malacca branch shows that Bank of China identifies Malaysia as a potential place for long-term development, and the new branch will attract more investment from China, and spur Malcca's growth, Bai said.
Since the re-commencement of business in Malaysia in 2011, Bank of China has been playing a pivotal role in business development and the facilitation of bilateral trade between Malaysia and China.
The Malacca Branch is Bank of China's eighth Branch in Malaysia.

Monday, January 8, 2018


Impression Melaka Encore series is expected to start her inaugural live show by 1st. quarter of 2018.

The show tickets are expected to cost between RM 120 to RM 130.00 per head.

During the signing ceremony with 6 travel agents recently, these agents are tasked to market about one million tickets annually for the next 3 years.

Two daily shows by 200 local actors and actresses will be carried out in the rotating auditorium.