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MELAKA ALIVE

Melaka Alive, History In a New Way project

HERITAGE PRESERVERS: Petersham Group Ltd operation and development director Keith Thomas; Sarner IXL Sdn Bhd senior vice president Saifful Azhar Sabarudin, CEO Suffian Afendi Ahmad Apandi and president Mohd Nizar Mohd Najib; Sarner UK executive director and managing director Ross Magri, and Petersham park planning and management CEO Jonathan Rounce

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians should brace themselves to see history in a whole different light because by next year, Malacca, known for its historical value, will be given a facelift in a project called ‘Melaka Alive, History In a New Way’.

With this project, visitors to the historical state will be able to personally experience the renowned tales of adventure, romance, drama and mystery, set to be brought to life through seamless interactivity and state-of-the-art technology, drawing in viewers to experience history firsthand, from the early days of Malacca to the birth of Malaysia as a nation.

The project, which will be realised in Bandar Hilir, Malacca, will be developed by Sarner IXL Sdn Bhd, a company with 30-years of experience in the delivery of visitor attractions and leisure entertainment centres including the International Astronomy and Space Centre in Liverpool and the Darwin Centre for the Natural History Museum in London.

In his speech at the media briefing held today at the Le Meridian hotel here, President of Sarner IXL Sdn Bhd, Mohd Nizar Mohd Najib, said the idea of ‘Melaka Alive’ was conceived primarily out of a desire to contribute to the local tourism industry.

“In the recently concluded World Tourism Conference 2010 in Sabah, experts said tourists are no longer content with passive watching. People today are looking for new, unforgettable experiences that cannot be taken away from them,” he said.

Malacca, he said, is rich with heritage and historical sites but could do with more innovative products to tell its stories as well as its glorious past.

“Melaka Alive primarily involves upgrading of display mechanisms and a general facelift of the existing heritage sites and assets, following Unesco guidelines,” he said.

The project has two phases. The first, involving the revival of the old light and sound show estimated to cost RM21.185 million is expected to be completed by April 2011.

Phase Two will focus on the upgrading of the site and assets of existing museums to make it more compelling and enriching visitor experience through the use of modern technology.

In Phase One, the story of Malacca will be told in an immersive light and sound presentation through projected water screen on board a traditional Malay ship, called ‘Bahtera Merdeka’, which will be the first of its kind here. It will feature the biggest automated water screen in the region.

Other key features include high resolution specialist projection on water curtain with spectacular world heritage site in the background complete with hologram FX, fire and explosion accompanied by live Surround soundtrack.

Attractions from Phase Two include a maritime museum, a history museum, and the fort walls which is a scenic wall that will surround the attraction sites.

Phase Two has an estimated cost of RM41.4 million and is expected to be completed by October 2011.

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