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BIGGEST REAL ESTATE PROJECT

Malacca’s biggest real estate project

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NextLastMalacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam MALACCA: The biggest mixed-development project in the state, which will see the birth of uniquely themed icons that will change the landscape of the Historical City, was launched here on Saturday

The RM2 billion Hatten City project in Jalan Syed Abdul Aziz in Banda Hilir was launched by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam.

The development will be undertaken by Singapore-based Hatten Group.

With a gross area of eight million square feet in an eight-hectare plot, the project will also feature the tallest building in the state, 45-storey high with a 360-degree viewing sky deck.

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, Ali said the biggest real estate project in the state would combine heritage and futuristic elements.

“The Hatten City is poised to be the state’s most iconic development that portrays futuristic and chic innovations, injects fun, excitement and vibrancy.

“The mixed-development project comprises retail units, residences (condominiums), international hotels, office tower, resort and shopping complex,” he said.

Also present were Hatten Group chairman Datuk Eric Tan Eng Huat, chief executive officer Edwin Tan Ping Huang and managing director Colin Tan Juen Teng.

Hatten City is the third development project for the Hatten Group, which is known for its development of the Dataran Pahlawan shopping mall that draws millions of visitors each year.

“This new icon, which is expected to be completed in the next eight years in two parcels, will transform Malacca,” said Juen Teng.

“Parcel I, which rests on two hectares, will include the Elements mall which will share the same building with two international hotel chains.

“This parcel is further made extravagant with Silverscape, the highest condominium towers with 45 storeys in the heart of the city and facing the Straits of Malacca,” said Juen Teng.

Work on the Elements mall will begin this year and be completed in three years.

“It will be a mix of our past heritage and high fashion, where the dramatic history of Malacca is tastefully recreated for our convenience.

“You can walk down the ‘Time Tunnel’ and indulge in 500 years of history of the state, all in cool comfort and ambience, while bringing you back to the past with the many mini replicas of famous historical sites such as Stadhuys, A Famosa and also the well sought after diversified cultural displays of the Baba Nyonya, Portuguese, Malays, Chinese and Indians.

“Elements mall is an inspiring blend of retail and recreation, comprises eight retail floors, with each floor dedicated to a particular segment of fashion or arts and crafts.

“Elements is inspired by the famous Korean fashion hubs concept, Dongdaemun and Namdaemun, and offers high fashion concepts, housing both local and international brands, spanning five levels from the ground floor with 830 retail units.”

On Silverscape, Juen Teng said the high-end residence that occupies two of the four tower blocks that make up Parcel I, offered luxury living fronting the sea.

“Spacious yet intimate, each unit at Silverscape beckons with concept and style. Silverscape sits directly above the Elements mall, towering over the Malacca city centre and rises to the pinnacle.

As for Parcel II, which will sit on 4.7ha of reclaimed land, Juen Teng said it promises breathtaking premium sea front living condominiums and private villas with a contemporary business zone to combine work and play.

“Parcel II would also be complemented with Troadwalle, a luxury shopping haven for premium fashion brands from across the globe and Malacca’s very first open sky deck clubhouse.

“This would truly be the only one place where you can unwind, indulge, explore, invest and grow,” he said, adding that work on Parcel II would start in 2014 and would be completed by 2019.

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MELAKA ANCIENT CANNON IN JAKARTA MUSEUM

MaLACCA: The State Museum Corporation (Perzim) wants to replicate a 500-year-old cannon Si Jagur taken from here to then Batavia (now Jakarta) after the fall of Malacca to the Dutch.

The cannon (Jagur means cannon in Portuguese) has a fist jutting out at the rear and is said to have certain “powers.”

Si Jagur is currently exhibited at the Jakarta History Museum and attracts thousands of childless women who sit on the barrel in the hope of conceiving.

Perzim general manager Khamis Abas said the cannon was significant to Malacca as it was once placed at the Portuguese fortress here.

Antique items: A model of a cannon and an authentic cannon ball.

“We will be content if a replica of the cannon can be displayed here to remind the present generation of the glory of ancient Malacca,” he toldThe Star.

Khamis said due to “bureaucracy” the state government had to initiate official meetings with Indonesia before a mould of the cannon could be produced.

Khamis said Si Jagur was believed to have been made in Macau and brought to Malacca by a Portuguese fleet.

He said the Dutch fleet took the cannon to Batavia as a memento of war after conquering Malacca in 1641.

The cannon weighs 3.5 tonnes and measures 3.84m in length with a 25cm diameter.

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CHINESE HISTORY GALLERY

KUALA LUMPUR: The proposed museum in Malacca to exhibit the Chinese community’s contributions to the nation will be sited at the heart of the historical city in Banda Hilir.

Malacca Museum Corporation (Perzim) general manager Khamis Abassaid Banda Hilir was chosen as the location as it was “a core historical zone”, which consisted of other museums and galleries.

“Banda Hilir is a strategic place. It is also bustling with tourists and is a heritage centre,” he said yesterday.

Historical state: Visitors sightseeing at the A’ Famosa fort in Banda Hilir recently. The site is rich with various iconic architectures.

The museum, he added, was expected to be ready in 2013.

Khamis said Perzim was directed by the Malacca Government to assist in the setting-up of the museum and discussions had been ongoing.

“So far, nothing has been confirmed but we will look into the history of the Chinese community and its role in Malaysian society,” he said.

He said Perzim would meet the state Economic Planning Unit and other parties on May 6 to discuss details of the project.

On Friday, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said the party would set up a museum to exhibit the contributions of the community before and after the nation gained independence.

Dr Chua said the museum would highlight the achievements of past Chinese leaders in helping the country gain independence and also the contributions of influen- tial individuals from the Malay and Indian communities.

Tan Sri Tan Cheng Swee, one of MCA’s early founding members, lauded the plan and hoped it would show what the Chinese had done for the country.

“I hope that the information presented in the museum will be accurate,” said Tan, 90.

He also said he hoped to see the work of prominent Chinese leaders such as MCA founder Tun Tan Cheng Lock presented in the museum.

Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said he was happy that the state would be home to the country’s first Chinese museum.

“It is a good idea and we welcome the move.

“The millions who visit here will be able to learn about Chinese culture in Malaysia when visiting the museum,” he said, adding that the state would help promote the museum as part of its cultural tourism sector.

Badan Warisan committee member Josephine Chua said it was an honour for the state to have a museum dedicated to Chinese history.

“Malacca was one of the earliest sites for the entry of Chinese into the country.

“One can still find Peranakans who are descendants of early Chinese traders who settled here hundreds of years ago.”

Malacca MCA chief Datuk Gan Tian Loo said Malacca was the ideal site for the museum.

“Malacca played a significant role in Chinese history, not only in Malaysia but also the region.

“Most overseas Chinese including those from China know about Malaysia owing to this,” he said.

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A HERITAGE GEM

A restored 18th century shophouse in Malacca illustrates a successful model for conservation and adaptive re-use.

Sandwiched between 19th century Peranakan townhouses that are grander and more ostentatious, No 8 Heeren Street Heritage Centre is easy to miss.

Colin Goh, No 8 manager.

Many visitors to Malacca, including yours truly, would have sauntered past its narrow and unassuming facade, oblivious of its significance in Malacca’s chequered past. But built in the mid-late 1700s during the Dutch colonialists, No 8 is the earliest example of the shophouses and modest residential structures erected in the bustling port city between the mid-1600s and late 1800s.

“No 8 epitomises the humble dwelling of the common local or foreign traders of that era and resonates with the social, cultural and historical fabric of Malaccan community,” says Colin Goh, the amicable manager who took us on a tour of the house on Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, formerly Heeren Street.

This type of building has assumed many roles in its time, from stable, shop and residence to storehouse and dormitory for labourers working in the port.

“Sadly, due to the urban renewal that came with the introduction of rubber, and the need to show a new and modern ‘Malacca face’, there aren’t many such shop-houses left today,” Goh points out.

Today, the house serves as a base for heritage tours, a venue for exhibitions, workshops and corporate events, as well as an advisory centre on Malacca’s heritage environment and the conservation techniques for this building type. A Badan Warisan Malaysia (Heritage of Malaysia Trust) model conservation project, No 8 is owned by the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple Trust.

When Badan started the facelift in 2001, the building was crumbling and had been left vacant for years.

“The initial challenge was getting information on the history of the building, its ownerships, use, etc,” says Elizabeth Cardosa, executive director of Badan.

Wall bricks, the floor in the courtyard and the well are original features dating back 200 years.

“There was nothing in the archival records, possibly because it’s a modest building with an ordinary ‘life’ and it wasn’t related to the life of any important personality or dignitary.”

But the restoration team managed to cobble together some information from oral history. Building materials were sent for testing, for example, timber samples were sent to Forest Research Institute Malaysia for species identification so that the team could decide on the type of timber to use for restoration.

“We sent lime mortar samples to the Scottish Lime Centre to get a profile of the material for our records and to make further restoration decisions,” says Cardosa.

Materials from the site, like roof tiles and timber, were salvaged and recycled. The original walls were intact and so only needed some re-plastering job.

“All materials were sourced in Malacca — and while not all were originally from Malacca; for example, the terracotta floor tiles from Vietnam — we were able to find them from a supplier in Malacca,” she adds.

The team settled on exposed wiring for the electricity to avoid unnecessary hacking and damage to the walls.

In the past, the front of No 8 served as a shop, while the back and the second floor were living areas.

“Most contractors who have no conservation experience, or those who have no interest or sensitivity regarding restoration, will find it ‘easier’ to just hack away the old, and replace it with modern materials,” Cardosa explains.

“Conservation and restoration is a methodical and painstaking process, and it requires patience and a curious mind to uncover the ‘layers’ of history and materials.”

The project was partly financed by the US Cultural Ambassador’s Fund, with the team of architects, engineers and Badan members chipping in with their time, expertise and travel costs. Restoration work was completed after 2½ years.

“The final big challenge was to promote the interpretation of this site as a model project of a modest Dutch-styled shophouse — many people did not see the heritage value of such a modest building,” adds Cardosa.

Lessons in heritage design

No 8 reflects how the city’s streetscape evolved from the earlier timber-and-thatch structures to brick-and-clay-roof-tile buildings. It was built on a long and narrow lot, extending back 20-30m between parallel walls.

A door and a large shop-front wooden window with woven screen commonly used for privacy, and overhanging tiled roof make up the facade of the building.

Interestingly, like Kyoto’s traditional machiya (merchant houses) where property tax was based on the width of the building’s street-frontage, Malaccan houses built during the Dutch era were also narrow because of taxation.

An open courtyard in the middle of the house allows light and natural ventilation. The form and materials used are also an indication of the strict and detailed building and planning regulations during the Dutch rule.

A window looking out to the courtyard.

During our visit, despite the sweltering and muggy conditions on the streets, the interior of the house stayed cool and comfortable.

“Walls and the internal courtyard of the air well were built with local clay bricks that were manufactured in Malacca and fashioned in the Dutch style,” explains Goh, who pointed out the house’s standout features.

Lime-based plaster and lime-based paint made from local corals covered the walls. The air well is inspired by Chinese architecture and a well is shared with the neighbouring house.

“The use of stone or wooden corbels to support the beams reflects the Dutch influence while the metal hinges and brackets on the door and windows are distinctly European in style.”

Since restoration work completed eight years, No 8 has undergone the usual wear and tear. The plasterwork on the walls is affected by salt precipitation and flaking, and so requires constant cleaning. A pest control company has to be called in to monitor termite activity on the wooden floors and beams.

“The roof tiles have begun to shift due to ground vibration whenever a bus or a heavy-duty vehicle drives past; during the rainy season, we get some leaks,” admits Goh.

But overall, No. 8 seems to be in good hands. Goh’s enthusiasm is infectious and his knowledge, sound. Also, it’s rare to find such archaic structures in Malacca or Malaysia these days, especially one that has been painstakingly restored and which stays true to its original characteristics.

If you’re ever in the neighbourhood, be sure to drop by No 8.

? No 8, Heeren Street Heritage

Centre is open seven days a week, 11am-4pm. Admission is free. For enquiries, call (06) 281 1507.

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HILTON COMES TO MELAKA

MELAKA, Malaysia MCLEAN, Va.–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–Hilton Worldwide has signed a management agreement with Hatten Group to manage the DoubleTree by Hilton, Melaka in Malaysia’s thriving tourism destination, located in the west coast of the country. The agreement will see the second DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Malaysia and Hilton Worldwide’s entry into Melaka (Malacca). Scheduled to open in 2014, the 265-room DoubleTree by Hilton, Melaka will be situated in downtown Melaka and will boast a waterfront location.

“Hilton Worldwide has been expanding aggressively across Asia Pacific with a wide range of award-winning brands, such as DoubleTree by Hilton, Waldorf Astoria Hotels Resorts, Conrad Hotels Resorts, Hilton Hotels Resorts and Hilton Garden Inn, The DoubleTree by Hilton, Melaka will complement our strong portfolio of trading assets, and will also compete well with the existing international and local hotel supply,” said Martin Rinck, President, Hilton Worldwide, Asia Pacific.

“We continue to add momentum to our expansion in Malaysia, where we currently operate five hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Kuching, and The DoubleTree by Hilton, Melaka is the third signing we have announced this year. The DoubleTree by Hilton, Melaka demonstrates the brand’s growing appeal in the market, and adds to our full-service collection of hotels and resorts that is growing quickly throughout the country,” said William Costley, vice president, operations, Southeast Asia, Hilton Worldwide.

The DoubleTree by Hilton, Melaka will feature the traditional characteristics of the brand including the warm, worldwide welcome of the legendary chocolate chip cookie presented to every guest at check-in; comfortable, stylish accommodations and full-service amenities; and a unique and caring commitment to the surrounding community. DoubleTree by Hilton operates a total of six DoubleTree by Hilton properties in Asia Pacific located in China and in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Rob Palleschi, global head, DoubleTree by Hilton, said: “The DoubleTree by Hilton, Melaka represents another important new chapter for our brand’s growing collection in Southeast Asia. Along with our brand’s introduction in Malaysia this past August with the DoubleTree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur, this outstanding hotel project in Melaka reinforces the potential for owners of current and new-build hotel projects throughout the region to become affiliated with Hilton Worldwide through the DoubleTree by Hilton brand.”

“The DoubleTree by Hilton, Melaka is Hatten Group’s first collaboration with Hilton Worldwide. We believe that this agreement combines the expertise of a truly global, award-winning hospitality household name with strong local domain knowledge. The hotel is part of an integrated development that is strategically located in the heart of Melaka and promises to deliver world-class service to both holiday makers and business travelers,” said Colin Tan, managing director, Hatten Group.

The 27-storey, 265-room hotel will form part of a mixed-use development featuring the DoubleTree by Hilton, Melaka, an extensive retail offering and residential apartments. The site is approximately 10 minutes walking distance to the center of downtown Melaka and key tourist areas including the historical sites, shopping centers and dining areas.

On the west coast of Malaysia, Melaka is strategically located less than 90 minutes drive from Kuala Lumpur and less than three hours from Singapore. Due to its rich Malaysian, Portuguese and Dutch history, Melaka has a number of well-preserved heritage buildings, ancient landmarks and colonial structures. Among the well-known tourist attractions are the Fort A’ Famosa and St. Paul’s Church (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites), Melaka’s Sultanate Palace, Porta De Santiago and the Proclamation of Independence Memorial.

Hilton Worldwide currently operates five hotels in Malaysia including Hilton Kuala Lumpur, DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Hilton Kuching, Hilton Petaling Jaya and the Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, which is managed by Hilton.

About DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels

With a growing collection of contemporary, upscale accommodations in more than 240 gateway cities, metropolitan areas and vacation destinations worldwide, DoubleTree by Hilton hotels and resorts are distinctively designed properties that provide true comfort to today’s business and leisure travellers. From the millions of delighted hotel guests who are welcomed with the brand’s legendary, warm chocolate chip cookies at check-in to the advantages of the award-winning Hilton HHonors guest reward program, each guest DoubleTree by Hilton receives a satisfying stay wherever their travels take them. Social media users can engage with DoubleTree by Hilton at www.twitter.com/doubletree, www.facebook.com/hilton and www.youtube.com/doubletree. For more information on or to make reservations at DoubleTree by Hilton hotels and resorts around the world, please visitwww.doubletreebyhilton.com.

About Hilton Worldwide

Hilton Worldwide is the leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxurious full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and mid-priced hotels. For 92 years, Hilton Worldwide has been offering business and leisure travelers the finest in accommodations, service, amenities and value. The company is dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences across its global brands. Its brands are comprised of more than 3,700 hotels and 610,000 rooms in 82 countries and include Waldorf Astoria Hotels Resorts, Conrad Hotels Resorts, Hilton Hotels Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors®. For more information about the company, visit www.hiltonworldwide.com.

About Hatten Group

Hatten Group Sdn. Bhd. (“Hatten Group”) was incorporated to spearhead a group of companies involved in property development, management and investment. Each of these companies’ shareholders and directors are unified in a vision to develop, maintain, invest and manage the property and other investment sectors. The company aims to achieve its vision of being one of the top 10 largest property development and management groups in Malaysia by the year 2020. Working towards this, Hatten Group has assembled a team of experienced professionals with expertise from various fields as the directors and managers of its group member companies. The ultimate vision is to develop their repertoire of distinctive assets in the hospitality, commercial complex and management sectors of the property industry. For more information, visit: http://www.hattengrp.com.

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