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Cuisine in Melaka

BUKIT CHINA : A HILL STEEPED IN LEGEND AND HISTORY

Published: Friday August 16, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday August 16, 2013 MYT 11:00:18 AM

Bukit China: A hill steeped in legend and history

BY M. VEERA PANDIYAN

[email protected]

The Bukit China Chinese cemetery in Malacca is the oldest in the country.

Its name can be traced to a legendary Ming Dynasty princess who supposedly arrived from China to marry Mansur Shah, the sixth Sultan of Malacca who ruled Malacca from 1459 to 1477.

Bukit China (Chinese Hill) was originally an undulating jungle of three mounds — Bukit Tinggi, Bukit Gedong and Bukit Tempurong.

It apparently took on the name after the Sultan allowed the entourage of princess Hang Li Poh to settle around the foot of the main hill.

These days, there are doubts over the purported royal lineage of Hang Li Po, as there is no written evidence to show that she was indeed a princess.

The guesswork is that she might have been a daughter of one of the emperor’s concubines or even a royal handmaiden.

But there are no doubts about the special relationship between Malacca and China then.

According to the Ming Shi-lu (Veritable Records Of The Ming Dynasty), an envoy of Balimisura (Parameswara) went to China in 1405 to offer tribute and another arrived two years later, complaining about Siam’s aggression and seizure of his kingdom’s royal seal.

An example of past architecture at Bukit China.
The following year, Ming’s renowned admiral Zheng He (Cheng Ho) was sent to Malacca.

Parameswara gave another tribute to the emperor the following year after Siam stopped intimidating his kingdom.

The records also note that Parameswara arrived at the emperor’s court on Aug 4, 1411 with his family of 540 followers and that he was treated with respect and showered with banquets and impressive presents during his stay.

As for Sultan Mansur Shah, the palace where he supposedly lived with all his wives, including Hang Li Po, was said to be at the foot of Bukit Melaka (today’s St Paul’s Hill).

There is now a replica of the palace, which houses the Malacca Cultural Museum. It was built using three types of hardwood — cengal, rasak and belian (for the roof) — based on what was written in Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals).

It was written that the sultan ordered a well to be dug at Bukit China for the new immigrants. The well, Perigi Raja remains to this day and never dries up even during droughts.

Bukit China remained largely forested until the Portuguese built a chapel called Madre De Deus (Mother of God) and monastery at the top of the hill in 1581.

It was destroyed in an Achehnese attack in 1629. The Achehnese actually held Malacca for about eight months before the Portuguese won it back.

The monastery was rebuilt when the Achehnese were finally defeated with the deaths of prominent warriors, including Panglima Pidi whose grave, known as keramat panjang (long sacred grave) remains on Bukit China.

There are about 20 other Muslim graves nearby and the area used to be a favourite haunt of those seeking “spiritual help” for four-digit numbers during the 60s and early 70s.

In addition to the beach at Tanjung Kling, it was also an alternative site for the then popular Mandi Safar festival which was banned as “unIslamic” activities during the 80’s.

Bukit China became a Chinese cemetery in 1685 when Lee Wei King, the then “Kapitan China” of Malacca, bought the three hills from the Dutch and renamed them as “San Pao Shan” (Three Gems Hill or Three Protections Hill). He placed it under the trust of the Cheng Hoon Teng temple.

Reputedly the oldest remaining traditional Chinese burial ground in the world with 12,500 graves, Bukit China remained largely unknown and mostly overgrown until about this time of the year, 29 years ago.

All hell literally broke loose during the Hungry Ghosts Festival in 1984, when the Malacca Government announced its plans to develop the 42ha hill into a housing and commercial centre in July 1984.

The then Chief Minister, (now Tan Sri) Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik, gave three options — development of the hill solely by the Chinese community, joint development by the state and community or development by the state.

The plan sparked anger and outrage throughout the country, moving the diverse community to come together to preserve a heritage symbolising their earliest ancestors links to the country.

When the trustees of the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple conducted a survey to gauge public response on the development proposal, 553 associations and close to 300,000 people replied with a resounding no, against a mere 73 who agreed.

The country’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, was among those against the plan, lending more weight to calls for its preservation.

Representatives of political parties urged the then PM (now Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad to intervene and resolve the politically explosive and racially divisive issue.

As Carolyn Cartier, professor of geography and urban studies at the University of Technology, Sydney noted in her book, Globalising South China, the Save Bukit China campaign achieved ethnic and class representation and became a national movement, the first to grow to such proportions in the history of the country.

The State government eventually relented and has since been promoting Bukit China as part of its rich cultural heritage.

Today, the hill has become a recreational ground where joggers have carved out a track between graves. It has also become a valuable green lung for the city, offering great views from the peak.

The Chinese living around the area, covering Jalan Bukit China, Lorong Bukit China, Jalan Temenggong, Kampung Bukit China and nearby Banda Kaba, are referred to as the “San Pao Ching” community, in reference to several old wells in the area, seven of which were said to be dug during the time of Zheng He.

In addition to a hike up the hill, among the must-see sights for tourists are the Poh San Teng temple, built in 1795 by another Kapitan China, Chua Su Cheong and the Chinese War Memorial, located next to it.

The cenotaph to remember those who were brutally killed during the Japanese Occupation consists of an obelisk inscribed with Chinese calligraphy mounted on a raised platform with a Kuomintang flag at the top.

Thousands were killed after Malacca fell to the Japanese on Jan 15, 1942. The horror stories include burying victims alive and the killing of babies by throwing them up into the air and stabbing them with bayonets as they fell.

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Cuisine in Melaka

MELAKA MILLIONAIRES’ ROW

Malacca’s Millionaires’ Row
Posted on June 7, 2013 – Featured, Property News.
OUR STREET HERITAGE
By M. Veera Pandiyan
[email protected]

Looking around: Tourists soaking in the sights in Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock.

JONKER Street, or Jalan Hang Jebat, is possibly the most famous road in Malacca, thanks to Jonker Walk which attracts hordes of tourists from all over the world.

But the road running parallel to it – Heeren Street – has a more interesting history and richer architectural charms.

Heeren Street, or Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, was once the place to live for those who made it to the top.

Originally called “Kampung Belanda” (Dutch Village), it ended up with the nickname of “Millionaires’ Row” because of its well-heeled residents.

The narrow street with houses adorned with ornately decorated façades was the choice neighbourhood for the prosperous Straits-born Chinese (Peranakan or Babas and Nyonyas) in the mid-19th and early 20th century.

These affluent folks competed with each other to build the most flamboyant of houses, many of which stand to this day.

Quite a number have been fully restored to their former glory and turned into highly popular boutique hotels, museums, galleries, restaurants and cafes.

Walking into these places is like going back in time to the era of Malacca’s occupation by the Dutch.

A classic example to visit is Number 8, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, a shophouse built in the 1700s.

It has been painstakingly renovated by Badan Warisan (Malaysia’s National Trust) with a grant from the US Embassy.

Entry is free but donations are welcome.

The grandest of them all: The Chee Mansion was built by the first chairman of the OCBC.

While Jonker Street (from the Dutch Jonghheer) was named after a place for “young noblemen” who had not quite made it to the upper level of nobility.

Heeren Street (originally Heeren straat), was for the “gentlemen” or “masters” in the upper crust of society.

The characteristic features of most buildings are high roofs, floors and corridors lined with intricate tiles, teak front doors carved with family names or mottos in gold calligraphy.

Most windows are also beautifully decorated with motifs while some homes even have decorated roofs with image of dragons, birds and flowers.

The houses on the street are rather narrow and small when viewed from the outside but are long and spacious inside.

This is because the houseowners then were taxed on the width of the buildings instead of the total area.

Most of them have open courtyards to provide ventilation and light. Some even have small wells to draw water or ponds to collect rainwater from the roof.

The street was home to famous Malacca Babas, including Tan Kim Seng, one of the pioneers in the development of Singapore, and Tan Chay Yan, who was Malaya’s first rubber planter in 1896.

Tan Kim Seng or Baba Kim Seng, who amassed a great fortune in Singapore, built a bridge across the Singapore River which is now named after him.

He also donated money for a bridge, named after him in Malacca, and for the famous Clocktower in front of Christ Church in the Dutch Square.

Tan Kim Seng’s stately ancestral home, built in 1822, is the present Hotel Puri.

When it was the home of Kim Seng, there was a menagerie behind with many animals, including a tiger.

The grandest house in “Millionaires’ Row” is the Chee Mansion, which stands majestically directly opposite Hotel Puri.

The breathtaking building is a Dutch era architectural gem, complete with a fairy-tale inspired watchtower.

It was built by tycoon and philanthropist Chee Swee Cheng, the first chairman of the Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC).

As it was run almost entirely by the Baba’s in the old days, OCBC was jokingly referred to as Orang China Bukan China.

Chee Swee Cheng built the mansion at 117 Heeren Street as a dedication to his father, Chee Yam Chuan.

The Chee Mansion, also known as the Chee Yam Chuan Temple, is used as the family’s ancestral home.

But “Millionaires’ Row” bears the name of an outstanding fifth-generation Baba and one of the country’s illustrious early leaders.

Tun Tan Cheng Lock, who co-founded the MCA in 1949, was born at house number 111.

The dignified family home was where the country’s first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tan held many discussions before Merdeka.

His son, Tun Tan Siew Sin, was Malaya’s first Commerce and Indus try Minister before being the longest serving Finance Minister for 15 years.

He was also the third president of the MCA after his father and Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu.

It may not be as hectic as Jonker Street where the tourists to Malacca throng but Heeren Street oozes more history, old-world charm and provides amazing sights and stories.

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Cuisine in Melaka

PATENTS FOR MALACCA’S UNIQUE TRISHAWS

Patents for Malacca’s unique trishaws

By Jason Gerald John
New Straits Times
Monday, Jun 10, 2013

MALACCA – THE famed Beca Melaka (trishaw) which have been plying the Historical City since the 1920s will soon be patented by the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO).

The move to patent the Beca Melaka is aimed at preventing the unique designs and decorations, which differ from one trishaw to another, from being reproduced.

State Agriculture and Entrepreneur Development chairman Datuk Hasan Abdul Rahman said each trishaw was unique in its own way as the decorations and lights on the pedal-powered three-wheelers spoke for the innovation and creativity of the owner.

“A patent gives the owner an exclusive right to stop others from manufacturing, using or selling the owner’s invention in Malaysia without the owner’s consent or permission.

“There are some 250 beca under the Persatuan Beca Pelancongan Negeri Melaka (PBPNM) in the state, which are used mainly for tourism purposes. We want each and every one of them to be patented to protect this unique heritage.

“PBPNM mooted this idea to protect their innovative creation through MyIPO and the state government fully supported this move,” he said after launching the Beca Melaka Parade, held in conjunction with National Intellectual Property Day 2013 and the International Melaka River Festival at the Melaka River Square in Jalan Merdeka here yesterday.

Present were MyIPO chairman, Datuk Abdul Manan Ismail, MyIPO director-general, Datuk Azizan Mohamad Sidin, and PBPNM chairman, Capt (Rtd) Khalid Ahmad.

Hasan said that with the patent, each trishaw rider could also reap numerous benefits including monetary gains through the right marketing strategy, sales of patent, licensing and franchising, not only locally but in other parts of the world as well.

On a related matter, Hasan called on trishaw riders to continue preserving the tradition of providing trishaw services to tourists as well as help promote the state’s tourism industry.

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Wonderful Malaysia

Merdeka Day

What is there to do in Malaysia during Merdeka Day? What is a place to be in Kuala Lumpur?

The 31st of Aug is a date that bears a good stress to all Malaysians. During a month of August, a Malaysian dwindle famous locally as a ‘Jalur Gemilang’ which, loosely translated, means Stripes of Glory, can be seen literally everywhere be it on a lamppost, on tip of a car, fluttering in a hands of nationalistic Malaysian children and so forth. This anniversary arise in a nation’s adore for a nation is attributed utterly apparently to a autonomy of Malaysia and a 31st of Aug is fondly referred to by all Malaysians as Hari Merdeka; a day a country’s initial Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, commemorated a autonomy of a Federation of Malaya approach behind in 1957. More than half a century on, it is customarily healthy for such a poignant date to still be remembered and this time of a year is also a pleasure to locals and tourists comparison as Hari Merdeka prompts a gratifying suggestion that decorates a nation with smashing displays of enlightenment and tradition in a form of several open events and celebrations orderly all opposite a country.

malaysian automobile with flag

Malaysia is famous for a many festivities that come with a multicultural multitude and Malaysians are not a kind to bashful divided from celebration. Hence, Merdeka, like any other inhabitant holiday or gratifying season, is a colorful and gratifying time whereby a streets will be strewn with all sorts of patriotically prone events generally in some-more executive areas such as categorical townships and of march a collateral itself, Kuala Lumpur. The buildup to Merdeka Day is customarily really visual, with decorations, mostly involving a Malaysian flag, gracing a exteriors and really expected a interiors of roughly each building in a country. The flashiest and many elaborate decorations in and with Merdeka can be found within a country’s many selling malls and this fundamentally relates to many festivities distinguished in Malaysia. Quite simply, a attainment of Hari Merdeka is one of those times that adds a visible aptitude to a already engaging bland backdrop of a colorful country.

merdeka block independance dwindle malaysia

Like roughly anywhere in a world, a children of Malaysia are nurtured to be patriotically prone from a belligerent adult and when Merdeka comes around, these efforts naturally feature and this is nonetheless another materialisation understandable from a normal Malaysian street. Weeks before a day arrives, copiousness of activities will take place for a Malaysian immature that operation from cranky nation events to performances such as concerts or competitions orderly analogous to a thesis of Malaysia’s independence. These activities are customarily orderly in open that would concede a internal community, passersby and tourists comparison to all soak adult a nationalistic atmosphere channeled by a era of tomorrow.

merdeka block malaysia

It is customarily wise that a prominence of Merdeka takes place on a day of a stipulation itself. On a 31st of August, all Malaysian states will classify a internal Merdeka Parade. Among those who attend in this march are supervision services such as a military, a military force, naval army and so forth. It is also really common to see propagandize children participating; another pointer of how a nation’s younger era takes honour in a autonomy of a country. From an audience’s indicate of view, a eyeglasses to demeanour out for in these parades would be a pleasing floats that are a contingency each time Merdeka comes around. The categorical events of these inhabitant parades customarily take place during night whereby a array of on-stage performances are orderly to finish a poignant day on a high note. It is hackneyed for internal celebrities to attend in these events annually. Every year, several states take turns in organizing a inhabitant march that would customarily manage a assemblage of a country’s Prime Minister and a Sultan among many other high form attendees. On a ubiquitous note however, a flagship march is apparently a one that takes place in a capital, Kuala Lumpur as a plcae where this takes place, Merdeka Square, is a really plcae a word ‘Merdeka’ was chanted 7 times by Tunku Abdul Rahman himself in 1957, signifying a new commencement for a Federation of Malaya; a new commencement that led to Malaysia as we know it today.

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Cuisine in Melaka

SELAMAT MERDEKA AND HAPPY MALAYSIA DAY

In 3 days time, Malaysians from all walks of life, creed, religion and races will celebrate our 55th. Anniversary of Independence Day or Merdeka Day. We achieved our Independence from Britain through negotiation and compromise from all Malaysian under the leadership of Tunku Abdul Rahman.

At the same time, we celebrate our Malaysia Day on 16th. September 2012.

Over these 55 years, Malaya then and Malaysia now has gone through many challenges. However, with the co-operation of the three main groups within Malaysia, we have managed to overcome these challenges. We prospered, work, play and live in harmony over these years and built Malaysia into what is today.

Many challenges lie ahead. Europe is in a state of uncertainty due to the Eurozone problems. USA’s economy is still not robust enough while in Asia, China’s growth is slowing.

Malaysians must unite together and face these challenges head-on. With all Malaysians working together in unison, we can overcome these external threats. Besides that, we need to overcome internal conflicts within Malaysia herself.

Peace and Harmony within Malaysia is important. We must maintain and improve our economic, social and financial goals so that Malaysians of future generations can enjoy the peace and prosperity built by our ancestors in our years ahead.

SELAMAT MERDEKA AND HAPPY MALAYSIA DAY!!!

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