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Cuisine in Melaka

MELAKA TARGETS 14 MILLION VISITORS IN 2013

Melaka records 6.8 mil tourist arrivals, confident of 14 mil target

Posted on 1 October 2013 – 04:28pm
Last updated on 1 October 2013 – 04:57pm

MELAKA (Oct 1, 2013): Melaka has recorded 6.8 million domestic and foreign tourist arrivals during the first six months of this year, from 6.7 million in the corresponding period last year, Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron told the State Assembly today.

He said the state was targeting new markets, like the Middle East and Africa, with efforts being made to attract more tourists from the affected countries to come to Melaka.

“The (state) government is confident of achieving this year’s target of 14 million tourist arrivals, compared with 13.7 million last year,” he said in his motion of thanks on the speech by the Yang Dipertua Negeri of Melaka, Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob when opening the Melaka State Assembly sitting.

He called on all quarters to play their role to achieve the target and not to politicise issues, like the case on the closing of Jonker Walk which was aimed to reduce traffic congestion in the area.

Idris said efforts were also being made by the state government to attract more investors and negotiations were in progress with giant companies, like Microsoft and Guardian, to get them to invest in Melaka.

The state government is also discussing with a company from Spain to build a renewable energy plant, involving investment of RM2 billion, he added.

Bernama

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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

VEERA@THESTAR.COM.MY

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

ELECTRIC BUSES FOR MELAKA BEFORE CHINESE NEW YEAR 2014

Electric buses for Malacca

Posted on 18 August 2013 – 08:51pm
Last updated on 18 August 2013 – 09:26pm
Vathani Panirchellvum
newsdesk@thesundaily.com

AYER KEROH (Aug 18, 2013): Malacca’s plans of becoming a green technology city state steps closer with the advent of electric buses, scheduled to be launched before Chinese New Year next year.

Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron said that for starters 10 buses will ply the World Heritage City of Bandar Hilir, giving a positive impact on the environment, according to a report in Melaka Hari Ini, a community newspaper.

“If this project is successful, Malacca will be the first state that uses electric buses as an initiative to improve the public transportation system in the state, making it comparable to other countries like the US and Japan. The use of the environmental-friendly electric buses will reduce the use of petrol and diesel, thus lowering the carbon footprint,” he said.

Idris added that the project will give positive returns in the long run as the buses can fit up to 40 passengers and will reduce the usage of fuel as much as RM0.20 per km, bringing in a profit of RM0.49 per passenger to the government.

The buses can move up to 40km per hour, he said, adding that it is based on the town bus concept, with standing room for most, and seats prioritised for the elderly and people with disabilities.

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Cuisine in Melaka

MELAKA TO DO AWAY WITH OVERHEAD ELECTRICITY LINES

Monday May 20, 2013

Malacca to do away with overhead power cables

MALACCA: The historic state is doing away with overhead electricity lines and cables for safety and aesthetic reasons.

Chief Minister Datuk Wira Idris Haron said existing overhead cables in the city’s rural and urban areas would gradually be replaced with underground cables or have these routed to run between buildings.

“Besides being an eyesore, overhead electricity cables and lines are susceptible to many external interferences.

“Factors such as weather, air hazard and accidental impact with poles may cause breakage or stress to the transmission lines, posing danger to buildings and people.

“It’s good that we do away with it,” he said after visiting the state Tenaga Nasional Berhad headquarters in Banda Kaba here.

Idris, an electrical engineer by training, said the state TNB had been tasked to lead the special Street Lighting Maintenance and Management Committee to provide the technological expertise and consultancy to replace the overhead cables.

“The work will be carried out in collaboration with the state Public Works Department, local councils and other technical groups,” he said.

Street lamps and decorative lightning posing a danger to the public should also be quickly taken down to avoid any untoward incident, said Idris.

“The public should play a role by informing TNB on any issue or disruption to electricity supply,” he said.

Idris also noted that according to TNB’s System Average Inter-ruption Duration Index, Malacca’s average of 35 minutes/user last year was one of the best in the country.

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Cuisine in Melaka

MALAYSIA FIRST CHINESE PAGODA MOSQUE

New Straits Times
Monday, May 27, 2013
MALACCA – Malaysia’s first Chinese pagoda-inspired mosque will be completed in April next year.

State Chinese Muslim Association (Pertim) chairman Mohd Mansor Yap Abdullah said the mosque, estimated to cost about RM7.5 million (S$3.13 million), would be located at Krubong, near here, and would not only cater to Chinese Muslims in the state, but all Muslims.

He said the mosque, which was being built on a 2.4ha site, would be a combination of the architectural designs of several mosques in Beijing, Shanghai and Xian.

“This mosque will be the first in the country which will incorporate the pagoda in its design.

“Hopefully, it will become a tourist attraction. I also hope that the mosque will open doors for the Chinese community to have closer ties with the Muslim community, fostering better understanding between both communities.”

Mansor added that the mosque would implement a natural ventilation concept.

“The main prayer space will be able to cater up to 2,000 Muslims at one time, while the outer prayer space will have room for up to 3,000 ummah,” he said after visiting the mosque’s construction site here yesterday.

Construction of the mosque’s main building began earlier this year through an allocation of RM5.9 million from the Federal Government, which was approved by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in October 2011.

An additional RM1.6 million was later contributed towards the project from donations, as well as a state government fund set up by former chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam.

Mansor said once the mosque was completed, Pertim’s office would be moved there to facilitate the association’s activities and programmes for the community.

“The mosque will also offer facilities, such as a funeral rites room, meeting rooms and a library.

“The Chinese Muslim community here is excited about the mosque, as their dream of having a Chinese pagoda-inspired mosque will soon be realised.”