Cuisine in Melaka


MALACCA: The two double-decker red tour buses which were brought here from London slightly more than three years ago are no longer plying the tourist belt in the historical city.

Both the buses are out of service for now and Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam had announced recently that one of them would be made a temporary exhibit at the Malacca Transportation Museum in Ayer Keroh while awaiting repairs.

The bus which would be placed temporarily at the museum belongs to the Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council (MPHTJ).

The other bus, which is undergoing repairs at a workshop in Sungai Udang, is owned by the Malacca Historical City Council (MBMB). It is expected to resume operations soon.

MPHTJ’s bus had been out of service and left idle at the MBMB compound since last September as the replacement parts were costly and difficult to get as they had to be imported from England.

Ali said it was better to make the bus part of the museum’s exhibits than to leave it idle while waiting for the spare parts to arrive.

“We have to think carefully about what to do with the bus due to the costs incurred and we have to ensure that we make a pragmatic decision when ordering the replacement parts,” Ali said.

The buses, which are also known as the Panorama Bus, were brought to Malacca from London in 2007 at a cost of RM200,000 each to take tourists around historical sites in the city.

The London Bus, as they are known by the locals here, started its services on Aug 14, 2007.

It made 13 stops, including shopping and leisure areas.

The buses are operated by Panorama Malacca Cultural Tourism Sdn Bhd (PMCT).

The bus owned by MBMB is undergoing repairs at a cost of RM140,000 while the other, owned by MPHTJ, is scheduled to be sent to the workshop soon.

MPHTJ is expected to cough up RM40,000 for the repair of its double-decker bus.

Mayor Zainal Abu confirmed the cost incurred to repair MBMB’s bus was RM140,000 as the replacement parts had to be imported.

Meanwhile, MPHTJ president Sapiah Haron confirmed that RM40,000 would be allocated for the repairs on its bus.

Cuisine in Melaka


MALACCA: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam is upset over the felling of five giant angsana and malacca trees within the buffer zone of the Unesco World Heritage Site here.

The trees that had stood for hundreds of years along Jalan Merdeka and Jalan Parameswara, near Equatorial Hotel here, were cut down by a private contractor carrying out a multi-storey hotel pro­ject.

The trees were tagged as rare species in 1996.

Mohd Ali asked the Malacca Historical City Council (MBMB) to haul the contractor to court at once.

“I don’t know who gave them the authority to chop down the trees. I want the contractor to be punished.

“Even the trimming of trees and ornamental plants in this state can only be carried out after permission is granted by the local council.

“In this case, ancient and precious trees were felled. I also want the contractor to be blacklisted and not awarded construction jobs in Malacca.

“This will serve as a lesson to others,” Mohd Ali said here yesterday.

He said he had asked mayor Datuk Zainal Abu to issue reminders to other contractors not to lay their hands on any tree considered part of Malacca’s heritage.

“I am really upset and am not going to let the matter rest,” he said.

The state government has also asked its legal adviser to use existing laws to effect maximum penalties on the contractor.

MBMB councillor Mohd Yusof Abu Hassan said the trees were inside the buffer zone gazetted by Unesco on July 7, 2008.

He said the contractor had no approval to cut down the trees and the council would initiate legal action under the Urban and Town Development Act 1972.