Cuisine in Melaka


Wednesday January 30, 2013

Zheng He ‘returns’ to Malacca

Epic voyage: A replica of the vessel helmed by Zheng He in Jonker Walk, Malacca.
MALACCA: Legend has it that Admiral Zheng He and his armada left his home port of Nanjing in China for their epic voyage to India in the Year of the Snake in the 1400s. Along the way they stopped at Malacca.

To mark the auspicious year of his voyage, the Chinese community will display a huge replica of the ship used by the admiral in the city’s world-famous Jonker Street, touted as the pulse of the community here.

Measuring 30m in length and 23m-high, it weighs close to two tonnes and resembles the original Chinese junk used by Zheng He in his sea travels.

Two cranes hoisted the replica to its above-ground berth on Friday night.

State MCA chief Datuk Gan Tian Loo said the replica, assembled by local craftsmen, would be displayed on two pillars that support the artificial junk, the names of the countries the admiral had sailed to.

Zheng He had reputedly sailed to 30 nations across Asia and Africa.

Gan said the craftsmen had incorporated intricate designs from the original vessel into the replica.

“It will be the icon of this historic city during the celebrations,” he said, adding thousands of visitors are expected to view the boat during the festive season.

“The city is ready to welcome the Year of the Snake in style, with carnivals and shows to mark the auspicious event,” he said, adding that Zheng He’s boat will complement the 1Malaysia dragons that adorn Jonker Street to mark the outgoing Year of the Dragon.

One of the dragons, dubbed the Prosperity Dragon, measures 121m-long, and is the longest outdoor dragon effigy in Malaysia.

The Harmony Dragon comes a close second at 91m.

Meanwhile, Temple Street , also known as Harmony Street in the old section of Malacca city, was lit with hundreds of red lanterns and coloured lights on Saturday.

Several arches and billboards with festive greetings and messages already festoon Jonker Street.

Hundreds jammed the streets in the historical hub as Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam led a team of community leaders that included MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Jonker Walk committee adviser Datuk Wira Gan Boon Leong to light the lanterns to usher in the new year.

Earlier, several lion dance troupes, musicians, dancers, performers and entertainers, showcased their talents in various performances to entertain the public and foreign tourists.

Cuisine in Melaka


MCA veteran from Malacca dies at 91

MALACCA: MCA stalwart Tan Sri Tan Cheng Swee (pic) died at Hospital Pantai Ayer Keroh on Sunday night. He was 91.

Tan, who was Malacca MCA adviser, was admitted to the hospital in early July for treatment due to failing health and died at about 11pm.

He leaves behind wives, Puan Sri Tay Siew Phung and Nelly Ng, two daughters, two sons and several grandchildren.

Tan was one of the founding members of MCA and was former MCA vice-president, Deputy Chief Minister of Malacca (1970-1976) and Malacca MCA state liaison committee chairman (1963-1976).

The wake will be held today, tomorrow and Thursday at 8pm at 16, Jalan Bukti China here. The funeral service will be held on Friday at 11am followed by the cremation at Melaka Memorial Park.

State MCA chief Datuk Gan Tian Loo said Tan’s death was a great loss to the state and party.

He said Tan had contributed greatly to the state government during the post-Merdeka period and brought MCA to greater heights during his tenure.

“Tan Sri had once led the state as Deputy Chief Minister and was also a father figure to younger MCA leaders,” he said.

Gan said as a mark of respect, MCA would cancel all events scheduled for today.