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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

ZHENG HE RETURNS TO MELAKA

Wednesday January 30, 2013

Zheng He ‘returns’ to Malacca
By R.S.N.MURALI
[email protected]

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.

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Cuisine in Melaka

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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Cuisine in Melaka

GREEN CARS FOR MELAKA STATE EXCO MEMBERS

MALACCA: Malacca state exco members and top officials could soon be cruising in eco-friendly hybrid cars.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said that the state had received a proposal from Honda to change its current fleet to cars using green technology.

“Honda is offering us a good deal and we are now waiting for the green light from the Federal Government,” he said after announcing new portfolios for the state executive council yesterday.

“We have also assessed the proposal by Proton on similar cars and will leave it to the Federal Government to decide.”

Mohd Ali has created a new portfolio – Green Technology – that comes under his purview.

It is learnt that the state government was offered Honda’s 2011 Insight hybrid model as state official cars.

Mohd Ali said that the state government was contemplating only electric-powered taxis and buses in the state to reduce smoke emissions and to create a greener Malacca.

“We are looking at the blueprints submitted by Proton and a heavy vehicle manufacturer from China to introduce electric taxis and buses in the state. The change will be carried out in stages,” he said.

Mohd Ali added he would also pursue plans to have more government department buildings and private homes in the state to use solar power panels for their energy supply.

“Malacca will move forward progressively to adopt green technology in urban and community development,” he said.

On the exco reshuffle, Mohd Ali said he has given key portfolios to the MCA and MIC representatives.

State MCA chief Datuk Gan Tian Loo, who previously chaired the Public Works and Infrastructure committee, now helms the Education, Youth and Sports committee to enable him to bring about a paradigm change in universities, secondary and primary schools in the state.

State MIC chief Datuk R. Perumal, formerly in charge of Transport, Information and Consumerism, has been given the Urban Development and Agriculture committee to turn Malacca into a major dairy producer, Mohd Ali said.

He also picked newly appointed exco man Datuk Ghazale Ahmad as chairman of the Transport, Information, Unity and Consumerism committee.

All changes will take effect from April 1.

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