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Cuisine in Melaka

HONEST HOTEL STAFF RETURNS RM 100,000.00

Published: Friday August 8, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday August 8, 2014 MYT 7:07:40 AM
Honest hotel staff returns RM100,000 to owner

Honesty rewarded: Norashimah receiving the plaque from Chung during the award ceremony.

MALACCA: Brought up by a military-trained father who values integrity over self-interest, hotel staff Norashimah Abdul Razak did not hesitate to return a bag full of money – with Australian currency worth close to RM100,000 – back to its owner.

The 72-year-old hotel guest had left the bag in the safe in his room and checked out without realising he had left the bag behind.

The Australian was on his way to Kuala Lumpur yesterday when the hotel management contacted him. Only then did he realise he had left his bag behind at Hotel Equatorial here.

The hotel management then arranged an appreciation event for Norashimah and awarded her an exclusive plaque for her honesty.

Norashimah, 30, an assistant front office manager, said her soldier father had taught her that taking things that belonged to someone else was a sin.

Relating the events before the bag was returned to its owner, she said after the guest left in the morning, she entered his room to make a check and saw the bag in the safe.

She immediately sensed it contained a lot of money and quickly informed her superiors about the find. She later found out that the bag contained notes amounting to A$30,000 (RM89,510).

“My dad’s rule of thumb is to never take anyone’s belongings and respect those who are elder, regardless of their race.

“My father’s advice crossed my mind and I told myself to refrain from any temptation to take the money,” she said when interviewed.

Norashimah, the eldest of six siblings, said her retired military father had planted the right attributes in his children.

“Dad imparted all the right values in us and we were always reminded to respect everyone,” she said.

The guest, who returned to the hotel to get his bag, said he was in Malaysia for a holiday.

“I am extremely thankful. God bless honest Malaysians,” he said.

Hotel general manager Adrian Chung said he was proud that his staff had manifested such high integrity,

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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 TRAM GETS SPAD APPROVAL

Wednesday December 12, 2012 MYT 7:39:00 PM

SPAD okays implementation of Malacca’s tram project

MALACCA: The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has given the green light for implementation of the tram project in Malacca, although laws governing the system are not ready yet.

SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said technical work such as the building of tracks and depots could still proceed.

“Since the existing traffic laws do not cover trams, there is no regulation governing it. However, we have allowed the project to start because there is still time to formulate the law,” he told reporters after meeting Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam on the tram project here Wednesday.

He said SPAD had held discussions with the Attorney-General’s Chamber to draft the law for tabling in Parliament before gazetting.

SPAD would ask for a detailed report on the security and maintenance aspects of the tram system from the project developer to ensure its smooth operation, he added.

The RM272mil project undertaken by Mrails International Sdn Bhd in collaboration with Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI) will cover 11 of 14 tourist areas in Malacca.

The tram, operating on liquefied natural gas (NGV), is capable of ferrying 120 passengers at any one time at a speed of 40kmph.

Mohd Ali said preliminary work on the tram project was expected to start in February next year. – Bernama

More News Go

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MELAKA AIR TO FLY TO PENANG FROM 6TH.APRIL 2012

Published: Wednesday March 28, 2012 MYT 5:39:00 PM

Melaka Air set for maiden flight to Penang on April 6

MALACCA: Melaka Air will start its maiden flight from the Malacca International Airport in Batu Berendam to Penang on April 6.

Melaka Air, operated by Melaka Holiday Sdn Bhd in cooperation with Firefly, will fly twice a week (Monday and Friday) to Penang using an aircraft with a capacity to fly 72 passengers.

Melaka Holiday Sdn Bhd chairman Syed Mahaza Syed Dakian the flight would take 1 hour 10 minutes and tourists coming to Malacca from Penang would be able to arrive in comfort to visit interesting places in the state.

“There is a demand for such service from Penang since tourists who arrive in Penang would also like to visit Malacca which is also a Unesco World Heritage site just like Penang,” he told reporters after opening the Melaka Air and Melaka Holiday counters here Wednesday.

The introduction of the air route to and from Penang would shorten the travel time for tourists as well as save cost.

Melaka Air, which started its operations last November, was previously servicing only the Malacca-Medan (Indonesia) sector.

Syed Mahaza said Melaka Holiday also offered travel packages, especially five days four nights or four days three nights to selected destinations. – Bernama

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MELAKA SULTANATE AROUND SINCE 1200s?

Published: Monday October 17, 2011 MYT 7:14:00 PM

Malacca Sultanate around since 1200s not 1400: Ali Rustam

MALACCA: The Malacca Sultanate began in 1262 and not 1400 as widely believed, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam.

He said a group of historians, through the Malaysian Institute for History and Patriotism Research (IKSEP), managed to prove the earlier existence of the sultanate.

“The discovery of this fact is proven through the writings of Raja Bongsu in the book, ‘Salatus Salatin’.

“It is also proven by our historians that we have a high civilisaton,” he told reporters after opening a seminar in conjunction with the 749th anniversary of the founding of Malacca here.

Profesor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim, who presented a paper titled “Melaka, Mother of Malaya” at the seminar, said the present generation had little knowledge on the country and its society.

“This phenomenon is worrying. History does not just focus on the olden days but also on developments until the present day,” he said.

Mohd Ali said the lack of history knowledge and appreciation have made the people lose their true identity and become materialistic.

He said the country should continue producing historians or social scientists as they were important in helping to raise self awareness and in developing a true identity among Malaysians.

“The action by certain universities to reduce the intake of students for the arts and social science stream is not appropriate,” he said.

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