Cuisine in Melaka


Published: Tuesday September 3, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM

Updated: Tuesday September 3, 2013 MYT 11:53:03 AM

Malacca set to make an Impression


A scene from the Impression Liu Sanjie outdoor musical in Guilin, which features dazzling light effects and an awesome setting of mountains and a river.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malacca will become the first city outside China to stage the 10th production under acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou’s “Impression” series of outdoor musical shows.

Impression Melaka, is a project between PTS Impression Sdn Bhd and China Impression Wonders Art Development Co Ltd, which will be endorsed by Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz today as a National Key Economic Area project under Pemandu.

This follows a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by PTS Impression CEO Boo Kuan Loon and China Impression Wonders Art Development Co’s co-founder and CEO Wang Chaoge in February in Malacca, witnessed by then Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, and the project’s official launch in Beijing in May.

The immensely successful Impression musicals were founded by Zhang and his creative partners Wang Chaoge and Fan Yue who were also directors of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The stage for Impression Melaka will be built to look like a Chinese junk in Admiral Zheng He’s fleet with the audience seated in the middle.

All the Impression shows are live outdoor performances involving huge casts, humongous stages and amazing special effects.

The first was launched in 1998 in Guilin called Impression Lui Sanjie on a 2km-long setting along the Li River. Since then, there are Impressions in nine locations all over China, including Lijiang and West Lake, using spectacular natural backdrops.

Impression Melaka, however, will be performed on a gigantic stage built to look like Admiral Zheng He’s junk with a revolving seating area for 2,014 in the middle.

It was Wang who decided on Malacca as her company’s first foreign foray after being pursued by a persistent Boo who brought she and her team to visit his hometown.

Boo, 42, who describes himself as a true-blue anak Melaka, is a property developer who wants to create a destination theatre experience to benefit locals and give tourists a reason to stay overnight in Malacca.

Mr. Boo Kuan Loon, CEO of PTS Impressions Sdn Bhd
Boo wants to create a destination theatre experience to benefit locals and give tourists a reason to stay overnight in Malacca.

“Most tourists come to Malacca for day tours but don’t stay overnight because there isn’t much to see or do at night. Impression Melaka can change that as there will two performances every night,” he said.

Boo added that it was a feather in Malacca’s cap that Wang’s company chose the city for its first foreign production out of 150 proposals from cities around the world, thanks in part to its Unesco world heritage status.

Although Impression Melaka’s storyline and music are being written and the stage designed by China Impression Wonders Art Development Co, Boo stressed it would not be a Chinese story but one that reflected Malacca’s vibrant cosmopolitan history and heritage.

As Wang said in an interview with Lifestyle Magazine, “When we go outside the country, we’re not taking Chinese culture and exporting it to them, but rather we export our art and performance – Impression Melaka is about Malaysian culture.”

She was also quoted as saying at the Beijing launch that Impression Melaka would “showcase the city’s glorious past and modern day life.”

Nevertheless, the junk-shaped stage recalls Zheng He’s five visits to the port in seven voyages between 1405 and 1433 which led to a longstanding relationship between the Malacca sultanate and China.

The directors: (from left) Zhang, Wang and Fan who will create Impression Melaka.
Impression Melaka, a RM300mil project, is funded by local and foreign investors and will be the only one in the region for the next three years, said Boo.

He said the 75-minute long show, with a cast of 200, is projected to sell 1.3 million tickets a year, at about RM130 a seat.

Like other Impression shows, most of the performers will be ordinary folk living in the vicinity who will be trained by Zhang, Wang, Fan and their team.

While its location is still under wraps, Boo said the theatre will require 8.1ha, while another 32.4ha will be developed for other related developments, such as restaurants and a tourism village.

Impression Melaka is scheduled to open in October 2014, in conjunction with Malaysia-China Friendship Year to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations and in time for Visit Malaysia Year.

Cuisine in Melaka


Malacca all set to make a huge Impression

MALACCA: An outdoor performance combining spectacular, high-tech lighting with natural scenery is set to make its debut in Malacca by the end of 2014.

Under an MoU signed between PTS Impression Sdn Bhd and Impression Wonder Arts Co. Ltd of China, the performance – part of the “Impression” series – in Malacca will be the first to be held outside China.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, who witnessed the signing, said the Impression series would unveil a pool of local performers as well as provide job opportunities for locals.

“Its debut in Malaysia is considered a dream come true for me as I always wanted to have the performance held here following the splendid show during the Beijing Olympics in 2008, which was also choreographed by the company’s director, Wang Chao Ge.

“The presence of the eminent entertainment company will give the country, particularly Malacca, a big-bang effect,” she said.

Tourism Malaysia

25 million visited Malaysia last year

25 million visited Malaysia last year

Going green: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and Dr Ng planting trees when launching the ‘My Beautiful Malaysia Day’ cleaning campaign at the national park in Telok Bahang, Penang.

They also spent more time in the country compared to previous years, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said.

“I am extremely happy that the tourism industry has consistently registered growth year after year,” she said. “Last year, tourist arrivals to the country were 25,032,708 – an increase of 1.3% from 2011. And tourist receipts were RM60.6bil compared to RM58.3bil in 2011,” she added.

“This showed that the ministry’s strategy to make tourists spend more in Malaysia was successful.”


Tourism Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur truly a shopping haven

Kuala Lumpur truly a shopping haven

KUALA LUMPUR: The city of Kuala Lumpur has been ranked fourth best for shopping in global news network CNN’s survey.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, who announced this last night, said the Government’s continued effort to boost KL as a shopping haven was bearing fruit.

She commended shopping malls and stores on the cooperation extended to the ministry to help make its campaigns a success.

“This is wonderful news. Malaysia Boleh!” she said at the launch of the sixth “A Journey Through Time” watch and jewellery exhibition at Starhill Gallery last night.

She said she had been informed that New York, London and Tokyo were placed before KL.


Tourism Malaysia

Tourism beyond profits

Tourism beyond profits

THE DPM’s officiation has effectively showcased our commitment to PATA, and the Malaysian Government’s dedication to us, Tourism Minister Dato’ Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen told The Star at the event opening yesterday.

Highlighting several key factors that directly affect the tourism industry in Malaysia in the long run, Dr Ng acknowledged PATA’s influence over the international arena of tourism.

“PATA must take a strong stand on contentious issues to bring its members together. What we need now is for the fraternity to put its minds together. Whatever PATA says, everyone listens. We will promote and encourage participation,” she said.

Environmental factors and a shared sense of social responsibility by all Malaysian citizens can make tourism an agent of change for the country, which in turn will have a positive effect on the nation’s economy, she added.

“Overseas friends must be able to trust us enough to come here. Tourism should be discussed more from elementary; it should be in students’ syllabus. Things like climate change and how it affects our tourism industry should be ingrained in our youths,” Dr Ng stressed.

Awareness is needed to engage the younger generation to take on an active role in the tourism industry, especially as they are social media-savvy.

“Awareness brings forth interest and desire, which leads to action,” she noted.

She refuted the perception that upscaling the tourism industry will only benefit the super rich.

“The truth is, it affects grassroots service providers such as waiters, caddy drivers, spa therapists and so on. People have to understand that it is every citizen’s responsibility to be directly or indirectly involved in the industry. At the moment, we are facing a shortage of 6,000 spa therapists!

“That’s what responsible tourism is all about – citizens have to get involved. If it’s just the Ministry that’s doing the thinking, without the people, the country won’t improve. It’s a combined effort,” said Dr Ng.

Dr Ng intimated that Malaysia’s bagging of three PATA Gold Awards (among a total of 27 other accolades that went to the Hong Kong Tourism Board and Tourism Authority of Thailand) this year came as a surprise to her.

“It never crossed my mind that I would be given this honour, but for that, I am grateful that in being Tourism Minister, I understand the intricacies involved. People tend to associate tourism with leisure, but the burden is in orchestrating the game plan. I really want the rural folk to be a part of it so that they can be empowered,” she said.

She called on industry players to meet the changing demands of the tourism industry.

“The world is very different today than it was decades ago. Before this, people waited till they reached their 40s to travel, perhaps, once a year. Today, young people travel all the time, several times a year, in fact,” she said.

It is now about the packages we can give to travellers, Dr Ng added. “The ministry can’t package deals – and that in itself spells opportunity for the private sector. The government’s role is to build the platform and bring the tourists in. You, help globe-trotters experience Malaysia.”